Moving is a big deal, and it can come with a lot of emotional and financial stress, especially if you’re a senior. You might be working on a small retirement budget, trying to plan your estate, or moving to an entirely new community to care for your health. Working with a real estate agent that understands your needs and has done this before can make the process easier and ease your stress. New Orleans has realtors with credentials that makes them qualified to assist any senior with any moving needs.
Agents can train for various situations and become qualified to assist with a variety of moving needs. To help seniors, agents can get one of two credentials. The first is through the National Association of Realtors, called the Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES). Agents take approved courses along with their regular training to become an SRES. The Senior Real Estate Institute also has the Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) title, and while Louisiana doesn’t offer this, you can find agents in other states that have both titles.
The training to become an SRES or CSHP includes working with a few other senior specialists like elder law attorneys, CPAs, and social workers. Senior realtors have large networks of professionals like this, and they can refer you to any of them when you need additional help.
To work with an SRES, you need to be 50 years or older. Beyond that, you could be at any point in your life whether that’s newly retired, empty nester, the height of your career, or moving into a nursing home.
The obvious answer is when you’re ready to move, call an SRES-qualified agent. They can help you find a smaller home, a low-maintenance house, or an assisted living community that fits your needs. Their training equips them to work with smaller retirement budgets, and they can help you learn about financial tools like reverse mortgages to give you the maximum amount to use.
Another time where it could be beneficial to contact an agent is if you want to stay in your home, but you need to make some adjustments. This is a particularly useful resource for children with elderly parents that aren’t ready to move. An SRES agent could refer you to a professional who can modify your home with wider doorways and ramps to accommodate wheelchairs, or install a stairway lift chair to help move seniors upstairs safely.
Another benefit to an SRES agent is they frequently work with other specialists like attorneys and can time the sale of your house with things like estate planning. If you don’t have an attorney, talk to your agent for a referral.
An easy way to find a qualified agent is to do a quick internet search. Even though New Orleans doesn’t have CSHP agents, other states do. If you’re moving out-of-state, you can look at the CSHP directory to find a complete list of all agents.
SRES agents are easy to find in your area by entering your zip code, such as 70115, into the National Association of Realtors search tool. This zip code came back with agents in firms like New Orleans Property Lady and Remax.
It’s highly likely your agent will have other qualifications like military relocation, foreclosures, or international real estate. It’s a good idea to ask if you have the need for assistance in those areas.
Find assisted living in New Orleans near you.