‘Accredited Senior Agents’ a New Specialized Type of Real Estate Agent in Ontario
There’s a new kind of real estate agent in Ontario, and they’re called “accredited senior real estate agents.” These real agents focus on helping only the elderly find, buy, and sell homes that they’re interested in, and it’s a field that some agents are moving to in anticipation of the huge Baby Boomer crowd that are just now giving up those grand family homes and looking for something smaller to downsize to. But are these agents really going to reap the huge profits they’re looking for? And, aside from focusing on the elderly, are they any different from other real estate agents?
Accredited senior real estate agents claim to do more than just help a person buy or sell a property. They sit down with seniors and if needed, the adult children of those seniors, and try to help them make decisions about often difficult aspects of the moving process. What’s being taken with you? Do you have your paperwork in order? Do you really need to keep that rocking chair that’s falling apart, or are you just holding onto it for sentimental reasons? Do you have a lawyer and an accountant all ready to help? These are some of the issues accredited senior real estate agents go over with their clients.
“Our goal isn’t just to meet seniors and sell their homes,” says Irene Kaushansky, an Ontario accredited senior real estate agent. “It’s an entire intake process that assesses their needs.”
But is that any different from other real estate agents? What about the agent of the first-time buyer that helps their client through the sometimes complicated process of making offers, lining up home financing, and other things such as inspection reports. What about the agent who helps someone new to the neighbourhood, or the province, and so tells them where the best schools are, or how far of a commute they’ll have to work?
“You have to have the right personality for this,” says Barry Lebow, another Ontario real estate agent. “This is about involvement. It’s about commitment. It’s also about pulling your hair out because sometimes people will not listen to you.”
We’re still having trouble seeing the difference between that and any other kind of real estate agent. The kind that are involved and committed every step of the way, and that yes, sometimes feel like pulling their hair out.
Even Lebow admits, “It’s no different than a Realtor walking into a place and saying, ‘I think you have a leaky roof, let’s get a roofer in here.’ It’s just about recognizing issues and sending seniors and their families to the right expert.”
And while it’s good that a certain group of Realtors are focusing on doing these things for seniors and seniors alone, it’s still not drastically different from what other Realtors are doing for clients that are under the age of 55. What about the couple that can’t be satisfied with any property they see? Or the family that just can’t find a home big enough to suit their needs? These too take involvement, commitment, and expert advice.
What do you think? Are accredited senior real estate agents really doing a good thing by catering to the elderly? Or are they simply trying to create a niche in a market that does not require it?