When shopping for a property at Smith Mountain Lake, it is critical to locate a REALTOR® who specializes in waterfront properties. Of over 1,500 REALTORS®in the local realty association, only a very small percentage of full-time REALTORS® specialize in lakefront homes and land.
Kenyon Blunt, author, and waterfront home specialist, has written a series of articles on how to locate these types of REALTORS®. The first article is reprinted below.
When you’ve narrowed down your search for a lake home to one or two areas, it’s time to call in a professional realtor. Yes, you can indeed do it yourself but when you’re looking at property that’s far from where you live, it pays to have someone on your side who knows what to look for and what to avoid.
Choosing a Realtor
The Internet is a great tool for real estate. You can use it to get a good idea of property values at your chosen lake and to see the kinds of homes available but there’s no substitute for being there. A lake home may look very picturesque in the online description but, when you visit, it’s a far cry from the dream home you imagined. It’s best to use the internet to help you find a couple of interesting areas and then select a realtor who specializes in those spots.
And you shouldn’t rely on taking a drive to the lake and just using whatever realtor happens to have his or her sign out front. In addition to the listing realtor being more concerned for the seller, he or she may not take you seriously. Here’s a scenario that happens frequently at the lake. A couple drives to the lake and on a whim, decides to spend the day looking at homes. They notice that the first few realtors with whom they speak barely give them the time of day. What’s up with this? The agents don’t take the buyers seriously because they haven’t made a sincere effort. If it’s a whim for the buyers then it’s probably a waste of time for the realtor.
So how can you avoid these problems? You need to find a realtor who specializes in lake homes and who will perform the duties you ask them.
What to Look for in a Realtor®
The best way to find the lake home of your dreams is to find a realtor who specializes in the lake (or area of the lake) that you’re interested in. You’ll be relying heavily on your agent so it’s important to have a good idea of the qualities necessary for her or him to do a good job. In addition to showing you properties, they should be;
- Knowledgeable about the lake and its community
- Willing to go the extra mile for you through closing
- Someone you enjoy spending time with
- Focused on you as a buyer
- Trained in real estate laws and procedures
- An agent who mostly sells lake properties
- Someone who listens well to your objectives.
To find the above information, you’re going to need to question your prospective real estate professional. Here is a sample of some questions you should ask.
- How long have you been selling lake homes?
- Do you own a property yourself on the lake?
- Can you give me an example of how you’ve helped a buyer negotiate a deal?
- Do you specialize in a certain area of the lake or type of home?
- What resources does your firm provide that might be of interest to me?
- Will I be dealing just with you or with someone else from your firm?
- How will the transaction be handled once an agreement is signed?
- Are there any snags that I should expect?
This issue deals with finding a realtor who specializes in lake homes and what qualities are important when you select one. Part 2 of the series will explain the duties realtors perform on your behalf and how you can take advantage of their skills.
Smith Mountain Homes has excellent agents and access to all waterfront listings at Smith Mountain Lake and Leesville Lake. See their website at www.SmithMountainHomes.com.