Why Use A SRES?

*This article was featured, in part, in the July 2019 edition of About Boomers Magazine.

A SRES is a Seniors Real Estate Specialist – A Realtor® designated by the National Association of Realtors. As with anything important, you want to make sure you are working with a professional who is experienced in helping you meet your specific needs, such as a doctor for your health care, a vet for your pets, an attorney for your legal needs and a SRES Realtor for your real estate needs during your late life move.

Buying and selling a home is one of the most important decisions you will make. 

4749 Cardinal Ridge Way

When you are in your retirement years there are a number of factors that may be affected when you purchase or sell a home. A SRES – Seniors Real Estate Specialist is trained and experienced to understand a variety of issues that may arise when you are contemplating a late in life move. A SRES understands the pros and cons of how Medicare or Medicaid can be affected by profits from a home sale, the guidelines presented by the Housing for Older Persons Act (HOPA), reverse mortgages and how to use it to buy a home, and finding suitable homes for older adults who are downsizing or considering an assisted living community.

Finding the right place to live that suits your need is always a priority for the SRES, in addition to walking you through each step of the process in order to reduce the confusion and stress that could arise during such an emotional time.

The most important qualities that a SRES can provide are sensitivity and patience.

Family dynamics can be a factor that impacts the sale of a house for anyone over the age of 50 and more so for older retirees – usually because there are adult children or grown grandchildren that play a big part in the life of the senior. If your family have a say in your life plans then a SRES may be the best Realtor to assist you. The SRES will consider the relationships and work towards helping you and your family through the details that are important to each of you.

A SRES is sensitive to the sometimes difficult and emotional journey that is involved when selling a family home that holds strong sentimental value to its owner(s). A SRES is mindful of the fear factors that may surround the homeowner as they make the transition.

If you are thinking of ‘aging-in-place‘, which many older adults are considering when purchasing a smaller home is not always affordable – a SRES may still be a good contact for you. A SRES is well versed on aging-in-place strategies and can assist with information about evaluating and modifying your home to make it more comfortable to remain there.

Choose a Realtor who has the mindset of ‘Service before Money’. 

Most SRES have a passion for working with older adults. They understand that the circumstances surrounding the senior client may need a number of issues managed prior to the sale of the house and those are things that the SRES can help to resolve, sometimes by referring to other senior service providers, which can range from Senior Move Managers, Elder Law Attorneys, Assisted Living Communities to Financial Advisers or loan providers.

Hilary Walker, SRES, Realtor, Broker and SRES Instructor has a 10 step process when working with her clients and selling the house is number 7 on that list, which speaks to the detailed consultation and extended service that she and her team provide for her clients.  Her motto is “Real Estate is more than property, it’s about the people

Hilary is a Broker with The American Realty Professionals of GA and Director of American Realty Seniors Division. She is an instructor of the SRES Designation 2-day course for Realtors, and also offers seminars for Senior Provider teams (such as Home care providers, social workers, etc), older adult groups (such as church groups, active adult clubs, assisted living prospect group meetings and more). For more information call (678) 609-8019 or use our contact page here.

 

Will You Downsize or Rightsize?

Is it time to move to a larger or smaller space? Whether choosing to move now or later, you should start asking the right questions today.

Here’s how to tell if you should move to a larger space:

  • You need to make room for aging parents or relatives who cannot afford to age in place or an elder care facility
  • You must make room for returning children
  • Your home is overflowing with furniture and miscellaneous items that have no place to go
  • You are running out of storage space

How to tell if you should move to a smaller space:

  • You or your partner has health complications that are not suited for the current layout of your residence
  • The thought of caring for your yard, multiple bedrooms, or general upkeep seems stressful
  • Moving could save you money in retirement
  • Your home has lots of space that is never used

A few other factors to consider before deciding to rightsize:

  • You’ve decided to move closer to children or grandchildren to make new memories with family
  • As your wants and wishes change, your neighborhood may no longer provide what you need
  • Your home no longer appeals to you and you are not in the position to nor desire to remodel
  • Selling your home could yield exponential financial benefits

Rightsizing can be new, exciting, and in some cases frightening. Considering the tips on this list can give you a great head start. Your next best option is to contact a Seniors Real Estate Specialist who will help you work out a plan of action and time frame best suited to your needs.

