Selling a home that has been the center of your family life for generations can be daunting, both physically and emotionally. Realtor Sandra Smith of RE/MAX Spectrum of Plymouth and Pembroke understands that better than most. She is a certified Senior Residential Specialist, uniquely trained by the National Association of Realtors to serve the needs of homebuyers and sellers, aged 55 and over.
“I earned my SRES credential in 2005 because I was working with so many older clients, and I wanted to serve them in the best possible way,” said Smith. “My background is in non-medical home care, and 75 percent of my business is from seniors. So, I understand what people are going through when it comes time to close a very long chapter of their lives and start a new one. If they need a little extra handholding during this transition, it’s my privilege to provide it.”
Smith’s senior clients are happy to do business with a Realtor who has been specifically trained to serve them. “Sandra is completely in tune with senior folks who are downsizing,” said recent home seller and buyer Linda Boggier, 67. “I liked how proactive she was and how she was always a step ahead of all the nuances of a real estate transaction during a very challenging time for me. Her focus and clarity helped make my move much easier. As a single senior, I really valued her dedication to achieving a great outcome.”
Wendy Oleksiak of Compass Realty is a former RN, who, although not a certified senior specialist, brings her “nursing skills, listening, problem solving, compassion, and patience” to her senior home buyers and sellers. “When I’m showing homes to older clients, I’m looking at safety issues the entire time,” said Oleksiak. “Sometimes I suggest they install a grab bar inside the shower. They may not need it now, but they might later. Some of my elderly sellers don’t have anyone else to turn to during this stressful time in their lives, so I’m happy to do things that are kind of out of the scope of real estate, because they need them. I love working with seniors. They are always so grateful.”
At Norwell-based Jack Conway & Co., Realtors, a cadre of 80 Conway Senior Specialists have been trained by their company to assist home buyers and sellers, aged 55 and over, in making their next move a smooth one.
“Our Conway Senior Specialists (CSS) are highly prepared, and motivated to assist their clients,” said Susan Babb, Conway’s Director of Corporate Services. “You can’t teach someone patience or empathy—these traits come from within—but our CSS agents are very special, and very dedicated to their clients. Whether seniors are relocating to another state, buying a smaller home or condo, or moving into an independent or assisted living facility, their needs will be met by a certified Conway Senior Specialist every step of the way.”
Conway Scituate agent Helen Jablonski, a senior herself, and a former geriatric nurse, is a longtime CSS. “Many older people are living in homes they can’t afford because of increased property taxes, or they may need to downsize to one-floor living for mobility reasons,” said Jablonski. “When they see that I’m a senior too, they know I understand their problems and will work very hard to help them reach their goals. They can count on it.”
If you’re planning to buy or sell a house now or in the future, do your “home”work. Find a Realtor who specializes in you!