It was some time in the summer of 2013 that I sat at the kitchen table with a family wanting to list their home for sale with me. I have been a Realtor since 1997 and this day in 2013 changed the direction of my career. Since that day I have been on a mission to understand and serve clients who are in the over 55 age group. I started by my research and study by going to the Realtors Association and taking a class that earned me the credentials of an “SRES” Senior Real Estate Specialist.
What was going on that day in 2013? I was invited to a “List my Home” consultation with a family who had occupied their home for some 30 years, it was a beautiful, the kind you walk into & walls tell you “love has been shared here”. The wife did most of the talking with her husband & her son by her side. She did not want to move or make any changes; this was the lifelong home. I often hear that statement, “we plan to stay here tell we die” Statistics, tell us that about 30% of us actually get that opportunity. Sad but, true. To move was not in their plans, but it was time. Her husband who was a very successful business owner, community minded, wonderful husband, father and grandfather was now being challenged to remember where he was some days. I don’t know exactly was his medical diagnosis was but, he was not the person in charge like his family knew him. His wife & son wanted me to keep him in the loop of all paperwork & include him in all conversations. Their respect for him was obvious. Legally they had the Power of Attorney to sign and act on his behalf but, as long as he could sign, that is what we were going to do. It took patience on all our parts to walk him through the process and some days when I would visit their home, he wondered why I was there.
Have you had this experience with family or friends or in your own household? The Moment where everything changes and because of it everything else needs to change. Moving from the family home, medical care, new location for wife and separate for husband. Thankfully, in this case all the family members were chipping in & help surrounded Mom & Dad. I’m sure we all know, all too well, that this is not always the case.
Since 2013 I have visited most all the Senior living communities in the Puget Sound Region, developed relationships with care givers, move managers, contractors, senior centers, Elder Law Attorneys, Financial advisors. Creating a trusted group of recourses to help clients in this 3rd and 4th quarter of life. It continues to be the direction as a Managing Broker working at EXp Realty, I see myself as a Life Style consultant who brings value to the conversations about when to sell and where to go and what are the options. I know from experience that when we can have positive and open conversations with our parents, our spouse & our family & friends, the outcome is more satisfying for all. If you would like some tips on what to say or ask and how to get the conversation going, reach out to me. I will send you a booklet called “The Conversation Starter Kit” or you can go to https://theconversationproject.org/starter-kits/
There are many forms of Dementia and according to one of the Senior Care providers I met with to tour an Alzheimer care community, the multitude of diagnosis continues. From my own personal experience, my mother in-law, my father, & several friends needed our loving guidance while they struggled with the difficulty’s life presented them with. My heart goes out to anyone experiencing health changes in their lives. I see my job as being the one to show up, offer calm support, have conversations about what is next with the family home & where are the resources needed to make the changes to be safe & secure & live out a lifestyle that is filled with love, respect, and joy!
SRES® designees have unparalleled training and experience in seniors real estate, including:
- Helping you manage the financial and emotional challenges of selling a long-held family home
- Creating a customized plan to market and sell your property
- Understanding your unique needs and creating a customized plan to ensure your home meets those needs now and, in the future,
- Utilizing specialized knowledge in reverse mortgages, 401(k) accounts, and IRAs for your real estate transaction
- Connecting you with their vast network of movers, attorneys, home inspectors, and other experts to help you through the process
How can I help? Reach out! I’m happy for the conversations to sort through the solutions.
Teresa Barthol -Managing Broker with eXp Realty Seattle. Brings 22 plus years’ experience to consult with clients about real estate in the 3rd and 4th quarters of their lives. . With longevity in Real Estate Teresa loves to share her optimistic problem solving skills, creative out of the box thinking along with her enthusiasm for great outcomes. “Believe,” she will say, your desires in life will be realized. Teresa focuses on Lifestyles to Live within the four walls you call home.
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