How to Choose a Senior-Friendly Real Estate Agent

Sunrise Senior Living  |  February 12, 2018
How to Choose a Senior-Friendly Real Estate Agent
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If you’ve ever moved before, you probably aren’t surprised to learn that moving is considered to be one of life’s most stressful events. 

Moving can very traumatic for older adults. Many seniors have lived in their current home for decades and raised a family there. That can make leaving the home behind both physically and emotionally difficult, but it is a decision most older adults will eventually have to make.

Why Do Older Adults Move?

Seniors relocate for a variety of reasons. The three reasons most often cited in a small study conducted by a senior relocation specialist were:

  • Difficulty keeping up: 42 percent of older adults surveyed said they were no longer able to keep up with home repairs and maintenance.
  • Health reasons: 34 percent said a change in personal health necessitated their move.
  • Freedom: 10 percent said they were looking for an easier lifestyle.

If you are trying to help an older adult you love begin the process of relocating, it’s important to take your time and find a realtor who understands the unique challenges that come along with selling a home when you are a senior.

How to Find a Senior-Friendly Realtor Near You

Having a licensed real estate agent who knows how to help a senior and their family through this transition is important. That is why the National Association of Realtors created a special designation for realtors who work with seniors.

The Seniors Real Estate Specialist® (SRES) credential means a realtor has gone the extra mile to learn how to be a true resource for older sellers. To qualify, a licensed real estate agent must complete a training program that helps them learn more about the challenges of moving when retired.

Visit the SRES website and use your zip code to search their database for a specialist near you.

Interviewing Potential Real Estate Agents

Once you’ve done your research and found a few realtors who seem like they might be good options, put together a list of questions to ask when you interview each one of them in person. A few suggestions to add to your list are:

  • How many older adults have you helped sell their homes?
  • What do you do differently when approaching the sale of a senior’s home, as opposed to that of a younger family?
  • Is there an optimal month to try to sell a home in your area?
  • Can you offer assistance with staging or make suggestions to help make the most of the sale?
  • Do you have experience working with any local move managers or moving companies?
  • What will you do to market the home?

Interior Design Resources at Sunrise

Sunrise has an online library of design resources to assist older adults who are relocating. Our complimentary Home Design Guide is packed with helpful information ranging from furniture arrangement tips for aging eyes to strategies for making bathrooms safer.