Home Buying in Tucson>Question Details

Reamsa, Home Buyer in Tucson, AZ

How do I go about finding a good Agent? I don't know where or when to start looking for an Agent and a House. How many months in advance should?

Asked by Reamsa, Tucson, AZ Sun Oct 20, 2013

you? Our Lease ends Mid Feb 2014

Will be using a VA Loan already have Eligibility Letter.

Help the community by answering this question:


Lots of good advice on here already. You might want to ask friends or family if they have a Realtor they can recommend.
Websites like Trulia and Zillow offer agents for you to pick from, including the 16 agents that responded to your question already. I would recommend you read their reviews (do that have any?) and give a couple a call. I would recommend you work with an experienced buyers agent who knows the area you are interested in.

Buying a property should be an exciting and educational process, working with the right experienced buyer's agent can make all the difference.

If you have time, please click on my profile to learn more about me, including 91 reviews written by past clients.

The next step will be to get pre-approved with a lender.

Good luck with your move and search.


Spirit Messingham, PLLC
3rd Generation Full-Time Realtor®
Tierra Antigua Realty
Direct (520) 471-6900
Fax (866) 365-5208
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 21, 2013
Hi Reamsa,

As you mentioned your VA eligibility (my husband & I both have our's, too, & it's awesome), you two would definitely qualify for the Homes for Heroes program. It's just getting a start here in Tucson, but I'm sure a local Homes for Heroes affiliate would be happy to help you find just the right agent in the areas you're interested in. Affiliate agents rebate "heroes" (military, police, firefighters, first responders, teachers & health care) 25% of their earned commission BACK to the hero at closing. We're also beginning to work with local lenders, as well as other real estate professionals to offer even more rebates & discounts. It's just our small way of saying thanks for all our heroes' and heroes' families' sacricifices (as retired military & military spouse, I get it!).

Go to HomesForHeroes.com for more information, or feel free to contact me directly & I'll get you in touch with the affiliate agent for your area (I'm in the NW).


Shawn Devoid
Chartered Real Estate Consultant
Tierra Antigua Realty
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 21, 2013
As you are seeing there are a lot of agents to choose from. A lot of them also go on these blogs and answer a lot of questions. The best way to choose an agent is to talk to them and see who you are compfortable with. As to when to start looking, the answer is now. Although you don't want to necessarily want to move before Feb. It is good to know what is out there and find out what features and locations appeal to you. Once you find a home it will take 30-45 days to close escrow and get the keys.
Right now, take the first step and choose a Realtor. Then your Realtor will help you get pre-qualified, set up searches for homes that meet your wish list. Hope this helps you and I am always available to answer your concerns and questions. Good Luck.

Ric Mills, The Dan Adler Team
Keller Williams of Southern Az
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 20, 2013
The best way to find a great agent is through a recommendation from a friend or family member. If you are new to the area and/or you don’t have a way to get a recommendation I can supply you with references from very happy buyers that I have helped to find great homes. Specifically I would like to supply you with references from buyers that have transferred in with the Air Force and ex-military buyers that purchased using a VA loan.

Even this far out I would set you up on an automatic search through our multiple listing service. Every day, using your specifications as a guide, the MLS will email you properties that are newly listed for sale. You can, at your leisure, look at information and pictures of these homes and get a better idea of what is for sale and what homes that meet your requirements cost.

Please let me know if I can help in any way.