For Full Article of questions and video to help you when it comes to relocating Click Here

Source: Lisa Haskell, Owner of Caring Transitions  Click here to contact them.

Real Estate Instructor Having Fun!

Hilary Walker

A whole bunch of fun is what we have when I get together with fellow agents to teach the 3-hour Continuing Education class called “Here Comes the Boom” and the 2-day Designation class, “Seniors Real Estate Specialist”. Both feed my passion for educating. The classes are always great learning for the participants as well as me – since teaching is always a two way street,  in my opinion!

As a Real Estate Instructor, I can share information and examples from my own vast experience. However, the experiences shared by participants are most valuable to help us all learn what our clients need from us, how we can best service our clients, or pick up tips and strategies to support our real estate businesses.

I’m available to instruct real estate agents and to facilitate seminars for older adult groups open to hearing about the challenges and solutions of downsizing, resizing and relocating. Call (678) 609-8019 to discuss how we might work together.

Class Video Pictures

Class Testimonials

“Best most informative class yet!” J Tow 

“Hilary was awesome & also her guests – would recommend the class to anyone” T Prieto

“ Awesome class – Awesome instructor!” C Banks 

“ One of the BEST classes I’ve ever taken!! I would love to work with seniors!” L Peterson 

“ I felt like a sponge that couldn’t soak up all the great information that I learned. Amazing class and amazing instructor!”

“Hilary Walker and other speakers are passionate and very knowledgeable. The class was very well worth it because of this”

“Instructor very passionate & committed!”

“SRES very interesting to me now. Hilary was great – Very knowledgeable” B Clifton

“Well put together. Great Instructor” 

“Excellent Presenters, Excellent Materials, Extremely Useful” 

“There was a lot more information than I was expecting. Great class” 

“Outstanding class. I cannot begin to tell you what I got out of this class. You definitely have challenged me”. J Lester 

“Extremely wonderful presenter. Guest speakers were incredible too!”  

“Great Instruction, Great Info, Enjoyed the class”  

“Well informed and animated instructor – included real life examples to illustrate objectives. Well worth the investment of time & $$!” 

* * * * * * * * * * *

 

FEATURED on FORBES.COM

Hilary is featured on Forbes.com! Thanks to writer Tom Pfister for putting a spotlight on how Seniors Real Estate Specialists (SRES)​ work with their clients.

After Credentials, Two Realtors Show How To Delve Deeper To Serve Seniors

After the initial education and designation, though, what can Seniors Real Estate Specialists do to build their capabilities to serve the seniors market?

I asked Realtors Hilary Walker, SRES, Seniors Division Director with American Realty Professionals of GA, who’s also a real estate instructor of the SRES designation; and Brandy Heath, SRES, Affiliate Broker with Crye-Leike, who’s also a registered nurse, to share practical ways that agents can self-propel their knowledge and abilities for senior-focused service.

Tom Pfister: After earning the SRES designation, what did you immerse yourself in that contributed to your proficiency to satisfy older persons’ real estate needs?

Hilary Walker: It is important to continue networking and meeting with senior providers such as Elder Law Attorneys, Assisted Living site representatives, other vendors such as Move Managers and Estate

Hilary Walker, SRES, Seniors Division Director COURTESY OF HILARY WALKER

Sale Coordinators. Building relationships allows me to hear from others the kind of issues they find common, and for me to share my clients’ concerns that might be of interest to them.

Working directly with older adult clients has been the greatest experience—to learn each person’s wants and needs by listening and being empathic to their journey. The more people I consult with brings me closer to the conclusion that I need to use the skills of a social worker to best serve my client(s). Every situation is different and needs a unique plan of action, which includes being able to provide resources for them, as and when a need arises. READ MORE…

 

 

How Seniors (and Their Families) Benefit from a Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES®)

Couple laughing

This specially-designated REALTOR can save the children of seniors a lot of time when their parents need to downsize

Not just limited to Conyers but all around Atlanta, many older adults who own homes eventually get to a point where their home no longer accommodates them as it was originally intended. They may no longer need the size of the home, be physically able to take care of the home or can afford the cost of maintaining the home. In too many cases, health challenges compress the time needed to plan for a housing transition, find a new home or other living arrangements and/or sell their current home.

