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Today’s “Ask the Expert” column features Matt Vernon, the Home Loans Sales Executive for Bank of America.

Q: What are the top three ways to tackle new challenges in preparing baby boomers for the current housing market?

With low inventories of homes for sale and rising mortgage rates, making the decision to purchase a new home is becoming more top-of-mind for Baby Boomers who may be planning to retire or relocate in the near future.

As such, the Baby Boomer segment represents sizable opportunity for real estate professionals, especially given that more than 37.6 million people, or approximately 79.8 percent, aged 55 and over live in owner-occupied homes, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

However, there are new challenges that this segment is likely to face in today’s current housing market regardless of previous experience in the home buying process. In order to successfully ensure that prospective Baby Boomer homebuyers are receiving the guidance and information they need, real estate professionals should consider the following tips when working with Baby Boomers:

Challenge: Obtaining a mortgage may require more steps than before.

Solution: Real estate professionals should encourage clients to schedule a face-to-face meeting with a mortgage loan officer to review the home loan process as things may have changed since the last time they’ve applied for a home loan. This includes conversations on existing home equity, down payment options, and the length of the loan term given the individual’s financial circumstances. A mortgage loan officer will help guide homebuyers through the process and paperwork and ensure that they are not missing crucial steps.