One of the most frequently asked questions is, when is a client “too old” to buy a home.
When you are dealing with older clients, it is important to know that there is no such thing as being too old to buy a home. A home is an investment and it is still one of the best investments that a client can make, regardless of age.
Whether a client is looking to purchase a property as a primary residence or as an investment, the saying that you’re never too old for anything in this life is generally applicable.
One drawback can be financing. Banks are only willing to lend money to individuals for so long. When they can see retirement looming for a potential buyer, the idea of extending them a 30-year loan term might become less appealing.
For your older clients, it is important to consider where they stand financial and where they want to be when they retire. Compare and contrast with the timeframe that exists between the two points.
For a client in their 50s, they should be able to secure 25- to 30-year loans to fund property purchases, as most lenders are willing to accept that a person is able to work beyond the traditional “retirement age” of 65.
For clients who have an eye on investing, they should have a clear-cut strategy with growth at the top of their priority list.
Securing the Seniors Real Estate Specialists (SRES) designation can help agents secure this segment of the market. It serves as a signal to potential clients that you are qualified to address the needs of home buyers and sellers age 50 and older.
Union, N.J., Realtor Jinet Ventura, with Century 21 POGO Realtors, recently earned her SRES desgination from the Seniors Real Estate Specialist Council of the National Association of Realtors.
“Working with seniors to meet their housing needs requires an expert understanding of their lifestyle and financial needs, and the SRES designation means that a Realtor has that understanding,” Ventura said. “Whether they are buying, selling relocating, or refinancing, seniors can be confident that a Realtor designated SRES will be able to help them every step of the way.”
Ventura is among more than 15,000 real estate professionals in North America who have earned the SRES designation.
While much of the focus today is on being positioned to grab the business of millennial buyers, having the expertise to serve an older clientele could be a wise business decision.
According to a U.S. Census Bureau report, baby boomers began turning 65 in 2011 and are now driving growth at the older ages of the population. By 2029, when all of the baby boomers will be 65 years and over, more than 20 percent of the total U.S. population will be over the age of 65.
Many potential buyers in their 50s and 60s are re-evaluating their housing situation to assure the home they are in will meet their lifestyle needs for the next 20 years.
As lifestyles change, agents can position themselves to capture a growing the business of a growing demographic.