Local realtors help seniors as they change their lifestyle

Stacy and Willy Nelson, Jr. don’t just complete real estate transactions for seniors through their business with Midwest Heritage Homes. They believe their role is to build relationships with clients and help guide them through a significant life change.

“It’s not about selling their house,” Stacy Nelson says. “It’s about transitioning them to their next journey.”

The Nelsons are Certified Senior Housing Professionals, and this encompasses a niche and clientele in the real estate market that Nelson says typically isn’t given the time or energy it deserves.

“It’s an underserved market,” Nelson says.

Before joining her husband in real estate in 2016, she worked to provide education, entertainment and travel for seniors through her career in the banking industry. As such, it made sense for her to offer the same type of services through the real estate business.

Nelson says there are many different types of seniors, with some wanting villas and others desiring maintenance-provided communities. No matter what, she says these clients need more than just the selling of their home. It often takes time to get acclimated to the idea of selling the family home of many years, finding a new place to go, and then coming back and emptying the original home.

“We really believe it’s a relationship,” Nelson says. “We’re not here just for the transaction.”

Nelson says while people often refer to senior moves as downsizing, many seniors don’t want a decrease in square footage. They simply want a different layout, and sometimes this proves to be a higher-dollar property.

“They don’t want to get smaller,” Nelson says. “They just want to get different.”

Marnie Hammer and her husband recently made the decision to sell their home of 30 years and relocate to a maintenance-provided community. They had never sold a home before and were nervous about the process, but she says the Nelsons walked them through every stage and let them know what to expect. She says their assistance eased their minds through the process.

“We probably didn’t need a lot of hand-holding in one sense, but we wanted to make sure we were making the right decisions,” Hammer says.

The Nelsons also offer senior symposiums on topics such as aging in place or staying put, de-cluttering the home, and communicating with adult children. Nelson says in their discussions with clients, they are more than willing to help them decide if moving is even the right decision for them.

“If it’s better for them, we will help them stay put,” Nelson says.

They also organize trips for their clients and have taken groups everywhere from Australia to Europe and Canada. They are still accepting travelers for their next trip, which will be a European cruise in the fall of 2020 on the Danube River.

Working with seniors is only a part of the Nelsons’ full-service real estate business through Keller Williams Platinum Partners. They work with three other agents on everything from luxury properties to providing assistance for first-time home buyers. As such, they do housewarming parties for new buyers, education for first-time home buyers and more.

Nelson says in the future they simply hope to help people and make sure they feel safe in one of the most expensive and overwhelming transitions they will encounter in their lives.