Buying property from afar has become popular in recent years. Many were unable to travel due to COVID-19, and others hopped on the same train out of convenience. Organizing an out-of-state purchase can be challenging for both the client and the real estate agent. You need to find the perfect home in a bustling market, so both parties need a lot of patience. You will need to juggle multiple offers, short timelines, and also help someone far away purchase a home. Although you will have your work cut out for you, the experience can be rewarding and closing all the more satisfying. Follow some of our advice to help clients looking to buy out of state.
Be Well-Prepared for the Initial Consultation
The first consultation with the client is the most critical step in this process. During this phone call or online chat, it is vital to lay out a specific plan for how everything will play out. Doing so will leave an impression of professionalism and will put the client at ease.
For most people, it will be the first time they are looking to buy out of state, and you should do your best to walk them through every step. Plan for the initial consultation by doing the following:
- Learn the specifics of what your buyers are looking for in a home
- Explain to them that it’s critical to get prequalified for a loan as soon as possible
- Explain the plan to them in detail, so they know how the process works
- Find out if they have plans to visit the location and ensure you are available on those dates
- Tell them that they should contact you directly with any questions about homes they are interested in
- Follow up often during this stage
Offer all the insights into different neighborhoods and share knowledge about the local area if they are unfamiliar with it. The more preparation you can do before they see properties in person, the better.
Rely on Your Established Reputation
If you are specifically targeting those looking to buy out of state, you want to focus on building a good reputation. Ensure you leave positive impressions with your existing clients and ask them to refer you to their friends and family. A word-of-mouth referral goes a long way. If one family member moves, it is not uncommon for other family members or friends will follow. Going above and beyond for your clients is imperative if you want to be the preferred agent.
In addition to that, getting to know your client, communicating, blogging, and being active on social media will help you grow your reputation as an out-of-state agent.
Get Your Clients Preapproved as Soon as Possible
Your clients may not be aware of this vital step, and it is crucial to let them know about it. Unless they are making a cash purchase, preapproval is an essential step toward buying a home. Going through the process can take a long time as your client needs to get their paperwork together—and it could be substantial. The last thing you want is to waste time showing clients houses they cannot afford. In order to help your out-of-state clients best, you need to know their overall needs and budgets. Otherwise, you will end up wasting their time as well as yours.
It is essential to find homes that fit into the client’s budget. You could help them complete the required paperwork ahead of scheduling home tours to avoid this. You can also ask their lender to send their approval letter electronically. Getting your clients preapproved is vital in eliminating stress for both parties.
Do Virtual Tours and Provide High-Quality Photos for Those Looking to Buy Out of State
Since your clients will not be able to see the properties in person, set up video calls with them. You can also use virtual tours and staged photos to assist you with selling the home or property. You can accomplish plenty without physically being together in person. This includes showing them the neighborhood and areas around their property. This way, they will have a better image in their minds, and it won’t feel entirely as foreign to them once they arrive.
Encourage Clients to Visit the Property
Although video calls and photos can be extremely helpful, it is always good to have the clients visit the property at least once. See if you can arrange this with them and put it on the calendar as soon as possible. It will help everyone ensure you have time in your schedule for the buyers when they arrive. Set expectations and create an itinerary for the trip. If they haven’t decided on a home yet, discuss how many homes they want to visit and in what timeframe. Creating a plan helps avoid confusion for the buyers as well as the agent.
Assume The Sale
You might not think it, but the most critical factor in closing a real estate sale is how well you play the part. Don’t wait for your buyer to give you the sale but assume it and be proactive. If you have gotten to the end of the visit and your clients are happy with your work, you should ask for the sale. It is a direct approach, but it will leave them feeling confident about you. If they decline or are on the fence, ask if there is anything else you can do for them before they go. We’re not saying you should make them uncomfortable and pressure them into buying something that doesn’t make sense for them. Simply let them know that you feel good about the property and let them decide.
Helping Your Clients Move
Once you have made the sale, you want to do everything in your power to assist your clients in the following transition. When they decide to make an interstate move after buying out of state, help them simplify the whole process. Since they may not be familiar with the best moving agencies in the area, you will be an excellent resource for them. Advising them to hire professionals to help them move is a great idea. They will ease the transition and make the move much less challenging.
We hope our tips help clients looking to buy out of state gave you a bit more insight. They should provide you with confidence to get in on this growing market as it will only get more and more popular.