February 10, 2019 | Jacqui Luberto
If you are a military family, you are all too familiar with the ever-changing lifestyle you become accustomed to that involves uprooting your life every few years to be whisked away from one state (or country) to another.  There are a lot of stresses that come with PCS-ing, and figuring out your next plan for housing is usually at the top of the list.  However, you can make the transition as painless as possible if you educate yourself in how to pick the best real estate professional for your needs.

The beauty about finding the right real estate professional for you is that you have a choice.  It is best to at first ask for recommendations from friends, family, a previous real estate agent that you trust, read online reviews, et cetera.  However, before you select your agent, it is important that you take the time to interview, have meaningful conversations with and get to know the agent that may be best for you.  Be sure to ask questions, and get a feel for their willingness to help address all of your concerns.  You also need to ensure they are knowledgeable about not only real estate, but the area you are moving to.  Hire an expert to the area!

There are some key questions you should definitely ask of a real estate professional you are considering hiring for your upcoming PCS:

1.  Have they worked with military relocations before?

This may be a no-brainer, but it is so important.  Even though you are likely PCSing to a city that already has a high military presence, that does not mean that every agent in that area is well versed in the unique PCS process.  Ask your agent about previous trials they have experienced in the past helping a military family relocate and how they overcame those issues.

2.  What ways are they comfortable communicating?

Do they only communicate by email? Phone call? Via their website?  It will be best to get you a realtor that is able to communicate with you on various forms.  Sometimes it's easiest just to shoot your agent a quick text to ask a question, or have the flexibility to call them up at any time without feeling like they are too busy for you. This can be especially important if you making a drastic move, from one time zone to another (or from one side of the world to another).  Getting an agent that can be flexible with the times, do video walk throughs in your absence, and combat all the communication hurdles that arise with you not being physically present can make a huge difference.

3.  How familiar are they with the area you'll be PCS-ing to?

There is a very good chance you've never been to the area you're moving to, and you're going to have a lot of questions.  Your realtor should be someone who has probably lived there awhile, is familiar with certain areas of town, home insurances, traffic patterns, local events, et cetera, so that you have all the information necessary before you buy a certain home in a particular neighborhood.

4.  Are they experienced with VA loans and do they work closely with any lenders that are also versed in military relocations?

If you are looking to buy during your PCS, you'll likely be using a VA loan or another military lender program to help you get into your next home.  Your agent needs to be familiar with the VA loan restrictions and regulations in your area and be able to set you up with a lender that is equally as knowledgeable if you need it.

5.  Are they someone that is willing to help you regardless of your intention to buy?

As disappointing as it sounds, there are a lot of real estate agents out there that will be overly helpful and eager to work with you when they see you as a buyer, but the minute you mention holding off or your decision rent first, they will drop you.  Find an agent that will treat you as they would a friend.  Find an agent that will have your best interest at sight and will be willing to help you make the right decision, whether that is first renting before you secure a home to buy.  If you can find an agent that will set you up with a list of available rentals first while you are on your home search, you have yourself a genuine realtor.

Just know, if you are PCS-ing to the Emerald Coast, I am that agent for you.  And if you are PCS-ing to another part of the country, know that I can always refer you to an agent that meets all of these criteria.  It is important to have YOUR best interest in mind during this stressful transition, and having the right agent can help alleviate a lot of that stress greatly.  

If you are PCS-ing to this area and are not yet interested in buying a home, and need a list of available rentals for the area, check out this article that explains the benefits of the Facebook community PCS Pay-it-Forward.  Also refer to my homepage at any time to search for a list of available homes for sale in this area.  
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