Working With The 55+ Age Group.....Some Haven't Purchased For Decades

By
Managing Real Estate Broker with RE/MAX Executive Realty

The typical buyer for an active adult community is not "typical" at all.  This is a buyer who has not purchased a home is 30 or 40 years.  He/she is terrified, and trusts no one.  This individual wants to see everything that is on the market within a 30 mile radius of where they presently live and never visits just once.

Whenever this buyer visits one community, all of them in that town will also be revisited.  They buy on comparison and are quite negative about everything.  This is their method of controlling the situation.  Even if they love what they see, they will find as many negatives as possible before they change their tone. 

The agent needs to be very patient because selling to this age group is a long process.  No one jumps.  No one buys with emotion, and they all have something to sell.  Usually what they have to sell is dated, and in their mind, it's updated because of renovations that occurred 15 years ago!!! 

The only saving grace in working with this older age group is that "they will buy."  It's a matter of "which one" they will buy.  They all need to scale down with their physical environment and financially also.   They all have repairs coming soon on their existing homes, and they're not interested in investing more money into that home. 

Their friends will play a very important role in what they purchase, so be patient with everyone!!!  They sometimes buy in groups.  That's happened to us a few times.  One friend buys and the other follows.  This is a fantastic concept to market and blogging has been a wonderful method along with direct mail marketing to this specific age group.  If you're an agent who has never listed one of these condos, at least visit a community and familiarize yourself with the concept.  You may have the opportunity to sell one in the future, and you may appreciate that cash deal!!!

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55+ Active Adult Communities Specialists Public
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Rainmaker
272,618
LaNita Cates
REMAX of Joliet - Joliet, IL

I currently have a gentleman that wants me to sell his home in an active adult community and it's VERY difficult to talk to him. He doesn't watch HGTV:), doesn't know ANY real estate terms and wants to do everything the "old" way. It's hard!

Aug 21, 2010 12:13 PM #1
Rainmaker
849,804
J. Philip Faranda
J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY - Briarcliff Manor, NY
Broker-Owner

Barbara, 

Very true. Many of my older sellers bought their homes in the 70's or even the 60's and they haven't done a transaction in all that time. They have needs that differ from a Gen X. 

Aug 21, 2010 12:13 PM #2
Rainmaker
336,927
Brian Rugg
Rugg Realty LLC Sun City Texas 512-966-3200 - Georgetown, TX
Sun City TX Real Estate - Georgetown, TX Real Est

Hello Barbara:

Great post to get the new 55+ Active Adult Communities groups off to a great start.  I have recommended this post.

Aug 21, 2010 12:34 PM #3
Rainmaker
1,984,317
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
"New Franklin MA Homes"

LaNita.....it is difficult at times, but if you sit with him and explain to him what the process is now and how it differs from before, you should be fine....we do it all the time.....we try to accommodate as much of what they expect as possible without working from the dark ages!!!

Aug 21, 2010 12:35 PM #4
Rainmaker
1,984,317
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
"New Franklin MA Homes"

Philip.....their needs are different and as long as the agent is aware of this fact, the transactions will happen and proceed smoothly.....they are all cash deals....no one wants a mortgage at age 55+!!!

Aug 21, 2010 12:37 PM #5
Rainmaker
1,984,317
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
"New Franklin MA Homes"

Brian....since I am marketing 3 condo communities, I expect to be a major contributor to your new group and I thank you for creating it......

Aug 21, 2010 12:38 PM #6
Rainer
228,938
Stephanie Reynolds
Integrity First Financial Group, Inc. - Santee, CA
East County San Diego Homes 619-838-4408

Patience is a virtue for sure when working with 55+! However, the up side is working with people who do their homework, know what they are looking for, most likely have fantastic credit or cash, and will be loyal to the end. Understanding a client and their needs and wants at any age is the key to a successful transaction.

Aug 21, 2010 12:42 PM #7
Rainmaker
1,984,317
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
"New Franklin MA Homes"

Stephanie....you are absolutely correct.....there are many agents who expect a 55+ buyer to make a decision with one showing.....it just does not happen....they see everything and eliminate one step at a time....and then they want approval from family members and friends.....especially the friends, even more than their adult children.

Aug 21, 2010 12:44 PM #8
Rainmaker
538,786
Cynthia Larsen
Safe Haven Realty - Cotati, CA
Sonoma County Real Estate Broker

I just sold a condo to a gentleman in his 70's. Even though he owns several investment properties, he was amazed at all that goes on in a transaction today. Especially when it comes to the lending industry. I love the 55+ age group, knowing how to understand and work with them is a great asset.

Aug 21, 2010 12:45 PM #9
Rainmaker
1,984,317
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
"New Franklin MA Homes"

Cynthia.....half the battle is knowing how to understand the older age group....I'm one of them.....the average age of our residents is mid 60's but we have sold to folks in their 80's.....several.....

Aug 21, 2010 12:51 PM #10
Rainmaker
1,101,019
Bill Burchard
3B Realty: 951-347-3818, CA - Murrieta, CA
Broker, Realtor - Murrieta Homes For Sale, Califor

I recently helped a 70+ buyer find a home... and your experiences mimic mine, Barbara. They scrutinize everything, often plyaing the role of Devil’s Advocate. And they are very serious about buying... when they find the right place, in the right neighborhood.

Aug 21, 2010 01:50 PM #11
Rainmaker
1,984,317
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
"New Franklin MA Homes"

Bill....knowing how to deal with and understand the buyer is half the battle....

Aug 21, 2010 02:06 PM #12
Rainer
229,855
Karen Bernetti
Staging4Smooth Transitions Connecticut Home Staging - Southington, CT

Barbara - Seniors are my all time favorite people to work with, I've had many opportunities to assist older couples with their downsize moves - you offer such wonderful advice!

Aug 21, 2010 11:56 PM #13
Rainmaker
1,984,317
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
"New Franklin MA Homes"

Thank you, Karen....it takes patience, for sure.

Aug 22, 2010 12:12 AM #14
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Rainmaker
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Barbara Todaro

"New Franklin MA Homes"
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