"Buying a house in another state is a special kind of crazy"

Real Estate Agent with Thompson Company, REALTORS® MD594797

"Buying a house in State C while I am in State A and hubby is in State B is a special kind of crazy".

That was a status update on my Facebook feed the other day. As a human, I understood. As a mom, I felt compassion. But as a REALTOR®, I was puzzled - and a bit embarrassed - and ready to apologize on behalf of our professional community.

Relocating to another state and buying a house from afar doesn't have to be "crazy" or stressful or anxiety inducing. As long as you have found the right people to work with, it can be a smooth and efficient process.

I, myself, relocated to Maryland in 2004 (I have been a REALTOR® since then) and have assisted multiple relocation home buyers with their purchase in Silver Spring & Beyond since then:

Relocating to MarylandBack in 2007 I assisted an Air Force family with buying a townhome in Laurel sight-unseen. In 2008 I helped a corporate relocation client find new home in Bowie.

In 2012 I worked with an Army couple whose dream home happened to come on the market just 2 days after hubby had to leave town on TAD orders.

In 2013 I worked with clients who were stationed at an embassy half-way around the world and bought a home in Silver Spring. At the beginning of 2015, I delivered the keys to their new home to clients in Berlin, Germany ...

Some of my clients did all the upfront research - with my assistance - from out-of-state and were ready to house-hunt as soon as they got here. Others didn't see their new home until after settlement. They had family around or flew them in to attend the home inspection and take a quick look around.

Since I helped that very first relocation couple, technology has come such a long way and has made this process much more efficient. Online forms and e-signatures eliminated the need to fax documents back and forth or to send them via snail mail (when original signatures are required or a Power of Attorney is needed, snail mail is still necessary).

Relocating/PCS'ing to Maryland does not have to be "a special kind of crazy"! Prepare and pay attention to the 3 "T's" and your home buying process will be a smooth and efficient one:

1. Find the right Team: the REALTOR® assigned to you via some home-buying advantage program that promises you a few hundred dollar rebate may not be the right one for you. Experience and the best fit of personalities can yield better results.

Research online: find agents who have an online presence, know the area you are relocating to, have a track-record, good reviews... and/or ask for a recommendation from people you know and trust and then talk to a couple. You want to be comfortable from the get-go. Do they respond within a reasonable amount of time? Are you getting your questions answered and receiving the information promised? Is the REALTOR® willing to adjust to your time-zone or schedule calls when it's 3 AM for you? Does he/she appear to be organized?

2. Technology: make sure that the team you are assembling is utilizing e-signatures and online forms. Believe it or not, there are still REALTORS® who prefer to fill in offers by hand - there's nothing wrong with that but it's not an efficient way of handling a relocation transaction. Also, if you are not able to house-hunt in person and have no trusted family member or friend to check on your behalf, your agent should be willing and able to provide additional pictures, videos or utilize FaceTime, Skype or WhatsApp to give you as much info as possible. 

Relocating to Maryland3. Trust: your REALTOR® has the answers to your questions or knows where to get it. Ideally he/she has a network to tap into to help you through all the steps of the home-bying process.

Trust that the information he/she pulls directly from the Multiple Listing Service is the most accurate.

3rd party websites such as Zillow and Trulia compile the data that is accessible to them. Some of the data you'll find is not up-to-date and sometimes arrived at by comparing apples to oranges and other information (such as that new listing that could be the perfect fit for you) is completely missing. 

Buying a house in another state does not have to be a special kind of crazy!


Posted by







Thompson Company, REALTORS
16910 Oak Hill Rd, Silver Spring, MD 20905
o: (301) 384-9177 c: (240)593-2860


Andrea is a REALTOR® based in Silver Spring, MD. She has enjoyed assisting buyers and sellers since 2004 and focuses on residential Real Estate in  Montgomery and Howard County, MD. Andrea is a proud mom and hobby decorator with a vintage soul. She always answers the phone with a smile, enjoys running and treasure hunting and is addicted to coffee.


 All photographs are my own and I'd like to keep it that way. All information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.




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Jeffrey Masich- Arizona Associate Broker,MBA &GRI
HomeSmart Real Estate - Scottsdale, AZ
Arizona Homes and Land Group/ Buy or Sell

Thank you for sharing Andrea Bedard One good thing about a home in two states, especially for a nice sunny place like Scottsdale, Arizona is that you can visit and get away from the snow. And now with the online Bed and Breakfast BNB networks you can rent a place out for the months you don't use it. Greetings from Scottsdle 

Jan 10, 2017 05:38 PM #1
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Alliance Real Estate - Minot - Minot, ND
Bob Timm, Broker Associate, Alliance Real Estate

Your scenario is nearly the norm around here Andrea Bedard being we have an Air Base here and an oil field too.

Jan 10, 2017 06:42 PM #2
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

Not only relocating, buying investment property in other states with the crazy quilt of real estate standards and state law can be daunting.

Jan 10, 2017 07:03 PM #3
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty & Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

Andrea Bedard you are exactly right. We've got to use the right tools and it won't be such a hassle.

Jan 10, 2017 08:50 PM #4
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Andrea - there must be plenty of people in the metropolitan area that go through this process.  the right team makes the difference.

Jan 10, 2017 09:39 PM #5
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

With the right team in place, it shouldn't be a stress-less process!

Jan 11, 2017 04:04 AM #6
Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS® - Silver Spring, MD
M.A.; REALTOR® Silver Spring, MD and beyond

A couple of years ago I helped clients sell their condo in Silver Spring, MD so they could escape to sunny Arizona! They have no plans of coming back Jeffrey!

You would be the go-to agent for relocation clients in the Minot, ND area Bob!

Absolutely Joe, customs, paperwork, market conditions all vary from state to state. That's why it's so important to find a trusted team.

Thanks Nathan, the right tools can make relocation buying an efficient process.

There's quite a bit of coming & going and relocation around here Grant.

I know that you meant "it should be a stress-less process" Kat!

Jan 11, 2017 04:43 PM #7
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC


You get the job done in the relocation market in Maryland.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Jan 11, 2017 05:43 PM #8
Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

Andrea, it sure can be depending on the players. Two years ago, I had a sale where six closings had to come off simultaneously in three states. It was a prescription for disaster. Thankfully, everyone did their job to perfection and in a few hours, everything happened and everyone was happy. I'll have to admit, it even surprised me a bit. 

Jan 22, 2017 07:48 AM #9
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Andrea Bedard

M.A.; REALTOR® Silver Spring, MD and beyond
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