Friday, January 12, 2018

"Working With Real Estate Professionals As Strategic Partners"

When people shop for their next home, whether it's new construction or an existing home that already has been occupied by somebody, they can take the time and effort to look on their own, or they can employ the services of a real estate sales professional - often a Realtor. Even though people may do a lot of preliminary research online and by driving through neighborhoods as they narrow their search of where they want to live or determine what might be available for them to purchase, a real estate professional they select will help them locate, see, experience, and select a home that meets their expressed needs and budget better than continuing to do it on their own.

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 sales professional 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, schools, and other non-work related location issues might come into play.

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

Then, the real estate agent 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 agent continues to focus on how the needs of the purchaser are being met and what their perceptions are of that home. This is how the real estate agent and the aging in place professionals can work well together. As the agent is trying to determine with the purchaser whether a home does everything they want it to do right now and if there might be some 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, we can help. We can assist the real estate agent and their purchaser with an evaluation or assessment of the functional needs of the buyer and visit the property to design improvements that meet the client's needs (and then complete them prior to occupancy so that the client is truly getting the home they want). 

By having the real estate professional as a strategic partner, we can help them serve their clients more effectively and create a specific solution for someone when a home is close to meeting their needs but not entirely complete. This way, the client is saved the additional time of looking at homes and can occupy their new home sooner, the agent can complete their job sooner as well instead of continuing to show more properties, and we can be engaged to complete improvements that otherwise we might not have known about or been asked to do.

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Steve HoffackerCAPS, CEAC, SHSS, is a licensed Certified Aging In Place Specialist - Master Instructor and best-selling author of aging in place books. To learn about this and other programs for aging-in-place or universal design, visit stevehoffacker.com or call 561-685-5555. Also, check out the "Aging & Accessibility" groups on Facebook and LinkedIn.