Author Topic: How do you find a decent buyer's agent in a new (ER) city?  (Read 1883 times)

Trudie

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How do you find a decent buyer's agent in a new (ER) city?
« on: August 31, 2016, 08:31:04 AM »
We plan to relocate in five years when we FIRE, to a location that's 4-5 hours (minimum) away.  Since we won't be walking into a job situation we won't have readily available recommendations for a buyer's real estate agent.  How would you recommend getting the lowdown and finding an agent that's halfway decent?

When we've moved we've always had recommendations.  And we've built the only two houses we've ever owned.

Choices

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Re: How do you find a decent buyer's agent in a new (ER) city?
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2016, 07:27:13 PM »
Do you have or know of an agent you like where you live now? He/she might be able to give you a recommendation.

If you're a Dave Ramsey fan you can look at his site for ELPs.

You could also post the name of your city in the thread title and see if anyone here has a recommendation.

chasesfish

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Re: How do you find a decent buyer's agent in a new (ER) city?
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2016, 07:57:13 PM »
I've found you can google the local area association of realtors and figure out who's done the most business.  90% of the agents sell almost no real estate, but can advertise the heck out of themselves.  You may be able to google or lookup their awards ceremony.

Goldielocks

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Re: How do you find a decent buyer's agent in a new (ER) city?
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2016, 04:22:58 AM »
I've found you can google the local area association of realtors and figure out who's done the most business.  90% of the agents sell almost no real estate, but can advertise the heck out of themselves.  You may be able to google or lookup their awards ceremony.

Agreed.  Go for high producers, as long as you don't get handed off to a junior person.. unless you are ok with that.  You want someone who is used to putting in the hours / working hard.

Plus -- someone with several years history in an area  (several years of awards in neigborhood).   Just ask.

 The best realtor we ever had made it a point over her 14 year career to visit every buyers open house, to always know what the homes were like.  By the time we used her, I think she had personally been in half the homes in the neighborhoods we wanted to see.  She would know which had been renovated before sale, and alternate interior layouts or lot problems in all the comparables, without needing to look anything up.  She even had reference home plans gathered over the years, on the 50's through current homes (builder plans)

She never took us to properties on busy street / backing onto noisy rear highways, as she already knew that they were problems for our stated needs (family, peace and quiet, not investors, etc),  This was all because she had put in a lot of hours in a single region, over a long career history.

Little Aussie Battler

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Re: How do you find a decent buyer's agent in a new (ER) city?
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2016, 04:34:05 AM »
Could you rent for the first 12 months?

chasesfish

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Re: How do you find a decent buyer's agent in a new (ER) city?
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2016, 05:35:01 AM »
I forgot to mention renting first.  I absolutely hated moving twice and dealing with a landlord recently, but was thrilled with the results when it came time to buy. 

This may not work if you're buying for retirement and want to get a mortgage, you probably have to buy as a 2nd home and then quit your job after closing.

Trudie

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Re: How do you find a decent buyer's agent in a new (ER) city?
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2016, 08:37:07 AM »
I've found you can google the local area association of realtors and figure out who's done the most business.  90% of the agents sell almost no real estate, but can advertise the heck out of themselves.  You may be able to google or lookup their awards ceremony.

Agreed.  Go for high producers, as long as you don't get handed off to a junior person.. unless you are ok with that.  You want someone who is used to putting in the hours / working hard.

Plus -- someone with several years history in an area  (several years of awards in neigborhood).   Just ask.

 The best realtor we ever had made it a point over her 14 year career to visit every buyers open house, to always know what the homes were like.  By the time we used her, I think she had personally been in half the homes in the neighborhoods we wanted to see.  She would know which had been renovated before sale, and alternate interior layouts or lot problems in all the comparables, without needing to look anything up.  She even had reference home plans gathered over the years, on the 50's through current homes (builder plans)

She never took us to properties on busy street / backing onto noisy rear highways, as she already knew that they were problems for our stated needs (family, peace and quiet, not investors, etc),  This was all because she had put in a lot of hours in a single region, over a long career history.

Thanks for this -- very helpful advice.  I would want someone who has a lot of history with the area and understands what the neighborhoods are like.

Trudie

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Re: How do you find a decent buyer's agent in a new (ER) city?
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2016, 08:45:04 AM »
I forgot to mention renting first.  I absolutely hated moving twice and dealing with a landlord recently, but was thrilled with the results when it came time to buy. 

This may not work if you're buying for retirement and want to get a mortgage, you probably have to buy as a 2nd home and then quit your job after closing.

Renting first is on my radar, even though I'm not crazy about having to move stuff twice.  One of the relocation options we're looking at right now is about 4 1/2 hours from our current place.  I've considered having a transitional year where we retire in our current home, keep paying the mortgage, and make frequent visits to our desired location.  At least for now there are decent VRBO rentals to be had for like $50/night.  I would strive to spend time there in good months and bad and to try to live like the locals to make sure we really like it before we put our house on the market.  On the other hand, it would be helpful and maybe even necessary to have the home equity in the bank while we're looking.  We intend to pay cash and be done with it.  I'm  not sure how people handle these logistics.