A few years ago we decided to buy our first home using my husband’s VA loan. We were able to find a nice house near where we were stationed at Fort Campbell. Having never bought a home before, the process was very new but went well. I think having a good real estate agent was the main reason for that.
She knew the area, and she knew about VA loans. She knew where to look for houses and we felt like we could trust her. Because of all that, we were able to find the right home, make the offer, and end up with a great house that we still live in today.
When you are ready to buy a house, you always have a choice in who helps you. You want to find the right person to help you find what you really want in a home. Here are some tips to get you started in seeking out a good real estate agent.
A VA-knowledgeable real estate agent
When you’re looking at different agents, make sure the one you go with understands the VA Home Loan. Certain issues, which can come up with the VA Loan, can slow the process down or even result in having an offer rejected. A good, knowledgeable agent can help you avoid homes that might take too long to get approved. If they are familiar with VA Loan details, they can let you know all your options and help you make an informed decision.
Connect with your real estate agent
Getting along with your real estate agent is a must. Different personalities don’t always work well together. During the interview process, try to get to know the agent and their personality. Find out which ways they prefer to communicate with clients, and ask if they can accommodate requests like virtual video tours, home shopping from a different time zone, a Power of Attorney, etc. Your experience will be a lot more enjoyable, and you won’t feel pressured to buy a home you don’t really want. This article explains how to tell if you have a good connection with an agent.
Find a listener
A real estate agent that won’t listen to you is just going to waste your time. If you need a three bedroom with a fenced in yard, it doesn’t do you any good to keep looking at two bedrooms with no fence. You should be able to tell your agent what you are looking for in a home and from that, they should be able to find listings for you. In return, make sure you listen to their advice about the local neighborhoods and the current housing market. If they tell you that houses are selling quickly at bids above the asking price, then you are experiencing a “seller’s market” and you don’t want to waste everyone’s time by putting in an offer that won’t be considered.
Knowledgeable About The Area
Having a Realtor that really knows the area will help you find an ideal location. They should have knowledge of the best places to live, where other military families live and what each neighborhood is like. Also, check the neighborhood reviews at PCSgrades.com to see what other military families think about the area where you are house hunting.
You also want to go with a Realtor who is motivated to help you find your dream home. For some, this can take a few weeks. For others, it can take a few months. Being in the military, you might have to look for homes from across the country. You want someone who is going to work hard for you even at a distance.
Under the Realtor tab on PCSgrades.com, there is an “About” tab where the Realtor can introduce themselves. The “Experience” tab allows you to check out their credentials and awards. The “Grades” tab shows you the grades your fellow military reviewers have given on items such as “negotiating skills” or “availability.” The “Reviews” tab is where military families can tell you in their own words why they are recommending a certain Realtor.
Military families face specific moving challenges
Military moves don’t always leave a lot of time to purchase a home. If you are in a time crunch or house hunting from a distance, it is vital that you hire a real estate agent who knows their stuff and is willing to go to work for you. They don’t have to be a veteran or prior military spouse, but they do need to have respect for military families and experience working with PCS logistics. Having a real estate agent knowledgeable in military moves can make all the difference when you are looking for your next home. The best place to start that search for a trusted military-friendly agent is on PCSgrades.com.
Julie Provost is a popular freelance blogger on Soldier’s Wife, Crazy Life. She enjoys life in Tennessee with her husband, a National Guard soldier, and their three boys. Julie enjoys blogging, reading, photography and a good cup of coffee.