What (Most) Seniors Don’t Want You to Know

Note: I’m generalizing ……..

Seniors don’t want to leave their homes.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told “I want to be carried out feet first”. 

For most, the thought of selling the home is overwhelming – often paralyzing. Maybe it’s the memories, the years of accumulated “stuff”, lack of energy or the fear of what comes next. No matter the reason, just like you and me, older adults want to be where they feel safe. Enjoying their “independence” – when many times they are anything but. 

So, it’s status quo until a life event happens – like the loss of a spouse, a fall, illness, a diagnosis. Still, many times the goal is to stay home, maybe with help (family member or paid companion) or not. 

This took me a while to figure out. Frankly, when I decided to specialize in seniors real estate (2011), I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I related well to older adults and wanted to differentiate myself from the thousands of other agents so this seemed like the right path. What I didn’t count on was overwhelming desire to stay put. 

So I figured, if they are not ready to sell, why not help them stay put longer and safer. I earned an aging in place designation and promoted myself as the real estate agent who helped people stay in their homes longer. Brilliant! It didn’t help pay the bills, but boy did I sleep well at night. What I did come to appreciate was the seniors I met, helped, enjoyed, protected. I got paid in coffee, corn bread and good karma ….. and every so often I got to sell a home. 

I learned some things along the way that you might find helpful: Older adults are chiefly concerned with maintaining control and their legacy (David Solie); Some family members are well intended while others are anything but; The equity in the home can be essential to someone’s care and legacy (so selling to that seemingly nice person who’s willing to pay cash and close fast rarely benefits the home owner or the neighbors); Not having an estate plan is more expensive than having one; Hiring a care manager is money well spent; Finding the right senior living community the first time matters, and so much more. 

To the general public, I offer my older adult consulting and referral services without cost or obligation – really! To the licensed real estate professional, I offer my insight and mentorship, for the asking. 

What I crave is that we honor our elders and treat them with the respect they so richly deserve.  As the good books says, “love thy neighbor as thyself”. 

About the author…
Ted Gottlieb, REALTOR®

Certified Senior Advisor®

Seniors Real Estate Specialist®

Certified Seniors Housing Professional™

Certified Seniors Downsizing Coach ™





Licensed In Missouri since 2003 | MORE™, REALTORS® | 314.690.9922

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