According to the American Moving and Storage Association, half of all household moves take place between May and Labor Day. Overall, 43 million Americans move every year.
Planning a move can be time-consuming and nerve-wracking, but two things can help make the process go more smoothly: educating yourself through research, and working with a Realtor you trust.
In the last year, there has been an explosion of free real estate information on the Internet, says Michael Yang, general manager, Yahoo! Real Estate. More than ever before, potential buyers are better educated by access to home price estimates, comparable home sales, and satellite pictures of houses on the market and their neighborhoods. And the information is available without paying a penny.
Online research will help you determine price ranges for a particular neighborhood, view homes proximity to local businesses, and get estimates and historical sales data for individual properties.
Yang points out that one of the most popular features on Yahoo! Real Estate is Schools Search: Living near a good school is crucial for parents and anyone planning to start a family. But, its also a good investment factor for any home buyer as houses in good school districts tend to sell faster and at higher prices than homes in other areas.
Once youre feeling smarter about your target neighborhood and price range, its time to team up with a Realtor. If youre well established in the area, ask friends and family for a recommendation.
If youre moving into a new area, consider turning to the Internet for help. The Find A Realtor service on Yahoo! Real Estate allows you to interview Realtors anonymously by e-mail before choosing the one that best fits your needs. You can compare the agents experience and sales commissions as well as their proposals on how they would work with you.
from the July 11-17, 2007, issue