The best-case scenario when searching for a home is to do so in person. Unfortunately, the timing may not work out that way for some home buyers. If you have no choice but to search for a home from a distant location, you are in luck. There have never been more options for those buyers, thanks to the internet and the use of virtual and digital support services. To get some tips on carrying out a home search from a distance, read on.
Locate an Agent Who is All In
It's vital that you work with an agent who is ready to go the extra mile for you if you want to limit your trips to the new location. Most agents are ready and willing to accommodate buyers but you might want to emphasize areas of need in this case. Those who are aces at communication can help you navigate the process far easier since you will be depending on phone calls, texts, and emails far more than in person. Not being able to contact an agent is a situation that should be avoided at all costs. Additionally, agents who are willing to work with sellers to arrange a walk-through on short notice and when time is tight are valuable.
Let Your Mouse Do the Walking
Even buyers that are looking for properties down the street will likely peruse the multiple listing services (MLS) and real estate web sites before they make contact. Online listings will become that much more important to those that are not able to drive around their target neighborhood every once in a while. Looking at listings is only part of what long-distance buyers can do online, however. Consider the following research options to help you find the home that fits your needs:
- Google Street View – Do a virtual drive down the street to view any address you desire. You can observe your new potential neighbor's homes, the distance to the local park, and more. Using the satellite view allows you to see where property boundaries are, how close to shopping you might be, and what lies behind the property.
- Great Schools – School quality is one of the most important parameters home buyers use to narrow down choices. Even people that have no school-age children should be interested in school quality since it can affect resale value when they get ready to place their home on the market in the future.
Let Your Agent Do the Walking
With most smartphones come the ability to record video. Ask your agent to do a walk-through of homes you are interested in seeing. When done live, it enables buyers to ask questions and focus in on details. Buyers are then left with some permanent recordings of homes when it's time to compare them.
Speak to a real estate agency, such as Long & Foster REALTORS®, to learn more.