Sam Zobrest
Owner/ Broker
Wildcat Realty & Management
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 20, 2013
That is one of the best questions I have even seen on Truila! I am sure you are about to get hit with a bunch of us saying “Call me!” I love it. Usually people seem to know someone that will refer them to an agent, or they usually see an add on the internet and send a mail or call, so for you to be in this position is not that common. Finding an agent by driving the neighborhood you want to live in, seeing Real Estate signs, sometimes works. If you have already talked to a lender they usually have an idea who may fit with you. It is an important decision. You need to trust that person. They must be able to listen to you and understand what is important to you. You want someone who understands lending because that works hand in hand with the home you are going to buy. Find someone who is available and answers their phone. That one may sound silly but even me, a Broker, sometimes has a difficult time getting into contact with some agents. The person you are looking for has to have an understanding of the market you are looking in, the price range also. Do they only sell high end homes, are they familiar with your price range? Do you want to live in a subdivision or are you looking for some land, some space. That one is very important. Whatever you do; talk with them and make sure you feel comfortable and they are willing to give you the time necessary to find the right home. For myself; I do not sell high end homes. Maybe I should but I like a challenge. Don’t get me wrong, in the 24 years I have been doing this I have sold from $10,000 - $600,000. From subdivision lot size properties to 1,000’s of acres but I have found that I truly like helping people and protecting them. You also need to be directed to a lender that works with VA lending. Once the lender lets the agent know what you qualify for and what you want to spend, the three of you work together very closely to make it happen. It’s all team work. You should start now. That way the lending can be put in place and if there are any glitches you can work them out. And of course; call me with any questions.

Kat Carr
Homes of The Old Pueblo, LLC
Cell (520) 245-4002
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 20, 2013
Hi Reamsa,

Are you looking here in AZ? Or, do you need something there in San Antonio? It doesn't hurt to start looking now! Learning the area via the internet, becoming acquainted with realtors, etc. In fact, depending upon what part of town you are in in SA, I could suggest someone there, who then could direct you with the basics and guide you our direction.

I am happy to help if you would like. Call or email at your convenience!

Donna Reed
Keller Williams Southern Arizona
520-631-4638 or donna@reedtucson.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 20, 2013

Looking for an agent online can be a great place to start. Sites like Trulia allow you to read reviews from past clients that an agent has received, so that you can choose someone with confidence. This is probably best if you are coming from out of state also.

You'll want to find an agent that you feel is a good communicator and available to attend to your needs. Not all agents work in real estate full-time and this would be a good question to ask. Tucson is a big area so you'll also want to find an agent that is very familiar with the areas you plan to look.

Since you are getting a VA loan, which can take about 45 days from start to finish, you should probably at least start sifting through information now. With the guidance of the right agent, you should be able to learn about the areas in town that you may want to concentrate your search and begin narrowing down what you do and don't like about properties. You can also start to get a feel of the flow of the market by starting early so you feel informed when you start your search in earnest.

Certain areas of the Tucson market have been quite competitive this year and working with a VA loan can sometimes be a challenge because there are minimum property requirements and extra fees that sellers have to pay. If you run into a multiple offer situation, you want to work with your agent on a plan to navigate through that.

I hope that helps and best of luck to you!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 20, 2013
Reamsa, now is a great time to start looking for an agent.
With your agent, you will get the chance to see what homes are going for and how much they are going for, therefor giving you an idea at what you're looking at in your price range! If you find a home earlier, it is possible to move out of your current lease, when it is up, into your new home, if planned correctly by your agent!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 26, 2013
Reamsa, hopefully you have already found the right agent. If you have, I wish you well and continued success with your home purchase. If not, you should begin the process of identifying the right agent at this time. A significant amount of good replies have already been posted on Trulia; however, if you still find yourself looking for the right agent, please feel free to contact me at your convenience.

Marc Martinez, SFR
Tierra Antigua Realty
520-271-6175 (call/text)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 25, 2013
Reamsa, people have posted some helpful information here. I have two articles that might help you more specifically. One is called "The Top 12 Questions To Ask A Realtor" , this is helpful for how to interview Realtors and what to ask them. The second article is called "Top 10 Mistakes Buyers Make", and it helps you avoid the most common pitfalls I see. Feel free to contact me and I will gladly share them with you.