The Challenge

The adult children will find there’s a plethora of resources, housing options and price points to consider, so finding a residence that is the perfect mix of warmth and proximity to health care providers and facilities while being functionally adequate for the challenges of aging means much time and effort is involved in considering all the options. Senior-specific financial and real estate considerations often must be handled by the children of seniors, while juggling their own careers and family life.

The Solution

If your aging parent or other loved-one needs to downsize or find a residence better suited for them, a SRES®-designated REALTOR is best trained to handle your loved-one’s real estate needs. They can sift through the options and present them to your parents, saving you a lot of legwork and time.

Hilary Walker, a SRES®-designated REALTOR®, Broker and Director of American Realty Seniors Division, says it best:

“The challenge is that ‘many adult children of baby boomers’ rarely have the time that is needed to gather all the necessary information about the services that would be helpful to their parent. This means the parent often remains in their ‘ineffective’ situation for longer.  But also, connected to this, is that often the adult child is trying to show the parent that it may be best if they no longer live in the family home that has functional issues relating to the parents’ current health conditions or lifestyle needs. The other challenge is for the adult child to find and provide solid information to parents without making the parents feel as though their child is ‘babying’ them or trying to take over. Seniors Real Estate Specialists like me can help with all of this.”

To be experienced in serving this demographic, the REALTOR® must pass the National Association of REALTORS-designed course. Earning the SRES® designation means the REALTOR® specializes in the needs of clients aged 50 and over who are buying and selling real estate.

SRES®-designated REALTORS® are knowledgeable about these things and will save you time by finding reputable services or handling them for you:

  • Senior housing options and locations
  • Move Management Coordinators
  • Counseling strategies to help in life transition planning
  • Remodel/Renovation contractors in case they wish to age in place
  • Factors and trends in housing, retirement income and finance specific to those 50 and over
  • Identifying and protecting seniors from finance, mortgage and loan scams that target this demographic
  • Aware of Housing for Older Persons Act (HOPA), senior communities and housing restrictions
  • Advisers for Home Equity Conversion Mortgages, Reverse mortgages, 401k accounts, IRAs and pensions as part of wealth management and to assist in real estate transactions
  • Protecting a parent or senior loved-one from losing access to Medicaid, Medicare, VA or Social Security benefits when selling their real estate

Atlanta Seniors Real Estate Team provides holistic real estate services for the unique needs of older adults and their families. Contact a Seniors Real Estate Specialist today!

SRES® REALTORS® also have partners in the Senior Care Market who help make the transition to a new home as easy as possible for all concerned. Kaye Ginsberg, founder of Peace of Mind Transitions, a full service seniors relocation partner, explains:

“Senior Move Managers take the stress out of moving. We work together with the senior and their family to decide which belongings will go to the new home, then work with them to manage what to do with the rest (sell, donate or dispose). We coordinate packing and moving and then completely unpack the new home; including hanging pictures and making the beds.”

Ginsberg said, “The first step is for the senior to identify what they will take with them and what they would like family members to have – and that’s the hard part. This is the first time in history that we have two generations downsizing at once – and none of the “children” want any of their parents’ belongings. Which means that many items like china, crystal and silver are not holding up in value for re-sale. Perhaps it would be better to focus on what I like to call ‘Doing Good While Downsizing’.  Why not donate items to a local charity who will make sure your items go to people in need who will appreciate them?”

Ginsberg says it’s good to strategize early: “It’s never too early to start thinking about the future.  Even if you’re not ready to move now, it is wise to know what your home is worth and what other housing options are available for you.  And it is certainly never too early to start thinking about what you want to do with your lifetime accumulation of possessions.”

Download “Your Guide to Stress-Free Rightsizing and Relocation” 

Sources:

National Association of REALTORS. SRES

National Association of Senior Move Managers. Your Guide to Stress-Free Rightsizing and Relocation 

Story of 105 year old Martini Lover – shared by Jeff at CPA Allies

This 105-Year-Old Martini Lover Has Been Retired for Almost 40 Years. Here Are Her Smartest Money Moves

Patricia Lyons Harrington recalls applying for a credit card in the 1950s, when she was a single, middle-aged school teacher in Boston. The company turned her down, since gender discrimination was as common in credit transactions as in other aspects of society.

