By Carla Olivo, Marine Spouse
Finding a knowledgeable, military friendly REALTOR® 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? Have you ever had only 2 or 3 days to house hunt?
REALTORS® Who Get the Military Lifestyle
A Realtor®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.
Here are a few things to think about when looking for the perfect Realtor®.
Can You Select Your Own REALTOR®?
When trying to find a Realtor® 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.
If you plan on using the VA loan, you want someone well versed to help you though the process. With PCSgrades, you can read realtor® 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.
When looking online, you may find a Realtor® who has favorable client testimonials. But you have to ask yourself, “Can I trust this review?” While a civilian might be very impressed with a Realtor’s® skills at finding them the perfect home, you have to wonder if that agent can do the same for you when you have one weekend to look for a home in an area you are not familiar with?
Will the Realtor® 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 with 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 Realtors®, 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? Any military family purchasing with the help of a Realtor® reviewed on PCSgrades.com can be eligible for a 20% rebate (in states that allow it).
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 Realtor® helping you is someone who understands the military lifestyle. A great way to find the best ‘Military Friendly’ Realtor® for you is to start at PCSgrades.com and see what your fellow military families have to say.
PCSgrades Author: Carla Olivo, PCSgrades Strategic Communications Director, 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.