The thought of house hunting and buying a home remotely may seem impossible, but it’s common in vacation home markets, and now, with the recent stay at home orders and travel restrictions, it’s become a necessity for many home buyers. The key is not to go it alone.
When buying a home in an unfamiliar place, you absolutely need an experienced real estate agent. Sure you might find a great place for a great price on a website, but what you may not be able to see online is that the house needs a lot of work, or it’s located on a busy street.
Without an experienced, trustworthy real estate agent to be your eyes and ears on the ground, you could end up making a very costly mistake. Here are some things to look for when choosing a real estate agent for a long-distance house hunt.
This is not the time to sign with an agent who is just starting out because they are a relative or friend. You need a seasoned agent, preferably one who has experience working with long distance buyers. This type of transaction requires a unique kind of customer service, and, without it, you’re likely to feel disconnected.
Your agent should also specialize in the area you are interested in, and be able to offer an in-depth understanding of the local housing market. Things such as average per square foot cost of similar homes, median sale prices, and average days on the market are important stats to have when house hunting in a market that’s not your own.
With the technology available today, it’s absolutely possible to buy a home remotely, but it’s imperative that you work with a real estate agent who knows how to use the tools of the trade. From emailing and texting photos to FaceTime video tours and e-signing, a long-distance real estate agent should be comfortable with the technology required for every step of the process.
When you can’t physically be in the location where you are buying, an open line of communication between you and your real estate agent is a must. Whether you prefer email, text, phone or video, your real estate agent should be easy to get ahold of, and willing to use the communication method that you prefer.
How to Find a Remote Real Estate Agent
Now that you know what to look for, here’s where to look.
Ask for Referrals
Real estate agents often have working relationships with agents in other parts of the country. If you have a local real estate agent you trust, find out if he or she can recommend someone in your destination area. Ideally, someone who is similar in personality or working habits.
If referrals aren’t an option, a simple Google search for “lake George real estate agents” will yield plenty of results. Just make sure to read online reviews and client testimonials, and conduct your own interviews by phone or video before signing with a real estate agent.
Lake George Long-Distance House Hunting Made Easy
When house hunting and buying a home remotely, you need to have the utmost trust in the real estate agent you choose. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, including, “Have you worked with long-distance buyers before?” and “How do you plan to look for and communicate with me about homes that meet my needs and wants?”
If you are relocating your family to the Southern Adirondacks, or you have your heart set on a vacation home in Lake George or Bolton Landing, I’d love to help with your long distance house hunt. I have helped dozens of buyers from down state, as well as out-of-state, find their vacation properties and forever homes in the Southern Adirondacks. Please contact me online or give me a call at (518) 321-1870.
For more long-distance house hunting tips, check out How to Buy a Home Remotely.