One aspect of my 35-year career selling real estate here in Burbank has been a focus on representing “Senior” clients. Perhaps because I’m among the senior ranks now myself, but I’ve always enjoyed working with “Senior Sellers” especially! I find their long term homeownership stories fascinating, especially those who are original owners – who recount what Burbank was like back when they bought or built their homes; the cost(s), relative to today; tales of raising their families; Burbank people, places and things that have come and gone; etc. I’m honored to say I’ve represented 7 ORIGINAL Senior Sellers over my career! But the aspect I value most in representing these folks is the TRUST they and their families place in me when it’s time to finally leave their memory-filled homes and move on to a new space and next chapter in their lives. It’s a very emotional and difficult time for many of them, and as a certified Senior Real Estate Specialist, I have received training and have resources available to help make the transition just a bit easier! A recent case study – my sale of the home of Don & Joan Nissen.

I had met Joan previously, but when she called this time, it was to tell me that after 64 years in her beloved home at 217 S. Reese Place, Burbank, a home she and her husband Don built back in 1955, it was now finally time to leave the home and “downsize.” However, during my first meeting with the Nissens it became very apparent that they had no idea where their next home was going to be! Whether to rent or buy; what were smaller one bedrooms rentals going for and what was available; should they stay in Burbank (their preference) or move closer to their grown children; etc. And given the fact that both were in their 90s and had been coping with a years earlier dementia diagnosis for Don, whether an assisted living facility made sense and could they afford the expensive care costs. One reason they called me was the fact that I’ve represented upwards of 50 homes in their “Rancho Adjacent” neighborhood and that their beautiful home would no doubt add to that count! However, given the circumstances, I suggested we slow things down a bit and bring their three children into the discussion and figure out a “next step” FIRST!

My approach was quite different from another Realtor who had heard they were considering selling and paid them an uninvited visit. His approach: Priority one, since Joan had mentioned that she had spoken to me,  was to get a signature on a listing contract ASAP at a price “to be determined;” charge a higher commission rate than the going market rate; didn’t investigate or know whether Don had the ability to sign or ultimately legally convey title per the terms of their Living Trust; had little or no discussion about preparing the home for sale; and whether, given Don’s condition,  it made sense to move first before putting the home on the market. To these and other issues, his attitude was basically, “we’ll figure it out as we go, but hurry and sign here”  Simply put, to treat two ninety year-olds, one incapacitated, who hadn’t bought or ever sold a home in 64 years, in such a terrible and unprofessional manner, was OUTRAGEOUS! Fortunately, the oldest son, Greg Nissen, whom I had already spoken to, and the rest of the family were not on board with the other agent’s approach and happily signed with me! I enlisted the help of a Senior organizing/packing/moving vendor I use, who along with myself and the family, cleared and prepped the house for sale and arranged the moving process to get Joan & Don into their new Burbank apartment home! BTW, the Nissen’s home generated 11 offers and sold for $71,000 over the list price in just over a week, allowing them to be settled in their new home just in time for Thanksgiving!

If you or someone you know are a “Senior Seller” and want to be treated professionally and with the respect that you deserve, PLEASE CALL ME!