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a new home for mom and dad


It's time for your older loved ones to move out of that big house, and you're looking for a real estate agent who specializes in working with seniors.

The National Association of Realtors realizes that you, and legions of other caregivers just like you, will share this concern. Therefore, Realtors can achieve a Seniors Real Estate Specialist designation (SRES) by taking classes on how to best serve people 50 and older -- clients who possess different real estate goals and needs than younger people.


What To Look For In A Senior Real Estate Specialist


· The following is a list of the types of information that should be brought to the table by a Realtor who has completed the seniors real estate specialist curriculum:


  • ·An outline of housing options for seniors, ranging from independent living to assisted living to      continuing care communities.

  •  Knowledge of the federal Housing for Older Persons Act (HOPA) and various other forms of    government support.

  •  Pros and cons of reverse mortgages.

  •  Use of pensions, 401(k) plans and individual retirement accounts (IRAs) in completing a real estate    transaction.

  •  Impacts of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security on real estate decisions among clients age 50 and older.

  •  Awareness of various mortgage finance schemes and scams that are targeted to senior citizens and people in poverty, often described as "predatory lending."

Emotions, Not Just Finances, Are Vital

  •  Above all, a Realtor who specializes in serving older clients must recognize the emotional aspects that are involved in making a move. Loved ones may feel that they are losing their independence, or that their children are taking over.

  •  In many cases, Realtors have reported that they signed up for the seniors real estate specialist training after they encountered these types of concerns with their own parents.

  • A trained and sensitive Realtor can assist caregivers in explaining a need to move to reluctant loved ones. For example, caregivers may be concerned about a loved one falling outdoors during the winter on a slippery sidewalk or driveway. The loved one may tune out the caregiver after a while, but when the concern is reinforced by a Realtor, then they may be more likely to pay attention.

  • Caregivers should take note that relations established with Realtors often last for several years. In effect, the best Realtors who work with older clients become caregivers in their own right.



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