For years, due to various reasons, I haven't had a personal physician. Luckily, I'm a relatively healthy person. Recently however, I sustained a sports injury and found out just how important a long term relationship with a medical professional can be.
Playing football with a few friends, I briefly took my eye off the ball, and the ball hit me square on the tip of my second finger. It stung for a few minutes, and swelled a bit. I thought about going to a doctor, but the hassle of having to find someone who would take me at short notice, filling out forms and all that goes with a visit to a new doctor, had me second guessing a visit. I didn't go, and the finger only hurt a little (it was a little crooked though).
About a week later, I happened to bump into a doctor acquaintance of mine, who took one look at the finger and said, "Michael, that finger isn't right." After a few minutes of cursory examination, he determined that I had severed the ligament and possibly broken the finger, (a common sports injury), but one that if left untreated, could result in deformity of the finger and substancial loss of use. I had surgery and currently have three pins in that finger, and it looks like things will be back to normal, eventually.
If not for happenstance however, I could have had some real trouble.
Now, I'm not going to say that a having a good relationship with a real estate professional and having a personal doctor are of the same importance, but I would like you to consider the following:
1) Do you know how much your home is worth right now?
2) Do you know about near future construction, road changes, zoning possibilities etc. that could effect your home's worth?
3) Are you following the hot property investment opportunities coming down the road?
4) Are you watching on what areas are selling for the best price and which are declining?
5) Do you have the most up to date information about where the pros think the market is going in 1, 2, 5 years?
If you answered yes to the questions above, you're in good shape, and you probably already have a good relationship with a real estate professional.
Keeping in touch with your real estate professional not only gives you an excellence resource for up-to-date information, it also makes things infinitely simpler when it's comes time to list your home. Many professionals in the business have websites and newsletters that provide some good information. It wouldn't hurt to ask your agent to add you to their mailing list. If they don't have one, I'd be happy to put you on my list.
So, stay in touch with your agent, and be careful to keep your eye on the ball.