Realty pro can help ease your move to a new town
By Diane Schlindwein
Copley News Service
Experts count moving as one of the most stressful of life events, ranking right up there with divorce or a major illness. So, if merely moving across town is cause for nervousness, then relocating from one city or state to another due to a job change or even retirement can make for a truly anxious time.
All across the country, Realtors routinely help make life easier for folks who are literally moving into unfamiliar territory - but none more so than relocation specialists. In Springfield, Ill., Linda Green is one of those people.
Green, a Realtor for Aspen Real Estate, estimates that 75 percent of her business is working with families who are relocating to the capital city. "Springfield is very fortunate to be a regional medical and health care center," she says explaining that the area has two large hospitals, a medical school and an expansive medical clinic. "For that reason, I deal a lot with the medical community."
Green says because she often works with professionals who are acquainted with one another, most of her referrals come by word of mouth. However, she does assist people who find her name online.
"Most people use the Internet. That's why I suggest that people who don't have a Realtor go to www.realtor.com. If you go to that Web site and put in the fields, it will start displaying homes and Realtors," Green says. "Or you could Google it."
Although it isn't commonplace for families to move from one country to another, sometimes that does happen. Green once assisted a physician who was relocating from Saudi Arabia to Springfield. Another time she helped sell a central Illinois home for a missionary couple who had moved to Thailand.
No matter where her clients are moving from, Green is eager to share her knowledge with them. However, before she does that, she seeks answers to some all-important questions that she believes all good Realtors should ask.
Always share basic life details with your Realtor, she says. Naturally he or she needs to know your price range, keeping in mind that housing prices vary greatly from one region to another.
As a trusted professional, your Realtor also needs information about your family - how many children you have and their ages. Moreover, do you prefer to live in an older historic neighborhood, outlying area or in a newer subdivision?
Will your children attend public or private schools? How important is it for you to be close to shopping, restaurants or your place of business?
"I ask questions, but I also always start with a community tour when the people come to town," she says. "I am not just selling houses; I am showing them a community."
If you've had an initial tour and have a chance to spend some time in your chosen community before you settle on a home, thoroughly check out the neighborhoods. The www.realtor.com Web site suggests driving around to see what areas you find most appealing.
If you have children, chances are you'll probably look for a neighborhood with youngsters around. If you feel comfortable and safe, you might even talk to some of the residents. After you've narrowed down your choices, ask your Realtor specific questions about the schools, area crime rate and how much the value of a home is likely to increase.
Green says folks who are relocating should always seek out a full-time professional. "Be sure you are getting a full-time Realtor. You need somebody who is going to be very available and someone who has your best interests in mind.
"Seriously, when people are coming in from out of town, they are at your mercy. As a professional Realtor, you have to do your best for them," Green concludes. "Like I said, I'm not just selling houses. Really, it is not just a house, it's a lifestyle."
? Copley News Service
Visit Copley News Service at www.copleynews.com.