This segment elaborates on ways that seniors can be taken advantage of by unscrupulous real estate agents. Rebecca Bomann, CEO and founder of SASH Services, joins Suzanne to discuss this topic.
Rebecca has a lot of respect for her fellow agents, and there are a lot of really good real estate professionals in this industry. But like any industry, there are a few who are incompetent, insensitive, unscrupulous, or don’t know how to address the special needs of senior home owners. Because they come in as a professional, with their license and business card, sometimes seniors don’t think they need to be vetted and assume everything they do is above board. Unfortunately this isn’t always true. Rebecca describes a few ways real estate agents can take advantage of a senior or be harmful to them in the sale of their home. Also, she provides advice for choosing a good agent, to interview multiple agents and make them earn your trust, and that a good broker explains everything you’re signing.
Click to learn more about Rebecca Bomann and SASH Services.
View Episode Transcript
*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 we’ll help guide you on the path of later life care. Now here’s your host, founder, caregiver and CEO, Susanne Newman, and welcome everyone to answers for elders radio network. And we are on consumer watch with real estate and especially with our vulnerable seniors. And I am here with the wonderful Rebecca Bowman, the CEO and founder of Sash senior home sales services, and Rebecca Um. Thank you so much for your tips and for those of you that have just joined us, Um, please check out the PODCAST REBECCA HAS UM. We talked about two other categories, neighbors, which could be a bad situation unless you have proper representation, and the whole House flipper thing, and that was like really I opening. I learned a lot on that, Rebecca. So fill me in. What’s number three? All right, so the third group of people that senior homeowners are the most vulnerable to, that they can be taken advantage of in the sale of their home, are real estate agents. Unfortunately. Now I am a real estate agent. I’m licensed here in the state of Washington. I’m in my twentieth year in real estate, so of course I have a great deal of respect for my colleagues. There’s a lot of very good real estate professionals in the industry, and just like any under any industry, and there’s also people who are unscrupulous. There’s people who are incompetent, insensitive, people who don’t know how to take care of the needs of senior homeowners that are special and unique to them. And so in this segment I want to talk about a few ways that real estate agents can take advantage of a senior or be harmful to them in the sale of their home. And because they are a professional, this is different than house slippers, because the real estate professional comes in with their license and their business card and everything. The senior doesn’t think they need to be vetted and they think that everything they’re doing is above board. Unfortunately, this isn’t always true. Uh. So we’re going to talk about ways that real estate agents can take advantage of senior homeowners. So the first one is by what we call buying the listing, and buying the listing means that the real estate agent promises the senior that they can sell it for a high price, higher than the senior actually will get, and they’re so excited about the prospect of selling at that price that they signed the contract with the real estate agent and it’s never gonna sell for that price. But now the agent has them in the contract, now they’ve got the listing and then the senior goes through months of stress and price drops and it actually does not sell at that price. We call that buying a listing and it’s Um it’s awful. So any time a senior is presented with numbers from a real estate agent that they say this is what I can sell your home for, there should be data and other sales to substantiate that this can happen. Otherwise they might just be throwing you a high number just to get you to sign the listing contract and then you feel like you can’t get out. Another way is overcharging. In the commission. It’s really important for seniors and their families to know all the real estate commissions are negotiable. Nothing is fixed, and so we actually found out about a senior last year who called us because she needed to sell her home. Her family was worried. She had signed a listing with a broker who double charged her. Instead of a three percent listing, he charged her seven percent to sell her home and nobody, nobody was paying attention and she signed it not knowing, and so he would have made seven percent from the sale of her home and would have gotten away with it because her signature was at the bottom of that page. Um really unacceptable and we sent him packing. Another way is putting the senior homeowner in an impossible situation by having them accept an offer before the senior Evan knows where they’re gonna live next. Right. So you put the home on the market, here’s an offer. Take the offer. It’s a great offer and the senior is going, wait a second, I don’t even know where I’m going right. I mean, we’ve got a few things to work out here. I always say that when it comes to the senior’s home sale, the actual home sale is only about ten percent. The other nine is all the other things that have to do with the sale of their home that also need attention. Where are they going to live? What about their pet? What about their household items, financials, all those other things, and so sometimes brokers come in and they just drive to that, to that finish line of getting a closing or just get somebody to list their house sooner. Rather you’RE gonna lose the market. You’re gonna do all these things and then they start pushing and it’s it goes down a slippery slope pretty fast exactly any time, and that’s actually on my list, Susan, so I’m glad you brought that up. Is I’m sorry, it’s very good. Any time a senior is pushed too fast, this is not okay. It’s not okay. It should be on their timeline, unless there’s an actual emergency happening, and then their family would be involved. Another way that real estate agents can take advantage of senior homeowners is what we call a pocket listing. A pocket listing is when that real estate broker already has a buyer for the senior’s home and they’re just going through the motions of putting it on the market so they can have both sides of the transaction. Oh, I’ve already got a buyer. It’s gonna be fine. They’re gonna be, you know, able to give you a good price for the home. We’ll just list it, but my buyer is going to make an offer on the first day. Wait a second, who is that broker representing? Are they representing the buyer and their best interests or the senior and their best interests? And if they’re representing the senior and their best interests, they’re going to try to get the very best price for the senior, even