Before you set out to see your first list of properties, your agent will make arrangements for you to see homes. With bank owned properties, they may be vacant and easy to see anytime. But others will be occupied and have very specific showing times. Some sellers require as much as 24 hour advance notice. Others may make it very easy for you to see their property. It is always helpful if you can provide your agent with advance notice to make these appointments.
Here are some tips to make your time productive.
1. Be Methodical. A house on your list, but not appealing once you see where it is on the street or in the neighborhood, you don’t have to take the time to see it (unless of course someone is meeting you there). If you do decide to pass, have your agent make a courtesy call to the seller. Buyers sometime spend their valuable time touring houses they would never consider buying.
2. Be Efficient. If you’re driving a separate car from your agent, make sure the gas tank is full, and you bring snacks or water. You might want a tape measure or camera. (If you’re riding with your agent, they’ll probably have taken care of these details)
3. Take notes. Your agent will more than likely provide you with a sheet of the properties to see for the day. Note your likes and dislikes, or other key information. Using a ranking scale can be very helpful when you review the day’s findings. Sharing your impression with your agent allows them to continue looking with your needs in mind.
4. Don’t overdo it. Go for quality rather than quantity when looking at homes. See those that truly fit your needs. Elimination is as much a part of the process as inclusion. Seeing too many in a given day, can cause them to be mixed up when you try and remember them
5. Speak Up. Your agent is in tune to what’s out there on the market. Be sure to express your likes and dislikes, to help them best locate additional properties that will likely suit your preferences.
6. Keep to Your Budget. If you start out looking at homes beyond your financial reach, you are apt to be very disappointed when you have to re-set your sites on lower priced properties. Set expectations right from the beginning.
7. Get Your Pre-Approval in Advance!! If you find the home of your dreams, only to realize you’re not ready to purchase or your credit isn’t good enough for a loan, you’ll be doubly disappointed.
8. Do a gut-check. When you find the home you want, always ask yourself – how will you feel if you don’t get this house. What would it be like if you get it??