featured image senior real estate specialist holds a home model while a senior holds keys

7 Reasons to use a Senior Real Estate Specialist

January 17, 2023

Why a senior real estate specialist is the right fit for aging loved ones

A Senior Real Estate Specialist is a real estate agent that has gone through specialized training to cater their services to senior citizens in need of home sales. Often, mature homeowners are looking to sell their homes to downsize or for other life-changing reasons. Agents who have received this special designation are uniquely prepared to help with the specific challenges associated with selling an aging loved one’s home.

This designation comes from the National Association of Realtors and is put forth to train agents in this specific field of real estate service. While it’s true that any real estate agent can sell an aging loved one’s home, agents with this specialty will patiently and compassionately navigate the unique challenges a home sale like this can present.

senior real estate specialist compassionately discussing home options with senior couple

1) They are compassionate

Agents with the SRES designation tend to go for this special designation because they want to help elderly homeowners sell their homes and navigate through the unique challenges this type of sale presents. They understand that this is not going to be a typical home sale, and there might be quite a few steps to get the home ready.

While the goal of both the SRES agent and the mature homeowner is to ultimately sell the home, the agent will be more prepared for things that will need to be done to make sure the listing is given the proper care the home deserves.

Bottom line, SRES agents take their time with aging homeowners and understand how compassion plays a key role in helping with the sale of the home, especially if it is leading to a life change.

senior real estate specialist helping senior couple with complicated documents

2) Selling a senior’s home is often more complicated

Often these homes will have been a part of the family for quite some time, and an SRES agent will understand that, as senior homeowners advance in age, home upkeep can start to take a backseat. SRES realtors are ready for this and are typically better prepared to take action to get the home ready faster.

There is often more work involved to get the home ready with a mature loved one’s home. Years of clutter or neglected repairs typically need to be addressed before the home can be listed. SRES agents are trained and prepared for the extra steps selling a senior’s home might require.

senior real estate specialist going over a reverse mortgage

3) Experts in reverse mortgages

These agents are trained to understand the ins and outs, pitfalls and advantages of reverse mortgages along with how they can benefit your loved one.

What is a reverse mortgage? According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau a reverse mortgage is “A Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), the most common type of reverse mortgage, is a special type of home loan only for homeowners who are 62 and older.”

It is very much like a traditional mortgage where the owner of the home will be able to borrow money using the home as collateral for the loan. They still retain the title for the home and, instead of monthly loan payments, the loan is paid when the home is sold.

How is this beneficial to seniors? Depending on the market, a home can take longer to sell than planned, despite the best efforts of the real estate agent. A reverse mortgage allows the homeowner to receive the a large chuck of the value of their home in advance. This money can then be used for home repairs required prior to selling or the costs associated with moving to a senior living facility, including costs of the facility themselves.

Having the money for the home sale in hand before the home is sold can be a distinct advantage, especially for seniors whose main asset is the home itself, and for those who are in more urgent need of new living arrangements.

SRES agents are also acutely aware of potential pitfalls and risks to reverse mortgages and will help you, or your loved one, navigate the most responsible path.

A 401k document next to a stack of $100 bills

4) An understanding of 401(k), IRAs and pensions

In addition to reverse mortgages, there are often retirement savings accounts, 401(k), IRAs and pensions that will play a factor in sale of the home. SRES agents have knowledge of how to use these accounts to benefit the real estate transaction.

Their knowledge isn’t limited to these types of accounts. The training they receive also includes how Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security can impact and inform how the home sale is approached.

An SRES agent will also be able to help your loved one safeguard and protect themselves against finance and loan scams and schemes. Since tactics for these scams change on a regular basis, SRES agents update themselves on new tricks designed to unfairly separate the elderly from their finances.

two seniors sitting on a couch in living room with both hands coming together for a heart shape

5) Familiar with the emotional attachments

We said earlier that these homes often carry a lot of family memories are more likely to have been in the home longer than the average homeowner. According to the National Association of Realtors, “As of 2018, the median duration of homeownership in the U.S. is 13 years” (according to the 2018 1-year American Community Survey).

Seniors approaching retirement, or who are past retirement, are more likely to continue living in their homes longer and to have paid the home off. According to Forbes, “Sixty-eight percent of adults 70 and older are mortgage-free.”

This means that emotions will play a big factor in selling the home. It might be that your loved one feels everything is moving too fast. In an emergency situation, there may be no way to avoid this swift change. It may be that the senior homeowner just doesn’t want to leave and will want to hold out in the home as long as they can, and if staying in the home is a detriment to their well-being, some gentle guidance to the right steps might be required.

An experienced SRES agent will know how to navigate the emotions that go along with this type of real estate sale. Again, SRES agents typically pursue this designation because they value helping the growing population of seniors.

real estate agent holding a model of a home in front of a laptop

6) SRES agents have a toolbox of experts

Because of the unique challenges selling a senior’s home presents, our SRES agents have amassed an amazing toolbox, or network, of specialists to help with the extra steps involved in the home sale.

They will have trusted experts and specialists, including movers, elder law attorneys, handymen, contractors, home inspectors and many more to make the process as seamless as possible.

Because SRES agents will have thoroughly vetted their toolbox of specialists, they will be able to confidently assure you and your loved one that every aspect of getting the home listed will be handled with the utmost care, competence and professionalism.

senior couple in their home on laptop going over what real estate agent recommended

7) The full package

In all honesty, any good real estate agent can sell a home. As we’ve covered, what makes an SRES agent unique is their understanding of the ever-changing, specialized and personal challenges that go into selling an elderly homeowner’s house.

An SRES agent will put together a comprehensive plan of action, from preparing the home for listing, and every step that will be involved, to securing the immediate financial needs of the senior, all the way to selling the home.

The plan an SRES agent will put together, and implement, will be detailed and thorough and will ultimately give Mom’s home the care, it deserves.