The final decision to buy a home in the Golden Isles often goes beyond the square footage, number of rooms and the size of the yard.
In today’s connected world, real estate agents and brokers provide a wealth of information and personal assistance to help people move into a new home. The information is especially helpful for those unfamiliar with the area, said Sherrye Gibbs, managing member/qualifying broker for Sea Palms Coastal Realty.
Once a relationship has been established with a client, Gibbs said there are lots of questions she is asked that have nothing to do with the home they are considering.
They want to know if dogs are allowed on the beach, the rules about driving golf carts on the roads, the availability of senior living facilities, and the location of public pools, golf courses, hospitals and much more.
Relocation services are an important tool that help real estate agents build relationships with their customers and newcomers make decisions to fit their needs.
In some instances, clients are transferred to the area for a job with no time to buy a new home. This gives real estate agents another role.
“If needed, we assist our clients with finding a temporary place to stay during the move; we can help find storage facilities before, during and after the move,” Gibbs said. “And we are always there to assist with challenges along the way.”
While real estate agents and brokers are allowed to make many recommendations, they are not allowed to give legal or tax advice.
“Because Realtors are often the go-to resource for everything house-related, when asked, we provide our clients with contact information for multiple vendors so they can choose their closing attorney, mortgage lender, insurance agent, property inspector, pest control, roofing contractor, general contractor,” she said.
Real estate professionals also try to make the move as easy as possible by providing contact information for utilities, including internet and cable television service, and community resource information, much of which is available on the Brunswick-Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce website, at www.goldenisles.com.
Ann Dempsey, associate broker with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Hodnett Cooper Real Estate, said many of her customers have school-age children. She often arranges for parents to tour the schools where their children would attend before they decide on a home.
“I do have a lot of people who want to visit schools before they ever look at property,” she said. “It’s an easy sell because of the quality of our schools.”
Dempsey said she works with real estate agents in other areas who provide photos of customers’ homes to find something comparable, if that’s what they want.
Her company has worked with as many as 30 different relocation companies to help make the move to the Golden Isles as easy as possible.
Dempsey, an associate broker who has worked in the Golden Isles for the past 42 years, said when she is asked for specific advice on a good doctor, dentist or veterinarian, or churches, stores, restaurants or anything else, she provides at least three or four names.
“We do everything legally and with high integrity,” she said.
The relationships between Dempsey and her clients often grow into lasting friendships.
Dempsey said a client who had recently bought a home called from the Southeast Georgia Health System hospital in Brunswick with a family emergency. Dempsey drove to the hospital to pick up her client’s dog and bring it back to the client’s home. Dempsey said it shows the trust that can be developed if a client has a good experience buying a home.
“They’ve got to trust you; that’s the key,” she said. “We do things that go beyond the move. I love what I do because it is helping people.”