Questions to Ask When Choosing a Real Estate Agent: Working With a 55+ Expert

Can you spot the $207,744 difference between these identical homes?

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A 55+ couple meeting with their 55places real estate agent.

4 minute read

Whether you’re buying a new construction or resale home, a real estate agent will protect your interests and help you make the best possible investment. But how do you go about choosing a real estate agent? And should you look for special skills when you plan to buy a home in a 55+ community?

Real estate agents must be licensed to legally represent you. However, not all real estate agents have the same training or experience. Only real estate agents who are members of the National Association of Realtors can be referred to as a Realtor.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions when meeting with a real estate agent. And, if you aren’t happy with the responses, it’s okay to shop around for a new agent.

Here are some questions to ask when choosing a Realtor or real estate agent:

1. Are you a full-time agent?

A 55+ couple talking over their homebuying questions with their Realtor.

Some real estate agents only sell homes part-time. If they have plenty of experience and are willing to work flexible hours to accommodate your schedule, this may not be a problem. However, you may feel more comfortable with someone who is a full-time agent.

2. How many homes have you sold in this specific community?

A Realtor agent handing over the keys to a home in a 55+ community.

This is an important question to ask when choosing a Realtor or real estate agent. When relocating to an active adult community, you’re investing in the development as much as you are in the home itself. A real estate agent who has experience with the specific community may be able to provide more insight into the development and its history.

3. What specific community rules should I be aware of?

View down a residential street in a 55+ community.

Active adult communities will have rules for both the upkeep of the homes and conduct when in community buildings. In age-restricted communities, there are likely to also be rules about the ages of people who live in your home and the length of time under-aged visitors can stay. Your real estate agent should be aware of these rules or willing to find the information for you.

4. Which models or floor plans will suit my needs?

A real estate agent showing floor plans to a 55+ homebuyer.

During your initial meeting, plan to bring a list of the features you want in your new home. Your real estate agent should be knowledgeable about the available models of homes that could be a good fit, even if that means suggesting homes in other nearby communities.

5. Will you show me listings of other agents?

A Realtor giving a 55+ couple a tour of a home and answering all of their questions about the community.

While real estate agents have their own listings, they should be happy to show you other agents’ listings. In fact, it’s usually in your best interest to use a real estate agent who only represents your side of the sale. The listing agent has already committed to representing the seller, and you want a real estate agent who’ll focus on your interests.

6. What’s the sale-to-list price ratio in this community? And what’s your ratio when helping buyers?

A "Home Sweet Home" welcome mat outside of a house in a 55+ community.

In real estate, the sale-to-list price ratio compares recently sold homes’ list prices to their actual sales prices. Your agent’s track record may be a good sign of skill.

For example, if homes in a community typically sell for 95% of their list price, and your real estate commonly helps buyers negotiate deals at 90% of the list price, that can be a positive sign. However, many factors affect the sale-to-list ratio, so it isn’t the only reason to choose an agent.

7. What specific skills set you apart from other agents?

A 55+ homebuyer shaking hands with a Realtor after having her homebuying questions answered.

Real estate agents can have a wide range of training beyond their basic salesperson license. They may be a member of the National Association of Realtors or have earned local sales awards or distinctions. Real estate agents can also complete training that would make them more qualified to help you buy into an active adult community, such as becoming a certified Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES).

55places Can Connect You With a Real Estate Agent

Those are the most pressing things to ask when choosing a Realtor or real estate agent, but you may have many more homebuying questions! Luckily, 55places is the number one resource for active adult communities. We can connect you with a real estate agent specializing in active adult living. If you’re ready to start your homebuying journey, contact us today! We’ll find you an agent to help you make your next move the best one yet.

Discover what’s next.

To learn more information or connect with a real estate expert, contact us today.

Can you spot the $207,744 difference between these identical homes?

Financing is the difference!

Get the details in The 62+ Loan Homebuyers Guide.

55places Mortgage is a joint venture between Mutual of Omaha Mortgage and 55places.com.
Details here.

We're here to help! (800) 928-2055

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Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Get Weekly Updates

I agree that 55places and its affiliates, partner providers or agents may call, text, or email me about my inquiry, which may be made with automated means. I understand that my consent is not a prerequisite for buying a property. I may revoke my consent at any time by contacting optout@55places.com. Message/data rates may apply. I also agree to 55places.com’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

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About 55places

We’re changing the way people 55 and older are searching for their perfect next place. With a national network of hand-selected real estate experts, plus comprehensive information, unbiased content, and on-the-go insight about thousands of communities across the country, we’re a trusted resource paving the way from here to home. Whether you’re interested in a low-maintenance single-level residence, an active lifestyle or age-qualified community, an intimate enclave, or anything in between, we can help you make your next move the best one yet.

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