If you’ve ever had to relocate in a hurry so that you could take a job in another state, you know that out-of-state home shopping can be a real headache.
Besides the challenges of figuring out the pros and cons of specific neighborhoods, you also wind up missing out on hot deals while you rush across the country to look at homes that have been recently added to the market.
Remote home shoppers are also faced with the daunting task of finding a realtor they trust to do the groundwork for them so that their actual trips to the new location are as efficient as possible. This can be especially challenging in hot real estate markets where most realtors have all the business they can handle and aren’t interested in high-maintenance, out-of-state clients.
While there’s really no easy way to shop for real estate that’s located on the other side of the country, there are a few steps that anyone who has access to a computer and internet connection.
Do Your Homework
As soon as you know where you’re heading, you need to get on your computer and become an expert in that area. This means going deep into real estate listings, neighborhood forums and even crime reports and police blotters.
While this is definitely a time consuming process, it’s going to pay off big when you start looking at actual real estate listings and can quickly dismiss houses that seem like good deals, but are actually located in questionable neighborhoods.
We also suggest getting on social media and soliciting home listings from friends and family, even if they don’t live in the part of the country where you’re heading. Social networks have plenty of reach and a friend of a friend could wind up connecting you with a great deal
Get Some Eyes on the Ground
One of the biggest assets you’ll have in your out-of-state home search is a well-qualified real estate agent who can act as your reconnaissance crew. The right realtor will probably have you look at homes for sale listings online and will eyeball select properties to make sure they are worth a trip out to see.
We do, however suggest that you choose your realtor wisely. So many realtors these days specialize in very narrow market segments so that finding someone who specializes in finding new homes in Daybreak, Utah or historic homes in Savannah, Georgia isn’t much of a stretch.
There’s also nothing wrong with interviewing multiple realtors before making your final decision. The last thing you want to do is spend a few weeks or months in a troubled relationship with a realtor who doesn’t return your calls and clearly places out-of-state clients at the bottom of his or her priority list. Getting past the problem can be as simple as asking, “Do you work with many remote clients?”
Finding the home of your dreams is not a stretch of the imagination, even if that home is perched on a hilltop thousands of miles from where you’re sitting right now. So long as you do your homework and connect with the right realtor, you’ll be just fine.