This month we are featuring an interview about selling your home as a senior with one of our trusted advisors: Brad Eaton with HomeSmart Realty Group. His team focuses on each client as an individual and works to sell their home according to their desires. We inquired with Brad about the issues seniors face during a home sale as he is on the front lines working daily with people who are navigating this journey.
Selling a Home: What Seniors Should Know
Moving to a new home is a different experience for everyone and is often bittersweet. 39% of home buyers in 2019 were seniors: seniors are moving and their goal is often to find a more manageable living situation that will allow them freedom in retirement. With that can come a lot of big decisions and the possibility of some stressful moments. Brad has some fantastic insights into this world and we are delighted to share them with you!
Brad, we hear in the news and from seniors we work with very often that they are highly concerned about scams, fraud and being taken advantage of. How do you advise your clients to be weary of scams while their home is listed for sale?
I often hear this very question from many seniors. The reality is, we all should be concerned! I am lucky enough to still have two grandparents that are alive and doing well. I do my very best to see them as often as possible and when I see them I ask them questions. Lots of questions… One thing that they talk about often is fear and the feeling of being alone. Scammers take full advantage of this fear, and the fact that some senior citizens are unfortunately isolated. Knowing that this is true, and this is how scammers start weaving the webs of deceit. We are here to be a guide and coach through the real estate process. We always advise our clients not to let anyone in the home without contacting us first and to always check with us before answering any questions, giving anyone any sensitive information or sending any money during a transaction. Another way to protect yourself and your clients from scammers is to have a network of reliable professionals that are just a phone call away. Having great service providers in your corner looking out for you helps our clients be at ease and makes them feel less isolated. Our team is filled with experts in marketing, videography, photography, contracts, negotiations, digital marketing, social media, and event planning. So that means that all of our clients DO NOT have to be experts or rely on strangers for services, because we are THEIR expert!
Seniors are often concerned that the process of selling will be overwhelming; what do you do to make this easier for your senior clients?
We meet their needs before they know what they need, so they never are left wondering or feeling uneasy. We have sold many homes for seniors and have a network of professionals that help us with all aspects of a sale. BUT it’s more than just the sale: we can help with cleaning, packing, moving, home repairs and so much more! We have a strong circle of amazing people who are very business savvy; these top performers allow us to always have an expert in our corner and when you work with us they’re in your corner too! I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “Jack of all trades, master of none“. We know that we are experts at what we do, and not experts at everything, so we use the power of association to make this process as smooth and seamless as possible for our clients. One way we make sure our clients have a pleasant experience is by minimizing their lifestyle interruptions. Seniors who are selling often get inconvenienced by the demanding property showing schedule. We have helped to solve that problem by creating professional video tours of their homes and sending that video to interested clients. These potential buyers must first view the video before they are allowed to see the home in person; this saves the seller numerous showings that are just tire-kickers.
Another way we help to remove the stress of lots of showings is by holding open houses. One open house can allow 20-50 people to see the home at one time, instead of lots of individual showings.
How do you give that special touch to your senior clients?
Each and every one of our clients are incredibly special to us! We realize that everyone has unique needs. We have well-thought-out strategic marketing plans for helping them buy or sell real estate in this competitive Portland Metropolitan market AND we customize that plan to fit each individual client’s desires. One way we customize our client experience is by doing it the way they feel most comfortable: Some seniors are fantastic with using and understanding computers. We can send them properties to preview online, send them emails, and have them sign documents digitally via their computers or smart phones. While others have a more difficult time with technology, which is completely understandable, we are happy to come by and have them sign paperwork in person, show them homes that might fit their needs in person or together in front of our computer. We will take the time to go to any lengths for our clients to have a pleasant experience.
How do you navigate the need for technology in a home sale with a demographic that may not understand how vital technology is for the promotion of their home?
It’s absolutely incredible to think, the technology and society, is growing at such a fast rate. I cannot expect seniors to keep up with these technological advances when it doesn’t apply to their everyday life. Since we use technology everyday and see how quickly it advances, we make it a point to keep up to date and ahead of the newest advances in real estate sales. We have the most up to date technology, training and procedures for selling homes. The technology used to sell a home absolutely makes a difference in the amount the home will sell for and the amount of time it will take to sell. We have a marketing team who use commercial drone technology, professional photography, and digital magic to make your home stand out compared to the competitors. Our clients trust us as the expert and we continue to deliver solid results. Here is a review from some recent clients of ours:
“Brad and his whole team were over and above anything we ever expected. Thank you very much for all you did. They literally took our hands and we didn’t have to worry about anything.” -John & Linda from North East Portland
What else should seniors consider when selling their home?
We realize that seniors may know many different real estate agents. You might even be related to one or more Realtors. The real question you should ask is who has the track record that shows they could help you sell for more money. Keep in mind the average real estate agent sells and buys 4-6 homes total for their clients every year. You should have a high performing agent, otherwise you will get average results from an average agent.
Here are some of the questions you might ask an agent your interviewing:
- What is your transaction volume over the past 12 months? Not the transaction volume of your team.
- What is your specific marketing plan for our property over and above listing at the MLS?
- What resources do you have that will help us to prepare for the listing of our property?
- What has been your success rate when doing open houses?
- What is your pricing strategy for determining the listing price of our home?
- When you’re negotiating potential repairs, give me two examples where repairs should or should not have been done in advance. Why?
- When reviewing multiple offers, what are three things we should take into consideration?
- Tell me about your recent transaction experience in the last three months. What challenges came up, how did you overcome them?
Can you tell us about a time you helped a senior client sell a beloved home?
We have done quite a lot of work with seniors across the Portland area. I’ll let the reviews speak for themselves.
“Brad Eaton and his team went above and beyond all expectations both in the sale of my old property and the purchase of my new home. Although we had problems with the seller side of the new home he was excellent in navigating through the problems and successfully closed on schedule. I could not have asked for a better agent and representative. Excellent marks in every aspect!!!!!”- George from King City, Oregon
We even helped George load up his moving pod and unload at the other end! We are happy to go above and beyond for our clients.