There is a saying that has been around for decades: "All Real Estate Is Local." When working with clients that live out of town (out-of-state, region, country), it can be challenging for them to get a feel for the area, much less the neighborhood they may be thinking of buying in.
What can I do to help them? What resources are out there besides the usual newspaper or TV station links? What can give them a "feel" for this place?
I'm still learning new things & refining what previous clients have enjoyed in the past - so realize that this list is by no means comprehensive, but is always a work in progress:
- Do a video of homes they might be interested in - recently I had some buyers who could not fly back out right after our offer on another home was topped. I found a similar home in a neighborhood closer to where they wanted to be...but it had an offer on it already. Shot a video as I previewed the home, noting the condition as I went along, things to look for, notes for the home inspector, zooming in on different aspects, etc. I also walked down the street with the camera to show how the other homes in the neighborhood looked, what condition the yards were in & other stuff. Uploaded it to YouTube & sent them a link. They bought the house, and it turned out better than their expectations!
- Find out which of the popular radio stations have an internet feed & send the link to your client. The morning drive-time shows can be pretty enlightening as to traffic conditions, local buzz & they can pick & choose who they like to listen to before coming to town.
- Are there any local "what's happening" weeklies? In most cases, the smaller, more interest-specific newspapers will have a website that is pretty well done. Getting a feel for the alternative pulse of a community can give a snapshot on issues being debated on both sides.
- Send a Google Map search for different businesses in a radius around a neighborhood - grocery stores, pharmacies, places to eat, schools, any interest you client may have (karate schools, dance lessons, tennis courts, handball hall of fame, you name it!). Knowing where things are can take some of the anxiety out of settling on a particular neighborhood. Another out-of-town client was relieved to find that there were 3 different grocery chains to choose from within a 10-minute drive.
- Drive the most common routes to the home with a friend holding the video camera recording "as-in-the-car-too" perspective (please, intrepid souls...this is not a solo project) as you drive up to the new home.
- Local libraries often have great, informative web pages with community bulletin boards about individual branches.
There are a multitude of ways to "bring out-of-towners home" to their new place. Making the transition from one place to another can be a lot easier when a little bit of familiarity is already in place. I use a lot of photos & video when working with folks who don't live in the area - mainly because I'm comfortable with it & get good feedback. What do you like to do? Life is better when you share!
I'm TucsonKent - relocation is something I truly understand, having moved from one side of the country to the other & a multitude of places in between. If you are moving to Tucson, it would be my pleasure to help you find your new home & make the transition simpler, easier & more enjoyable for you.