Qualified Senior Real Estate Specialists

Perhaps the most talked-about demographic group today is known as Boomers. They're the aging children of parents who went through the Second World War and were born in the years between 1945 and 1964. Today, the first of the Boomers will be 66 years old. They are members of the largest and most influential generation of senior citizens in history and their impact upon the economy is massive.

The Kids Are Gone...What Do You Want to do Now?

With the aging process comes decisions about how to "do life", and the most pressing issue may well be what to do with the family home. Kids are gone, the house is too big, and those household maintenance jobs that used to be fun are a lot more like work than ever before. As a result, thousands of seniors are considering a move to a newer, smaller place that would be more conducive to their current desires, health and wealth needs and proximity to grandchildren. While these thousands are considering a move, their contemporaries intend to stay put, a phenomenon known as aging in place. According to Senior Advantage Real Estate Council, about 70 percent of all seniors will make the decision to remain in the place where they celebrated their 65th birthday.

To Sell or Not to Sell - That's the Question

If the decision is made to relocate, there are a number of considerations to think about and a great number of mistakes to be avoided before placing the house on the market. One of the most important considerations is finding a realtor who works with seniors. Currently there are more than 7,000 agents in the US and Canada with the realtor specialty designation of Seniors Real Estate Specialist, or SRES. In most markets in North America there are several such senior specialists from whom to choose and there are more in the wings. Many of these realtors are members of the 55-plus group themselves and have a good sense of the needs of their peers.

Who Is a Senior Real Estate Specialist?

Seniors Real Estate Specialists are Realtors who have undergone special training to give them the knowledge to counsel 50-plus clients through the buying and selling process. They can offer practical and appropriate options and information necessary to make the right decision about the home, both for the present and for aging in place. They have a good understanding of the Housing for Older Persons Act (HOPA) and are well informed when it comes to the current financing options, enabling them to guide a senior in examining how additional sources of income can impact a real estate decision. They are not loners; they work together with a team of professionals who are versed in the areas of taxes, law and other important aspects of buying and selling real estate.

How An SRES Can Help

Part of the basic service of an SRES realtor is recommending a market evaluation for senior sellers. Many seniors bought their home fifty years ago for $25,000 and find they are sitting on a piece of property that is worth $250,000 in today's market. An evaluation helps to create a frame of reference necessary to make a sound decision about their home. A full financial evaluation is the second recommendation - figuring out what to do with all that money. Investment objectives, equity-conversion strategies, capital gains taxes and other implications of selling need to be discussed.

Lifestyle evaluation is probably the most important assessment of all. When inner concerns are discussed seniors can become more objective about what is difficult about their current situation and what is easy about it. Sometimes moving is a good thing, and sometimes the evaluation indicates that a move isn't necessary. In cases like this, often a reverse mortgage will enable them to stay in their home - and for many Boomers, that's a very important thing.