Moving On... Tips for Seniors

Real Estate

Moving on...

Is it time to sell your home?

Are you thinking of selling your home to move to a senior-supportive environment? Or perhaps to move in with an adult son or daughter who can help with your needs as you grow older?
You may be considering leaving the family home with all that it represents—the place where children were raised; the safety and security of a family unit; the physical space where your oldest and dearest memories reside. For seniors, it can signify the best years of their lives, where friends and community ties were made. Many seniors would prefer to continue living in their own home, or aging in place. Sometimes, circumstances work against those preferences:
• Home maintenance becomes a burden
• A major life event forces considering a move
• An aging parent wants to live closer to adult children or other caretakers
• Financial concerns make it difficult to keep the home
• Support services are needed that are not available at home

Whatever the reason, there may come a time when parents, along with their adult children, consider selling and moving on. An SRES agent can help guide your family through the complex issues and unique situations you may encounter during the process.

Selling a senior's home is different

Many homeowners have previously bought and sold homes. However, selling a senior’s home can be much more complicated,due to the number of unique issues and decisions—and sometimes
the number of people involved. Though seniors usually make the decision to sell, it is not uncommon for adult children to help them sort through these and other issues:

• Is moving the best alternative? If so, where? Have other options
been explored?
• Are close family members on board with a decision to sell?
• What is the best way to downsize a lifetime’s worth of possessions
and family heirlooms?
• What are the tax-related implications of a sale?
• What effects might a sale have on future income?

The financial, logistical and emotional issues involved in a move can be stressful for a family to navigate. Senior parents and their adult children may feel they are in unfamiliar waters as they deal with these questions.

A real estate professional who has experience in senior’s issues, and who can put you in contact with other similarly-trained professional advisors, can be an invaluable resource at this time. You can count on a Seniors Real Estate Specialist® (SRES®) to help guide you through the process and the special considerations, making the transaction less stressful and more successful.

What is a SRES?

A Seniors Real Estate Specialist® (SRES®) is a REALTOR® who is uniquely qualified to assist seniors in housing sales and purchases. The SRES® designation is awarded only to REALTORS® who have additional education on how to help seniors and their families with later-in-life real estate transactions.They also draw upon the expertise of a network of senior specialists, such as estate planners,CPAs, and eldercare lawyers, and are familiar with local community resources and services.Their mission is to help seniors and their families navigate the maze of financial, legal and emotional issues that accompany the sale of the home.

What qualities make an SRES® different?

• Has knowledge, experience and compassion in dealing with senior issues.
• Can suggest housing alternatives, including ones that may allow an aging parent to remain in the home instead of selling it.
• Takes a no-pressure approach to the transaction and has a strong service orientation.
• Will take the time needed to make a client feel comfortable with the complex selling process.
• Understands the emotional demands a sale can make on a senior, and tries to minimize them.
• Tailors the marketing of a home to the needs of an older client.
• Can interact easily with all generations, including seniors, adult children and caretakers.
• Is knowledgeable about local senior housing options and elder support services.
• Has a wide network of other senior focused professionals who can assist in tax counseling, financial and estate planning, and other aspects of the sale and move.

Why do you want to sell and where are you moving?

Making the decision to move can be difficult. Sharing the reasons for moving, be they financial, care-related or other, can help your SRES® provide you with a broad array of options to make the process as easy as possible. Many seniors can take heart in knowing that their next move is to the home of an adult child.Other seniors and their families face the task of selecting a home which will meet their needs in terms of care, community and comfort.
Choosing housing that meets your family’s current needs, and anticipates future needs, can be a challenge. Further, it can require a significant financial investment depending on the level of care desired.

Your SRES® can help you navigate this process. They can:

• Familiarize you with the various types of senior housing available in your area.
• Suggest important questions to ask when you’re visiting various housing options.
• Refer you to other professionals who can help you understand and compare the true costs of each option, determine which options are affordable based on your financial situation, and examine the legal contracts involved in the process.
• Suggest a geriatric case manager to help determine the parent’s needs.