A Seniors Real Estate Specialist® (SRES®) is a REALTOR® who is uniquely qualified to assist seniors in housing sales and purchases. The SRES® designation is awarded only to REALTORS®who have successfully completed a series of educational courses on how to help seniors and their families with later-in-life real estate transactions. They also draw upon the expertise of a network of senior specialists, such as estate planners, CPAs, and eldercare lawyers, and are familiar with local community resources and services. Their mission is to help seniors and their families navigate the maze of financial, legal and emotional issues that accompany the sale of the home.
What qualities make an SRES® different?
- Has knowledge, experience and compassion in dealing with senior issues.
- Works first and foremost with the best interests of the client in mind.
- Can suggest housing alternatives, including ones that may allow an aging parent to remain in the home instead of selling it.
- Takes a no-pressure approach to the transaction and has a strong service orientation.
- Will take the time needed to make a client feel comfortable with the complex selling process.
- Understands the emotional demands a sale can make on a senior, and tries to minimize them.
- Tailors the marketing of a home to the needs of an older client.
- Can interact easily with all generations, including seniors, adult children and caretakers.
- Is knowledgeable about local senior housing options and elder support services.
- Has a wide network of other senior-focused professionals who can assist in tax counseling, financial and estate planning, and other aspects of the sale and move.
What to Expect from Your SRES®
A REALTOR® who chooses to become an SRES® does so because he or she enjoys interacting with seniors. Their decision to become an SRES® is rooted in a desire to help others. It means that your REALTOR® has respect for older individuals; has the ability to listen deeply and ask the right questions; knows how to communicate the old-fashioned way, with a handshake and a visit. Be prepared to sit and chat awhile. They'll want to take time to get to know you and your family's situation, as you'll want to learn more about them.
An SRES®understands that this can be a stressful time for a family. It's hard to deal with leaving a home after spending many years in it. Perhaps the parent would actually prefer to go on living there. Your agent wants to understand the challenges you all face in this major decision. By doing so, they can present all available options, so that the outcome is one that will suit the family's needs.
At times, the amount of information coming your way may seem overwhelming. An SRES® is there to help by tailoring meetings to a senior's needs. Don't be afraid to ask as many questions as you'd like until you feel comfortable with the steps to the sales process and other potentially-complicated details. An SRES® may suggest taking breaks so you can absorb the information, and may want to break up the prelisting-process over several visits to your home.
Benefits of Working with an SRES®
As we age, we demand specialists in our health needs, so why not in our housing and equity needs as well?
An SRES® brings:
- A customized approach to your situation, working to fit your living situation in with your overall life plan
- Expertise and patience throughout the transaction
- An awareness of options and a network of solid, reliable referrals to help you in the process
- A variety of choices to reduce out of pocket expenses, gain cash, or create or defer income streams to either stay independent or obtain financial assistance