To Move or Not to Move – The 21st Century Question for the 50 and Over Crowd
Jo-Anne Johnson is committed to helping people over 50 understand their options and the important factors for consideration when making the best to move or not to move decision.
Jo-Anne’s focus is the 50-plus demographic, which is categorized by the Senior Real Estate Specialist® designation. The SRES certification is awarded by the SRES® Council to realtors who have successfully completed extensive learning on the real estate needs of home buyers age 50 and over who are selling, buying and relocating.
When it comes to working with clients, JoAnne’s goal is to provide the best information and the most customized service in the industry. She offers extensive personalized services, whether a client makes the decision to age-in-place or leave their long-time home.
There is so much for clients and their families to consider. Financial, physical/health and emotional factors dictate the recommended options for a transition. And specific questions arise. Does an individual need physical care or companionship? What will be required to place a client in closer proximity to family? Does the sale property require staging or preparation?
In each of these cases, Jo-Anne team is sensitive to the emotions of clients and their family members, while ensuring every detail of the sales process is executed flawlessly. For example, if the family is out of area, she handles everything from the market analysis to the preparation for sale, communicating with all parties every step of the way.
In other instances, adult children who have lost their parent contact Jo-Anne because the family must sell the home before the estate can be settled. “Our work can include coordinating contractors and stagers to enhance the sales appeal of the property with the objective of netting the highest price in the shortest amount of time.”
Bottom line, the priority is to work in the client’s best interests. “I have learned that people don’t care what you know until they know you care,” says Jo-Anne. I this adage every day.”
A huge benefit of being part of the LTLA is the opportunity to connect families with a multitude of resources, says Jo-Anne. Sometimes the decision to move can be delayed or worked around permanently. “By the end of our conversation, for example, I can put them in touch with our specialist who can offer mobility options that enable them to age-in-place. Or, if income is a concern, our retirement income advisor can assist them with strategy, planning and investments.”
Then there’s also the personal touch. “I’m proud of the concierge-level service I offer my clients, whether it is being present when a home is shown, arranging pet-sitting for the homeowner or taking a homeowner to an appointment—even just having a cup of tea.
“My goal is to eliminate as much anxiety as possible,” says Jo-Anne. “I’m not only a consultant to my clients. I am also a partner who walks their journey with them.”
Here’s How to Get Smart About Selling Your Loved One’s Home
Understanding the unique lifestyle, budget and related needs is crucial to determining if and when your aging parent or loved one should downsize and move from his or her current home. Francesca Lavin explains the imperatives that must be considered and evaluated when making this important decision.
The answer is unique to each client. The most important skill I offer is to actively listen] to understand both the emotional and the practical aspects of a client’s life transition decision. I ask questions to learn about a person or family’s personal situation. Among these questions: Have the children left the “nest” and are now on their own, leaving excessive unused square footage in the family home? Has the maintenance (lawn care in the summer and snow in the winter) become a burden or is it a welcome activity?
The decision will include knowing whether you feel your children will move back home at some point or whether they have truly left you empty- nested. I encourage clients to include their children in the discussions. The children typically want what is in the best interests of their parents.
This is a very common concern when moving to a new community. Thriving in a community is mostly dependent upon living in the right social setting. My priority is to assure your social and all other needs are met when choosing the best place to call home.
I assess every client’s transportation needs and make sure they will be met in the communities I recommend. Many communities offer services ranging from bus transportation to the local mall and markets to private transportation to medical appointments. I take all these factors into consideration when assessing your needs and helping you choose your new home.
This is always a main concern, and a very understandable one. Please rest assured, it is my concern, too. Every community offers a different level of onsite medical services and the proximity to medical services outside the community varies, too. I only recommend places that will accommodate your medical needs. In addition, if your concern is also your future medical needs, I ensure that the appropriate level of care is accessible.
I carefully review the client’s financial goals and needs and engage members of the LTLA’s financial advisor team to discuss the best placement of current assets. This due diligence helps to ensure that my client will enjoy the income he or she wants and needs in retirement. It will also take into account the client’s ongoing investment strategy and desired disposition of assets to heirs.