Niche or get out, say multi-generational agents

by Jamie Henry26 Nov 2014
Think you can work with multi-generational buyers? Agents focused on this niche say you can’t, and here’s why.
 
“There are so many considerations,” says Mike Arthur, an accredited senior agent with Royal LePage in Nova Scotia. “Obviously if they’re [moving as a multi-generational family], they need to move. It’ll take a lot of experts to be part of this process.”
 
Indeed, Arthur says there are many different needs to consider. Younger family members need to be close to schools, while elderly members need to be close to hospitals and doctors’ offices. Outside of that, though, he says making the move isn’t always the best choice.
 
“It’s very, very important, you can’t just look at it for now,” he says. “It’s a short-term real estate investment, because within a decade there is going to be something changing, the dynamic is going to change. The elderly might be gone or the kids moving out. So are you making a good move right now? Is it logical? Are you fitting your needs now? Can you resell it? It still has to be good real estate. You can’t just do it for the short term.”
 
Indeed, the move needs to make financial sense. Arthur says agents should especially caution buyers against “cutting up” larger homes to create in-law suites. These renovations are costly and often do not improve the property’s resale value.
 
Buyers also need to consider the health of the family. Maybe someone has mobility issues or needs to be close to a hospital for treatment.
 
“If they say, ‘Well, mom and dad are not well,’ well maybe it’s not the best bet [to move],” he says. “Maybe they’re better off putting their parents in a [nursing] home. You have to do what’s best for the elderly, the ones who need it.”
 
But when the move is for purposes other than health-related matters, Arthur says agents need to follow the money.
 
“He or she who has the money dominates,” he says. “They make the decision, it’s that simple. It’s impossible to get all three generations’ wants in – the youngest goes along for the ride anyway.”
 
 

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