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Question
Hi

My husband and I are newly retired. We want to move from IL to WI; our condo had a contract on it after less than a month (a year ago or so). There were problems with the buyers (27 contingencies), the agent (going behind our backs) and my health, so the sale was scrubbed.

We have not been able to drive out to WI to look at properties directly; rather, we cruise the realtor sites. We want at least 3 acres in a semi-rural area but still close to a town (if that makes sense). We are Chicagoans, so we are going to live a different lifestyle.  We thought about driving out to different places we've identified; then renting first? Although some properties are so affordable we could pay cash.  We are not sure about paying cash (at our age) but take out a mortgage.

If we rent, we have a problem of finding a place that will take our elderly dog (well-behaved and housetrained).  We couldn't find a place to rent the first time.  

Some of the realtors in WI do not get back to answer questions re properties. They leave half the important info off their listings (acreage, property tax, etc.)

We feel like we are spinning our wheels... meanwhile, living here in our condo is no longer cost effective for us.

If you have any suggestion(s) we would appreciate them.

Thank you.

Answer
Hi Connie;
The first thing that comes to mind is a purchase contingent upon receiving answers to all of your questions. In some states the ourchase contract has a provision that says that you have a due diligence period and that allows you to back out of the purchase for any reason with a full refund of earnest money.  However, this would not allow you to do much if you get there and don't like the home.

The other suggestion I have is that you find a local REALTOR in your area with whom you can work who will refer you to a REALTOR in WI. What this means is the local REALTORwill call and vet the other broker and perhaps continue to be involved enough to get some questions answered on your behalf.  

I also suggest that perhaps you can find an extended stay location in WI that allows dogs.  There are always some hotels like that in town.  You can also consider kenneling your dog but I know that with extended stay situations that may not be an option.  

The final suggestion is to call the managing brokers of a large company in the town or area in which you are looking: explaining your situation to them and making sure that the agent that they recommend is someone who is good about follow up.  You can also ask for a Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES) which is a designation given to certain REALTORS who specialise on retirement clients and who are more foucsed on assisting in any way they can.  Ask the managing broker for the designations of any REALTOR that they recommend.  There is CRS; GRI and ABR that are also specialists who will be good at assisting you.  

I hope that this helps you.

Warm Regards,
Jessica Bryan

Buying or Selling a Home

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Jessica Bryan

Expertise

buying and selling process such as:
General questions from first time buyers
How to market a home
Why choose a REALTOR
How do I find a REALTOR
Should I consider buying or selling without a REALTOR--how much can I save
Should I remodel or move
How much can I expect to gain by fixing up my home before selling
Helpful tips when selling
Helpful tips when buying
finding a good mortgage loan
what is the difference between banks, mortgage bankers, and mortgage brokers
Questions from the general public, people thinking about getting their real estate license, newly licensed.
Fellow professionals who have interests in networking and how to get started
What is a market evaluation and how does it differ from an appraisal what are the different loan programs
services a REALTOR can perform
when to use a lawyer
when to use escrow
what are the regional differences in the buying and selling process
what is the MLS and how does it work
how can the layman access information on the web--listings and other information
These are just a few of the questions. I can suggest that if I am unable to answer a question I will refer the inquiry to a source that can.

Experience

Anyone who is in this business and who dedicates oneself to professionalism has continued to take classes and along with it,additional credentials, awards and honors. I can list a host of them, but my greatest accomplishments happen to be those of getting first time buyers (who didn't think they could afford to buy a home)into a home of their dreams. The look on their faces when I hand over the keys is worth all of the hard work.

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