After all these yearsHave you ever thought about moving and were just overwhelmed with the thought of it? So much stuff. Where to start? Now, imagine what it would be like after 47, 57, or even 67 years in the same house! Many seniors face this very predicament. Seniors have specialized needs. Some of them are emotional, some practical and some physical. Sometimes a senior moves after a spouse dies. The deceased spouse may have been the financial decision-maker or may even have been a primary care-giver, and the surviving spouse is struggling to cope. Add age to the mix. It is not uncommon for a senior homeowner to be in their 70s, 80s, or even 90s. Packing is hard enough when you were in your prime, it’s harder and sometimes just not possible in later years.

I recently received my Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES) designation, the only senior designation recognized by the National Association of Realtors.

If a homeowner hasn’t bought or sold real estate in 30, 40, or 50 years, then the whole process of selling needs to be re-learned in detail, since so many real estate details have changed in those years. I know and I expect the process to take longer, and that’s O.K. This move was a long time coming. It is about making the move of a lifetime.

Seniors bought the family home, raised their children, and stayed put. Their stuff accumulated and so did their children’s. Add age and physical deterioration to the mix and it’s no wonder people feel overwhelmed. For some, just coping with day-to-day activities is challenging enough, let alone downsizing and moving. Organizing all of that stuff and disposing and dispersing surplus belongings can be overwhelming. Not only do the possessions hold major sentimental and emotional significance, the amount of work is often beyond the physical limitations of many seniors.

I understand these emotional and physical parameters and I can recommend exceptional professionals who will help, disperse, dispose. and organize the “stuff”. They can even help you choose what will go on to your next home. I will work with my clients, and their families, every step of the way from the moment they decide to sell their current home to completing their transition to their new home.

This transition for seniors can be very stressful, and often the responsibility of moving a senior relative also falls to another senior family member. These days it is not uncommon for a parent in their late 80s or early 90s to be assisted by a child who is in their 60s or 70s, themselves seniors. Seniors can be any age from 50 and up.  And the 50-65 year old children may still be balancing responsibilities of their careers, a spouse who requires attention, and their own children.  Much more common today than in generations past: seniors have children, but they live several time zones away. No matter what the specifics, senior homeowners contemplating a move can benefit from a professional like me, who understands their needs.

Being a Senior Real Estate Specialist means I can help you decide where the next move will take you. Many seniors desire is to “age in place”. Aging in place doesn’t necessarily mean not selling the family home and staying put in their current house. Aging in place may mean selling the larger family home (often with stairs or in need of repair) and buying something smaller, and maybe on one level, in the same community- near places of worship, friends, and other emotional anchors. There are a variety of options. One option is to rent rather than to buy. Other options include supportive housing, assisted housing, cluster homes, long-term chronic care and hospice care.  Some communities offer a combination of care options under one umbrella. Understanding these dynamics and being familiar with the professional resources to meet the emotional and physical needs is crucial to dealing with senior clients with the empathy and respect they deserve.

Let’s start by chatting and discussing your particular situation and exploring possibilities. If you are 50+ and looking at making a move to the next chapter in your life, or for someone close to you, call me and let me help you with my skills, knowledge base, and professional resources as a Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES).

* P.S. I can also help your children and grandchildren buy and sell homes.

– Chip Barkel, MCNE, SRES, Toronto Real Estate. Extraordinary Service. Top Results.