Priority #1—Selecting a Real Estate Agent
Of course I am bias but consider this, agents only have your best interests in mind because the success of your move is imperative for their success. If they are not performing to the level that satisfies your wants list, you can find another agent to work with at no loss to you. Key qualities to look for in an agent include: strong local market knowledge, solid communication skills as well as a back-up communication point in case they cannot be reached (real estate teams work the best), and a history of relocating clients.
Getting pre-qualified or pre-approved is no longer just a good idea prior to planning a day or multiple days with your agent checking out homes—it a necessary step buyers need so they can have the power to write on a property they fall in love with lest they lose out to the next enthralled buyer who walks through their dream house's front door.
Needs Versus Wants
After viewing your first few homes (online or in person) you can start to distinguish your needs from your wants based upon price. Location is oftentimes a need but in the Bozeman area, as soon as you get out of the city limits, prices become dramatically more affordable. After realizing that, location could be categorized as a want even if it means your drive time to work increases a bit. The more precisely you narrow your needs down, the more your agents can provide you with the specific options available to you.
From beginning to end, the more meticulous you are with your organizational and note-taking skills, the better for your stress levels. Managing the logistics of a move is the number one cause for the hectic nature of moving. Mitigate this by keeping to-do lists for prior to your departure as well as for when you start your new home search.
Selling On the Mind
There is a place for the quirky, but the resale value of a home must be assessed as early as before you buy. Knowing what future buyers are going to be drawn to is imperative for engaging in a solid investment decision. Ask your agent what their opinion is on the long term value of your potential home. If you decide to build, this is an especially important conversation to have with a real estate professional.
Know what is available. Online information allows this phase to be easier than ever, but you need to be gathering accurate and current information for the market you are looking at. Experienced agents have a strong hand on what the pulse of the market is at so use them as a prime resource. This also comes with a few other details:
Know the costs of living for your new area. Know the environment in which you are about to launch yourself into.
Some great resources for a new city include: