August 28th, 2009 Categories: Real Estate News
My mother-in-law is 91 today. She is still manages her own affairs, walks without assistance, plays bridge 3 times a week, gardens – in fact she is the veritable poster child for aging. But, despite all that, she is still the reason I decided to become certified as a Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES)
Four years ago my mother-in-law decided to sell her house in Florida and move to Alexandria. She made the decision on her own time (although she had evacuated 3 times in 6 weeks during a horrific hurricane season).
She also made the decision very quickly and left little time for preparation. I found her a competent agent in Florida and her house sold within two weeks. We were very lucky.
But not everyone is. Just going through the process with her and remembering what my own parents had endured long before I became an agent, I decided that I would take the time to learn just what a Senior Residential Specialist can offer.
Consider this: my in-laws were products of the great depression and did not believe in credit. During their lifetime they built three different houses in three different state and they NEVER, EVER had a mortgage.
It was all done with cash and a handshake. They probably never even used a real estate agent but simply bought their land directly from the owner – with cash and a handshake.
Just think how strange today’s transactions must have seemed to my mother-in-law.
SRES agents understand that this extreme downsizing is often done under duress or when the homeowner is not in the best of health, physically or mentally. It may occur after the death of a spouse or partner with whom the client has shared a lifetime. It may mean leaving friends and moving to another city or state. Each of these components is difficult and taken together it is almost a tsunami.
SRES agents learn that a “team” approach is often helpful. If needed, I will put together a team to include a social worker, health care provider, investment counselor, family member, estate sale/moving specialist, etc. etc. Some of the members, like a health care provider and investment counselor, may have already worked with my client for years, but having everyone working together can make a huge difference.
SRES agents learn that patience is key. Terms and conditions need to be explained and then explained again. The client may ask the same question every day for weeks. Patience.
SRES agents learn about communication. And for me, this – and patience – are key. In two recent listings I have done for senior clients, neither had computers, fax machines, or cell phones. One did not even have an answering machine. Because of that, most of our conversations were face to face and I had to hand deliver documents. It was definitely a change from the way I normally do business but you know what? I kind of liked it! Old-fashioned simple communication at its best.
Can I help you or someone you know make the move of a lifetime?
Call me at 703.927.4554 or email at [email protected]