Wednesday, October 12, 2016

"Real Estate Agents Can Have A Huge Role For Aging-In-Place Clients"

Some people have already located their forever home and are living in it right now. They possibly have made some modifications and renovations to it or have planned on doing so. Other people may not feel the need in the short term to make any changes to their forever homes. Some are taking a wait-and-see approach - not sure what changes they might need, if they can afford them, or how they might want to proceed.

Many people are years away from selecting their forever home - the one they intend to remain living in indefinitely as they age (regardless of how old they are presently) or the home that they like well enough and that works for them to the point that selling it and replacing it with something else is not really a consideration.

Whether someone is relatively young, in their middle years, or what we would term a senior, and they have not identified a home that they would consider continuing to live in for the foreseeable future, they likely are or will be looking for that ideal home soon.

This is where the real estate sales professional comes into play. They can help someone find that home that meets their current needs but allows them to be comfortable in that home for years to come. It may or may not actually be someone's forever home due to circumstances that change over time, but the real estate agent can ask skillful questions that will guide a decision that produces ownership of a home that could be that ideal forever home rather than just someone to live in until time to look for something else.

A real estate agent that is a trained CAPS professional has the insight to know what works for someone shopping for a new home (new construction of existing) in terms of floor plan and layout, how that home is to be used, others that might be visiting occasionally or moving into the home with them (such as an aging parent or a young adult child), and any shortcomings in an otherwise likeable home that can be remedied.

As a CAPS trained professional, this real estate agent can understand mobility and sensory concerns (if any) that might be present and how they can be addressed to make the home functional and useful for the prospective purchaser.

When there are deficiencies in the home as expressed by the potential purchaser, but it otherwise is fine in terms of what it offers, where it is located, and how it is laid out, an experienced real estate professional can concur with the needed changes and identify the resources from their network to make the necessary modifications to make the home workable for the client. They know from their training what would make suitable solutions, and they have the construction network already identified that can make the renovations happen.

An agent not trained in identifying or making these aging-in-place modifications for safety, comfort, convenience, or accessibility would simply move on to another property when the client expressed such objections.

Properly trained in the CAPS program, a real estate agent can be a valuable resource for people looking for their first or next home - and ideally their last home to remain living in as they age-in-place.

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