How to Safeguard Seniors in Real Estate Transactions

How to Safeguard Seniors in Real Estate Transactions

  • Liz Kroft
  • 06/15/24

June 15 marks Elder Abuse Awareness Day, a significant date to bring attention to the challenges faced by elders and our collective responsibility to protect and support them. As a realtor deeply embedded in the community, it's crucial to acknowledge and address the issue of elder abuse, particularly as it intersects with real estate and financial security.

Understanding Elder Abuse in Real Estate

Elder abuse can take many forms, including physical, emotional, and financial mistreatment. Financial abuse is especially pertinent in the real estate sector, involving the unauthorized or improper use of an older person's funds, property, or assets. This can include coercion to sell property, fraudulent changes in property titles, or manipulation into unfavorable financial decisions.

How to Protect Seniors in Real Estate Transactions

Stay Informed

Be aware of the common signs of financial exploitation:

  • Sudden changes in property ownership or estate planning documents.
  • Unexplained withdrawals or spending related to real estate.
  • Pressure to sell property or make financial decisions without clear benefit to the elder.

Communicate Openly

Maintain open lines of communication with elderly family members about their real estate holdings and financial matters. Regular check-ins can help detect and prevent potential abuse.

Report Suspicions

If you suspect that an elderly person is being financially exploited, report it to local adult protective services, law enforcement, or financial institutions where they hold accounts.

How Seniors Can Protect Themselves

Stay Connected

Keep in touch with loved ones and remain active in your community to reduce isolation and vulnerability.

Regularly Review Your Finances

Regularly review your financial situation, including real estate holdings. Seek assistance from trusted family members, a financial advisor, or an attorney if needed.

Know Your Rights

Understand your rights and the resources available to you. Legal tools like powers of attorney and wills can provide protection. For more information, refer to resources like Financial Caregiving 101.

Add a Trusted Contact

Designate a trusted contact to provide another layer of protection. This can help safeguard your accounts and ensure that any suspicious activity is promptly addressed.

Seek Professional Advice

Consult with professionals when making significant real estate decisions. Realtors, financial advisors, and attorneys can provide valuable guidance to protect your interests.

Protect Personal Information

Never give out your Social Security, credit card, or bank account numbers over the phone or email, especially in connection with real estate transactions.


As a realtor, it's not just about buying and selling properties; it's about ensuring the safety and security of all clients, especially the elderly. By staying informed, communicating openly, and seeking professional advice, we can help protect our seniors from financial abuse in real estate transactions. Let's work together to create a safe and supportive environment for all.

For more information and resources on elder abuse and protection, visit Elder Abuse Awareness.

Feel free to reach out to discuss any concerns or questions about real estate and elder protection.


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With over nine years of full-time experience and more than $114 million in sales across the greater Bay Area, I work tirelessly to be a well-regarded agent, industry innovator, and ambassador for my clients.

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