LONGMONT – There are unique real estate challenges for those over the age of 50. As a Senior Real Estate Specialist with ERA Tradewind, Tamara L. Stodder is very familiar with these challenges.

“Often, you are selling the home that you have lived in forty years or more,” Stodder says. “It’s such a drastic change for them.”

Over a year ago, Stodder decided to become an SRES designee to better serve the aging population. To obtain this designation, she did several hours of coursework online that covered financing, communication with families and seniors, and reverse mortgages, among other things.

Reverse mortgages can be especially useful for people over 50 who are downsizing from a large family home.

“New builds are pricey, but if you buy it with a reverse mortgage, it’s a percentage of the price,” Stodder says. “You can get it with all the bells and whistles you want and afford it and still not have a mortgage payment.”

As an SRES, Stodder says she has built a network of other services to help people 50+ who are selling their home.

“I think a big part of it is knowing their options,” she said. “Knowing lawyers or estate planners that they may need to speak to and different institutions that might be able to help them.”

Diane Stow, a SRES with RE/MAX Alliance in Longmont, says that providing seniors with these resources is a major part of her job.

“It’s our responsibility to give them multiple resources for reliable providers – a handyman, a painter, an electrician,” she said. “We’re not expecting them to find those people because seniors are an easy target for service contractors.”

SRES can also help older sellers avoid loan scams that target people over 50 and make decisions about purchasing a new home.

“The designation helps us to be more aware of issues that seniors face that we may not be aware of if we hadn’t taken the course,” says Stow. “It also helps us to advise them as to whether buying after they sell is a good choice or whether they may want to go into a senior community where they
don’t own.”

Stow, who has worked in real estate for over 25 years, said the SRES designation has been incredibly useful for her in her work with clients over the age of 50.

“Our designation helps us to be more empowering to the senior and keep their dignity in the transaction,” she said. “I learned a lot about what is important to seniors and their rights. I found it invaluable.”

A SRES is trained and educated in the nuances of buying and selling homes for seniors. If you are over 50 and considering a real estate transaction, you can find an SRES in your area at seniorsrealestate.com.

By Emma Castleberry, At Home