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Going the Distance: Tips for Working with a Long-Distance Real Estate Agent

Going the Distance: Tips for Working with a Long-Distance Real Estate Agent

The moving season is upon us, which means that many homeowners may be looking at relocating. Whether you are planning a move across town or across the country, you may need to work with a real estate agent in an area that you may not be too familiar with. Certainly, it is important to find an agent that you can trust and who you know will be working with your best interests in mind.

But, if you haven’t moved yet, how can you forge a successful relationship with your real estate agent over a long distance? Just like any other long-distance relationship, there are a few things to keep in mind that will make help to make it work for both parties.

First and foremost, do your research. Just because you are moving to a new area does not mean that you have to go into the move blindly. In this instance, the Internet is very much your friend. Search through sites like local chambers of commerce or community message boards for information about the area. You also can find local crime data and school district information online. And, let’s not forget those ever-powerful social networks, either.

Of course, you can also search for potential real estate agents online, via local realty websites or social media. There, you can likely find client testimonials, which you may find particularly helpful. Local newspapers may be help in your search, too. An agent with a strong presence in the local paper should have a great knowledge of the local area.

Rely on the people you know. If you currently have a great relationship with a real estate agent in your home area, ask them to refer you to an agent in your destination area. Often times, agents may have already established working relationships with other agents and they sometimes will refer their clients to agents who are similar to them, either in personality or in working habits. So, if you love your current real estate agent, ask for their help in finding a new one that they think you may be compatible with.

When you’re making a long-distance move, it is OK to ask your family and friends if they have any contacts near your destination. While you may not be compatible with every person who is suggested, you may find a perfect match or even make a friend or two in the process.

Start asking questions. Once you’ve done some research and received some referrals, it is time to arrange some interviews. Talking with potential agents, either by phone, email or in person, is a great way to gauge whether your personalities will be compatible. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, like “Do you specialize in relocations?” or “How do you plan to scout for properties that will meet my needs and wants?” When you are not familiar with an area, you want to have the utmost trust in the person who is representing you. Make sure you are comfortable with the way they work.

While you’re interviewing potential long-distance agents, it is not only important to ask questions, but it is also important to express your needs and wants. Are you trying to decide whether renting or buying is right for you right now? Have you already received pre-approval on a mortgage? Share that information and make sure potential agents are listening to what you’re asking for. Then, you are more likely to get what you want with an agent you will be happy to work with.

Keep the communication lines open. All of these steps should help you to get comfortable with your long-distance real estate agent, but the communication cannot stop once you say, “you’re hired.” Make sure to constantly communicate with your realtor, no matter what the distance between you is. Whether you prefer to check in via a phone call, email or text message, let your agent know what your priorities are and stay in tune with what they’re doing for you.

Finally, if possible, make a few trips to your final destination during your home search. You will not only be more familiar with the area, but you will likely be more comfortable with your real estate agent as well.

Trust your decision. The bottom line when it comes to working with a long-distance real estate agent is that it is all about trust. Start to establish a great working relationship with a Prudential Preferred Realty agent that you can trust today.