The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Finding a buyer's agent for a homestead

Choosing a buyer's agent

A couple of you suggested tracking down a designated buyer's agent to narrow the list of potential farms and also to negotiate the final deal. Financially, a buyer's agent makes a lot of sense since sellers have already factored the buyer's agent's fee into the list price, so you're not paying anything extra for the service. Unfortunately, Mark and I spent a couple of weeks contacting potential realtors and had trouble getting anyone to give us the time of day.

Then I discovered Zillow's realtor search feature. By narrowing the field to a certain region, choosing "Buying a home" from the "Service needed" dropdown, then going to "Advanced" and Past salesselecting "Buyer's Agent" as the specialty, I was finally able to come up with over a hundred possible choices.

My next step was to narrow the playing field by clicking on each realtor's profile and eliminating everyone whose "Past sales" listings were out of my price range and/or in which the realtor acted as the seller's agent rather than as the buyer's agent. Finally, reviews helped me select a realtor who has a good reputation for answering emails and staying in touch.

And, sure enough, I found a buyer's agent who's willing to give us the time of day! Maybe now we can stop spending quite so much time househunting and can finish getting our current homestead sorted and ready to move.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Dear Anna and Mark,

I hope you all the best buying and selling. I wonder if in this rush from the thrill of new prospects if you are doing things in the wrong order. Maybe find a seller's agent before you find a buyer's agent? Or maybe do both?

Could you use part of your nest egg to live a trial year in a low rent place in Athens to test the waters, even be your own agent during that time?

I am asking a lot of questions and sure, they may be just for thinking. But they might be worthy things to really delve into for more than a minute.

It is awesome, you are crossing the mud and joining the world! Take it slow enough that no mistakes are made as you find yourself in this new place.

Comment by Maggie Sat Jul 15 07:41:22 2017
One other question. Considering that in and near Athens you might be more inclined to have sewer on just a lot of land, couldn't you buy a little land and put a new trailer on it? You all sure made that one a home, and it started off at $0. Now you could shop a little for something even better!?
Comment by Maggie Sat Jul 15 07:52:18 2017

Hi Anna,

I will chime in to agree with Maggie. I am not sure what you are running from? Maybe just cleaning up your current digs and starting a careful study of options makes more sense?

Thanks for all you and Mark have taught me :).


Comment by John Sat Jul 15 19:43:35 2017
Maggie and John --- I understand that it's tough when people you count upon to remain the same change. If you reread our original post on the topic, you'll perhaps understand a little better why the changing people we are need a changing environment to thrive within. I suspect a less stubborn person than me would have actually run toward something new several years ago, but --- like you --- I wasn't willing to admit the transition at first. Hopefully you'll be able to come around faster than I did! :-)
Comment by anna Sun Jul 16 07:17:50 2017

I don't have a trouble with change or a hang up with watching you change or move (actually I said it is "awesome") for that matter. I made it clear in my first 2 posts that my main point is that you are rushing. John's main point seemed that it seems a move away more than to. I already had read the blog entry that you refer to, but I went back and double checked and didn't see anything new.

I just want you to be careful that this is a slow, sure process, because it is such a huge thing, is likely using most of your resources, is a huge investment of energy, and likely many changes would be made that you can't reverse.

I want to be proven wrong but as your watchful sister, I am concerned that you are changing everything. Mark may have things to pull him to Ohio. But what is pulling you to Ohio?

Everyone wants you to be happy, and I know Mom is turning 75, so you aren't the only person in the family who is changing. Of course, we all want you to follow your dreams and embrace your liberty, but "Ohio" in and of itself is not an full explanation. OK, Ohio has a certain social scene that draws you? Do you know the people at all individually or is it just hopes?

When I moved to Berea I talked with other recent new students and we all said that it takes a full year to acclimate and it is rare to feel the true connecting bond of friendship anywhere before then.

Maybe what is best for you and Mark are 2 different answers right now?

Comment by Maggie Sun Jul 16 16:02:23 2017
Hi Maggie - just read the comment that you're in Berea (KY). That's where we're moving! Maybe we'll cross paths.
Comment by Rhonda from Baddeck Tue Jul 18 19:44:54 2017
I moved back to Tennessee!
Comment by maggie Wed Jul 19 05:50:18 2017

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