In the current fast-moving sellers market, many homeowners believe they can sell their home on their own and save on Realtor commissions. You no doubt would agree that saving $18,000 - $20,000 on your sale would feel very nice, indeed. But be careful -- not everyone can negotiate like a professional. One key factor that sellers do not consider is that your Realtor is there to guide you and to look out for your interests. It is easy to make a verbal mistake that discloses how eager you are to move (read, willing to reduce your price), or that repairs might be necessary (say, if your water or electric bill is much higher than most in the area, indicating a water leak or aging mechanical system).True story: A seller in a popular and very attractive private community was selling her home on her own. When the buyers noticed many cars on the street, they asked if there was difficulty parking in the neighborhood. The seller answered in a way she felt was honest: Yes, and that homeowners association is doing NOTHING to remedy the problem! I have called them, and they dont return my calls. The buyers, who had three cars, immediately thanked her for her time and left. They were soured not only on her home, but on the entire community, and chose to look elsewhere. Had the seller been prepared to answer the question without expressing her opinion, and had not disparaged the HOA, the buyers may have made a different decision.As nice as they might be, a buyers agent does not represent your interests! A seemingly innocuous statement about how eager you are to move near family, or how you wish you had upgraded the padding under the carpet, or how the lanai gets so dirty you must sweep daily might trigger a negative reaction for the buyer. Rather than disclosing your position before you would like to, and leaving money on the table, its best not to have discussions with the other party. Deals have fallen apart because the parties did not agree politically, or religiously, or they didnt like the other persons style. Sellers must assume that anything they say directly to the buyers agent is going to be repeated to the buyers, which is why your Realtor will recommend that you not be there during showings.Discussions between Realtors may be more candid and detailed than those between the sellers and buyers. We know how to present your home in a more objective way, and the words to avoid in conversation and yet maintain the ethics guidelines of the National Association of Realtors.So, if youre thinking of selling, yes, declutter and de-personalize so that buyers can envision themselves in the home. Yes, clean, and clean some more. Yes, make your home available via a lock box, so that you do not need to be home when buyers arrive with their agent. And yes, listen to your Realtors guidance when it comes to showing your home. After all, it is probably the biggest investment you have ever made, and you want to get top dollar when you sell.Valerie LaBoy is a Realtor with EXIT Compass Realty. She represents home sellers throughout Sarasota and Charlotte Counties. She can be reached at Valerie@FindMyLanai.com or 941-564-5020.
Soaking in the easy Florida lifestyle, Marty and Sue Raskie relish each day of their hard-earned retirement. After more than 40 years of working in health care, the couple knew it was time to determine the best fit for their long-term care plans.I was a pharmacist for many years and Sue was a registered nurse, so we know what happens on the other end of it, Marty Raskie recalls. We know how difficult it is to arrange for health care for older people when there are limited resources. Its kind of like you wouldnt go to court without a lawyer, so you dont want to go into health care without an advisor.The Raskies are members of Senior Choice at Home, a Continuing Care at Home Program, the only one of its kind in the state of Florida. This helps seniors stay in the comfort of their homes longer, adding to their independence and quality of life. This program is referred to as a Continuing Care Retirement Community Without Walls, which wraps around you inside your home. The membership-based program provides comprehensive long-term care and personal care services for older adults who prefer to age in place, with the assurance that future living arrangements are secured and covered in their membership.We dont have a close support system anymore because our children have all moved away, so we needed that umbrella system to know that if we became disabled or anything would happen, there would be somebody there to take care of us. They would coordinate the care, get us what we need and help us with finding the right retirement home, Marty says.A 2021 AARP survey shows that 77% of adults 50 and older want to remain in their homes for the long term, which has been a consistent number for more than a decade. As an alternative to moving into a retirement home, Senior Choice at Home enables active seniors to live independently among friends and neighbors, while being treated to the highest level of care at home.One of the things that impressed me the most is that theyre very proactive, Marty explains. Our care coordinator comes out to the house regularly, and we can contact her at any time. While they are checking you out, they will also check your home for things like tripping hazards and that you have a fire extinguisher.Now more than ever, thousands of seniors across the country are opting to receive continuing care at home. With Senior Choice at Home, Marty sleeps better at night knowing its seamless network of care provides all the services they need to live safely in their own home, including personal care coordination, home inspections and emergency response system services.When you get up in the middle of the night, you dont have to worry anymore, Marty states. You dont have to think about what happens if you fall and break your leg. You can call your care coordinator, so they can take care of the next steps for you.When a member needs medical attention, Senior Choice at Homes personal care coordinators are at their side, helping them to navigate through the health care journey. Their needs may range from a short stay in skilled nursing for rehabilitation or support from home health aides, who can assist with bathing, grocery shopping, cooking and other tasks.Senior Choice at Home gives members peace of mind knowing if and when needs change, support will be there to provide every level of care, every step of the way.To learn more, about the author, Senior Choice at Home, CLICK HERE!