if it means it’s not their own buyer, even if it means they don’t get both sides of the commission. So that’s what a pocket listing is Um. I’ve also had um situations where I’ve helped clients where they were in a contract with a broker that they were really unhappy with. They weren’t doing showings, they weren’t returning phone calls, they were kind of absent without leave. There hadn’t been any activity on the home for a month and they wanted to fire their broker and get someone else because it wasn’t working out, and that real estate agent wouldn’t let them out of their contract, wouldn’t let them out of their listing. It’s awful. These are not things that should happen in the real estate industry. Um, doing a terrible listing is another way that real estate agents can harm seniors. Just throwing a few cell phone photos up on the on the MLS, you know that are terrible, fuzzy, overexposed. They don’t present the seniors home in the best light. They’re just kind of slapping it on the market. And then that senior homeowner who needs every nickel for their future, they need every nickel for their future care and their long term care, they don’t know that they’re leaving thirty dollars on the table because of the poor representation that they had by that real estate agent. Um. And these are these are preventable. So you and I have talked about ways that seniors can prevent getting a terrible real estate agent or someone who’s not looking out for their best interests on other podcasts. And really it’s interviewing as if the person is applying for a job, right. So don’t just take your real estate agent. They live near you or they go to church with you, or there your nephew or their neighbor’s nephew. They need to be good at their job. They need to show you how well they present their homes to the market. They need to demonstrate their excellent communication skills to you, and so if they’re not able to do any of this, they might not be qualified to represent you, and it’s okay to turn one down in favor of someone else who’s going to be better at their job, because that affects your bottom line. Right. That’s how much your take from that home sale. Yeah, and you know, Rebecca, I sit back and I think about how many times have I talked to families and you just you get so many things on the on the you know, it’s like this lady Kame. I Remember One lady that I I talked to and she had a realtor calling her like almost like three times a week trying to get her to list her house, and I don’t even remember how she got in contact with her or anything like that, but long story short, she finally let the realtor come to her house. She basically told her everything that needed to change, you know, she had to do this and she had to do that, and then right away here comes out the paperwork and it was like she just sat there and didn’t really know anything. She didn’t have a plan in place, she didn’t do anything. And this is what goes on. And the whole thing was the reason why she was using an excuse is you’re gonna miss the market and, of course, last week we talked about missing the market. That that’s a misnomer. There is no missing the market, it’s just it’s it’s different. Yes, but the point is is that we you should never, ever, ever, and I think the other thing, Um to me, is hire a realtor that’s willing to listen and empathize and have compassion. And you know, that’s kind of where I see. So often they don’t and they just want to get to the sale. And sadly that happens a lot in any kind of sales. Right. But but UM, in real state, this is an emotional time. It’s an emotional thing of decades of their lives that they missed them and this is so valuable. There’s so much money at stake here. They shouldn’t have anybody but the best. And you wouldn’t choose a surgeon just because that surgeon is your nephew, even though he’s never performed surgery before. You would want the best surgeon, right. You should also get a very good broker who is, like you say, empathetic. They go at your pace, their kind, they never pressure and they do a great job representing your best interests. And so, Rebecca, this is a perfect time. We have about a minute left. Tell us why sash is different. Well, sash is here just from I founded sash out of my own personal experience because I saw that real estate firms out there weren’t dialed into the specific needs of senior homeowners and their families and I wanted to create a firm that really specialized in helping seniors. We do a lot of social work, we do a lot of caring for our clients and we do also sell their home, but we take care of all the other pieces as well, to the state sales and all of those things that have to happen. And you guys also know what they’re if they’re going to senior living, what really they’re going to need to help guide them through this process, and I think that’s the thing you just basically turn into not only helping them sell their house, but you’re an advocate for this transition, and I think that’s the key that Um, I want to Um emphasize. So, Rebecca, how do we reach you? Find our website at sash services dot com or a toll free number triplate four hundred sash at seven to seven four, and Rebecca and I are going to be back with the last point, and this is a biggie everyone. We it 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.
Listen to More Answers for Elders with Suzanne Newman
Keep an eye out for future Answers for Elders podcasts on the Senior Resource Podcast Network! Thanks for listening, and be sure to keep scrolling for more articles by Suzanne. For more AFE podcasts, visit AnswersforElders.com and subscribe on your favorite platform!
Founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., Suzanne Newman proclaims often, “Caring for my mom was the hardest thing I ever have done, but it was also my greatest privilege.” Following a career of over 25 years in sales, media, and marketing management, Suzanne Newman found herself on a 6-year journey caring for her mother. Her trials and tribulations as a family caregiver inspired an impassioned life mission outside of the corporate world to revolutionize the journey that so many other American families also find themselves on. In 2009, she became the founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., subsequently hosting hundreds of radio segments and podcasts, as well as authoring her first book. Suzanne and Answers for Elders, Inc. have spent 14 years, and counting, committed to helping families and seniors along their caregiving journeys by providing education, resources, and support. Each week on the Answers for Elders podcast, Suzanne is joined by vetted professional experts in over 65 categories including Health & Wellness, Life Changes, Living Options, Money, Law, and more. Suzanne lives in Edmonds, Washington with her husband, Keith, and their two doodle dogs, Whidbey and Skagit.
Connect with Suzanne
Visit AFE on the web: https://answersforelders.com/