When the time comes that the family home is no longer the right fit for a senior’s living situation, calling on the services of a Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) will be a wise choice.
A Seniors Real Estate Specialist is a Realtor who is uniquely qualified to assist seniors in selling or purchasing a home. The SRES designation is awarded only to Realtors who have successfully completed a series of educational courses on how best to help seniors and their families with later-in-life real estate transactions.
One size does not fit everyone’s needs or desires when the time comes to choosing the next place to live. The SRES is knowledgeable in many types of senior housing options. This could mean a condominium, an apartment, a 55+ golf course community or assisted living centers just to name a few.
It would be wise to interview a SRES in your local area. This will be a good time to find out if he or she has the kind of experience that will be of most help to you and your parent. Ask questions that are most important to you. Do they have references that you can contact? Do they have references for vendors who might need to be called in to help with the placement, the move or getting the house in shape before putting it on the market to sell? How long have they been actively selling real estate in the local area?
Your SRES should always work with your best interest in mind. They should be available to answer any questions that might come up before, during and after the sale or purchase of your home.
There will be many decisions to be made on the way to selling or buying a home so be sure to start right by choosing a Seniors Real Estate Specialist to help.
Lynn Mattecheck, SRES
Many seniors prefer to stay in their homes as long as possible. Of course your ability to do this hinges on many factors, including the nature of the challenges you face in your current home. Major home renovations may be required, but there are also numerous inexpensive steps you can take to improve your living situation.
- Flooring: carpeting is preferable to area rugs because it reduces tripping hazards and can cushion falls. But if area rugs are used, make sure they’re secured to the floor.
- Handrails: on stairways, add a second handrail along the opposite wall for improved stability.
- Footwear: to prevent falls, non-slip shoes are preferable to slippers of socks.
- Non-skid safety strips:adhered to the floor of a tub/shower, non-skid strips are preferable to removable in-shower bath mats.
- Bathroom grab bars: ideally these should be anchored into the wall, but if that’s not possible opt for a safety rail clamped onto the side of the tub.
- Quality step ladder: purchase a broad-based heavy-duty step ladder with a hand-hold bar across the top to safely reach items stored out of reach.
- Lighting: whether it’s making a bathtub brighter or installing motion-activated night lights in the hallway, better lighting can help prevent falls and make hobbies, reading, etc. more enjoyable. Lighting improvements might be as simple as changing the bulbs (to higher wattages or to bulbs that mimic daylight instead of “yellow” soft lighting) or adding battery-operated units.
- Hand shower: convert a standard fixed shower head into a hand-held system with flexible hose.
- Raised toilet seats: no need to buy a new toilet when a removable seat can be added to most standard toilets.
- Mail catcher: mail delivered via a slot in the door may be easier to retrieve from a mail box, especially if a narrow basket is mounted below the door opening so the recipient doesn’t have to pick up mail off the floor.
- Knobs: replace round door and/or faucet knobs with lever styles, which are easier to turn. likewise, loop pulls can make drawers easier to open.
- Eating: specially-designed cups and eating utensils can minimize food spills, including weighted options that help counterbalance shake-prone hands.
- Cooking utensils: lightweight and ergonomically-designed options are readily available now, many offering non-slip handles and bright, attractive colors.
- Keep things handy: move often-used items to easy-to-access locations.
- Eliminate excess “stuff”: having fewer items to store, sort, juggle, and handle can make aging in place an easier and more enjoyable proposition.
Lynn Mattecheck is a Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES®) with RE/MAX. You can count on her to guide you through the process of buying or selling your home. (503) 495-3258.
The Seniors Real Estate Specialist® (SRES®) designation is awarded by the SRES® Council, a subsidiary of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). To learn more about SRES® and access various consumer resources, please visit SRES.org
The Portland housing market is in full bloom. You have probably seen signs of this as For Sale signs pop up in your neighborhood one day and a Sale Pending sticker appears the next day. This is a sign of more things to come as we continue to see more people moving into Portland for quality of life choices and jobs. Our unemployment figures have been trending downward and we are now at 4.4%.
Supply and demand and low interest rates are pushing our prices upward. New listings in March 2017 outpaced March 2016, however pending sales and closed sales lagged behind just slightly in March 2017. The average price of homes being sold in the previous 12 months ending March 31, 2017 increased by 12% with the average sales price of $404,300. This figure will differ by neighborhood. With inventory in months at just 1.3 months, the 2017 Spring and Summer selling season will be brisk.
Once the house goes under contract, an appraisal is ordered by the lending institution. If the home received multiple offers that pushed the sales price over the listed price, the appraisal might come in low. At that time the sale could terminate, or the buyer and seller will need to renegotiate the terms of the sale that will be acceptable to the lender.
Buyers are paying top dollar for homes and expect properties to be in top condition. Sellers are wise to spend some time and money to make sure their home will attract the right buyer. A pre-inspection will inform a seller of the necessary repairs that a buyer might want done prior to closing. The seller can disclose what they know about their home and how they remediated any of the repairs.
Making the home ready to show from the moment the buyer first steps through the door will help a seller obtain top dollar in this market. Windows that sparkle, fresh paint and kitchens and bathrooms with recent updates will impress the buyer and reward the seller with a quick close.
© 2017 Lynn Mattecheck , Principal Broker and Seniors Real Estate Specialist
Re/Max Equity Group