At some point in a homeowner’s life, they need to decide if they will age in place or sell their home and either age in a smaller home or a senior housing community. When that time comes, a homeowner should consult a realtor. There are many realtors out there with various designations. Most professionals recommend older adults work with a Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) realtor.
What is the Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) designation?
A SRES Realtor is a National Association of Realtors designation. It means the person specializes in the real estate market for those 50 and older. To receive it, a person must be an active and licensed realtor. In addition, a realtor must complete the NAR’s Seniors Real Estate Specialist course and pass its licensing exam. Just to remind you, the realtor must pay for this course plus the annual membership fee to maintain this designation.
They understand the range of housing options available, from downsizing to a smaller residence to the various retirement communities.
They learn communication skills tailored to buyers and sellers who are 50+, including outreach methods and counseling techniques.
They know the various financial options for seniors, including reverse mortgages, pensions, RRSP, and RRIF accounts, and recognize potential financial scams.
They assess a home’s safety and recommend home modifications to allow a person to age in place while keeping the home comfortable, too.
They assist clients with estate planning by integrating the client’s property into their estate plans.
Do older adults have to work with an SRES realtor?
A realtor does not need an SRES credential to represent clients 50 and older. SRES designation means that the realtor has specifically studied the needs and market for this demographic. Ideally, an SRES realtor is better suited because of their expertise, but it is not a requirement. Remember that SRES agents may charge more for their credentials since they may pass their costs for this designation to their clients. Ultimately, work with a licensed realtor who knows the market and fits your needs.
Anyone else to consult when selling a property?
There are many things to consider when selling a house, including maintenance, home costs, safety, and whether the house meets a person’s current or near-future needs. Therefore, consult a reverse mortgage broker/agent to explore all your options. In addition, speak to a financial advisor about your retirement goals and needs and a tax specialist to understand Propositions 19, 60, and 90 and any capital gains tax owed. Finally, speak to a Medicare specialist to see if selling the house would affect a person’s Medicare Part B and D coverage because of the income-related monthly adjustment amount (IRMAA) calculations.
STAGES is here to educate people about what resources are available.