Relocating for Retirement? Which REALTOR Can Help You?

By Elaine VonCannon, ABR, SRES, Associate Broker, Notary, Team Leader, Property Manager, Award Winning Agent

I am a native of Tidewater Virginia, which encompasses counties and towns in the Chesapeake Bay area from Virginia Beach, to Hampton, Newport News, Williamsburg and New Kent County. Even before I entered the real estate profession I watched the real estate market change and evolve over many decades. The Tidewater area, which includes Greater Williamsburg, is a pleasant location for retirement mainly because of the temperate climate and convenient location on the Eastern seaboard. Many military retirees who have served much of their career in the area simply opt to stay in Southeastern Virginia when they retire.

Find a REALTOR Who Knows the Local Market
Because of its growing popularity for senior retirees, Southeastern Virginia is experiencing both a building boon and a shortage of inventory in resells. For this reason, seniors relocating to Southeastern Virginia are best served by choosing a realtor who is seasoned in the local market and has experience buying and selling real estate for seniors.

What the Mature Buyer Needs in a REALTOR
I have worked with many retirees and helped them to create a smooth transition for relocating in this prime market. Mature buyers and sellers of real estate want a REALTOR who will listen to their needs and execute a search that meets their criteria closely. Sometimes mature buyers have health related issues that affect their search criteria. They do not need to be reminded of health problems - yet I always keep these facts uppermost in my mind when I'm searching for their home. Some REALTORS choose to ignore a senior's criteria and attempt to sell them products or services they do not need. This is a mistake that will only alienate the senior buyer and seller of real estate. Instead, focused attention on their needs and service that reflects this are important.

Senior Real Estate Specialist Designation
Because I work with so many mature buyers and sellers of real estate, I decided to obtain my Senior Real Estate Specialist designation so I could better serve seniors. If you are looking for a REALTOR with the same certification, ask if they have an SRES certification. Through the SRES program, I obtained special training to help seniors through major financial and lifestyle transitions including: relocating, refinancing, or selling the family home. For my mature clients, I inform them about updates, changes to real estate law or taxes, and other matters which impact property value, sale, or purchase for seniors.

Post Retirement Lifestyle Decisions
Often when I am helping a senior buy or sell a home, I understand they are faced with making life-altering decisions. This includes leaving the state where their children and grandchildren live for a more temperate climate, or selling a dwelling which as been a family home for 30 or more years.

Downsizing for Retirement
Some seniors choose to downsize their home after their children leave. For them, several choices are apparent right away. Relocating seniors may select a home that requires less of their free time in maintenance, a townhouse or condominium where exterior maintenance is included, or a home in a gated full amenities senior living community. In each instance, a real estate decision, as well as a life changing decision, has to be made.

The REALTOR who cultivates a relationship with the mature buyer and learns to understand their specific needs will be popular with the 50+ age group. If you are a mature buyer who is searching for a new place to call home, seek out a REALTOR who has some experience with seniors who buy and sell real estate, and you may find the service you receive to be exactly what you desire.

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