Now that you’ve done your homework and have documented and prioritized your wish list for new home and neighborhood, it’s time to get to work with a local real estate agent. Working together closely can be a challenge when you’re in different states, or even different time zones.
You’ll need to decide how you want to communicate. Are you and email person? Do you prefer phone? Do you have access to a fax machine? How about Skype? All of these tools can be useful in keeping you and your agent on the same page. Just make sure expectations are reasonable and understood.
Know It All!
Your agent should be able to walk you through neighborhoods that meet your needs and are within your budget. Sure you can house hunt online, but rely on a real real estate professional to help you weed out those homes that may look great on a web site but won’t wow you in real life.
Give your agent adequate time to prepare for your arrival. Schedule a visit of at least two days. Your agent should schedule as many showings as possible on day one. Use that time to narrow the results , and on day two, revisit the finalists for a second (and more thorough) look.
What if you’re not sold on any of the properties you see? Ask your agent to include a few rental properties in your search. You may have to move, but you might not be ready to commit to a buying a new home in your new location just yet. Renting for a year gives you the opportunity to get more familiar with the area and relieves that pressure that comes with making a big decision in a small amount of time.