Working with Seniors Downsizing

Posted on Sep 18, 2019 | Updated Dec 30, 2020 - 5 minute read

One of my specialties is working with Seniors.  I enjoy helping them with the transition of downsizing from their current home to a one level home, smaller home.  The sale of a home they have known for years and sometimes have raised their families brings up a lot of memories, so it can be very emotional for them and me as well.  I have a Designation in Real Estate that is called SRES®, which stands for Seniors Real Estate Specialist.  By earning the SRES® designation, REALTORS® are prepared to approach mature clients with the best options and information for them to make life-changing decisions. It makes me happy to see them get their home paid off with the sale of a home and pay cash for the next one, which means no more mortgage payments and still have money in the bank.  If they already have their current one paid off, then they end up with quite a bit of money in the bank to help with their retirement. 

Last year I was referred to a couple that was looking at selling their big home that required more maintenance in the woods.  It was a beautiful cape cod home, though quite large for them to handle anymore.  She wasn't always able to climb the stairs, so the whole top story of their home was not really used, only the downstairs.  He went through more of a rough time as this home they had built and raised their family in and they also had 2 duplexes that they had rented out for years.  He went back and forth on what to sell and would change his mind throughout the process, which was about 7 months total time.  I told them up front what their home would need to sell for, but he had said lets start higher and we can go down, ha.   I had consulted them on what they needed to do to get it ready to sale, like decluttering, de-personalizing and getting it ready for professional pics.  He never wanted to go down, because in the back of his mind he didn't really want to sale at that moment.  In the end I was right, as soon as we put it back on the market after a few months of removing it, then it sold the very first day for what I had originally said it would sell for.  They were wonderful people and I am told I have the patience for what I love to do and thankfully so, because in the end they got everything they wanted and more. Most people would have given up on them, but I knew what he orignally told me in his living room the first time I met them and even though he was a little emotionally attached he would ultimately do what was right for them, which he realized later.

I remember going to their home in Sept or October of 2018 and we all hit it off well.  He has told me many times that as soon as I came in the door I said I wanted them to show me around so I can see what their home is like and they liked that and felt comfortable with me.  I didn't just come in and sit down and start paperwork.....I cared!  I remember, even to this day it brings tears to my eyes, him telling me that I am doing this because I want to be able to go in one day and say I am retired and it would be his choice when he was ready.  So, as a REALTOR we are supposed to have the best interest of our clients and I knew that was what he wanted to accomplish with the sale of their home.  This would give them the peace of mind that they would have no bills, everything paid off and money for their retirement.  

So after months of him not wanted to part with the house and then finally realizing that it ultimately was what his wife wanted, we listed both duplexes & then relisted the personal home. I say relisted because we took it off the market for a few months because he needed some time. All went under contract the same day and the next day the very first home we went to see, we put an offer on and that is their forever home.  It is mainly one level with a bonus room, all brick, the back porch is covered with a beautiful setting and smaller than the previous home. I had to make the offer so good to the sellers because I then had a contingency of 3 homes to sale and it would be all cash in the end.  They accepted the offer and the duplexes closed within 2 weeks giving them paid off properties, to then close 2 weeks later on their forever home with all cash.  It takes a lot of patience, time, planning and did I say patience, lol?  I can happily say these people are like family to my family and me and we all go to dinner every week at our country club.  We are truly forever friends and we just love them like they are our parents and my sons grandparents.  

I ran numbers for them no less than a dozen times during the process and had to rework spreadsheets to give them an idea of what they would end up with, so thankfully I have an accounting mind and can do that.  You have to know how to make it work for your clients to get everything they wanted and expected and sometimes a lot more.  I got them top dollar for their properties and then a great deal on their forever home.  You can be assured I will always look out for my clients through the whole process and have their best interest.  Most agents would probably have given up multiple times, but I say everything works out the way it should in the end and it was heartwarming to hear that all my efforts paid off for them so he could finally say he was done, but it was on his own terms and timing.  He knew he could, but it still took him a few more months to finally see it was time.  The smile on his face a few weeks ago at dinner made my heart happy when they told us he was finally retiring....woo hoo!!!!!

Please call me if you are looking at selling and downsizing to your forever would be an honor to help you!  



Audra Hicks, REALTOR®, ABR®, e-PRO®, PSA®, SRES®, AHWD®

2019 Sumner Association of REALTORS Education Committee Member

2019 Women's Council of REALTORS Hospitality Committee Member

Multimillion Dollar Producer 

“Stewie says, Mom puts the REAL in Real Estate!”

Cell 615-859-1748

Office 615-991-4949