It is always my pleasure to be able to help those who serve our country! Having come from a military family, I can appreciate the stresses that come along from postings and House Hunting Trips aka HHT. Today’s tips are tailored for my military and government clientele, and how to make your HHTS less stressful!
1) It’s never too early to start doing your research!
As soon as you have an idea you might be posted start doing your research on the locations you think you may be transferred to. Sometimes its a toss-up between two places or the move might not happen, as I know from experience things can change drastically without notice! First, start looking for realtors in the potential cities. Sometimes you might need to “interview” a few before finding the right fit. Good resources are the “list”, google and/or references from your current realtor or through friends. You want to make sure you have the right person on the ground.
2) Ask Questions!
You found a few potential agents so don’t be afraid to ask questions: Find out if they know what HHT means. If not, that means they probably have never been through HHT and you don’t want to be their first! Get to know them. HHTs are stressful intensive trips. Make sure you are comfortable, and if not, feel to move on to someone else. Send them your wish list and requirements as early as possible so they can start sending you listings. The earlier the better, so you can get a sense of the home prices and market!
3) Every Market is different!
Have your agent explain to you what to expect! How much are deposits? I have worked in markets where they are as low as few thousand dollars to as high as 5% of the purchase price due with the offer. What are normal time frames from offer submission to acceptance? Get a sense so you can prepare, HHTs are short and you want to come prepared.
4) Your HHT date is set!
Make sure your agent is aware of the dates so they can block off their time accordingly and not be away! Two weeks before, you should have a pretty good selection or idea of neighbourhoods that you would like to look in. One week before you should have your top 10-15 selected and booked for your first day. In some cases its great to have your agent preview the houses for you before you arrive. Facetime and Skype are great and often you can narrow down your choices before you arrive.
Have your agent forward you a copy of the paperwork that they use in their market places. These forms vary in every market, its good to become familiar with them. Ask questions before you sign on the dotted line!
I can’t stress this last point enough make sure you are comfortable and trust the agent you are working with! If you have doubts or not comfortable with them find someone else! Your agent is here to help you and make this stressful time as smooth and effortless for you as possible. Whether it’s your first or your fifth, these are just a few main tips to help make your HHT a bit less stressful!