Buying a home and land in a rural area is a bit different than home searches in cities and urban environments. It's vital that you have a real estate agent that specializes in rural properties.
1. Check Their Property History
One of the key things to do before even interviewing a real estate agent is to verify that they have experience with buyers looking at rural properties. Agents who have a portfolio that mainly consists of properties in cities and towns may not have the knowledge necessary for finding and vetting rural properties. Issues like land use restrictions, septic and water well issues, and land values may not be as developed as those agents that deal primarily in rural land and homes.
2. Look for Region, as Opposed to Town, Served
Expanding on the above point, you want an agent that works the area where you want to live. If you are currently living in the city, don't call up the agency down the street. Instead, interview agents that live or operate out of the region where you wish to purchase. Keep in mind that a rural home search may span across several counties, so it is important to find an agent that is familiar with the region rather than just a single county. If your search is quite broad, it may be worth it to have an agent with expertise in each county you are considering if no regional experts are available.
3. Get the Details on Recently Sold Properties
One way to find the perfect agent is to look at properties that have recently sold. Scour the sold listings for the last year or two, looking for properties that meet your desires and sold for prices that you consider fair for the property and area. Then, contact the agents the agents that represented the buyers. Chances are these agents have the experience and expertise you are looking for since they have an obvious track record of finding and brokering deals on the type of rural property you are looking for.
4. Ask About Specific Specializations
Real estate agents have different specializations, and the good agents will be very clear about what those specializations are. There are agents that specialize in rural properties, farm properties, timber lands, and even undeveloped land. The agent may even have professional designations, bestowed upon them by groups like the National Association of Realtors, that indicate that they are ethical or have shown exemplary expertise in a particular property type.
If you are ready to begin your search for your dream rural property, contact a real estate agent today.