If you are helping your parents, grandparents, or other senior in your life with a move, you may be forgetting some important things. As a senior real estate specialist, I work with families every day to walk through the challenging process of moving. Often that means downsizing, and possibly leaving a family home in which they have lived for years. Any good realtor will be able to help with the basics of buying and selling, but if you are a senior (or love someone who is), there are special considerations that need to be made. Here are four of the biggest mistakes I see people make.
Not Understanding the Perspective of the Senior
Seniors are not always excited about downsizing. Rushing through this process, or not listening to their thoughts and feelings will only make it more difficult. In order for the transition to go smoothly, you need to:
Hiring a Realtor without Experience
Another common mistake is to hire the first friend or family member that says they are a Realtor. Maybe their nephew just got their license and wants to sell the family home. While this can seem like a nice thing to do, and a way to save time finding an agent, it can be a costly mistake. It takes experience to understand how to stage, price, and sell a home in order to get the best deal for the seller. There can be important tax and investing implications for the transition to the new home. A retiree doesn't have the time to gain back losses through more work, or to watch investments grow to make up for downturns. This is the period of life when every little bit matters.
Because of that, it is essential that you hire a real estate agent who is experienced in the location your house is located and where you want to move. Ideally, you will also find someone who specializes in senior planning, as they will bring unique access to resources that other agents will not have the connections for.
Not Considering Factors Other Than the Home
Finding a new place to live is great, but only if the whole lifestyle is also a good fit. It is amazing to me how many people only look at the inside of the house, without considering accessibility to other things that the senior will need, future adaptability of the space to new physical and/or mental limitations that will develop over time, and how close it is to friends and family for visits.
These factors are the things that turn a house into a home and will help the senior have a smoother transition. The thing that is only a minor annoyance during the house hunt can turn into a daily struggle down the line.
Ask your real estate agent to spot things that you may be missing, to tell you about planned real estate development that may change the current neighborhood, and any other tips they can offer from their years in the area.
Are You Looking for Help?
If you are looking for a senior real estate specialist with many years in the business, then contact me, and I am happy to give you a free consultation and talk about your needs.