If you are facing an unexpected job transfer, a bit of planning can make relocation less stressful. Once the excitement of moving to a new city fades, panic can easily replace the excitement when you are hit with the realization that you do not know much about buying a home in the area.
Buying a home in an unfamiliar region always comes with risk, and a bit of fear. Real estate laws vary by state, and local customs differ from one city to the next. When you move to a new area, it is easy to buy a home in the wrong neighborhood, or make other critical mistakes. Here is what you can do to protect yourself as you head into uncharted territory.
Every state is different, so you should find out which disclosures you should receive and how inspections are typically handled in the area. In some states, sellers are not required to disclose certain facts to buyers. Be sure to ask:
Regardless of whether you plan to buy a new or existing home, remember that agents often specialize in certain neighborhoods. This means you should find an agent who works in the area where you plan to buy. This is important, because an experienced agent can tell you differences between homes on the same street. Local agents also have detailed knowledge about the area that you will not get from anyone else.
Be sure to request recent comparable sales, average costs per square foot, average list-to-sales-price ratios and average days on market. You should also find out if the area is in a neutral, seller’s or buyer’s market so you know what you are getting into and you can be prepared for negotiations.