Retirement Village owners can help increase their occupancy rates by providing prospective (and often indecisive) residents with the most reputable information about selling their beloved homes first - the first and biggest hurdle of all get over.
Alarmingly, advice and information for seniors downsizing includes almost everything you need to know - except about selling their homes and how to do this safely, after all, real estate is one of the least trusted industries in New Zealand.
This page provides retirement villages operators or other services with resources that help seniors sell their homes safely, make the move sooner and with less stress than usual.
Make the transition smooth and risk free
Selling their home, possibly their greatest financial asset, places an older person at risk of financial abuse.
However, there is no freely available guidance for such an important transition from their home to a retirement village.
Informed about the issues seniors face when selling up
Having supported many senior citizens through the real estate process, we have acquired much - occasionally alarming - information from them over the years about the usually stressful process of downsizing to a retirement village.
We have also made many presentations to seniors' groups including Widows and Widowers Associations, Rotary and Probus Groups, so we are informed about the issues this generation faces.
Unfamiliar with house sales
While the retirement village average age may be getting younger overall, the more senior among them often haven’t sold a house in 20 to 50 years if ever.
Many are widowed and making property decisions alone which makes them more reliant on a real estate agent’s conduct, service and advice.This can make them feel vulnerable.
Senior citizens can be better informed about who they're getting to sell their home.
Trusting generation facing a fast paced world
Senior kiwius tend to be a trusting generation and don't like to put people out or make a fuss if things go wrong.
Add to that the paperless, digital world and a fast changing real estate environment and seniors can get muddled with the process, and can make the wrong decisions.
Here at Wise Up NZ, we're developing a whole section dedicated to helping senior citizens downsize with the support and care they so deserve.
We'll work with lawyers, families and agencies and look forward to leading the way by making some advancements in this area.
Issues faced by seniors
- Not knowing where to start.
- Anxiety about parting from their beloved home where many memories were made.
- Not knowing who to trust to help them - elder abuse is not uncommon in New Zealand.
- Inexperience at selling property making them vulnerable in today’s real estate environment. Some have never sold a house before, in particular women. In their day, this was something that husbands usually did.
- Lack of understanding of legal information/implications of legal documents they will need to sign.
- The complexities of different types of retirement village legalities and services, or how it will all work for them.
- Reliance on the real estate agent's performance and conduct.
- The impact on their physical and mental health.
- Resistance by family members to the move due to the financial impact on the eventual estate.
Seniors can be taken advantage of by real estate agents arriving on their doorstep uninvited, but with 'buyers on their books'.
It is against the Real Estate Agents Act for a real estate agent to put anyone under pressure to sell and any undue pressure can be reported to the Real Estate Authority.
Practical advice for retirement villages
- An older person has confirmed they want to purchase one of your retirement units but need to sell their home first. You can now put them on the right path to help them take up residence sooner rather than later.
- You can provide them and their friends and family with access to what help is available free of charge.
- Advise them a free real estate agent vetting service is available to help protect them. If it helps, please feel welcome to make a call from your office while they are with you to our free phone 0800 789 532. We can start with a conference call together to discuss 'where to from here'.
- We can help build a picture about what other support or advice they will need, to help protect them through each step.
- We can work with families, lawyers, friends and other agencies that assist senior citizens. It is surprising how many seniors go through this alone.
- We'll try to keep things simple, and them safe, for a smooth transition.
- We'll provide your client with a checklist so they can keep on track and feel fully informed.
- To see how we can help you help them, give us a call on 0800 789 532 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We operate nationwide and it's a free service.
We can help improve your occupancy rate by helping older citizens downsize with care and protection - and they get to live where they desire.