Many real estate agents take pride in being long-time residents of the city in which they sell real estate. And they should. Because that is a great asset for buyers and seller. Knowing the area... the history... seeing the growth... you get the picture.
However, with the familiarity, sometimes comes complacency. Those agents do not fully grasp what it takes to move from another city or state or country. How could they? They haven't moved. They have nothing to compare it to. Again, this is not a bad thing. It is just reality.
Let me back up a bit and share where I am coming from. You see, I am one of those real estate agents who actually has NOT lived in the same city for years upon years. Due to work relocations, my family has moved not once, not twice, but seven times in the last 32 years. (That is seven different cities, four states, and 13 actual homes.) All were positive-vertical moves, but moves, nonetheless. Each time I had to learn the new ways of doing things. And yes... each area has their own 'customs.'
What I learned from my moves is priceless and helps me be a better agent... maybe the best agent for the job. I understand the struggles of finding a new grocery store. I understand learning about the new utility companies and trying to get letters from the old utility companies to avoid a deposit. I understand getting referrals for new dentists, doctors, vets, schools and churches. Even finding new friends. Where are the deals? When is traffic the worst? What type of grass do I have? How/when do I fertilize?
And, what about the contracts to purchase a home? Each state has their own way of doing things... days for inspections, how to deposit the earnest money, and more. Even the terminology is different. Earnest Money... Initial Deposit... Sales Agreement... Earnest Money Contract... Option Period... Inspection Time... Lots and lots of differences. Finding a great agent that will keep up with the deadlines, explain things well, and not assume that the way it is done 'here' is the same as 'everywhere' is of the utmost importance. There are many things that really help a buyer make a decision but may be overlooked because of the that-is-not-how-things-are-done-here thinking.
An example would be what I call a Seller's Home Book. I always have a Seller's Home Book in all my listings because I understand how it feels to have my questions answered while I am at the home. (After seeing several homes, features do tend to get mixed up in the brain.) Getting back to the point... my Seller's Home Book includes a plat showing the location of the house on the lot and street; the utility companies with the contact information and the last 12 months of charges; service people like plumbers, landscapers, HVAC techs; map and distances of shopping, schools, churches, etc. These things make it easier for buyers to make decisions on whether it is the home for them.
So, while you are searching for a real estate agent to help you with the move, don't discount the agents who have not lived in the city that long. Agents who have moved recenlty will see the town from a different point of view and give you tips on things that will really benefit you. (I personally think that an agent should move at least once, and not just across town, so that they can truly emphathize with buyers and sellers. Just my opinion. :) )
Are you thinking about moving? If so, no matter where you are moving to or from, I want to be the first name you think of regarding anything real estate related. If I cannot help you, I will find a great agent who will help you. So give me a call. 210-802-8422. I truly truly understand how it feels to move.