How to choose a REALTOR® when you are out of State

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-need-help-deciding-many-doors-words-choices-coming-out-open-door-to-represent-opportunities-needing-assistance-image31479294When you are ready to buy or sell a home in your hometown, you probably already know a few REALTORS®. You may have worked with a REALTOR® once or twice in your past or perhaps you know someone in your circle of friends, neighborhood or church that you think highly of.

No matter where you decide to relocate, there are scores of REALTORS® to choose from, and finding a competent and reliable REALTOR® really comes down to using your best judgment and examining their facts. But how do you choose a one when you live in another state and you’re looking to move to a place where you know no one? Let me count the ways:

1. Search out a REALTOR®

Not every real estate professional is a REALTOR®. This is a designation that identifies the agent as a member of NAR® and someone who subscribes to NAR’s Code of Ethics. Make sure he/she belongs to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), a cooperative information network for REALTORS®. Using a REALTOR® who belongs to an MLS gives you access to the greatest number of homes.

Not every REALTOR® works full time. This may or may not be an issue for you, but you should have this information available.

2. Check Social Media Links

LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+ are great resources. I have found lately that more and more prospective clients are looking me up on LinkedIn. When my Stepson asked for my help preparing his resume, I recommended that first, we create a Profile on LinkedIn, then it created his resume. Professionals of all ages are finding social media is a great way to get to know people with whom you might do business.

3. Look for Credentials

The alphabet soup after our names. If you find me you may see

Kathy Sperl-Bell, Broker, REALTOR®, ABR,  SRES

ABR (Accredited Buyer Representative) and SRES (Senior Real Estate Specialist) are designations that represent education and programs that are important to me and to the clients I work with. That leads to specialization.

4. Check for Specialization®

It is not possible to be an expert in all aspects of the real estate business. Commercial real estate is very different than residential real estate. Working with first-time homebuyers is quite different than being an expert in short sales and foreclosures. In our case, we have elected to specialize in working with what I define as “Boomers and Beyond”. These are people making big decisions about how and where they want to live for this next phase of life. This may be the very first time that a decision on where to live is not based on a job or a school district and it can be a very big deal.

5. Visit their Website

A good real estate website should be more than just a list of homes for sale. You can find all homes for sale in a given area on almost any agent’s website. What other information can you find that can help you become familiar with the area and begin to understand what it might be like to live in a particular town or neighborhood? Is the website up to date with useful information and links?

6. Read their Blog

What is a blog? A blog is a discussion or informational site published on the World Wide Web and consisting of discrete entries (“posts”) typically displayed in reverse chronological order (the most recent post appears first). A good real estate blog is not meant to advertise listings even though that is how blogs are often used. We post information pertaining to the market, the towns, the neighborhoods, a state’s tax facts etc. that will help educate our blog’s readers.

There are as many different kinds of REALTORS® as there are people. Find one that shares your values and with whom you can establish a good working relationship.

7. Ask Questions

It’s not unusual to have questions. We recommend that you prepare yourself by educating yourself and asking questions. This will ensure you are a knowledgeable home buyer prepared to make a confident home buying decision. CLICK HERE to read our Buyer’s most Frequently Asked Questions. If you don’t see the answer, email us.

Read what our clients say. We’re on Facebook and Google+. Watch us on YouTube, too. Click the link to meet our Team. Knowing what we know, it is our goal to share what we know and ensure that your decision to move here is a pleasurable one.

Ready to get moving? Sign up for our FREE Publications, order your FREE Buyers Guide. Ready to be LOCAL? Call 302-424-1890, or email us, let’s get started today!