Many people find themselves involved in a real estate relocation. Perhaps a job change, promotion, or family related issues. In these situations there are times when the relocation is to an area that is unfamiliar and far away. It can be very difficult to gauge neighborhoods and services in the short visits as buyers look for a new home.
It may serve buyers well to rent a home or apartment for six months to a year keeping the bulk of their items in storage while they learn the area. An advantage to renting is mobility. Once you are ready to move, you give notice, pack up, and leave. Selling a home however is a more enduring process. I believe that it is wise to carefully evaluate the schools, shopping, proximity to work, neighborhood condition and lifestyle, before buying a home. This may take several months to really understand.
Many people however, may be like me. I hate moving. If this is the case, then it becomes paramount for the buyer to consult a true buyer's agent. Many real estate agents don't like showing homes and dealing with the buyer's side of a real estate transaction. Ironically, they are often the first type of agent a prospective buyer meets. The buyer is sitting out in front of a house with the 'Acme Real Estate' company sign and the call the number. That agent may be the classic 'listing' agent.
If buyers are relocating to a 'strange new world' it is advised that they interview a few agents and find one that is willing to spend some time working with them, showing multiple homes in a variety of neighborhoods best suited to their needs. In the end this helps to ensure that best possible purchase and the highest chance of many happy years in their new home.