Warmest Regards,
Melissa Mullin
​Licensed REALTOR®
Long Realty Company
1890 E River Rd
Tucson AZ 85718
Phone: (520) 222-8502
Fax: (520) 222-8502
Fax: 1 (520) 226-3646
melissam@longrealty.com http://www.melissam.longrealty.com http://www.facebook.com/LongRealtyMelissa http://www.linkedin.com/in/melissamullin
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 21, 2013
Hi Reamsa, welcome to Tucson, this is a great place to live. Even though you have your eligibility arranged, you will also need to get pre-qualified to make an offer on a home. Realtors prefer, and some require, you to have a pre-qualification letter before they take you out looking at homes. They and you should want you to have a good idea about how much house the monthly amount you are comfortable paying on your mortgage will buy. If you would like to discuss this, give me a call. Before that, you are always welcome to check out homes on Trulia and elsewhere so you get an initial idea of what you are interested in before you work with a Realtor. I would be happy to suggest a few excellent Realtors once we get you pre-qualified.

This information is not intended to be an indication of loan qualification, loan approval or commitment to lend. Other limitations may apply.
Minette Goldsmith-Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp. 5401 N. Oracle Road Tucson AZ 85704
520 975-3909
L.O. NMLS# 261487 AZ L.O. License #0912618, FIMC # 2289, AZ BK #0904162 Equal Housing Lender
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 22, 2013
Hi Reamsa,

Congratulations on your Eligibility, and also on your timing to buy, when prices and interest rates are exceptional! I have helped many VA buyers into homes they are proud to own, over the last eighteen years. The first step is to get a tailored search set up that meets your needs in a home. Choosing an experienced agent to help with your search, and one that specializes in your desired area, is key to good results. Reading reviews of past clients for each agent you are considering is so important! You can key in on the things that are most important to you that way. People that take time to write reviews are really happy with their agent, so choose wisely from agents who do have reviews you can read. For looking in Tucson, I would start mid November for move in by February. Once you find a home, allow 45 days for the loan process. The agent you choose can also guide you in finding a great lender to work with, and then you have your team in place. Please read my reviews, and call if you want my help with a custom search! I helped one more military family move in this last week, and would love to add you to a long list of happy clients!

Kat Tyree, Associate Broker
Tierra Antigua Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 21, 2013
Experience, Use an agent who knows what he is doing and will communicate with you. Call me and I will help you. You need to sit down with someone and make a plan. I would start 3 to 4 months out from the end of my lease ending. Have you spoke with a lender yet? Get your financing lined up first and foremost. Depending on your price range you may not have much time to think about it. Then the whole negotiating thing has to get done. Inspections, can't buy a house without one. Then negotiating repairs and getting thing done. Lots of steps. You need experience and someone on your side.


John J. Barry
Grijalva Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 21, 2013

There are many qualified agents out there. I suggest looking at the profiles of some agents on Trulia to get a feel for their experience and reviews from past clients. After that, give me or any one of these agents a call to get a feel for their style and see if it fits yours!

I would love the opportunity to speak with you. I am quite familiar with the VA loan process as well as the market in and around DM.

I look forward to speaking with you soon.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 21, 2013

Ask family members, friends or colleagues if they know a good agent. If you can't find one you like this way, maybe call a few of the agents that took the time to reply to your question.

And a third alternative would be to go visit a few open houses this weekend. You will meet a few agents that are working on the area you want to buy.