More than a decade later, the tide began to turn, and the same company sent her a solicitation. “I said ‘no thank you,’” recalls Harrington, 105.

Well past the century mark, Harrington retains the feisty spirit that helped her forge her own career and manage her own money at a time when most of her peers married and stayed home to raise children.

Click here for more of this story

 

Cards for the Elderly

The Cards For The Elderly campaign has been running since 2015 in partnership with Christ Advocates For the Elderly also known as C.A.F.E.org. The idea came about during a conversation about doing something for seniors during the holiday season.

Cards4Elderly2018.v3

The inspiration was my own 70 year old mother who lives in England. I had sent her a birthday card, which she determined was highly worthy of telling her church friends and the pastor about. After she had bragged about her loving daughter who had sent her this beautiful card, the Pastor of her church mentioned it during his ceremony and asked my mother to bring the card to him, which he then read to the entire church as an example of how simple it is to give love and how greatly an affect it can have on the receiver and that his church members should do more simple gestures just like sending a greeting card.

I shared the idea in a meeting with other Senior Providers and they all wanted to help by contributing cards from their families. The first year we collected a little over 100 cards, all signed with a message “to a friend”. Children sent cards. a couple of artists sent a bunch of hand made cards, regular Christmas cards were sent, holiday or friendship cards were received too.

For the first couple of years, two of us dressed in our Christmas attire, went to Remington House Senior Living community in Conyers, GA, to deliver all 100+ cards. We handed them to the residents who we met while walking around, some were placed on tables in the dinning area and the balance were placed in a basket in the common area.

Just a few  years later, we have involvement from the Girl Scouts of Conyers (club 17015), who are supporting the campaign in a very special way.

First, the Girl Scouts and a host of other volunteers are knitting TwiddleMuffs to be given as gifts along with the cards. Twiddlemuffs  are known to be very effective for people living with dementia or Alzheimer’s because it is something to “twiddle” or fidget with and has a calming effect for the person holding it. Each Twiddlemuff has different textures, a warm and cozy feeling and gadgets to twiddle – apparently they add to the quality of life as they keep the brain active and stimulated. You can learn more here.

Second, the Girl Scouts group will join Dawn from C.A.F.E and myself to deliver the #Cards4Elderly directly to the seniors living in a couple of Conyers Senior Living and Memory Care Communities.  We know that people don’t always have their grandchildren living near by, so the girls will provide much joy as they interact with the residents and give them a gift. Inter-generational interaction is also a fulfilling activity for both young and older groups.

Dawn, the founder of C.A.F.E.org found a Twiddlemuff pattern when searching  online for a muff crochet pattern for her 78 year old father who has Neuropathy in his fingers, which means his hands are always cold. After seeing him use a heating pad to keep his fingers warm she searched for muffs and came across a site that spoke about Twiddle Muffs for Dementia and Alzheimer patients. Inspired, she set about making the connection with others who could help to crochet as many Twiddle Muffs as we receive in holiday cards – not just for those with cold fingers – we now have gifts to share with seniors and memory care residents of senior living communities.

 

Our #Cards4Elderly campaign runs for 2-3 months leading up to the Christmas holiday and we deliver cards and Twiddle Muff gifts to the communities during the week of Christmas.

Please support our small act of kindness by sending a card to:

C.A.F.E. Org

Cards 4 Elderly

PO Box 82382, Conyers, GA 30013

If you have questions, please call (678) 609-8019

 

 

Baby Boomer Eight!

By Genie McGee, Reverse Mortgage Planner

While all the attention seems to be on millennial home buyers, it is important to also focus on the other end of the spectrum – Baby Boomers! Increasingly, tapping growing housing equity via a Reverse Mortgage loan is a viable option. There are eight issues that most Baby Boomers have to face as they enter Retirement.

HouseOnMoney

I call them my Baby Boomer Eight:  Continue reading “Baby Boomer Eight!”

