Home Selling Program Helps Seniors Transition Stress-Free
An article featured in the Union Tribune on 3/10/19
Chuck and Helena Tillotson knew the time had come to find a smaller property. Their home in Fallbrook, where they had lived for 20 years, was on several acres of land. At one time, it included a dozen avocado trees, but the couple had to let them die off, Chuck said, because they could no longer afford the steep water bills. Chuck, in his mid-80s, and Helena, in her mid-70s, knew the upkeep of the land was getting to be too much; they decided to look into moving to an age 55-plus community in Menifee, in Riverside County.
The big problem was how to sell their property. The Tillotsons had received some unsolicited inquiries about their home, but those seemed like bad deals. Then they came across an article about the Senior Home Purchase Program (SHPP) and decided to call. SHPP is a real estate investment company run by the brother-and-sister team of Rob Perkins and Corinne Ross. The two started the company in 2015 after seeing how stressful it was for their grandparents to move out of their longtime home. The idea is to make the selling process as simple, straightforward and transparent as possible, without open houses, escrows, commissions, closing costs or repairs. The company, which specializes in working with seniors in transition, arranges a home visit after an initial phone conversation. The in-home meeting includes an inspection of the property. Within seven days, the team comes back with an offer for SHPP to purchase the home in its current condition, which includes anything the client wishes to leave behind. Everything is put in writing. When the offer is presented, it comes with a complimentary custom home valuation and a net proceeds comparison between the SHPP offer and a traditional sale. If the offer is accepted, SHPP will pay for a third-party independent appraisal of the home. If the appraisal is higher than SHPP’s valuation, the seller can cancel the contract at no cost.
“We make the process of selling your home as simple as possible,” Perkins said. “People find a lot of value in that.” That simplicity is what attracted Wayne and Judith Bellman. The couple, both 67, are now moving from their home in Serra Mesa to a 55- plus community in Rancho Bernardo. The retired couple had wanted to make the move for quite a while, but the thought of staging and selling the house made them put it off. Then they discovered SHPP and realized that all their anxieties relating to the sale of their home could be resolved. “I can’t stress enough the ease of the process. It wasn’t something we jumped into blindly,” said Wayne Bellman, who got three other estimates and called previous clients for references. “It was worth it.” Chuck Tillotson put it this way: “Corinne and Rob came along, and it was like God was talking to us. The whole program was like a dream.”
The company came to the aid of Pam Dougherty, who wanted her 79-year-old mother to move in with her after her mother’s husband died in July. Her mom lived in Spring Valley, and Dougherty in Menifee. Her mother, who can’t walk unaided and is on oxygen, was resistant to leaving her home of 30 years. “It was an emotional attachment,” Dougherty said. “(SHPP) immediately made my mom feel comfortable and relaxed. She related to them and trusted them. It was such a relief. Honestly, I don’t know what I would have done without them.” Dougherty got her mother moved 20 days after calling SHPP. The speed and convenience combined with the fair offer made the move possible. “We felt like we had a couple of our children assisting us. We felt like they were family,” Tillotson said of Perkins and Ross. “They stick to their word. They are very businesslike but very understanding of older people’s problems and want to help.”