Finding a knowledgeable, military friendly real estate agent is sometimes easier said than done. For military families, it can be a challenge finding someone who understands the constraints of PCSing and military life.
Have you ever thoroughly researched an area only to have your orders change at the last minute? Have you ever bought a house sight unseen, or while you and your spouse were in different time zones? Have you ever had only two or three days to house hunt? All these challenges are common to military families, but not all real estate agents may have solutions to handle them.
A real estate agent who “gets” the military lifestyle can make or break your home buying or renting experience. They keep a pulse on the ever-changing market, understand moving all too well, and are passionate about helping others find not just a house, but a HOME. Finding the right agent to fit your needs can help the home buying or selling process go smoothly.
Here are a few things to think about when looking for the perfect real estate agent.
Can you select your real estate agent?
When trying to find a real estate agent online, from a distance, look for the opportunity to select your own. It is suspect anytime you are “assigned” a real estate agent. Any reputable company or website will ask you what you are looking for in an agent and what your time constraints are. You want to make sure you work with someone who is familiar with the military lifestyle. Good communication is essential, and you should be able to choose an agent who makes you feel comfortable asking questions about the process.
If you plan on using the VA loan, you want someone well versed to help you though the process. This loan is specific to military families, and not all agents are aware of its various benefits and demands. With PCSgrades, you can read agent reviews written by fellow military families, making it that much easier to find someone easy to work who has military client experience. You get to pick who you want to work with rather than being assigned a random agent.
Agents who get the military lifestyle
When looking online, you may find an agent who has favorable client testimonials. But you have to ask yourself, “Can I trust this review?” While a civilian might be very impressed with an agent’s skills at finding them the perfect home, you have to wonder: could that agent can do the same for you when you have just one weekend to look for a home in an area you are not familiar with? Will the agent understand that you may be selling the home in a mere two years and be able to find you a house with great resale value?
We all know that our fellow military families are often in the same boat. They understand time constraints in house hunting or looking for schools that are military friendly to our military kids transferring in, sometimes in the middle of a school year. This is the vital type of information often found in a review written on PCSgrades.com by a fellow veteran or military spouse.
Many real estate websites, banks, or credit unions offer a rebate if you purchase a home through them. But not all rebates are created equal and some states don’t allow rebates at all. So, ask a lot of questions. Are you purchasing in a state that allows rebates? How much of a rebate are you eligible for? Who is offering the largest rebate and are there any strings attached? Using the PCSgrades Realogy Military Rewards program, you can connect with a top real estate agent who understands the unique needs of the military and veteran community and earn $350 to $7,500 cash back when you buy or sell a home (in states where allowed by law).
PCSing is stressful enough. If you are hoping to find an off-base rental or a home to buy in town, you want to make sure the real estate agent helping you is someone who understands the military lifestyle. A great way to find the best ‘Military Friendly’ agent for you is to start at PCSgrades.com and see what your fellow military families have to say.
Carla Olivo previously served as the Director of Communications for Operation Hug-A-Hero and as the Media/Community Relations Officer for the Delaware Department of Transportation. She has garnered numerous TV industry awards including the Associated Press award for Spot News Reporting, News Writing, Enterprise Reporting, and Documentary Reporting. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, a retired USMC Lt. Colonel, and their two children. You can follow her on Twitter @olivowriter.