Fountain Hills draws new residents from all over the country and even the world. Many are escaping colder climates in the winter, while others may be pursuing job opportunities or fleeing higher-cost housing markets. Whatever your reason for moving to Phoenix/Fountain Hills area, coordinating a move from a distance is no picnic.
Here are some tips for a smooth move.
Don’t Go It Alone
In the age of online home searching, it can be tempting to try to do everything yourself. You will save yourself so many headaches if you find a good Realtor® to assist you.
Why, you might ask? Well, consider:
- A local agent is going to be familiar with the neighborhoods, amenities, price ranges, commuting concerns, and other factors that may be more difficult for you to assess from afar.
- A local agent will get to know you and your needs, and help you narrow down the field of potential homes, so that you aren’t wading through hundreds of options that just don’t fit the bill.
- A local agent represents YOUR interests – from negotiating with sellers to dealing with paperwork and ensuring all deadlines are met.
- A local agent often has access to listings that are not yet public, giving you an advantage.
- A local agent costs you NOTHING! The agent’s fee is paid out of the seller’s proceeds, so there is no cost to you for this service.
- Buyers who use a local agent are more likely to pay less for their homes.
Having someone in your corner during this process can really help you navigate the home purchase process.
Finding a Realtor® from Afar
In many cases, if you are just moving across town, you may ask friends and family for referrals. Many buyers agents get their business through word-of-mouth. However, when you are moving to an unfamiliar area, you may not have the option of soliciting referrals. So how do you find a good ]advocate to help you through this journey? There are numerous options!
- If you have a local agent whom you’ve worked with in the past, ask him/her if they have any network contacts in the area you are moving to.
- Use online resources, such as Yelp!, Zillow, or Realtor.com to see reviews and testimonials for agents in the area you wish to move to. Just be aware that for services such as Yelp!, agents can pay to move their listings up in the search listings. So don’t automatically assume that the first people on the list are the best. Do your homework.
- If you travel to your new town to visit open houses, collect business cards from agents that are working at the open houses.
- Use your network. You may have work colleagues in your new city who could point you in the direction of a good agent, or check with your HR department at your employer. If they frequently deal with relocated employees, they may have a list of local agents they have worked with in the past.
No matter how you find prospective agents, do your homework! Read their testimonials, research their sales volume and experience, etc. Then interview them (in person, if possible) to see if you “click.”
Finding the Perfect Home
Once you have chosen an agent, then you are ready to start looking. While you can use online searches, your agent is going to be able to pull listings that most closely match your needs and budget, which will help you narrow down the field.
Your agent can send you listings directly from the MLS, which will include many details about the home and lots of pictures. You can focus on newer listings, recent price reductions, foreclosures, or “coming soon” listings that aren’t even on the market yet.
If you have questions about any of the listings, you can ask your agent to find out for you. Nearly all communications can take place via the phone or email.
Once you narrow down the options to your top 5 or so, plan a trip to your new town and ask your agent to coordinate showings at all your top selections. This will make the most efficient use of your time!
If you aren’t able to travel to your new town, don’t despair! You can view virtual tours (if available) in order to simulate a walk through, and all the offer paperwork can be signed electronically.
If you own your current home in another state, and need to sell before purchasing your new home, it is possible coordinate the closings. It does take some special handling, because timing is critical. Many banks will not fund the new mortgage for an out-of-state buyer until they have proof that the sale has closed.
This is another area where having a local agent can be so helpful in ensuring that things go smoothly. The steps look something like this:
- You close on your old home.
- The funds are wired to the escrow/title company handling the closing on the new home.
- The HUD paperwork for the sale of the previous home is faxed to the bank or mortgage company.
- The new mortgage is funded.
- You close on your new home.
Coordination of all these steps and making sure all the paperwork gets to where it needs to be means that your agents in both cities may have to work together, as well as the title companies and mortgage companies. But it is possible to make this process as smooth as possible to minimize your travel back and forth.
Pellegrini & DeGeorge Partners has significant experience coordinating out-of-state transactions for our clients. If you are moving away from Fountain Hills, we can also refer you to high quality agents in our network that can help you in your new town.
Whether you are buying or selling in Fountain Hills, Susan Pellegrini and Karen DeGeorge are ready to put their care and expertise to work for you. Buying or selling, our first-class service comes with a wealth of experience and eye for detail, ready to focus on you. Visit our website to learn more and contact us or give us a call at (480)- 315-1575, we’re here for you.