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Choosing a Realtor with a Niche Specialty — Vacation Homes

After much thought and research, you've finally decided buying a vacation home is the right choice for your family! You can't wait to cross this item off your bucket list! But first, it will be important that you enlist the help of a Real Estate Agent who is familiar with vacation homes.

choosing a real estate agent for buying a vacation or second home

Not all Agents are created equal when it comes to buying a vacation home, so you'll want to make sure they have experience specifically in this type of purchase. And, if you've already narrowed down the area you're interested in buying in, local experience will be key. Here are some things to look for when choosing a Real Estate Agent to help you buy your vacation home.

Questions to Ask the Realtor

Ask About Clients

A good start is to simply ask your prospective Agent how many clients they have assisted in purchasing vacation homes, specifically in the local area you are interested in buying. Hopefully, they will answer honestly as this will give you an idea of whether the Agent has simply "dabbled" in this type of sale or if they have significant experience.

choosing a real estate agent for buying a vacation or second home

Look for Certifications

Holding a Resort & Second-Home Property Specialist (RSPS) certification will help guarantee that an Agent has gone above "standard" training to further their knowledge specifically when it comes to buying a vacation home. It's important to keep in mind however, that there are other factors to consider and simply holding a certification does not mean the Agent is well-versed in the local area.

Test their Local Knowledge

If you're planning to buy a vacation home in an area you are not overly familiar with, it will be all the more important that your Agent is very knowledgeable about the area. Ideally, they will be local, as they can easily manage the sale process (and make trips to the property, if needed) even while you're not there.

choosing a real estate agent for buying a vacation or second home

They should know all of the codes, regulations and zoning rules so that they can answer all of your questions. If the Agent is truly comfortable and familiar with the area they should be able to easily answer the following questions (as they are important factors to consider before committing to the area):

  • How does the area operate economically?
  • Is it seasonal?
  • If so, what is the area like during off-season?
  • Is it a growing area?
  • How is the traffic during on and off-season?
  • Which days are frequently used for renters changing over?

Do they have local connections?

An Agent experienced in the area should be able to provide you with many local connections (lenders, inspectors, contractors, landscapers, etc.) If they can't provide you with a relatively comprehensive list, they may not be as "invested" in the area as they claim.

If you plan to rent out your vacation home when you're not using it, these local connections will be very helpful, especially if you will need a Property Manager.

Ask about their favorite local spots

It may seem like a silly question, but asking your prospective Agent about their favorite local coffee shops, restaurants, ice cream parlors, shopping spots, etc. will once again give insight into their involvement with the location/community. Hiring an Agent who is very familiar with the area where you'd like to buy should make this question easy for them to answer. It will also give you a good running list of places to visit once you purchase your vacation home!

choosing a real estate agent for buying a vacation or second home

We know, we know... you're ready to just cue the vacation vibes! 😎 But, it's even more important to make sure you have an Agent who is up to the job of securing your dream vacation home. Simply taking a little extra time to thoroughly interview an Agent will help set yourself (and the sale) up for success, and ensure you'll be operating on vacation time sooner rather than later! 🍹

Want more advice about all things home — including homebuying or selling advice? Nestiny is a great place for homebuyer education and to help you gauge how ready you are to buy a home. Journey Homeward allows you to enter all your wants and needs while the True Affordability Tool will break down your budget, showing what you can comfortably afford. You will also receive a Ready Report that will give you a vital head start in the home buying journey, saving you valuable time and money.

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