How to Choose the Right (Senior-friendly) Realtor For You
You did it! You found a senior living community you love. You’re getting ready for this next, amazing stage of your life. But now comes the hard part: moving. And everything that goes with it.
While there are LOT of difficulties when it comes to moving, we’ll focus on just one today that can make or break your home selling experience: choosing the right Realtor.
Since it’s probably been a while since you bought or sold a home, we’re guessing you’ll need to find a new Realtor for The Big Move. Choosing the right one for you is a little different in your senior years than it was when you were younger. Still, there are a lot of similarities to the process, and by asking the right questions, you should be able to find the person that’s right for you.
Here are some steps to finding the right Realtor to help you sell your house and get you ready for your next adventure:
- Find the Seniors Real Estate Specialists (SRES®) in your area.
Yes, there are Realtors out there who’ve been trained to work specifically with older clients. It’s an official specialization and certificate, and requires the Realtor to understand senior-specific products and regulations including the federal Housing for Older Persons Act (HOPA), reverse mortgages and how government programs like Medicare can impact the real estate process. They’re also linked to a network of senior specialists like elder-care attorneys, estate planners and CPAs if you need or would like assistance in those areas. You can find an SRES® near you on http://sres.org/.
- Ask for referrals from your friends.
The nice thing about getting a referral from a friend is that you know your friend will be giving you the real info of the situation. They can go over the good, the bad and the ugly, letting you know about good people to contact and those you should run far, far away from.
- Interview at least two agents.
Once you’ve narrowed down your search, take some time to interview at least two agents. While the real estate process is actually a very straightforward (albeit regulation-heavy and complicated), one agent may handle things very differently from another. Some questions you can ask include:
- How many seniors have you helped sell their homes?
- What’s different about your approach to selling a senior’s home instead of a younger family’s?
- How will you market the house?
- Check out the agents’ listings.
Before you make a decision, check out the online listings of the Realtors you’re debating. Check out the pictures: do they make the house look desirable or dated? Does the description make you want to book a viewing, or does it make you want to click away? Your house will be presented in very much the same way if they’re your Realtor, so be sure you like their style.
- Find someone who knows the area incredibly well.
Pick someone who specializes in your area, because they’ll have a solid grasp on what it takes to sell the property. He or she will be on top of the market and know the demographics of who’ll be looking at your house, what a good price will be and more.
- Pick someone you like.
After you’ve carefully considered all the qualifications and options, choose a Realtor you like. Not only do you want someone who will do an excellent job, but you also want someone who you trust and like, because you’ll be working hand in hand with them for a while.
While the idea of moving may seem stressful, the reality doesn’t have to be. In fact, it can be quite exciting! After all, you’re embarking on a new adventure, getting ready to live life the way you want. Think of how good it will feel once you’ve divested yourself of all the clutter you’ve been wanting to get rid of (but haven’t had the time to do so yet), sold your house (saying goodbye to maintenance and chores) and settled in to your new, maintenance- and worry-free place. You may find yourself wondering why you didn’t move sooner!