This hour focuses on ways that senior homeowners can be taken advantage of during the process of selling their home. This is the sale of their biggest asset to be able to pay for their care for the rest of their life, which they may have lived in for many decades, and the biggest financial transaction of their retirement years.
Rebecca Bomann, CEO and founder of SASH Services, joins Suzanne to delve into this important topic for senior homeowners as well as their family members and caregivers. Everyone who knows a senior and has a senior loved one in their life will want to pay attention. We think it’s important for people to know that this is a possibility, that folks can be vulnerable to this. We’ll talk about ways that this can happen and how it can be prevented, with specific examples. The next segments focus on incidents that can happen specifically with home flippers & investors, real estate agents, and even family members.
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*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
Welcome to the answers for elders radio show. meet the trusted experts who will give you straight answers and will help guide you on the path of later life care. Now here’s your host, founder, caregiver and CEO, Susanne Newman, and welcome everyone. Two answers for elders radio nebtwork and on a you can see my mean behind me. I am here on a summer day in the city of Seattle and so we are excited. I’m in my backyard and it’s gorgeous weather in the puget sound and so obviously, if you’re watching us from elsewhere, Um, we hope you’re enjoying your summer season. And if it’s the winter that you’re seeing this podcast, that’s great too, because you can have memories of a summertime when you get to do this as well. So aren’t I lucky? I get to do my my show from my backyard and I am even more lucky to have rebel Ka Bowman, who is the CEO and founders of sash senior home sales services, and Rebecca Bowman. Thank you for coming to answers for others. Thank you for having me. Susanne Rebecca. Um, I have talked to you about so many things and one of the things I love about sash is you service seniors and you have specialized in it for a long time and you and I have, you know, watched each other from afar grow our organizations to advocate for seniors, and you certainly do and I’m so honored that you’re there. You know, you have been here to share with us so many, you know, tips and things about senior home sales and Um. So what are we talking about today? Thank you, Suzanne. Well, today we’re going to delve into a really important topic that I think is relevant for senior homeowners to hear about, as well as their family and caregivers. Really, everyone who knows a senior and has a senior loved one in their life will want to pay attention today because we’re going to be talking about ways that senior homeowners can be taken advantage of in the sale of their home, specifically in that really big important financial transaction, which is most often their biggest asset. It’s where they’re going to derive their savings to be able to pay for their care the rest of their life. It’s something that they may have lived in for even more years. It’s the biggest financial transaction of their retirement years and many seniors unfortunately get taken advantage of by people in different groups in this transaction and it’s it’s really hard to hear about it. But we think it’s important for people to know that this is a possibility and folks can be vulnerable to this, and so we want to spend our time today talking about how this can happen and how it can be prevented. Absolutely well, that’s a really good point and I have seen even in my career, even though I’m not in real estate, I have seen seniors be taken care of. So tell me a little bit about Um just what causes? I guess I look back at my mom. She was very trusting and I think that’s a lot of it with that generation, is it not? Or Am I off track? You’re absolutely right. Back you know, forty fifty years ago, people let their kids go to the park on supervised to play back. Forty or fifty years ago, when your phone rang, you answered it. There was no caller, I D and You were polite to whomever was calling you. If someone knocked on your door, you would answer it. And if they needed help, you would help them. You got to bed at night and wouldn’t lock the door. Exactly. I mean, where I grew up, I didn’t even think we had a house key. Right exactly. If you got a handwritten card, you would probably respond in kind to somebody who had written you so nicely. And unfortunately, this is the generation that they did. They trusted others and they had their door open, and so those are the ways that people can come and approach the senior and unfortunately, do things that are not for the senior’s benefit in regards to the sale of their home, approaching them in all those ways where they answer their door, they pick up the phone, they answer the letter, they invite people in, they believe people and and a lot of times that those people don’t have good intention. And so we want to talk today about most of the instances that I have seen so that I’m in my twentieth year now in real estate and I have had, unfortunately, a front row seat to a lot of these kinds of situations where the family or the senior will call me because something has been on that’s not okay. Someone is trying to take advantage and they bring us in because we’re a trusted senior care provider and we are there to make sure that it goes straight, that the seniors needs are protected that they have the best outcome. Most of these instances come from four different groups that I want to talk about today, four different groups that the senior, I believe, is the most vulnerable too. Of course, anyone could take advantage of them, but we’re going to just talk about these four main groups as it relates to the sale of their home. Shall we begin? Yes, so the first group, and this might surprise some people, are neighbors, the neighbors that live up and down the street and on the side of the seniors