By Kathy Bryant, Broker / Realtor, Seniors Real Estate Specialist

Are you or a loved one wondering if it is time to begin talking about possibly moving from a home lived in for many years? Are you concerned with how best to make this decision and where to begin? Are you or your loved one overwhelmed with questions about what to do with everything?

You may be concerned about where to start and who to talk with. How can you possibly know who to trust? There may be too many choices causing confusion and you or your loved one may be unsure about what the best living situation is. The answers to these and many other questions and concerns are as varied as the individual.

The importance of discussing and addressing these issues early on cannot be overstated. The more assistance a Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) can offer in making these decisions, the better. A successful transition to a new living situation is directly affected by the amount of control and impact the person in question has in the decision process. This is one reason it is important to open the dialogue while you or your loved one is able to have a voice in making these important life-changing choices.

One of the biggest mistakes that can be made is missing an opportunity. Many people put off until tomorrow what can and should be done today. Delaying this type of planning may be taking away the very opportunity for you or a loved one to live your/their life on your/their terms. Action at this time will give this gift.

This is why it is imperative to align yourself with professionals who specialize in assisting senior citizens and their families. It is vital to work with someone who can walk you or your loved one through the myriad of details involved with this very unique and often emotional experience. A good Seniors Real Estate Specialist will have assembled a comprehensive program to assist seniors, their families and others who care about them through this often complicated and emotional stage of life.

Let’s identify key issues many seniors and their families face. Here are a few areas that consistently come up as concerns:

• Does the house still suit my needs?
• Is it safe and secure to live in?
• Are there parts of the house that are no longer easily accessible because of health concerns or fear?
• Are there stairs to negotiate to get to the bedroom?
• Is the laundry room on the main floor or in the basement?
• What is the comfort level with carrying laundry up and downstairs?
• What is the parking area like – is it covered? Is there easy access to the entrance when bringing in groceries?
• Are repairs needed around the house?
• Are there family and friends that live in the area?
• Are family members, friends, etc. able to assist with maintenance?

These questions and concerns can be addressed between the homeowner, the homeowner’s family, and the Senior Real Estate Specialist. Often, after a thorough discussion, the parties are able to determine whether the home still serves the homeowner’s needs. Perhaps with only minor modifications, they can stay in their home. A Senior Real Estate Specialist can help facilitate those changes.

Other times after participating in conversation it becomes apparent to the senior that the home no longer fits his/her needs. If this is the case, a Senior Real Estate Specialist should have excellent resources to assist in determining what the next step should be.

This is not an easy overnight decision. It is a process. It sometimes takes years to decide when and if it is time to move. The decision is often wrought with high emotions for both the senior and the senior’s family. The process assists everyone in recognizing when the home can no longer be cared for, or that it is no longer safe for the senior to live
in the home.

Remember, all Senior Real Estate Specialist are not created equal. This is one reason why it is important to open dialogue with a trusted professional who is willing and able to give the time and respect to the senior that they deserve. The Seniors Real Estate Specialist should have the knowledge, experience, and desire to help the senior through this process. A good Senior Real Estate Specialist will also have a true understanding of a senior’s unique needs because of their experience that comes with time and dedication of working with seniors and their families.

So it has been with real empathy and caring that the Senior Real Estate Specialist designation was developed. A Senior Real Estate Specialist should empower seniors and their families and help with reassurance that they are in good hands – hands
that will care for you or your loved one and help you along the way.

The mission is to give this gift of knowledge and caring to our clients. It should be a Senior Real Estate Specialist’s goal to earn your trust and help by being here to answer questions, provide references for trusted resources and support the seniors we work with during their transition.

Always remember, a Senior Real Estate Specialist should be there to help in any possible way. A good Senior Real Estate Specialist will have a desire to help you or your loved one live your life on your terms.


Kathy Bryant is a top Spokane Realtor® and a certified Seniors Real Estate Specialist. With seniors as her priority, Kathy helps seniors and their families with the gift of knowledge and honest caring.

You may reach her at 509-993-3538, or for more information.