For more information on the author, Starkey, CLICK HERE!Most people who have hearing loss arent born with it. Instead, hearing loss creeps up on us over time, usually caused by exposure to loud noises, aging, or some combination of the two.Statistics show that the prevalence ofhearing loss doubles for every decade of life, which explains whyone out of threepeople 65-74 have hearing loss, nearlyhalf over 75have it, andfour out of five people 85+have hearing loss.In other words, for most of us, hearing loss is normal and natural just part of living a long, eventful life.In this blog, well walk through the eight things you should do if and when hearing loss happens to you.1.Get your hearing testedIf you think you have hearing loss either by exhibiting common signs, which you can findhere, or because your spouse, friends, coworkers or family members keep questioning your hearing ability you should get your hearing tested.To do that, you can start with an online hearing test (take our free onehere) or you can visit a hearing healthcare professional to get a thorough, definitive hearing evaluation.Not sure where to find a trusted hearing healthcare professional near you?Type your zip code in here, and well give you a list of local providers.2. Choose between ignoring itIf it turns out you have hearing loss, you have a choice you can ignore it and deal with the challenges, or you can treat it.Some of the challenges of hearing loss are subtle and barely noticeable, like needing things to be repeated, or missing out on small everyday sounds.Some are more obvious and impactful, like mishearing important information, or feeling left out of conversations and activities.Still others can be profound, health-related issues, like how hearing loss is linked toincreased risks ofdepression, anxiety, falls and hospitalizations, social isolation, and even dementia.or treating itBut doctors and scientists from institutions including Johns Hopkins Medicine and Columbia University have long noted thattreating hearing loss can help with many of these challenges,and studies have shown that for people with hearing loss,using a hearing aid is associated with a reduced risk of falls, depression, anxiety and dementia.3. Visit a hearing healthcare professionalWhen youareready to treat your hearing loss and Johns Hopkins Dr. Frank Lin recommends treating it sooner rather than laterbefore these brain structural changes take place you can start by talking to your doctor or general practitioner. Or, go directly to a hearing healthcare professional, like an otolaryngologist (ENT doctor), audiologist or hearing aid specialist.To learn more about the different specialists who treating hearing loss, gohere.4. Get to the bottom of your hearing lossYour appointment with a hearing healthcare professional is your chance toget all your questions answeredabout your hearing loss. While not every practice or clinic will do things exactly the same, you should expect some common procedures when you go in for your first visit.Fill out paperwork including intake papers with health history and hearing questionnaire.Complete a hearing evaluation this typically includes a visual inspection of your ears and a hearing test in a sound booth.Review your audiogram the results of your test will be in the form of an audiogram, which is a graph that measures your specific hearing loss.Discuss treatment options and next stepsthis may include a technology demonstration and hearing aid recommendation.5. Ask to try hearing aidsIf hearing loss is confirmed during your appointment, hearing aids will most likely be recommended. Hearing aids are by far the most common way to treat hearing loss. They can help a majority of people who have hearing issues, especially if the hearing aids have been fit by an experienced professional, and programmed and customized to the individuals unique hearing and lifestyle needs.Most states require a 30- to 60-day trial period for hearing aids. And even in states that dont, most hearing professionals will offer it. This is an ideal opportunity to try them for yourself and experience the difference they can make in your everyday life.6. Request ones that are tailored to youHearing aids are not one-size-fits-all. Thats whygetting them in person from a licensed professionalis the way to go. The two of you will work closely to select the right hearing aids for you, which will be based on many factors including your degree of loss, personal style and feature preferences, how active you are, and more.Were admittedly biased, but we recommend you ask to try a pair ofEvolv AI hearing aids, our best-sounding, most advanced hearing aids yet.7. Experience the difference they makeOnce you get your hearing aids, take advantage of the trial period and wear them at home, outside, during work, while watching TV or enjoying leisure activities, and around your friends and loved ones.See and experience for yourself why so manyhearing aid wearers saythat wearing them changed their life and how they wish they had treated their hearing loss much, much sooner.8. Hear better and live better!Then, after the trial period is over, decide for yourself go back to the way it was:or!If hearing loss is making life more challenging or less fun, now is a good time to do something about it.