Brian McHone


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Senior Real Estate Specialist


REALTORS® who want to specialize in the real estate needs of maturing Americans are earning the Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES®) designation by taking the SRES® course designed and conferred by the Real Estate Buyer's Agent Council (REBAC) of the National Association of REALTORS®. The SRES® designation was originally developed by the Senior Advantage Real Estate Council in 1997 to focus on the needs of home buyers and sellers aged 50+. It became an official member of the NAR family of designations in March 2007.

"Knowing how to best serve home buyers, sellers and investors at all stages of life is another way REALTORS® add value to the real estate transaction," said 2007 NAR President Pat V. Combs, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and vice president of Coldwell Banker-AJS-Schmidt. "As our clients mature, they have different real estate goals and needs from those of younger consumers. Given the importance of the emerging senior market nationwide, the number of REALTORS® earning the SRES® designation is likely to increase dramatically over the next few years."

The SRES® course highlights topics including distinguishing characteristics and trends related to the 50+ population; housing, finance, and retirement income considerations of these consumers; outreach methods for building 50+ clientele; and counseling strategies to help clients and customers plan ahead for life transitions. Participants can learn:

  • Key differences in housing options, from age-restricted communities to age-in-place design to assisted living
  • Applications of the Housing for Older Persons Act (HOPA)
  • Ins and outs of reverse mortgages
  • How to use pensions, 401k accounts, and IRAs in real estate transactions
  • Ways in which Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security affect real estate decisions of clients and customers who are 50+
  • How to recognize and protect their clients from mortgage finance and loan schemes and scams that target 50+ borrowers


Benefits for Consumers


A Seniors Real Estate Specialist® is experienced and knowledgeable in meeting your specific needs and that can make all the difference in the world.

As we age, we demand specialists in our health needs, so why not in our housing and equity needs as well? An SRES® brings:

  • A customized approach to your situation, working to fit your living situation in with your overall life plan
  • Expertise and patience throughout the transaction
  • An awareness of options and a network of solid, reliable referrals to help you in the process
  • A variety of choices to reduce out of pocket expenses, gain cash, or create or defer income streams to either stay independent or obtain financial assistance



The Residential Financing Council


Selling Your Home


Determining the best asking price for your home involves a number of factors:

  • Current activity of the marketplace: How many buyers are currently in the market for a house like yours in your neighborhood;
  • Recently sold properties: How much have comparable homes brought in the marketplace recently?
  • The terms of your sale: Do you want an all-cash deal? Are you willing to take back financing? Must your buyer obtain “conventional” financing, or are you willing to go FHA or VA?
  • What value will an appraiser assign to your house? (The single largest factor in failed transactions is an appraisal value lower than the sales price.)

How can you differentiate your house from other properties on the market that are competing for the buyers’ eyes? Creative financing can be the key.

Rather than reducing the price, structuring a seller buy-down can expand the market for your home while providing the highest net return.

Consult with a Residential Finance Specialist before you put your home on the market. It could save you time and money.

Buying Your Home


If you are considering a home purchase, start with the financing. Loan pre-approval not only gives you a more accurate picture of what you can purchase within the budget that you have selected. It also gives you leverage once you have selected your next home—particularly in a “seller’s market” where there are more buyers than homes for sale. Sellers tend to give preference to buyers who come pre-approved for the financing. That eliminates one of the primary causes of contracts failing to close.

It is also important to understand the dynamics of the home marketplace in the area in which you are looking for a home. Recent sales activity as well as short and long-term forecasts are important to a sound purchase decision.

Selecting the right financing for your purchase is equally critical to the long-term success of your purchase decision. There are hundreds of loan products on the market today, and there is no “one size fits all” solution to the financing puzzle. The financing option that you choose must fit your needs today—as well as being adaptable to your changing needs in the future.

A Residential Finance Specialist (RFS) can handle the entire transaction for you, from initial loan application, through the home search process, contract negotiations and all the way to closing.

Before you begin your home search process, consult with a Residential Finance Specialist.