The Home Buying Process: Don’t Miss the Perfect Home by Not Being “Present” at the Showing.
It happens all the time: Home buyers send a list of criteria to their real estate agent with their dream home in mind. During viewing, buyers sometimes miss seeing the home because they’re distracted. Here’s how to best “see” your potential new home.
It happens all the time during the home buying process: Home buyers send a list of criteria to their real estate agent with their dream home in mind. And when they tour a property with their agent, buyers sometimes miss “seeing” the homes because they’re distracted by their own checklists — sure, they’ve looked around, but mostly they’ve been taking notes on what they like or don’t like without having really looked at the house. I’m not suggesting taking absolutely no notes, but remember: This is the first viewing of what could possibly be your dream home. Do you like how it feels, where the rooms are located, the overall floor plan, the lot and view? Without being wholly present, touring a home can be more like watching an event through a video camera, and you might overlook some important details if you’re too fixated on other factors.
I usually give my buyers a “Buyers Book” that’s full of helpful tips on the home buying process. Some of the most important of these are the ones regarding showings, especially first showings. Let’s run through a few of them now.
- Appointments: Try to give your agent time to schedule the appointments. More often than not these days, homes for sale are occupied by the sellers, and just because you’re ready to head out to see the property doesn’t mean the seller is ready to drop everything so you can see it. Advance notice will also give the seller time to prepare the home for your showing.
- MLS Sheets: If your agent hasn’t provided you with an MLS information sheet for each home you plan to view, ask for one. It should have most of the “notes” you’d want already on it! If the property looks like a winner, ask for the taxes and disclosures. (Better not to collect too much information on homes you have absolutely no interest in.)
- The Showing: You’re in the house. Now, just walk through it and determine how it feels to you. No notes, no camera — just get a feel of the property, inside and out. If you’re taking meticulous notes while you’re taking the tour, you will not really see the home.
- After the Showing: You’re walking back to the car, the agent is locking up. Ask yourself right now: “If I was to make an offer on a home today, would this one even be in the running?”
–If not: Go ahead and toss that MLS sheet — cross that home off your list.
–If you’re unsure: Take a minute to make some notes on the MLS sheet for the home, highlight or circle some of the things you liked most. (Chances are, they’ll be listed on the sheet so you don’t even have to write them down.)
- Finally, Before You Pull Away: Assuming this house is still “on your list,” take a look around. How do you feel about the location, the neighborhood, the lot, the street? Paint and fixtures can be changed. Picking up a house and relocating it? In most cases, not very practical.