REGION — Selling a home can be overwhelming for anyone, especially for seniors selling a home they have lived in for decades. Anyone who has sold a home can relate to the anxiety associated with a range of unknowns including what repairs need to be made, how often will strangers be coming through their home, how long will it take to sell and what are the fees, just to name a few. Add in the emotional attachment to their home and the uncertainty about the timing or availability of their next home and the entire process can be very stressful.
Rob Perkins and his sister Corinne Ross experienced this firsthand with their grandparents. “My sister and I went through this with both sets of grandparents,” Perkins said. “They had lived in their homes for a long period of time and both of their spouses had passed. They needed extra care and couldn’t live by themselves any longer.”
The siblings wanted to do something to help. “It was overwhelming for our grandparents,” Perkins said. “It took an all hands on deck effort from multiple family members to accomplish the task of selling their homes. Knowing that we weren’t the only family to deal with this, Corinne and I thought, ‘There has got to be a way to solve this problem.’”
After investing in residential real estate for a decade, Perkins and Ross created the Senior Home Purchase Program (SHPP) in 2015. They wanted to offer seniors a transparent and simple way to transition to senior living.
What differentiates SHPP from a traditional home sale is that there is no real estate agent required, no home preparation, no showings and no fees. Homes are sold “as is” — clutter and all. There are no failed escrows, no commissions, no closing costs and no repair credits or seller concessions — it is a certain sale at a certain price. The SHPP team works with homeowners to give them the best price for their home on a flexible timeline that works for the seller. “Seniors are often in a position where they don’t know when they are going to be able to move into a community,” Ross said. “This can be very stressful. We provide them flexibility with the closing date and even offer a lease back option if they need extra time after they sell and before they move into their new home.”
The process is staggeringly simple compared to selling on the open market. “The first step is we speak to the homeowner on the phone and provide them an overview of the process,” Perkins said. “We then set up an in-person meeting at their home where we bring our contractor to conduct a comprehensive inspection of the home.”
After this first meeting, SHPP spends on average four to six hours doing their homework on the property and the market. “We want to be 100 percent confident that we can close at the price we offer so we don’t get ourselves in a position where we have to ask for credits from the seller during escrow,” Perkins said. “Once our homework is completed, we come back for a second meeting where we present our absolute best offer. We encourage the homeowners to invite as many family members as they would like to this meeting. Anyone they trust, we want there, whether it’s family, friends or trusted advisors.”
Through a traditional market sale, a seller not only has commissions and closing costs to pay, but also will need to come out of pocket to prepare the home for sale. “Getting the home ready to sell can cost thousands of dollars,” Perkins stresses. “SHPP will purchase the home in its current condition and pays 100 percent of all costs associated with the sale. Our Senior Home Purchase Program can not only net our customers more money from their home, but it saves them an incredible amount of time and reduces their stress.”
Perkins explains, “When presenting our offer, we illustrate how it compares to the alternative — selling on the open market. Once the costs/fees are deducted from the alternative, our offer is very compelling.”
In addition, if the homeowner accepts the offer, SHPP asks the homeowner to choose an independent appraiser to appraise the home. “We pay for the appraisal.” Perkins said. “If the appraisal is higher than our internal valuation of their home, the seller can choose to cancel escrow at no cost to the seller. This cancellation option is part of the original contract they sign.”
Above all, SHPP aims to make sure the homeowner is completely informed and comfortable throughout the process. “The trust factor is big for us,” Ross said. “Ninety-five percent of our customers come to us by referral. The people who refer them know us well and they trust us.”
The program has been successful since its inception and the feedback has been very positive. “Their honesty, transparency and diligence made me feel completely comfortable with them,” said Stella, a former client. “They made the process exceptionally easy and stress-free. I can’t say enough good things about them.”
“This is both an emotional and a significant financial decision that our customers are making,” Ross said. “Everything we do caters to what their individual needs are. We encourage our customers to discuss our offer with family, friends and other trusted advisors. We don’t want anyone to feel pressured. This is an option for them.”
For information about the Senior Home Purchase Program, call (858) 859-0107 or visit westviewshpp.com.