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Realogy Holdings Corp. announced AARP® Real Estate Benefits from Realogy, the first-ever real estate benefits program designed for the nearly 38 million AARP members, is now live. The new offering allows AARP members to receive $300 to $5,500 when buying or selling a home with a participating agent affiliated with one of Realogy’s trusted residential real estate brands, including Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate, Century 21®, Coldwell Banker®, Corcoran® and ERA®.

AARP® Real Estate Benefits from Realogy was created to assist Americans age 50 and older—one of the largest groups of recent homebuyers and sellers. The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) 2019 Generational Trends Survey reported that nearly one-third of recent homebuyers are baby boomers, with their home purchases primarily motivated by retirement, the desire for a smaller home or a need to be closer to friends and family.

“Realogy is committed to delivering high-quality real estate services to our consumers during these difficult times,” said Katrina Helmkamp, president and CEO of Realogy Leads Team and Cartus. “The AARP Real Estate Benefits from Realogy program, paired with technology used for virtual home showings, is empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how and where they live, but also allowing us to serve them with our expertise even in times of uncertainty.”

“For many older Americans, relocating to a new home is part of a major life stage transition, such as retiring, downsizing or changing jobs,” said John Larew, AARP Services president and CEO. “The real estate program from Realogy is designed to help AARP members successfully navigate an important milestone in their lives while saving money in the process. It is part of AARP’s commitment to empowering people to choose how they live as they age.”

To support the launch of the programRealogy commissioned a consumer survey in May among 1,106 American adults, examining opinions of the general American population as well as those specific to Americans ages 50 and older. The survey examined the changing home-buying attitudes of Americans in the wake of COVID-19.

As work, play and education turn to virtual means, the survey findings indicate increasing comfort with virtual tours and home inspections, including among Americans age 50 and older, along with a shift in American aspirations toward suburban living.

According to the survey, 82 percent of Americans 50 and older say that receiving an average of $1,250 through a real estate cash benefits program would be at least somewhat meaningful. Americans 50 and older are more likely than Americans under 50 to say if they were to receive $1,250, the money would be put into an emergency savings fund (29 percent vs 22 percent). Additional findings from the consumer survey reveal a generational divide between those under the age of 50 and those 50-plus. Older Americans prioritize different things in the home, indicate different moving location preferences and have different plans for how they would use additional monetary funds.

Consumer Survey Highlights—Home-Buying and Selling During COVID-19
Virtual Tours and Inspections May Ease Home-Buying Decision Making

– Over half (59 percent) of Americans say they would be comfortable putting their home on the market for sale virtually, and more than a quarter (27 percent) of the 50-plus generation are comfortable buying a home having seen it only virtually and not in person.

– Among Americans who are uncomfortable, or only somewhat comfortable, buying a home virtually, a majority say virtual tours of the home (59 percent), virtual home inspections (51 percent) and detailed neighborhood information and high-quality photos (46 percent) would ease their decision to buy a home virtually.

Americans 50-Plus Prioritize the Home Differently Amidst COVID-19

– Comfort and Convenience Reign Supreme: 
Americans 50-plus are more likely than Americans under 50 to say top priority features include: laundry in the home (69 percent vs. 52 percent), a patio/deck (56 percent vs. 39 percent), accessibility and convenience (46 percent vs. 25 percent) and an open layout (48 percent vs. 36 percent). Most Americans of all ages say a yard or access to outdoor space is a priority.

– Sticking to TP: 
Only 9 percent of Americans 50-plus say a bidet in the bathroom would be a priority.

Dreams of Urban Living Shift to the Suburbs

– Among those who currently live in an urban area, nearly 40 percent are thinking about moving to a suburban or rural area in the future due to COVID-19.

– Sixty-seven percent of Americans ages 50-plus say they plan to stay in the same type of area they live in now compared to 44 percent of Americans under the age of 50.

– Americans ages 50-plus are more likely than Americans under the age of 50 to say, based on living through COVID-19, the most ideal place to live when looking to move is a ranch or single floor home (48 percent vs 28 percent).

Retirement Still in the Cards?

– Only 8 percent say that the coronavirus has caused them to move back their retirement date, while 3 percent say they plan to retire early. Over one-third (34 percent) of those surveyed say they have no current plans to retire.

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