Daily Money Managers Help Seniors Remain Independent

2 people working on their computers
Photo credit: Helloquence on Unsplash

 

 

If you are an older retiree and have been overwhelmed lately with managing your financial accounts, it might be time to consider hiring a Daily Money Manager (DMM). A DMM is a cost-effective way to help keep your financial life in order by hiring a professional to help you keep track of paying your bills on time, balancing your check book, handling insurance matters and providing tax documents to your accountant. Depending on where you live, costs can range between $75 to $150 an hour and some even charge a monthly retainer instead of an hourly fee.

Atlanta Seniors Real Estate caught up with Barbara Scurry, founder of Senior Partners. Barbara has been a DMM for 6 years and 10 years in geriatric health care/ marketing.

“I’ll share with you the story of Dorothy, a client of mine for almost four years. Dorothy was 79 years old when I started working with her. She never married, had no children, siblings, or other relatives with which she associated and she lived in an assisted-living facility (ALF).She was highly educated and detail-oriented but had stopped paying her bills and was showing early signs of cognitive decline. When I started working with Dorothy, I had great concern that she would run out of money within 12 to 18 months.”

Saving and finding money

Scurry said, “I began basic daily money management services, including opening and sorting her mail, making calls to outside vendors on her behalf, and organizing her files. But I got involved with her life issues as well and quickly realized she was not getting the care she needed (and was paying for) at the ALF where she was living. I helped her find a new ALF that saved her $2,500 per month in living expenses.”

Dorothy was also missing stock certificates that were about to be turned over to the state of Georgia, “one evening, as I was going through some old papers I finally found them! When we deposited those certificates, they ended up being worth more than $125,000! That money helped take care of her needs for the next three and a half years!”

Help with moving

Scurry even advised Dorothy on moving, a service perfectly aligned with the real estate transition services provided by Atlanta Seniors Real Estate Team.

“I referred her to a professional move management company and coordinated their services to get her packed, moved, and unpacked at her new location.”

If you need the services of a Daily Money Manager, a great place to learn more about this unique service and find a professional is with the American Association of Daily Money Managers.

If you or your senior parent(s) are ready to buy or sell real estate in Georgia, be sure to contact Atlanta Seniors Real Estate team of certified and personable Seniors Real Estate Specialists to help make the transition as smooth as possible.

 

Resources:

Senior Partners. Main page

AARP. Daily Money Manager Helps Control Finances

American Association of Daily Money Managers. Main page

 

 

 

American Seniors’ Home Equity Rise 3%

 

Graph formed by 100 dollar bill
Photo credit: 401kcalculator.org

 

 

Extra money can be used for updating home to age in place

Seniors and their adult children decide every day on aging dynamics and the feasibility of remaining in a long-term residence. While many seniors choose to downsize their living space, there’s a share of seniors that desire to remain in their homes or age in place.

Peter Bell, president and CEO of NRMLA and president of the National Aging in Place Council, positions using home equity as a way for seniors to update their homes to age in place.

“Instead of moving out, various modifications, such as stairless entryways and wider bathroom doorframes, can be made to accommodate new mobility and accessibility needs,” he said. “The housing wealth our seniors have built up in their homes over the years, their home equity, can be used to update the family house into a space for living comfortably and independently for years to come.”

A few stats about American homeowners aged 62 +

  • According to the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA) and RiskSpan, this demographic had $6.3 trillion in total home equity at the end of the first quarter 2017, a 3.1% increase between fourth quarter 2016 and first quarter 2017
  • NRMLA and RiskSpan’s Reverse Mortgage Market Index, reached 227.07 in the last quarter, the highest since it was created in 2000.
  • Seniors’ home equity has been rising steadily for much of this decade, only falling in three quarters in 2010 and 2011 during the recovery from the housing crisis and recession.

If you or a loved-one has questions about aging in place versus looking for a residence better suited for them, there’s a whole team of Senior Real Estate Specialists for that!

 

Sources:

Reverse Mortgage Daily. Seniors’ Home Equity Rises 3% in Q1

PEMCO Realty. How Seniors (and Their Families) Benefit from a Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES®)

Need some guidance? Have a question? We’re here to help.

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

Thank you! You have successfully subscribed.