Relocating—So Very Hard to Do!
Sometimes we forget how much we know about where we live. If we decide to “move up” to a better house, we already know what neighborhoods we like and why. We have visited friends in many different areas; we love a certain elementary school; we have to be close to the bike trail . . . the list goes on. But what if you are moving here from another state or country? How hard is that? It can be really, really hard.
Where do you even start? Most start on-line and look for homes that are for sale. Those photos of that new house with the huge yard are appealing. That looks like a good neighborhood to live in. But what if it isn’t? What if the schools do not have a good reputation or the shopping there is non-existent or you cannot find parking at the train station? Those things matter. So what else can you do? Well, some relocators have a company program that sets them up with an agent whose job is presumably to help the family find the best match for them in the selection of a home and an area.
Some of the issues with that approach are:
• Many relocation companies hired by large employers to assist their relocating employees exact a huge portion of the agent’s commission as a payment for the referral. So much that the good agents do not want to take on relocating homebuyers. Or if they do, they cannot afford to give them the kind of time and attention they deserve.
• Most agents have their own listings or work for companies that have listings of homes for sale and they will naturally want to highlight those homes first. Perhaps even if they are not a good “fit” for the relocating employee.
• Relocating agents are focused first on finding the home and often must do it quickly. This is not conducive to finding the RIGHT home.
• Some relocating folks have only one visit to a new area in which to find a home. They may not have the time to learn all the nuances of the various neighborhoods or have an agent who takes the time to explain them.
• Some agents specialize in certain neighborhoods or certain price ranges and really are not geared toward in what the relocating family wants or needs.
That is why exclusive buyer’s agents are the perfect choice for relocating families. They have knowledge of a broad range of areas and types of homes, with no listings to push. They are well versed in the well built homes in the good neighborhoods, because they are used to finding those “good ones” for their clients. But even more important, they will take the time to educate their clients on the community amenities and benefits that are most important to that family. Maybe the father wants to be able to get home from work by a certain hour to coach a sports team. The agent will know which express trains he can take from which stations and where there is good parking. Or perhaps a child has a medical issue that can be tended to at the premiere medical center in the suburbs. The family would like to know that. Or a family of academics might love to live near one of the small, prestigious colleges in the area. An exclusive buyer’s agent should know where the good homes are that are close by.
• Relocating employees have a right to the very best representation in a real estate agent. Ask for an exclusive buyer’s agent. If you are assigned someone and they are not doing a good job, demand another agent.
• Agree to accept fewer “perks” in exchange for a good agent who does not have to give up a huge chunk of commission. You will easily save the difference in getting a better overall deal. Remember, buyer’s agents do not cost the buyer anything extra in almost all cases. Their commisison is already built into the price.
• Spend time early on learning about the communities that are options for you. Ask about median income, educational levels, average age of the homes, lot sizes, schools, cultural opportunities, restaurants, and quality of retail and other shops. Most people like to live around people that enjoy the same things they do.
• If you are feeling rushed, rent for a short term while your agent educates you on the area.
To avoid these issues and others when buying a home, use the services of an experienced, trustworthy exclusive buyer’s agent. Sage Realty is one of the ONLY exclusive agencies in the Philadelphia metropolitan area. Even if you are buying in another market, ask us to refer you to the best EBA in that area. If you are a first-time home buyer, your fears will be eliminated. And if you have bought a home before, you will have a completely different experience. Contact Sage today.