Highgate Senior Living Blog

What Is a Senior Real Estate Specialist and Why Should You Use One?

Moving is emotional for the entire family.

Couple talking with a Real Estate Agent

At some point you, your siblings, or your parents might look around the four-bed, three-bath 3,000-square-foot house and wonder, Is it time to sell the family home?

In the past 20 years, the 55+ senior buyer and seller market has nearly doubled, according to McGraw-Hill Construction data. Maybe your parents recently retired and want to downsize, or perhaps a major life event has made your parents consider a move.

Regardless of the reason, moving is never easy. Combine that with the fact that older adults making a transition have usually not moved in 30, 40, or 50 years, and the organizational and physical tasks associated with planning and implementing such a complex move can become overwhelming for the entire family.

50+ Real Estate Resources

“Many senior living communities partner with Seniors Real Estate Specialists and Caring Transitions Specialists”, says Jeremy Glover, Community Relations Coordinator at Highgate at Bozeman.

Seniors Real Estate Specialists (SRES) are realtors who have demonstrated the necessary knowledge and expertise to counsel clients age 50+ through major financial and lifestyle transitions in relocating, refinancing, or selling the family home. Caring Transition Specialists help seniors figure out what will fit in their new home or community, coach them on deciding what to bring, coordinate with the movers, as well as unpack and reorganize their new home. 

Why Use an SRES

Jacquie Budde, the SRES who Glover works with at Highgate, worked in the senior living industry for six years before she became an SRES, and before that, she worked in interior design.

“I had a friend who had been after me to get into real estate, so I decided to take my experience with seniors and have that be a part of my specialty,” Budde says. “Now, I’ve helped thousands of families go through this. If you haven’t gone through it, you don’t understand what it’s like. It’s emotional for the entire family.”

Budde and other certified specialists understand that there is always an emotional element associated with selling a long-time home, and they specialize in easing the transition.

“Everybody during the downsizing and selling process sees things differently,” Budde says. “Sometimes, the people making the transitions are the least emotional. They’ve already made a decision about what they want to do, and it’s the family members who are pushing against their decisions because they don’t want to see their parents change.

“Then there are some people who don’t want to move, so they’re being dragged kicking and screaming,” Budde says. “I’m able to talk to the benefits of making those changes. I can work with someone and talk to them about the wonderful things of assisted living because I’ve seen people’s lives be enriched.”

What SRESs Know That Other Realtors Might Not

An SRES is a realtor, so they have a deep knowledge of real estate and the local and economic issues shaping market trends and can create a customized approach to marketing and selling your family’s property.

An SRES has also taken a course that develops special knowledge of managing the sale of a home for those over the age of 50. Certified specialists:

  • Identify key life stages, viewpoints, and transitions in relation to housing choices
  • Understand differences in housing options, from age-restricted communities to age-in-place design to assisted living
  • Learn about the ins and outs of reverse mortgages and how to use pensions, 401k accounts, and IRAs in real estate transactions
  • Gain an understanding of how Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security affect real estate decisions those who are 50+
  • Recognize and protect their clients from mortgage finance and loan schemes and scams that target 50+ borrowers

Visit seniorsrealestate.com and use your zip code to search their database for a specialist near you.

If your parents will eventually need to downsize and sell their property, download our Questions You Should Ask Your Parents About the Family Home checklist.

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