Nightly News | May 03, 2012
>>> of the spectrum, older americans have been especially hard hit, particularly by the collapse of the real estate market . that's because so many retires are relying on the sale of that house to then be able to go buy apartments and retirement communities . now those communities are coming up with creative ways to kick start the process. nbc's john yang tonight has our continuing series, the road to retirement.
>> i haven't seen the hawks lately.
>> al and lee rose decided to move into a retirement community .
>> we couldn't sell our house . we had it for sale for two and a half years. we kept dropping the price, dropping the price, dropping the price, and we were frustrated.
>> and the community where they reserved an apartment wasn't getting paid, so their let them move in and took over the sale themself, paying to fix up the house . it was gone in two months.
>> we moved out, handed them the key, and let them handle it from there.
>> the exchange program is in three phoenix communities in 2010 , 14 new residents have used it.
>> we guarantee within 90 days of them moving in, we will either have sold the house or we'll buy the house .
>> if it sells for more, the extra goes to the owners. if it sells for less, sun health takes the loss. not all retirement communities want to be in the real estate business, but they want to do whatever they can to help potential residents close the deal.
>> there's too much junk in here.
>> jerry and sherry are getting ready to sell their house and move into a neighbor retirement center .
>> part of us wants to get rid of everything, and the other thing wants to keep everything. this chair needs to go.
>> they're getting help from a professional to make it more appealing to potential buyers.
>> we can help them stage their house so it's not only going to sell quickly, but it's going to sell for the maximum price .
>> things have really changed a lot.
>> cindy murphy has helped clear out the cluttered basement and do a little redecorating.
>> it will very definitely help move the house .
>> so they can move on as well. john yang , nbc news, phoenix.