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 21, 2013
Hi! Trulia is a great place to start. I believe you are on the right track already. You should start interviewing right away. Trulia agents also have real live comments and recommendations for agent profiles. You can Read through those and see who you feel might be a good fit, then call and interview a couple of them. You can google their names to see what other info you might find. You should be able to get down to 2 or 3 you like that way. Once you have chosen an agent to work with, it's good practice to stick with them and not work with multiple agents as that can get confusing. If you need to move by February, you should start looking now. A VA loan can take anywhere from 3 weeks to 45 days to close. Most agents can recommend an excellent lender for you as well if you don't have one already. Starting the process in November would be ideal. Once you find the agent you like, you can find the perfect home, make and offer and hopefully get the home under contract. You can close in late January and your first payment would be due until March. Getting the prequalification process for a mortgage can take some time too. DEFINITELY start now. If you have any more questions, you can call my team at 520-222-9310. You are on the right track! -Christina
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 20, 2013
Hello Reamsa
As a prequalified buyer, you are in the drivers seat when it comes to selecting an Agent to work with you. You will probably want to interview a few, and be sure they have relocation experience. They should also serve as a resource for information to assist in selecting a part of town that meets your needs.
With regards to when to start looking, your research should begin as soon as possible including Agent selection. The life of a well priced home in Tucson can be short, from as little as one day to a month or so, and pickings can be slim, so selecting too early may leave you holding a wish if you do not make an offer right away. Work backward from your preferred closing date. 2 months for contract/closing & a month for search. Factor in holidays, your travel & travel expenses and you can see, it is time to start on preliminaries described.
I would like to wish you luck, and would appreciate the opportunity to earn your business.
Doug Seemann
HomeSmart Advantage Group
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 20, 2013
Great question, here's a brief answer. Get a referral from a reliable source. Friends may not know the difference between a mediocre agent and a great one. Lenders who have worked with many agents can tell you who the best ones are. Get more than one suggestion, from more than one lender. Start with your bank, talk to a local mortgage broker or two.
Most agents are "nice" and "friendly", that doesn't make them experienced or competent. Read some answers provided here, check out some profiles and blogs. Google search the agents to see what else you can learn. Interview a few and be picky, you are trusting them with a major decision in your life. Don't pick the first one you meet until you've interviewed at least 2 more and ask for proof of their success.
Start sooner rather than later, as a first time buyer you have a lot to learn.
Best of luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 20, 2013
WOW !! I have been answering questions on Trulia for years, and I have never seen such a fast response to a question from so many agents. There is a lot of good advice here. I would start by looking at the agents who have answered your question. The client recommendations in their profiles is a starting point, but only one of many factors. Interview several agents to find one that you can trust and who is truly dedicated to your interests. Make sure that the agent is familiar with the area you are looking at. Some agents will want you to sign a Buyer-Broker agreement before they will work with you. Make sure you understand what you are signing.

I personally have not worked the Davis-Monthan area, and so would not be your best candidate. I will be happy, however, to answer any questions you may have.

Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 20, 2013
Sorry, I should of said I am in Tucson already we've been here for about 8months. We are interested in the Rancho Valencia area Valencia Rd & Swan zip 85756 or somewhere close to Davis Monthan with Low crime rate. Wanting to spend no more than 130k, but as always the less the better :). I want a newer built, I wish they had brand new builds in our range, but around Davis Monthan there is nothing and my husband doesn't want to travel much for work.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 20, 2013
I have sold a number of homes in Rancho Valencia as well as Valstate and a few other neighborhoods in that corridor. Give me a call today so that I can send you a list of properties as well as information to help simplify the process!
Flag Mon Oct 21, 2013
As always, you're getting some great responses. I would say you could/should call or email a few of us, find someone who you think is a good mesh with you, and start looking! You can look online for a long time and begin learning the neighborhoods. You're right about the area around Davis Monthan. It is an older part of town, as the city grew around the base and downtown/university. Good luck, and, as before, let me know if I can help!
Flag Sun Oct 20, 2013
Interview more than one agent and select the one that you are most comfortable with. You can start looking for property now, however many properties will be sold by Feb 2014. The agent you select should be able to help you with what you are looking for. Call me at 520-818-4905 at your convenience, Thank you..

Tom Jolley
Arizona Metro Realty and Mgmt
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 20, 2013
Call me @ 520 -405-3846 and i will help you to find your dream home here in Tucson. You can start soon to interview some real estate agents to find the best fit agent for your real estate need. I would be so glad and looking forward to talk to you. Thanks

Wocky Redsar
Keller Williams Southern Arizona
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 20, 2013
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