View Homes And Select THE ONE
Define what you want!
Simply put, key to the home search process is knowing what you’re looking for. Among other things, that means distinguishing between “must-haves” and “like-to-haves”. To help you to target your search and define your home preference priorities, look at the form at the bottom of this post.
That said, here are a few recent facts about the search process that might put your experience in perspective:
• More than 90% of buyers use the Internet to search for homes*
• The typical buyer searches for 12 weeks and views 12 homes*
• 81% of buyers view real estate agents as very helpful in the search process*
*National Association Of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 2010.
Take advantage of the internet and do your homework online
There are many benefits to starting the search process at a real estate website like REALTOR.com. Better yet, use your own REALTOR®’s website, assuming they have a direct IDX feed, i.e. a direct feed to the local MLS database. Moreover, by using your REALTOR®’s website, he or she is able to view your saved searches and “favori te” properties. You can view many homes and their details, take video tours and access neighborhood info. Sites such as redfin, zillow and trulia are often out of date, so it’s better to avoid them or you may happen upon your dreamhome only to find out that it closed several months ago.
View homes with your REALTOR®
While doing homework online is a huge time saver, it’s also important to view homes in person. Even when property details and videos are provided online, homes can actually be very different in terms of layout, design, workmanship and other aspects than they appear. In addition, you should ideally view homes with the help of your REALTOR®, not simply on your own at an open house, as she may notice things you might miss, provide expert analysis, and act as an impartial sounding board. Some find it helpful to start by visiting open houses on their own, but once you start zeroing, get your agent to schedule appointments and accompany you.
Home search worksheet
Price range: ______________________ Lot size: _________________________
Area: ___________________________ Square footage: ___________________
Detached/Attached: ________________ Number of bedrooms: ______________
House style(s): ____________________ Number of bathrooms: ______________
Age of property: ___________________ Garage: __________________________
(e.g., site location, view, large lot, pool, fireplace, basement, garage size, distance to school or work, additional room preferences, layout, etc.):
Read previous installments of this series here:
The home buying process – Overview
The home buying process – Step 1: Define, Research, Plan
The home buying process – Step 2: Find a Realtor
The home buying process – Step 3: Pick a Lender and Get PreApproved
The home buying process – Step 4: Find THE Home