Monday, June 6, 2016

"Realtors Can Play A Huge Part In Aging-In-Place Considerations"

When people shop for a new home (newer than they have now but not necessarily new construction), they can look on their own or use the services of a real estate sales professional - typically a Realtor. The Realtor will help them locate, see, experience, and select a home that meets their expressed needs and budget better than other available choices.

When it comes to finding a home - again, either an existing home no matter what year it was built or what relative condition it is in, or a brand new, never-before-occupied home - that Realtor has hundreds of choices to recommend to a potential home buyer.

The search starts by determining an area of the town, city, or community where the purchaser would like to live. If there is no strong preference because work or other factors are not pressing, it makes it a little harder to determine a place to begin the search. Then, secondary factors such as shopping facilities, parks, and other non-commuting issues might come into play.

Of course, many factors are also used to locate a possible home for someone. Location is a major variable, but so is price, age of the home, facilities around it, year built, general layout, and specific rooms that the home includes or does not include (depending on preference). 

Then, the Realtor suggests ones for the purchaser to view. They may look at just a few or several, depending on how many homes meet the expressed needs of the purchaser or how easy it is for the purchaser to make a decision on a home they want to live in and enjoy.

The entire time of determining which homes to show, the Realtor will be asking the purchaser what they want in a home, how long they think they might want to live in that home, how complete they would like the home to be now as compared with improvements they might want to make later to find a home at a better price now, other people that might need to be accommodated for occasional or long-term visits, and any special hobbies or interests they have that might have a bearing on which home to suggest.

As the homes are being shown and demonstrated to the purchaser, the Realtor continues to focus on how the needs of the purchaser are being met and what their perceptions are of that home. For instance, is this a home that does everything they want it to do right now? Will it continue to be functional and serviceable in the foreseeable future? Are there improvements or changes that need to be made before the purchaser would consider occupying it even though they generally like the layout of the home and other attributes about it?

This is where a knowledgeable Realtor can play an even larger and more important role than just helping the consumer to suggest and sort through the myriad of properties that might be available. By knowing what to look for with their purchaser in terms of accessibility, visitability, convenience, and similar environmental factors that might be important or fairly obvious, they are going to be able to understand why certain properties work well or what can be done to enhance or modify a property that comes up a little short in these aspects but has other things going for it. 

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Steve HoffackerCAPS, MCSP, MIRM, is a licensed Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist instructor and best-selling author of universal design books. To learn about this and other programs for aging-in-place or universal design, visit stevehoffacker.com or call 561-685-5555.