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In Chicago it really helps to have someone from the area or at least very familiar with the area. The reason I say that is in Chicago it can be difficult to price your home correctly. The neighborhoods are not separated by zip codes and 2 city blocks can mean a huge difference in price. A realtor not from the area would do a Comparative market analysis by selecting a zip code or township and may not come up with an accurate price. Not to mention an agent close to the area will be able to show your home with fewer concerns such as traffic and so on.
Not necessarily. There is a plethora of information out there for any agent to access. If you have a agent you trust, who is willing to do the extra homework this might demand, there is every reason to believe that you won't have to switch. I think it is important to ask your agent first if she/he wants to and feels comfortable helping you in an area that might be unfamiliar.
The answer lies with the realtor who is knowledgeable of the city, who takes the time to go see properties on a weekly basis. It is one thing to look at properties online and a totally different experience to see them "live". As a buyer you need straight answers, you need someone with their thumb on the pulse. When comes time to write an offer, you have to know the comparables, if you haven't seen them, you can't compare, and thus will be misguided. It is very important to have a local agent, one that will give you an advantage compare to agent who are not local, you need an agent who can compare properties.
In today's world, the access to information can be pulled in from any location. Some agents from afar actually can give you great deal more information than many other agents because the local agent has no idea how to gain the info due to lack of experience or not educating/exposing themselves to local information.I, in fact, have taken clients around neighborhoods in which I was far from the area and could pin point things that local agents failed to mention. When the client asked why the other agents didn't tell them these things, all I could say was perhaps they didn't feel it was important to you...I have met many tourist that could tell a lot more about an area than practically any native. That is because most natives either don't care or they just get comfortable thinking they know everything or are numb to the importance of the information.I love dealing with the agents in Los Angeles, especially in Palos Verdes and the Beverly Hills areas because they don't feel threatened, are very professional and will go head over heals to help you out to get the job done; of course not everything is 100%. So me being an outside agent has no issue of getting the job done.I am no where near San Francisco, but I can tell you that in order to do a transaction in San Francisco I'll need San Francisco specific forms, in Rancho Palos Verdes all trees will be topped in order to preserve views and so on...It all depends on the agent you choose, so being local isn't always a factor, it is the selection of the particular agent you choose.
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