While the real estate industry is wringing their collective hands
over how to attract millennials to the market, the boomer generation is
actively buying and selling homes. The National Association of Realtors
is, in large part, responsible for the disregard for the very real
impact boomers are having on the industry.

The latest Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends report, for
instance, claims that millennials make up the largest pool of homebuyers
in the U.S., at 32 percent. What the organization fails to mention,
however, is that, despite the baby boomer pool being smaller, they broke
it in half in their study, making their numbers appear smaller. If the
truth be known, boomers lag millennials in the home-buying market by
only 1 percent.

That’s only half the story, however. When it comes to home sellers,
the baby boomer generation is large and in charge, representing 43
percent of home sales. If you’ll be a member of this group, and it’s
been some time since you’ve dealt in real estate, take these three steps
first to ensure a smooth road to the successful sale of your home.

Plan ahead

If you’ll be buying another home, planning ahead is imperative. Not
only will the loan process be more challenging since you already own one
home, if you’ll need a simultaneous close (timing the closing of both
homes at the same time), the process becomes even trickier.

The “should I sell or buy first” predicament has several solutions, which we are happy to share with you.

If you’ll be buying another home, get the financing going

Now that you know how you’ll deal with your current home you’re
better positioned to determine the loan you’ll need for the new home.
It’s time to choose a lender and get professional advice and a loan
pre-approval.

Keep in mind that when comparing mortgage rates, the advertised rate
typically doesn’t reflect the rate with fees and points included. Ask
for the Annual Percentage Rate and use that to compare loan offers.

Hire a real estate agent

If you’ll be undertaking two transactions (buying and selling), it’s
important to take some time when deciding which agent to hire. Now is
not the time to base your decision on familial or friendship ties. These
are transactions that can either positively or negatively impact your
finances and require the services of an experienced professional.

I understand that baby boomers typically have high expectations of
those they choose to represent them and it’s important that you never
compromise and that you make these expectations clear to any agent you
interview. Sure, all real estate professionals should provide estimable
customer service but, sadly, they don’t. Ask for references and then
check with these former clients to ensure that their expectations were
met in a timely and professional manner.

If you expect prompt returns of your phone calls, quick action to
view homes for sale or crystal clear communication every step of the
way, make it known to your agent.

Finally, I know you aren’t a doddering old fool and hope that you’ll
never work with an agent who treats you as such. This is a vibrant and
an important time in your life and you should only work with an agent
who understands this and does everything possible to assist you,
according to your dictates, down the road to your new life.