Those looking to relocate to northeast Kansas may have questions about housing, schools, family-friendly events, taxes, health care facilities and recreational opportunities.
Realtors — in addition to finding them a home — can help newcomers with answers to their other questions.
“A Realtor almost has to be an information booth,” said Jamie Sauder, an Emporia Realtor and president of Topeka-based Sunflower Association of Realtors Inc. “Most people relocate because of a job and may not have a lot of knowledge (about where they’re moving to). A Realtor may be the first person they meet in the community.”
Linda Briden, CEO of Sunflower Association of Realtors, said Realtors are careful not to steer relocating homebuyers to a specific neighborhood because of fair housing laws. However, they can give homebuyers the tools to gather information about school test scores, walkability, crime statistics and nearby amenities.
Sauder said it’s important for those relocating to a new community to research available Realtors in order to find an agent who cares about and is involved in the community and “not just selling real estate.”
“Nearly everyone in real estate will have a website and will have detailed bios of the agents,” he said. “It’s important to do your homework and find someone you can connect with — even call and interview agents to find one that’s (a comfortable fit).”
Sauder said being able to answer newcomers’ questions often turns them into repeat customers who seek out the Realtor again when they are looking to sell or buy another home.
Realtors often work closely with local Chambers of Commerce, Main Street programs and other organizations providing relocation information, Briden and Sauder said.
“They’ll get you pointed in the right direction when you need an answer to a specific question,” Sauder said.
Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce showcases a relocation guide on its website, topekachamber.org/why-topeka/moving-topeka/. The Sunflower Association of Realtors’ website provides a link to the Chamber’s guide.
The online relocation guide provides a wealth of information on education, housing, employment and industry, health care, government and taxes, churches, child care, history, attractions, events and other topics.
“Most of our FAQ’s (frequently asked questions) revolve around school districts and faith communities,” said Amy McCarter, vice president of communications for Greater Topeka Partnership.
Contact niche editor Jan Biles at (785) 295-1292.