What Seniors Should Consider When Selling Their Home With Mary Beck Of Realty Executives

Selling a home can be challenging under the best of circumstances, but for senior citizens, there’s often an extra layer of complexity involved that can be difficult to navigate alone.

That’s where Mary Beck comes in.

Beck, who has been a Realtor for more than two decades, earned her Seniors Real Estate Specialist designation in 2019, which gives her the ability to provide expert guidance and support to seniors during one of the most significant times in their lives. Whether her clients are selling their homes and moving into assisted living facilities, downsizing to go live with family or relocating to enjoy their retirement in a warmer climate, Beck is committed to being there for them throughout the process and helping them make the most informed decisions possible.

“Seniors are near and dear to me and I connect well with them,” said Beck, who has been with Blaine-based Realty Executives for 14 years. “I’ve taken the time to learn more about what their needs are and I’ve kind of built my business around being a senior Realtor.”

While some aspects of selling a home are universal, there are a few differences that often come into play when working with seniors, Beck noted. Typically, they prefer to have their financial transactions done the old-fashioned way and at closing, they want to see an actual check rather than an automatic deposit into their bank account. Additionally, because many of them haven’t bought or sold a home in 40 years or more, they don’t know what to expect from the market and they’re looking to Beck to lead them and keep them in the loop about what’s going on.

“It takes a bit more time working with seniors, but that’s fine with me because I love what I do,” Beck said. “I love helping people and I always make sure my clients know that I’m going to be there for them seven days a week.”

Aside from her commitment to providing excellent service and support, another reason that Beck is so good at her job is that she can put herself in the shoes of her clients and their families due to her own experience.

“I’ve gone through what a lot of my clients are going through,” said Beck, who was the primary caregiver for her mother before she passed away 20 years ago. “They’re taking care of their kids or their grandkids while they still have their older parents to care for. I understand what it’s like to be in that position.”

Beck also understands that when seniors are moving out of a home that they’ve lived in for a long time, it can take a village to ensure the process goes smoothly. Over the last two decades, she’s built up a strong referral network and can put her clients in touch with downsizing experts, junk removal companies, movers and even auctioneers. Along those lines, she’s currently organizing a Senior Expo in April where companies and individuals who work with seniors can connect with people in need of their services. 

If you’re a senior who is considering selling your home or a family member who wants to provide support during the process, here are a few questions that are worth exploring in depth:


  • What’s your ‘why’? Beck periodically hosts a seminar called “Moving in the Right Direction” where she talks with seniors about downsizing and moving to their next home and the “why” behind the move is a big part of the conversation. “It makes the experience more educational for them,” she said. “Why are they moving? When do they think it’s time to move?” During her talk, she also provides tips on downsizing such as using colored sticky notes to categorize belongings into groups for selling, donating, keeping or throwing away. Not sure how to decide which items to keep and which ones to toss? “When you’re looking at something, ask yourself ‘does this bring me joy?’” Beck said. “If it doesn’t, you can get rid of it. And if it’s something that brings you joy but you don’t have room for it in your new place, take a picture of it so you can keep those memories.”


  • What are my fears? For many seniors, the idea of moving can be fraught with fear, which is certainly understandable. “Every situation is different,” Beck said. “But it all reverts back to there being some kind of fear involved.” For example, is the thought of downsizing (and all the work that comes with it) frightenting? Are you feeling overwhelmed by having too many choices and not knowing where to go or what to do next? Do you have doubts about the value of your home or feel shocked at how much a new place will cost? “Finances are a huge fear for seniors especially if they’re moving into a senior community,” Beck said. “They worry that they won’t be able to afford it.” Ultimately, though, the two main reasons that seniors decide to move are because of their health or because they can no longer maintain their home on their own, both of which can be difficult to come to terms with. Working with an expert like Beck can help you navigate these uncharted waters, sort through your emotions and make decisions that are right for you and your family.


  • What legal issues may be involved? Beck has worked with a lot of adult children whose parents have passed away and they’re unsure how to proceed in selling their family home. From a legal standpoint, she’ll help them figure out what the situation is with the home’s title. “Do they have to have it probated or if it’s in a trust, who’s the trustee and things like that,” she said. “Those are some of the big questions that we talk about.” And thanks to her wide referral network, she can also connect her clients with attorneys who can help them if the need arises.


  • How can we make the selling process easier? For seniors who are ill or experiencing dementia and still living in their home, having strangers walking through for viewings can be highly stressful and confusing. That’s why Beck always tries to get the family to have a destination planned for their loved ones before she lists the house. It can make the entire process much smoother and easier for everyone involved, and at the end of the day, that’s always Beck’s goal.


The Senior Expo will be held Tuesday, April 23rd 2024 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Forest Lake YMCA. Admission is free and no RSVPs are required.

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