Buying a vacation home is a great investment. Having a second home where you have the best vacations and spend quality time with your loved ones is a dream.
Buying a vacation home is an investment and while buying a vacation home can be a dream come true, if you have the wrong agent it can be a nightmare!
You might not know anything about the location you want to buy a vacation home. You might not have been there ever. These two reasons make finding a top quality real estate agent very important. Here are six ways that’ll help you out:
1. Choose Local!
Search for real estate agents in the area you want to purchase the vacation home. Pay particular attention to the office location of these real estate agents. Is it in the metro city close to the vacation spot, or in the heart of the vacation location? Ask them questions specific to the vacation destination? What are their favorite spots to eat, visit and hang out in? Locals know this very easily.
2. Recent past clients from websites
You should always be Googling your real estate agent. Check out “agent name + reviews”. There are several real estate websites you can check. A Filter your search according to reviews. Read reviews and distinguish between ones that are paid and real. Look for comments about the area they bought in. Often reviewers will say, “Marco Island real estate agent helped me find a wonderful home overlooking the beach.” The key here is the Marco Island (in this example) mention.
Bonus Tip! – Ask the agent to talk to past clients! There are chances that the person bought a vacation home recently and would suggest you a nice neighborhood with an amazing view.
3. Check out current listings
Go to a vacation homes listing website and check for current listings from real estate agents. If they’ve posted a good house, it means the agent is reputable and genuine. Listing details can tell you a lot about an agent (assuming you want an agent that lists homes AND helps buyers). If the agent took the photos with a cell phone then chances are they are going to cut corners with you too.
4. Licenses and certifications
All real estate agents need license and certification to be able to practice their profession. They have to take certain classes, which are subject to the state. Most went through over 75 hours of classes just to have a license. However, top agents often get certifications and designations. Here are a few:
- Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) – required to handle residential real estate
- Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR) – certification for representing buyers in real estate transaction
- Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) – assisting buyers or sellers that are over 50 years of age.
If the real estate agent is a member of the National Association of Realtors, they’ll use realtor with a capital R.
A good real estate agent will tell you the risks associated with buying a vacation house in a particular area. Be very attentive while they talk.
Someone who gives facts and knowledge is a genuine professional and has your best interests in their mind. You should expect them to talk about investment analysis, insurance details, and neighborhood market performance. If they don’t, ask clearly. If the person is hesitant about discussing these things, they might not be a specialist in the area.
In addition, good agents have a track record. How many houses do they sell a year? An agent that sells a home every now and then isn’t going to be as polished as someone who is selling a home every week.
Experience is not the most important thing. It doesn’t take much to keep a license for a long time. There are no “sales” requirements to stay in business.
Instead, you should be looking at core values, how passionate they are about their profession, whether they reply on time, come for viewings on time, and how invested they are during the process. Someone who is busy on their phone will obviously won’t be able to give you all attention and miss out crucial points.
In the end, it is your gut feeling that matters the most. Once you’ve shortlisted two or three vacation home real estate agent, choose the one that your heart desires.