As a real estate agent, you may already know that your clients often possess specific desires. Additionally, many clients will also have particular requirements. Individuals living with disabilities often require homes that meet their special needs. Even if you have real estate training under your belt, you may benefit from developing a better understanding of these needs.
Understand the Fair Housing Act
According to the CDC, an estimated 22 percent of Americans live with some sort of disability. These disabilities may be related to vision, hearing, mobility, cognition, and other matters linked with serious physical and mental health disorders. Many people need some extra assistance contending with issues related to independent living and self-care.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in the housing industry based on factors that include disabilities. As a real estate agent, you must understand the regulations in place to ensure that you do not discriminate against an individual with a disability who is shopping for a home. Extra real estate training can help refresh you on this topic.
Know Which Terms May Be Loaded
Clients with disabilities extend beyond baby boomers, and client requests regarding disabilities have increased approximately 20 percent according to some real estate agents. For this reason, you may need to brush up on the lingo real estate agents are using. Some terms may have different meanings when you are talking to somebody with disabilities. For instance, saying that a home is “a short walk to” a local mall does not mean the same thing to an individual who has a mobility limitation.
Refer Clients to Available Resources
Different resources are available to individuals with disabilities buying homes. You can provide your clients with excellent service by referring them to the different programs available, including the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Veterans Affairs’ Special Housing department.
Being able to refer your clients to local contractors is another valuable service you can provide. Clients may require modifications to a home, and your relationships with the right contractors may help them understand how much renovations and rebuilds are going to cost them.
Ask Clients about their Needs
Some clients have severe restrictions whereas others require just a few changes to a home. You are wise to ask your clients about any potential restrictions rather than make assumptions.
Common special needs for clients with disabilities may include proximity to public transportation or a large parking space. Some clients may require that an entire kitchen is modified so that the counters sit lower, for example. Sit down with your clients to develop a plan of action for looking at homes that meet their needs.
Continue Educating Yourself
With the help of real estate training, you can better understand the needs of your clients. Not only must you appeal to clients in need of your skills and resources, but you must also follow through with your promises. Education can help you do just that. Start your training today!