home across the street. I mean, when you think about it, who doesn’t love having a great relationship with their neighbor, right and so that neighbor might take the trash out for them, might pull their cans in after the garbage truck goes by, might water their flowers when they’re not feeling well or watch their cat while they’re in the hospital. And a lot of seniors, particularly those that are vulnerable, they’re living alone, their family lives a long ways away. Their neighbors are their lifeline. They’re the good Samaritans. Sometimes neighbors find a senior who has fallen and they’re the ones who find them and go and make sure they’re okay and help them get up, and so many neighbors can be good Samaritans and there they can be very valuable to helping a senior maintain their independence. The problem comes when the senior homeowner starts talking about how they need to sell their home. It’s getting time, I need to go to assisted living or I want to go live closer to my family, and the neighbor says, don’t put it on the market, I’m gonna buy it for my son, or my grandson wants to come in, or my granddaughter wants to buy it, or I have a friend who wants to buy the home. Sounds innocent, right, Suzanne? Why? Right? And so they say, well, you don’t have to do any repairs, will help you move out, you can leave all the things in the backyard, you can leave everything in the house, you don’t have to empty it out. We’ll do it on your timeline. Just tell us when you’re ready. And the seniors thinking, wow, this really lines up with what I need. I know these people already. I trust them. Already and they’re going to make it easy for me, and so I’ll give them a little bit of the deal because they’ve been looking out for me all these years. So the question that I want the people to ask who are around the senior homeowner is how do you know you’re getting market value for the home? Because somebody might throw out a number and it sounds all right, but that senior homeowner is actually leaving a hundred thousand dollars on the table that they would have made if they had listed their home on the market and had the benefit of the biggest possible buyer pool and people competing to see their home. And you know, Susanne, you’ve met with so many people on your show about the cost of long term care, how expensive it is, and a hundred thousand dollars might pay for another year of care, of care, of twenty four hour care, of memory care. And so the question that I always encourage seniors when they are given this opportunity with the neighbors, I say, WHO’s representing you? You should have someone representing you. Don’t just have people put a contract together over the kitchen table where nobody really knows about real estate. You’re kind of figuring things out on forms that you’re unfamiliar with, especially when the neighbors say, well, let’s say fifteen or twenty or twenty five dollars of real estate commissions, we don’t need to bring agents into this, and I can see how that’s really tempting, except that real estate agents who are good at their job are bringing in really valuable knowledge and experience to guide that closing to the finish line, to make sure the seniors rights are protected, to make sure that they’re getting a good price for their home, to make sure that the closing goes smoothly. And I would like to say of all the homes I’ve sold, when I work with seniors, probably of the time it’s very common a neighbor will come and say, oh no, don’t list it, we’d like to buy it. But and it sounds great, but it’s always Um. Nobody wants to have a representation. And how do you know the senior is getting the best price for their home? And do they really have the tools to compare comps in the neighborhood that? Do they understand how the market is trending? Um, do they understand the best time to buy? What are things that can increase, like you’ve talked about in the past, of how to increase your sales price with just small things, and those are the things that the bottom line is is that we want to get as much top dollar to the senior as possible. In order to do that, Rebecca, obviously that means having an expert can that can say, you know, if we put a fresh code of paint in here and change some light fixtures, we could probably get you ten dollars more exactly how yea, or empty it out. A great way to offset this risk is invite two or three brokers in the neighborhood in to give a comparative market analysis, which is a C M A. It’s complementary, it doesn’t cost anything. Get a couple of opinions of what would this home sell for. Now I have helped a couple of clients sell their home to their neighbor because it actually was in their best interests. They had a great relationship. They knew that the name we wanted it, but that seller looked at the market. I shared the numbers with them and I said you could probably make another sixty thousand if you put it on the market, and they said I know that and I still want to sell to the to the name from decision. Well, and this is so important and and that’s you know. Obviously, you, being from Sash Senior Services homesale services, you are have your finger on the pulse of everything and I know that you have three more things to talk about, and so we’re gonna go over and one afternoxt we’re gonna surprise our listeners as they come through and we hope you’ll be with us for the hour. In the meantime, Rebecca, how do we reach you? People can find out more about sash services. UH, sash services dot com, just like it sounds, and sash stands for sell a senior’s home, and also our full service real estate broke reach SASH REALTY DOT com. Wonderful, and everyone, Rebecca, and I will be right back right after this. We at answers for elders. Thank you for listening. Did you know that you can discover hundreds of podcasts in our library on senior care? So visit our website and discover our decision guides. That will help you also navigate decision making. Find US AT ANSWERS FOR ELDERS DOT COM.
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Originally published September 04, 2022