November 21st, 2022 at 11:00 am

Benefits of using a Seniors Real Estate Specialist

Specialization can provide you with a product or service that meets your every need—even down to a cup of coffee: Do you want regular or decaf, light or dark roast, home-brewed or barista-provided? Do you value fair-trade, organic, or the lowest price? 

When it comes to real estate transaction, working with a REALTOR® who focuses on your unique location, needs, and time of life can help clarify complex options and lead to the best next steps. 

If you’re planning your retirement years, considering assisted living communities, or supporting a parent through their golden years, working with a Seniors Real Estate Specialist® (over a perfect cup of coffee) can provide you with specialized knowledge of the 50+ real estate market.

What Is a Seniors Real Estate Specialist? 

Senior real estate specialists (SRESs) are REALTORS® who’ve undergone training focused on catering to clients over the age of 50. Beyond a thorough understanding of traditional real estate buying, selling, marketing, and research, a senior real estate specialist can assist older adults with the following: 

Real estate financing guidance

Stage of life is key to making decisions around funding sources and types of financing. SRES education prepares REALTORS® to consult with or identify industry professionals in order to provide guidance on: 

Healthcare and estate planning 

It’s not just about finding a dream home—housing choices later in life can affect your access to benefits, healthcare, and what you leave behind. SRESs are familiar with the following: 

SRES qualifications

To earn the SRES designation, agents must train through the National Association of REALTORS® and receive a passing grade on the final exam. 

Once certified, they have access to updates and continued education to stay on top of changing regulations and market conditions specific to the 50+ audience. 

How to locate an SRES

Whether you’re planning a life stage transition, helping a parent, or are looking for the best places to retire in California, the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties team is here for you. We have more than 40 caring and dedicated Seniors Real Estate Specialists® to consult with senior clients and families in Southern California. 

We listen and offer a range of solutions to help you sell, relocate, or downsize based on your timeframe and your unique needs. 

Visit our site today to connect with a Senior Division professional to explore your options.

When to use a Seniors Real Estate Specialist

One of the benefits of working with a real estate agent that specialize in senior care is even if you have a real estate agent you’ve successfully worked with in the past, if they don’t specialize in senior clients, they may miss the boat in providing all your options, understanding what unique services and financing options are available to seniors, or knowing how housing choices affect future benefits.

Rather than acting as a traditional buyer’s or seller’s agent, an SRES is a more holistic consultant who can help create a life stage transition plan to ensure that your home meets your needs now and in the future.

An SRES is particularly suited to help with the following: 

Working with a Seniors Real Estate Specialist® can also provide you access to their network of experts and vendors unique to the 50+ market, which may include: 

What is a reverse mortgage?

Federally insured reverse mortgages were signed into law in 1988, although the idea began in 1961 when a local bank owner in Portland, Maine, came up with a way to help his high-school football coach’s wife remain in her home after she was widowed.

At first glance, reverse mortgages seem like a magic answer for seniors—not only do you get to stay in your home for life, but a lender pays you income. 

However, predatory lenders, hidden restrictions, and unforeseen results have shown up in news stories and led to ongoing regulations over the decades to maintain the original intent of this financial option. 

Today, we know that reverse mortgages have both pros and cons, and they’re not right for everyone. However, in some circumstances, they can do exactly as that football-loving banker intended: keep seniors securely in their homes while converting equity to a guaranteed income. 

How does a reverse mortgage work? 

A reverse mortgage is a loan with special circumstances. An eligible homeowner borrows money against the value of their home and opts to receive that money from the lender in a: 

  1. Fixed monthly payment
  2. Lump sum
  3. Line of credit
  4. Combination of above

Rather than making monthly repayments to the lender, as you would for a traditional or “forward,” mortgage or home equity loan, the lender is repaid only when one of three circumstances occurs: 

  1. The homeowner dies
  2. The home is sold or transferred
  3. The homeowner moves out of the home permanently

In its most popular structure, so long as the homeowner remains in the home, they’re not required to make any loan payments during their lifetime. 

Instead, the lender provides a monthly income that supplements pension, Social Security, or other sources to fund living expenses. 

The homeowner obtains housing and cash flow security, and the lender is essentially gambling on a profit beyond the sum of payments made to the homeowner when the house is eventually sold (or at least breaking even with the help of mortgage insurance). 

Who qualifies for reverse mortgages? 

This loan model is uniquely limited to seniors. To qualify for a reverse mortgage, you must: 

Pros of a reverse mortgage

Overall, security is the theme for reverse mortgage fans. This is found through: 

Cons of a reverse mortgage

Reverse mortgages aren’t for everyone. Cons include: 

What is a Sell/Buy Plan? 

If you’re in the market for a starter home, then your choice of professionals is simple: go with a buyer’s agent. But at a later stage in life, your transition plan may include multiple options for the type of sale and type of new home, all of which have different timelines. 

Selling your home may entail a: 

Ideally, you’ll be stepping foot into your new home as soon as you hand over your old keys, but it may be difficult to juggle: 

An SRES can help create a custom plan to cover the disposition of your current property and securing a new home. Using their knowledge of area market conditions and best practices alongside an understanding of your needs and choices, SRESs can help plan for senior-specific vendors, services, housing options, and more.

We’re here to help

If you’re considering a Southern California move after the age of 50, we can help. 

At Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties, we specialize in the complexities of this unique area—such as local regulations, market changes, and strategies—to help you meet and exceed your real estate goals. 

Our Senior Division provides a direct link to more than 40 caring and dedicated Seniors Real Estate Specialists® to consult with senior clients and families. These REALTORS® understand the unique needs of seniors and how to plan for a safe and comfortable next home. 

Visit our site today to connect with a Senior Division professional, share your goals, and hear how we can help.


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