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Real Estate is Local. Your Agent Should be Too.

If you’ve been paying attention to homes for sale here in Lancaster lately, you may have seen some signs for realtors you’re unfamiliar with. Perhaps you’ve even noticed homes listed for sale by realtors from outside of Lancaster County. We’ve certainly noticed what seems to be an uptick in listing agents from outside Lancaster, and while they may be excellent agents, we suggest you carefully consider the following before hiring an agent based outside of Lancaster.

Buyers may miss your home completely.

Entering your home into the multiple listing service (MLS) is one of the most important things in getting your home sold. The MLS is how other realtors representing buyers find out about your home, and how websites get information to list your home (think Zillow, Redfin, etc.). Therefore, the correct MLS information is critical.

Agents from outside the area are more likely to choose incorrect municipalities or school districts when inputting your home’s information because they are unfamiliar with the area. They also may get data wrong or use terminology for certain items that are different than the terminology we use locally, making it harder for your home to be found.

Just last week, one of our agents was searching for a home on a buyer’s behalf in the MLS. When he couldn’t find it, he called the listing agent who assured him it was in the MLS. He eventually found the listing under Manheim Central schools, when the home was actually located in Manheim Township. Imagine how many buyers were also missing out on seeing that home on the market.

Buyers don’t wait.

Often times, buyers contact the listing agent to arrange to see a home. When your agent is located outside of Lancaster County, they are not nearby to get the buyers into your home quickly. Sometimes, it may even take days to arrange the showing, based on the agent’s schedule. In today’s market, however, most buyers are not waiting around. The Lancaster real estate market is hot and homes are moving very quickly. If buyers aren’t able to get into your home right away, they’re going to move on to the next home on their list.

Every area has different requirements during a sale.

Did you know that real estate practices vary from County to County? While our real estate licenses allow practice in the entire state of Pennsylvania, it’s important to note that counties as close as York have differences in how they handle a real estate transaction.

While an agent may be able to get assistance in handling a real estate transaction in a neighboring county, being familiar with all of the Townships and Boros in that county is another thing entirely. For instance, here in Lancaster, several Townships require a Certificate of Occupancy to be issued or updated when a home is sold. Other areas require water meter inspections, sidewalk inspections, smoke detector certifications, and more. Each of these have varying fees and time frames you need to adhere to.

If you choose a realtor based outside of Lancaster County to assist with the sale of your home, it’s likely they won’t be aware of the requirements of your municipality. This could leave you with a liability after the sale, if you haven’t met your terms of the agreement of sale.

When you work with our team, you receive specialized care from a team of agents local to Lancaster County, with a full-time support staff. Our administrative team knows the intricacies with each township and have built relations with the folks at the township offices. These relationships allow us to provide a smoother transaction. Our goal for buyers and sellers not to have any surprises during the transaction.

Overall, when selling your Lancaster County home, it is best to stick with a realtor who is based in Lancaster. This is the best way to ensure your interests are represented, and the transaction is handled properly, for your own protection.

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