When you decide it’s time to get a smaller house or move into a new community, you should consider using a real estate agent that understands all the needs a senior like yourself might have. These types of moves aren’t typical property deals and require the coordination of different things like retirement budgets, long-term health care, and estate planning. Realtors with senior experience are the best option, and Seattle has quite a few you can use.
Realtors can get a few different credentials to qualify them to work with older adults. In Washington, there are two ways agents can go about this. While they’re taking their regular training, agents can add approved courses and get the National Association of Realtors Seniors Real Estate Specialist credential. The Senior Real Estate Institute offers the Certified Senior Housing Professional title, earned with extra classes. Some agents decide they want both titles, but it isn’t required.
SRES and CSHP not only have experience dealing with seniors and their real estate needs but also work with other senior specialists. These professionals can include elder law attorneys, social workers, or CPA’s and this network means you will get help with anything you need during your moving process.
Agents with the proper qualifications commonly work with adults that are 50 or older. This can include adults that are still working, newly empty nesters, or seniors that have various health needs that require them to move into an assisted living facility.
There are a few times when you should seek out a senior realtor. When you’re ready to move, either into a smaller house or a long-term care facility, consult with an agent. Not only will this be an emotional time, but there are certain financial things to keep in mind. A good agent will stick to your budget and help you work with the money you have with things like reverse mortgages.
Maybe you aren’t ready to move, or you have elderly parents. A senior realtor can still help you. They often have contacts with contractors or building professionals that can help you remodel your house to make it work better for your needs. This includes things like wheelchair ramps, wider doorways, lift bars, and more.
If you already have a firm in mind, you can ask if they have any available qualified agents. Otherwise, you can check the CSHP directory to find agents in your area. There is one in Seattle and includes a link to their website.
You can also search by your zip code with the National Association of Realtors. For 98101, there are seven agents listed in the area and includes firms such as ReMax Northwest, Coldwell Banker, and Windermere.
Many of these agents have additional qualifications and can help with things like military relocations, even if you’re retired, as well as international real estate, foreclosures, and green building.
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