6 Tips for Buying a Home Long Distance

Dated: July 29 2020

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We all know real estate transactions can be pretty tricky, but trying to buy a home from a long distance can bring a whole new set of challenges to the equation. But don't worry, it doesn't have to be that hard.I've got six tips to help make your move go much easier.

I know to have to move, especially when you're moving cross country or long distance, can really be a challenge. But today I've got six tips to help make that move go much smoother for you.


If you're thinking about moving north of the Metro Atlanta area, you have a lot of choices. We have Fulton, Forsyth, and Dawsonville counties just to name a few. Each county is completely different. They have different taxes, amenities, activities, schools, and lifestyles. So find what you like and what is going to best fit your needs and focus your search in that area. Maybe you're a family and you're looking for a neighborhood or a park, or perhaps you prefer more of an urban lifestyle, so you can walk to everything. Either way, find what is most important to you and focus your search on that area.


Find a realtor who really likes working with out of town buyers. I relocated to Forsyth County from South Florida, so I completely understand the challenges of trying to relocate yourself and/or your family over a long distance. So you need someone who's willing to go that extra mile, answer all your questions and familiarize you with the area.


Oftentimes, when my out of town clients can’t make it into town, I go to the houses that they've narrowed down on their list, the ones that they really love, and we take a virtual tour of the house.  This gives them the opportunity to not only see the home but to ask questions as we're walking through. You can also eliminate any houses that you don’t want to see, making your next visit to town more efficient. When you’re buying a home remotely, especially in such a hot seller’s market, you really need someone who's going to stay on top of things and be willing to hustle and go that extra mile to get you the house that you really love.


If you can only visit for just a few days to look at houses, make sure you narrow down your list ahead of time. Trying to see 50 houses in two days is not only unreasonable, but it's going to completely stress you out. You're not going to remember which house had that amazing kitchen and which one had those awful cabinets. They're all going to run together, and you're really just going to forget what is what. So try to narrow down your list, give it to your realtor, have them preview as many properties as possible. That way, when you're going out, you know you're looking at the homes that you really interested in, and you're not wasting time on homes that you could have eliminated prior to starting your tours. Also, make sure you take plenty of notes, photos, and videos, and keep that on your listing sheets so that you'll have it to refer back to when you're trying to compare homes.


When you're relocating to a new area, understanding their local market and the trends that are currently affecting that market is going to be crucial. Working with a real estate agent is the best way to learn about the local market and to keep your finger on the pulse of what's going on. You need to ask questions like, is it a buyer's market or a seller's market? What trends are affecting the prices? Are the prices trending upward, downward, and what are the average days on market for a home in that particular price range? Understanding the market and all the little nuances it has to offer is going to help you craft a better offer that's more likely to get accepted the first time.


Once you've made an offer and it gets accepted, you may be thinking, now what? I'm in another state or in another city, how am I supposed to get my inspections done? Well, that's why you hire an awesome real estate agent to help do this on your behalf. Most inspection companies can coordinate your appointment and even take your payment over the phone. So all you have to do is work with the inspector and your real estate agent to coordinate a convenient time, and the realtor can come out and be there on your behalf.


Keep in mind that you are still under a due diligence period, and your inspection is going to need to be done in a very specific amount of time. So it's going to be important that you coordinate with your realtor and get this appointment set up as quickly as possible. That way, you can address any issues that might arise on the inspection.


You'll need to decide ahead of the closing whether you're going to do an in-person or out of state closing. Most attorneys can accommodate the out of state closings. They'll prepare all the documents, send it to you, and you will be responsible for finding a local real estate attorney or title company to get all these documents signed and notarized as necessary. However, keep in mind, if you miss any signature blocks or you have any clerical errors, that actually could cost you additional fees to have it redone, and it could delay the closing in which case nobody's going to be happy. So while it's a convenient option, we always recommend if at all possible, to come to the closings in person.

I know relocating is never easy, but if you follow the six tips I just gave you, I guarantee your move will go much smoother!

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Misty Harris

Meet Misty Harris - a U.S Army Veteran and licensed professional REALTOR with Keller Williams North Atlanta. In her five years of real estate, Misty has applied her knowledge and expertise to guide he....

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