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Helping seniors buy, sell properties

BUSINESS PROFILE: Sean Kiernan, Town & Country Realty

Realtor is a Seniors Real Estate Specialist in Fargo/Moorhead area

By Jillian Kellerman

Sean helped Gail L. sell her home and transition into an independent living community.Contributed photo

Sean Kiernan is a Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) with Town & Country Realty in Fargo, serving Fargo/Moorhead and the surrounding areas. He has helped dozens of seniors sell their homes and transition into independent and assisted living communities.

With a SRES designation, Sean works primarily with seniors and has the additional training to be able to provide options and information specific to seniors, along with additional services and resources to make their transition easier and more manageable.

“The biggest thing about working with seniors is that any kind of change is overwhelming,” Sean said.

Downsizing, moving and relocating to a different location can be a scary and stressful transition, especially for seniors, who have often lived in their home for many years. It’s a big step, Sean said, and often people don’t know where to start or where to go. They have great pride in their home, which can make it difficult to leave.

“They don’t know where to start. Some don’t know what to do. Some don’t know where to go,” Sean said. This uncertainty is why Sean will often go the extra mile to accompany his clients in exploring senior housing options. He assists them in determining their housing options, what they can afford, what works best for them, and how they’re going to move.

There are a vast number of factors that come into play when transitioning into independent living – downsizing or liquidation. Do they take insurance or is it strictly private pay?

Independent living versus assisted living? What is the price? How much care is available if needed?

“What I have found is that there’s a lot of seniors who are moving into places and it’s not where they really want or need to be,” he said. Sean strives to help his clients make a decision that they’re completely comfortable with.

Often, Sean’s first question is to determine if any trusted family members are available to help with the process. Some seniors do not have someone to help, but Sean said, even if they have family members who can help, the family members often don’t know what to do or are out of the area. Sean has the resources, skills, knowledge and compassion to make the transition easier.

Pat A. sold her home and transitioned to an independent living community with the help of Sean. Contributed photo

When it comes to liquidation or downsizing, Sean takes the time to help clients determine what space they may need and what furniture will fit. By listening to their needs and concerns, he can suggest senior-specific resources to assist them.

“It’s just servitude,” he said. “Basically, in a nutshell, it’s whatever they need, I try to help and provide. I don’t charge for additional services I provide. I get paid by listing the home and selling it.”

Sean acknowledges that smaller, rural communities tend to have a larger elderly population that may need help. They’re often having to move off the farm and into bigger cities to have easier accessibility to doctors, grocery, and other care and needs they may have.

“They just don’t have the resources in the small communities, so they need to move to a bigger community,” he said.

Sean has a vision to see more senior housing in smaller communities for people that want to be able to stay in their hometown, where they’ve lived their whole lives.

“They want to stay there,” he said. “We just don’t have enough housing for our seniors.”

Sean has also been known to help seniors stay in their homes longer.

“I’m helping them stay in their home,” Sean said, “by giving them the resource of a home-based caregiver who can come in once or twice a week and maybe do shopping or clean or help wherever they need a little assistance. They don’t want to leave yet. They know it’s going to happen eventually, but they want to stay in their house. I’ll help them do that.”

Sean has lived in the Fargo area over 30 years and has built a list of resources specific to seniors. Not only is he able to connect people with resources including elder law attorneys, estate attorneys, financial advisors, and estate sale representatives, he has resources to help with home repairs, home cleaners, carpet cleaners, window cleaners, even people to help them move.

Gerald K. used the services and resources provided by Sean to transition to an independent living community. Contributed photo

“I have the resources that work with me that are senior driven and has special pricing for my clients,” Sean said. “They take care of the seniors. They’re very compassionate, as I am. They’re patient and they love working with me because I get people organized – everything is labeled, and we know where everything is going.”

Need boxes and tape for packing? He can provide that for you too.

Sean has also started offering events from time-to-time, to include downsizing events. These events are educational in nature and show clients, or potential clients, easier ways to do things or what not to do. An example of one of his recent events was bringing in his physical therapist, Rehab Authority, who demonstrated how to safely lift properly, how to bend properly and, more importantly, if someone doesn’t feel comfortable moving something, not to move it.

Sean works with local area churches and independent living communities for the events he offers for the convenience of his clients and potential clients. If you would like to host Sean at your senior community or church, contact him. He prides himself on the relationships he has built with his resources and his clients. He has a great passion for what he does and goes the extra mile to help make the transition easier.

“I love it. It is my passion to work with seniors,” Sean said. “I want to be known as the listing agent that has the resources to save you time and save you money in a patient and compassionate way. All the things I’ve learned along the way, you can’t go to school for that. It’s invaluable.”

Sean helped Joy D. sell her home and transition into an independent living community. Contributed photo

Sean’s passion for working with seniors began with his very first job working as a Chef/Dietary Manager at a retirement apartment building. He said that began his servitude to seniors, even though, at the time, he didn’t really realize where it all was going. Later, while rehabbing a broken ankle injury that led to a full ankle replacement, Sean would walk his neighborhood and began helping out senior neighbors.

“Hey, I can do this in real estate,” Sean thought at the time. He knew he wanted to do real estate differently, and that is how his SRES designation came about.

When it comes to the pride of North Dakota – buy local, work local, shop local – Town & Country Realty runs under independent, local ownership, and has been since 1967.

To contact Sean, call (701) 960-8965, or email For more information visit His office at Town & Country Realty is located at 2521 South University Drive in Fargo.

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