If you are in your senior years or you know someone else who is and they are looking for a real estate agent, it can be hard to figure out which one is the best for you. You want an agent that has your best interests at heart so take the time to see what they are like. If you want some tips, keep reading to see how you can tell if your agent is senior-friendly.
1. They are seniors themselves.
The only person who can truly understand what you are facing in your retirement years is someone who is in a similar situation. A younger agent might not understand your need to remain in the same area or your want to sell to a buyer of your choosing. An older real estate agent will likely be aware of some of the fears you might have when it comes to selling your home, and they will help you understand the entire process much better.
Keep in mind that a younger agent can help you through the process just as well as an older one can. Still, when it comes to being on a personal level, you are more likely to find common ground with an older agent or even one with parents who are in a similar situation. A home sale is a business transaction, but it is still nice to be able to have an agent who can see things from your eyes.
2. Your friends recommend them.
If you have heard good things about an agent in your area, you got a valid reason to work with that realtor. The agent might have good experience with selling homes in your area, older homes, or buying homes that are good for retirees. Real estate is a very word-of-mouth job that relies heavily on things like recommendations, so if you have multiple friends who use the same agent, you should check them out.
Working with seniors is no different than any other age group, but some agents have a knack for finding the perfect home or selling it at a great price. If you don’t have anyone to take a recommendation from, then try searching the internet for agents in the area and reading the reviews. This can be a great way to find an agent that can help you out.
3. They are accredited
Suppose you are looking for an agent that has gone the extra mile to educate themselves on the needs of seniors looking for homes. In that case, you should check out the National Association of Realtors’ website for realtors that have an SRES (senior real estate specialist) credential. These agents are the best in the area to help you out.
A Senior Real Estate Specialist has to complete a program to teach them how to help seniors as best as they can. They have the extra knowledge to help you figure out your plan for your home, and they register themselves by zip code on the SRES database so you can easily find one in your area. There are also other groups that senior-based agents can register themselves with, so do some research to see which ones are in your area.
4. They answered your questions.
Suppose you do not have any agents in your general area that are accredited to work with seniors, and you don’t have any recommendations from friends. In that case, you need to figure out if the agent is senior-friendly on your own. Ask them a few questions about your needs.
- Do you have any experience selling a home for a senior?
- How many homes for seniors have you sold?
- How long have you been working in the area?
- Do you do anything different for a senior home sale?
- Do you have any connections to the local retirement communities or assisted living facilities?
Ask them as many questions as possible before choosing them to help you out. They should be friendly, approachable, and happy to answer all of your questions about the process.
5. They are recommended by a facility you’re using.
If you choose to move into a senior facility, they might be the best ones to help you figure out the right agent. They often have agents who work with members of the facility and assist them not only in selling the home but in moving into their new building. This agent can work with you, and they are likely well versed in the amount of time it might take to complete the sale and move.
You don’t have to choose the same agent that the facility provides but it is a good idea if you are unfamiliar with the area or if you need some extra help making a move.
There are quite a few things that can help you decide whether the agent you choose is senior-friendly. Make sure you do your research and ask plenty of questions before you settle on using an agent to sell your home. This is the best way to make sure that the agent has both of your best interests in mind.