Out-of-State Real Estate: How to Choose the Right Agent
If you’re starting an out-of-state real estate search, finding the right real estate agent can be tricky. Here are a few tips to help you make the right choice when dealing with an agent and a market that you’re unfamiliar with.
If you’re purchasing a second home or relocating to Key Largo from far away, choosing a reliable out-of-state real estate agent can seem like a daunting task. You should always take plenty of time to choose the right agent, and that involves speaking with a few before you make your decision.
Whether you have a big list of agents to choose from or if you haven’t started at all, here are a few tips for choosing the right person for the job.
Ask for referrals from family, friends, and past real estate agents. If you know anyone in the area that you’re moving to, you can start your search by asking them for recommendations. If you still have a connection with a past real estate agent, you can ask them if they know anyone in the area who they think would work well with you. If neither of those are viable options, you can always look online for reviews, and create your starter list based on the feedback you see.
Check and compare the social media and web presence of your potential agents. While having an active online presence isn’t necessarily a deal breaker (or maker), it’ll give you an idea of how tech-savvy your potential real estate agent is. Handling business when one party is out-of-town means that you’ll need to rely on someone with a good understanding of computers and technology. You can also get a good feel for the personality of the agent through their social media posts. You should try to find an agent that you feel you would get along with on a personal level, as you’ll grow very close during your home search.
Ask all potential agents about their real estate experience and how familiar they are with the area. You want to work with an agent who will know where to look for a home for you based solely on phone conversations and emails, so don’t be shy about asking them to go into detail about their familiarity with the area.
Find an agent who prefers to communicate the same way that you do. If you’d rather call than text, having an agent who is seemingly unreachable by phone is going to make this an extremely frustrating process. During the interview phase, ask all of your candidates how they typically communicate with their clients, and make sure that you could handle important business the same way.
Compare availability between all potential agents. Knowing how much time an agent can devote to your home search will give you an idea of how long you can expect the search to take. If you’re working with a part-time agent, they might not be able to devote as much time to you as you may need if you’re trying to find a property quickly, but if you’re not in a time crunch, that might not be a problem.
Do thorough research on all agents. Don’t just take what they say at face value. Look for online reviews for all potential agents to see how past clients have felt about their services, and see if any of those clients were also relocating. See if there’s anything online that they’ve written about the community or posts that show that they really do know their market. Since you’ll be doing an out-of-state real estate search, you can also use what you find to learn more about the area.
It might take a little time and trial and error, but the right real estate agent will be willing to work with you to help you find the perfect property no matter the distance.
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