When you’re moving to another state, your first line of business should be to find a real estate agent. He or she will be in your corner as you look at houses, make offers, sign contracts and inspect homes, so it requires careful thought. Since you’re looking for a real estate agent in another state, you might have some difficulty finding the right one, so here are a few valuable tips.
Before you can find a real estate agent in another state, you must first know the area in which you plan to be searching. In Houston, for example, a real estate agent who specializes in the Katy area might be lost in Cypress or Pasadena; location is key. Your real estate agent is far more valuable to you if he or she specializes in the area where you will be looking.
Consequently, you need to familiarize yourself with the various neighborhoods in the state where you are moving. Find out the demographics of each area, the median housing prices, the crime rates, the school district ratings and anything else that might help you nail down a great place to live.
Some real estate agents are worth their weight in gold, while others would be better off with a career change. Unfortunately, you won’t know if you’ve found a great Realtor in another state until they’ve actually done their job. If you want to avoid the guessing games, get a referral.
For example, if you’re moving because of a new job opportunity in another state, contact your superiors or future coworkers. Ask if they can recommend a real estate agent, or even just an agency, where you might find good service.
Schedule a Trip
Even if you trust your real estate agent implicitly, it is never a good idea to purchase a home sight-unseen. To avoid any surprises, schedule a trip—at least three or four days—to look at houses with your Realtor and to discuss the finer points of moving. You can use this time to familiarize yourself with the area, scout out supermarkets and restaurants, and meet with your future employers if you’re moving for a job.
Many home owners have experienced “buyer’s remorse” when they move to another state and purchase a home on the fly. If you’re concerned about not knowing the area, consider renting for 3-6 months when you move. This gives you an opportunity to sell your current home and get to know the local neighborhoods.