HOW TO FIND A MILITARY REAL ESTATE AGENT: BUYING & SELLING 101
By MyBaseGuide Staff Member
IntroductionWhen you’re getting ready to move, having to deal with the process of buying and selling homes can be overwhelming – especially so when you’re PCSing every two or three years. Teaming up with a military real estate agent can take a lot of the stress out of your hands and place the bulk of the process in the hands of a professional who is much more well-equipped to handle the ins and outs of buying and selling. But how do I find a good real estate agent? We’re going to go over some great practices to follow for locating the perfect professional for your unique job and lay out some key things to look at in this quick guide.
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What Is a Military Agent for Real Estate?A military realtor is not your average, everyday civilian realtor. Have you ever heard of the saying, “All squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares”? Similar logic can be applied to military real estate agents. Military real estate agents can work in the civilian world helping non-military individuals and families buy and sell homes, but not every real estate agent can work with military personnel to find good homes for them or help them sell. Military real estate professionals have to obtain a special license before they’re able to handle realty for military members. People who obtain these licenses are also called Military Relocation Professionals. They are well-versed in military real estate knowledge and the process of moving as a military member.
How To Find a Good Real Estate Agent for Buying & SellingSure, you could search “military realtor near me” and click on the first option that comes up. But that’s not necessarily the best way to get military real estate help that’s catered towards your needs and wants. Before you utilize any of the below steps to find the best military real estate agent for you, you’ll want to talk to a mortgage company (if you’re buying, that is). A mortgage company can get you a quick pre-approval, which will let you know your exact budget for buying a house. With a solid pre-approval amount and budget, it will be much easier for any military real estate agent to find you the perfect home.
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1. Make Use of Your Community & NetworkEveryone around you had to buy or sell property on a base before they got there. Chances are, most of your neighbors have at least one good contact for military agents, or even military Veteran real estate agents in the community, who would be happy to help out. If your network is big enough, you might even be able to find a military spouse real estate agent near you. Realty is a popular career choice among milspouses, and it’s the perfect fit since they know the PCS process inside and out!
2. Look Through Local Realtor ListingsDid you think home listings were the only listings you were going to have to deal with? If you’re serious about finding the right military real estate agent, look through listings of agents serving your area. One of the most popular sites on which to do so is realtor.com. This site allows you to filter agents based on your area, and some agents have a special symbol that looks like a military medal next to their name. That symbol signifies that they’re a certified Military Relocation Professional. Realtor.com, in particular, also allows you to view buyer and seller recommendations for an agent, the price range that the realtor has recently been working in, and how many years of experience they have. You’ll also see contact information right by their listing, which provides you with an easy way to get in touch whenever you’re ready to take that step.
3. Interview Potential AgentsWe’re not saying you have to dress up business-clad and have an uber-professional, job-like interview. When you find an agent online (or through a friend) that you think could be a good fit, set up a preliminary chat with them. Let them know that you’re currently searching for an agent and want to look at their candidacy. You should be honest and transparent about what you’re looking for from your next home and from your military real estate agent. This is the time to ask them about their past experience and how they have handled military moves for previous clients. You can also probe into their availability and usual workflow. You may find it helpful to interview, or at least do a short intro chat, with three or four military real estate agents before bringing one on for your big move.
4. Review References or RecommendationsThere’s a reason that companies ask for recommendations on job applications. They need to see if everything on your resume really reflects who you are as a worker. Don’t be afraid to ask real estate agents for references or recommendations from past clients. This will give you more honest insight into their previous work as a real estate agent. If you’re looking at reviews online, pay special attention to the dates and language used in each. There can be tons of fake reviews out there, so use good judgment when determining the legitimacy of a review if this is a big deciding factor in who you choose to be your agent.
5. Ask About Their CompensationIf you’re looking for help with military real estate because you’re buying, you usually won’t have to worry about payment, as military relocation real estate agents generally take their commission from the sale price of the home. However, if you're selling, this means that a portion of the money that you would get from the sale of the house will be paid to the realtors. At last calculation, the average commission for realtors in the U.S. was just over 5% of the home's value.
Finding Your Agent Is Important, So Don’t Slack!After you follow some, if not all, of the tips above, the process is easy. Simply ask your favorite realtor to be your official representative and inform other agents that you went with someone else. If you find a good military real estate agent, you could stay in contact with them for years through a dozen PCSs. If you don’t do your due diligence, you could be stuck with a less-than-amazing agent who might not be the right fit for you. So take your time and don’t get in a rush! A good military real estate agent will be more than willing to work on your timeline to get you the home you deserve or sell your current home at a price you can more than agree with.
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