Stephanie Haley didn’t start out to serve the real estate needs of seniors. She fell into it, and found she liked it — enough to devote her career to senior buyers and sellers.
It’s a special world, as she will tell you. She became a certified Senior Real Estate Specialist to work professionally in that world because, she said, when she started she noted there was a lack of real estate agents who specialized in serving seniors and she saw a growing need.
Haley started her career working for a new homebuilder at Bass Lake. When K. Hovnanian took over The Forecast Group in 2001, she went to work for K. Hovnanian, which was just venturing into northern California and new markets. With the acquisition of The Forecast Group, K. Hovnanian became one of the largest homebuilders in the United States. The company is traded on the New York Stock Exchange.
K. Hovnanian had been active in Southern California with first-time buyers. Haley worked with the company as it constructed K. Hovnanian’s Four Seasons on White Rock Road in El Dorado Hills during 2004-05. Four Seasons is an age-restricted development. The buyer, or at least one partner, must be 55 or older.
Active seniors are generally retired or semi-retired. Their children have left home. They want a nice home that functions for them without a lot of upkeep. Often, they want a location that is near to their children and grandchildren.
Haley was active in selling the new homes in Four Seasons until all 460 were sold. Selling to many of the original owners brought her into the world of senior real estate.
Haley worked with K. Hovnanian for 10 years. Three years ago she joined Re/Max Gold in El Dorado Hills Town Center. She said she finds the best type of living for her client’s circumstances, whether it is the active lifestyle of Four Seasons or an assisted living arrangement.
Serving seniors “is so much more than real estate. It’s more involved,” according to Haley. The transaction often involves their adult children, so it’s a family matter. If they are moving out of a family home where they lived in for many years, it can be a difficult change. “I will hold my clients’ hands from the time they move out of their former homes and sit with them as they sign their papers to answer any questions they have at the end,” she said. “As professionals, we have to understand our clients’ feelings and thoughts. I’m comfortable with their situations and have a lot of empathy.”
Haley said she finds that her healthy senior clients like to travel. When they are looking for a home to suit their new status, many are attracted to the type of “resort at home” living that Four Seasons offers, with the clubhouse as the social hub, the community garden, tennis courts, fitness center and library. No more lawn mowers or clippers. Landscape work is done through the homeowners’ association.
Many of her clients are also retired professionals. Haley estimates 35-40 percent continue working as consultants or independent contractors.
She said recently she worked with a relocation company in Georgia to help find housing for corporate employees moving to the area.
Not all senior clients are active when they contact Haley. And some who were active find that they need more care and have changing residential requirements. Haley knows all the types of housing in El Dorado County appropriate for seniors at different stages in their lives, and the services that are available.
Although she works as a “one-woman team,” Haley interacts with other agents and her clients’ estate attorneys, elder attorneys, tax accountants and movers. She has found a local lender to help clients with small loans and a title company officer who specializes in service to seniors. “I have built trusting relationships with my clients and the professionals I work with,” said Haley.
Stephanie Haley’s office is at Re/Max Gold, 4359 Town Center Blvd., Suite 311, El Dorado Hills. Contact her through her Website at stephanie.haley.remaxagent.com or call 916-990-5057.