How Being a Senior Real Estate Specialist Really is Special!

As a Senior Real Estate Specialist®, it’s always about more than the house and the transaction – it’s about the strength and quality of support I give my clients to make significant and stressful life transitions “less stressful and more successful”.  More than just a Realtor®, I am Your Transition Partner.

YTP Senior Downsizing Coaching Consult

As Your Transition Partner (YTP), my work with seniors and their families begins months – sometimes years – ahead of time with a complimentary, personalized ” downsizing coaching consult”.  During the one-hour meeting, which can be held in the family home using CDC guidelines or virtually using  Zoom or Facetime, seniors, family members (if available AND applicable) and I explore the many issues related to getting best price for their home, myths & realities about the value of their “stuff” and the pros & cons of staying vs. selling.  With their input, I learn about the age of the core systems and infrastructure of the house, along with any updates, to give them the most accurate, realistic picture of the value of their home and the steps that are needed to sell it, immediately and into the future. More caring and confidential than traditional “downsizing seminars”, the hour long downsizing coaching session empowers seniors, helping them to be much better-informed when making one of the biggest financial decisions of their lives.  Following the meeting, I send them a report, including the current market value of their home and a customized list of vetted contractors (e.g., organizers, downsizing firms, area nonprofits for donations, junk haulers, home improvement contractors and painters) that can be shared with family, attorneys and financial planners to help guide discussions and make the best decisions for their specific personal and family situation. 

My Track Record in Numbers and Story

My concierge-level of project management without putting time constraints on my services and my strategic partnerships have been key to my success.  My overall sale to listing price has been 102.5% and my days on market (DOM) for listings is 9 days. For estates, my listings have sold for an average of 106% of list price with an average of 12 DOM. 

Let me tell two quick client stories to put faces on these stats.  Part of my background is as a provider and CEO in the human services field, so supporting people through challenging times has been an integral part of my life for over 40 years.  I am also a writer and storyteller, with a deep appreciation of how mine and my clients’ stories are part of the fabric of our common, shared narrative. 

Jane and Fran (not their real names) are two women with whom I worked during the last year, and their stories are so similar that I am combining them for this telling.  Both women are young – in their early 70s – and experiencing rapidly-progressing dementia, which significantly impairs their short-term memory.  Both are extraordinary women with life histories that impress and amaze.  Each moved into Assisted Living apartments and entrusted the preparation for and sale of their homes to me. One requires significant repairs and refurbishment – the other needed strategic touch ups and a little paint.  Each house was more cluttered with personal belongings than the other, as neither woman was able to manage and organize their households or help with the clean out because of the progression of the disease.  Jane would forget our appointments and agreed-upon deadlines.  Fran forgot she turned off and canceled the propane service for the fireplace.  Fran’s home sold in 5 days for 3.7% over asking price.  Jane’s goes on the market at the end of this month.  I consider it a privilege to be trusted to support these women during their challenging, and often heartbreaking, transitions. 

Lisa (also not her real name) was a successful professional who had lived in her water-view condo for over 30 years. She died suddenly and unexpectedly over the holidays.  The two-bedroom unit was very dated and cluttered with her many collections of beautiful clothes, antique dolls and a vast array of art. A set of custom-made kitchen cabinets that had never been installed lined the living room and her dressing room.  When I arrived, the clean out crew was working hard to catalog and remove the eclectic collection of possessions to take them for auction.  (As I have been writing this piece, I peeked online auction catalog and discovered that some of the pieces are listed to be sold next week!)

Lisa’s only sibling, her brother who lives out of state, was her heir. The first challenge was to decide whether to renovate the apartment for sale at top dollar, or to sell it “as-is”, most likely to an investor.  After three contractors gave us six-figure bids to renovate, her brother and his wife decided to sell it “as-is”.  We listed at a price to attract attention – and, it sure did!  With over 25 showings in 5 days, we had 12 competitive offers and sold it for 27% over the asking price.  The new owner is not an investor, rather a widow who will have it renovated to her tastes and move in this summer.  Awesome ending.

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