So you are a potential Canadian snowbird and you are all excited to find that sunny escape to a U.S. real estate property. What is your first step? Have you ever thought about the first move you need to take to make that sunny dream home a reality?
If your answer is no, let me help you. The first step is often the most crucial one in any endeavor you engage in. The same holds true in hunting for U.S. real estate. As an old Chinese saying says, “A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.” So where do you need to put that single first step in your quest to purchase a vacation home in the U.S. real estate market? A good first step is finding that real estate agent.
Finding a home is not an easy task. It could be stressful if you are bombarded with hundreds of home options, locations, and price ranges to consider. Just think about dealing with all these… in another country. That probably means, double the considerations. So, a good real estate agent is what you need to take the stress away; all you need to do is breeze through the process and find that home away from home, away from the hassles of Canadian winter.
Here’s how or where to find that real estate agent:
1) Referrals: Try to contact an agent who worked for your friends or relatives. Their concrete experiences would probably yield the same experience for you. Tried and tested as they say, is a good way to go. If an agent is highly recommended by someone close to you, there’s a good chance that once you make your purchase, you will recommend such agent to one of your friends, too.
2) Open Houses: Attending open houses during your free time is a good way to meet good real estate agents. It doesn’t matter if you are not interested in the very house for which the open house is for. The important thing is to meet agents in their actual working environment and not in their offices, as good agents spend very little time at their desks.
3) Agent Listings: Search for agent listings. All listings from the smallest to the largest one provide photos, brief backgrounds, and achievements of agents. Here you can assess a competitive and seasoned agent.
4) Online: A good real estate agent moves with the technological world. A web savvy agent is important because information and communication can be made with a simple click of a finger. Offers and deals can be shown to you online without hassles of traveling the distance.
5) Interviews: Remember that, in essence, agents are salespersons. They will say and do everything to make a sale. So make sure to hire an honest and trustworthy real estate agent. Interview several agents and trust your gut in choosing the right one.
So here’s wishing you lots of luck in finding your real estate agent, and a great U.S. real estate property!