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Maria Lourdes Couto

Sales Associate

Seniors Real Estate Specialist

The SRES designation was originally developed by the Senior Advantage Real Estate Council 10 years ago to focus on the needs of home buyers and sellers aged 55 and over. It became an official member of the NAR family of designations in March 2007.

"Knowing how to best serve home buyers, sellers and investors at all stages of life is another way REALTORS? add value to the real estate transaction," said 2007 NAR President Pat V. Combs, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and vice president of Coldwell Banker-AJS-Schmidt. "As our clients mature, they have different real estate goals and needs from those of younger consumers. Given the importance of the emerging senior market nationwide, the number of REALTORS? earning the SRES designation is likely to increase dramatically over the next few years."

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 7,900 people will turn 60 every single day this year. In addition, real estate is the largest single asset class held by households that are headed by someone who is 65 or older, according to Harvard University s Joint Center for Housing Studies.

The new SRES course includes topics such as distinguishing characteristics and trends related to the 55+ population; housing, finance, and retirement income considerations of these consumers; outreach methods for building 55 and older clientele; and counseling strategies to help clients and customers plan ahead for life transitions. Participants can learn:

  • Key differences in housing options, from age-restricted communities to age-in-place design to assisted living;
  • Applications of the Housing for Older Persons Act (HOPA);
  • Ins and outs of reverse mortgages;
  • How to use pensions, 401k accounts, and IRAs in real estate transactions;
  • Ways in which Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security affect real estate decisions of clients and customers who are 55 and older;
  • How to recognize and protect their clients from mortgage finance and loan schemes and scams that target 55+ borrowers.