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Unread 02-10-2012, 12:13 PM
 
Location: One year in Raleigh, NC
4,429 posts, read 3,662,884 times
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Default How to find and interview an out of state buyers agent?

We are considering relocating to another state. We do not know anyone in the areas we are targeting to ask for a referral.

What is the best way to find a realtor who will stick with us as we explore new and unknown areas of the country. (meaning: We are not buying this month, will probably rent for 3-12 months before we buy, but do recognize that these folks are on commission and do not believe in screwing a realtor who has worked with us. We are loyal to those that treat us properly.) And yes, we WILL be visiting these area's in person. I'm not just looking for someone who can do internet searches for us.


And what are the relevant questions I should ask them?
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Unread 02-10-2012, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
10,469 posts, read 15,726,328 times
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Do you already have a city in mind for relocation or are you looking for agents to ask questions about areas?
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Unread 02-10-2012, 12:31 PM
 
Location: Gorham, Maine
1,611 posts, read 2,318,379 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jkgourmet View Post
We are considering relocating to another state. We do not know anyone in the areas we are targeting to ask for a referral.

What is the best way to find a realtor who will stick with us as we explore new and unknown areas of the country. (meaning: We are not buying this month, will probably rent for 3-12 months before we buy, but do recognize that these folks are on commission and do not believe in screwing a realtor who has worked with us. We are loyal to those that treat us properly.) And yes, we WILL be visiting these area's in person. I'm not just looking for someone who can do internet searches for us.


And what are the relevant questions I should ask them?
Do you have an agent that you trust where you live now who could interview agents in your new location and help you select one that best fits your needs?
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Unread 02-10-2012, 12:36 PM
 
Location: Gorham, Maine
1,611 posts, read 2,318,379 times
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Forgot to mention, I'd let the agent know that you were willing to sign a 24 month Buyer Agency Agreement if that state has Buyer Agency. If you ask for "client level" service, in most states it must be in writing. Once an agreement is signed, that agent can preview the properties you're most interested in and make recommendations based on your conversations that will propel your search forward and not have it stagnate while you complete your obligations at your current home. Most forward-thinking agents who work with buyers (not all do) realize that they need business in 2013, 2014 and beyond and should be happy to take you on with that in mind. That is why you want an agent you trust to "interview" the other in your new destination.
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Unread 02-10-2012, 12:39 PM
 
Location: Columbia, SC
6,774 posts, read 9,573,664 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoFanMe View Post
Do you have an agent that you trust where you live now who could interview agents in your new location and help you select one that best fits your needs?
Solid advice.
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Unread 02-10-2012, 01:24 PM
 
Location: One year in Raleigh, NC
4,429 posts, read 3,662,884 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverfall View Post
Do you already have a city in mind for relocation or are you looking for agents to ask questions about areas?
We have several cities/suburban areas in the state of NC that we have in mind. We will be visiting one of those areas in March, the other before June.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoFanMe View Post
Do you have an agent that you trust where you live now who could interview agents in your new location and help you select one that best fits your needs?
No. For a variety of reasons, the realtor that I used multiple times in the past (as a buyer and seller's agent) is not someone that I feel would be good at this process.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoFanMe View Post
Forgot to mention, I'd let the agent know that you were willing to sign a 24 month Buyer Agency Agreement if that state has Buyer Agency. If you ask for "client level" service, in most states it must be in writing. Once an agreement is signed, that agent can preview the properties you're most interested in and make recommendations based on your conversations that will propel your search forward and not have it stagnate while you complete your obligations at your current home. Most forward-thinking agents who work with buyers (not all do) realize that they need business in 2013, 2014 and beyond and should be happy to take you on with that in mind. That is why you want an agent you trust to "interview" the other in your new destination.
I don't know if NC has this Buyer Agency Agreement. But since we are looking at several distant cities within the state, the same agent cannot properly represent us or have the knowledge to help us search in all those cities.

And maybe I misunderstand what this Agreement is, but I don't feel comfortable tying myself exclusively and legally to any agent for 24 months.
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Unread 02-10-2012, 02:45 PM
 
Location: Cary, NC
18,207 posts, read 26,265,278 times
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How to find and interview?
Start kissing frogs until you like it...?

Write emails, and see if the responses match your concerns, if you are having a conversation or getting a hard sell.
Ask for a quick tour of the agent's core service area, and gauge the agent's responsiveness to your questions and concerns.
Maybe view a few houses, and see if you are being shown features and conditions objectively, or being sold on a house.

NC definitely uses a written agency document.

NC REC Standard Working With Real Estate Agents brochure:
http://www.ncrealtors.org/uploads/160-sample.pdf

WWREA Says you can work verbally with an agent, but you have to engage an agent in writing before they can write an offer for you.
Sign an agency agreement while looking, just so when you sit to write an offer you don't have to deal with agency questions when you should be discussing valuations and terms. But never sign one that doesn't say something like, "Either party may terminate this agreement at any time prior to location of a suitable property."
Don't get tied to an agent and then find out it is not a good relationship.

All NCAR Sample Forms:

Exclusive Right to Represent Buyer

Non-Exclusive Buyer Agency Agreement
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Unread 02-10-2012, 03:36 PM
 
Location: One year in Raleigh, NC
4,429 posts, read 3,662,884 times
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Mike, thank you for that excellent information.
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Unread 02-10-2012, 04:34 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
10,469 posts, read 15,726,328 times
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Okay since you are still in the narrowing down phase, I would google the towns and counties you are interested in. Try and find some blogs by real estate agents. You can read their posts and see if they might be a good fit for you. Then I would look at listings. I know it sounds weird looking for a buyer agent by looking at listings, but agents that care about their clients and do a good job, will do that for buyers and sellers alike. If they do a good job for their sellers, chances are they will do a good job for their buyers because they care about their service. This will give you a diving off point. If you can find one agent in the area you like, chances are they can give you some referrals for other cities.

Then go out and do what MikeJ suggested.
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Unread 02-10-2012, 08:24 PM
 
Location: Gorham, Maine
1,611 posts, read 2,318,379 times
Reputation: 1064
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jkgourmet View Post
And maybe I misunderstand what this Agreement is, but I don't feel comfortable tying myself exclusively and legally to any agent for 24 months.
Perhaps I misunderstood you, but I thought you said you wanted somebody to work hard on your behalf for 12 months while you are renting and then the 3-6 months it might take to find you a house. Do you expect to reward that agent for their work when you ultimately buy or hire another agent?
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