Helpful Tips When Looking at Homes

The fun part is here…..looking at homes! With 15+ years experience and having shown thousands of homes I’ve picked up a few tips along the way!

My goal is not to “sell” you a home but rather equip you with all the information needed to make an educated informed decision


1). How do we access the homes?

as your buyer’s agent I will make appointments in advance through our local Realtor showing service – the sellers are notified of the showing – I receive the code to the key vault on the door (called a lockbox)

2). Will the seller’s be home?

Typically no. It is customary for the sellers to leave when a showing is scheduled. This allows you the buyer to move freely around the home and have open conversations.

3). How much time does the average buyer spend looking at a home?

It depends….multiple factors….how large is the home / are you looking by yourself or is it a couple or a family looking together – the more people the longer the showing. All things factored 10-15 minutes in a home

4). What if I do not like the curb appeal / outside of the home….should I still look inside?

If at any point you discover a “deal breaker” factor that either can not be changed or that you are not willing and able to change then move on to the next home.

5). What should I bring with me?

Any kind of note taking system you prefer whether that’s pen and paper or electronic. If you have a iPad I can send you pdf’s of the home data sheets in advance. Also bring your checkbook, you never know when you may find “the” house and want to move forward – while I will never pressure you into a decision it’s always best to be prepared

6). What to do if you have further interest in a home?

Let me know by saying “can you provide level 2 info on this home”. Level 2 i of will cover things like how long has home been on market, price reductions, what sellers paid for it etc. Prior to making an offer I will provide even more info (level 3) which will provide my analysis of a fair price range for the home

Best Practices

* Nickname the homes you like. This will make it much easier to reference the home versus remember all the different address or MLS #’s. I once sold a 400k ‘dog poop’ house-ask me about it!

* Have a “Must” have and a “wish” list. Know the difference – a must have item means if a home regardless of how many “wish” list items it has is missing a “must” have we will not be looking at that home. Many times a buyers must have/wish list evolves as they look at more homes – Please share that info with me your buyers agent!

* Be open honest and direct about your thoughts on the home. The more you dialogue about the home with me your buyers agent the better job I can do learning to look through your eyes and filter homes for future showings.

* You will not hurt my feelings – I do not take any comment about a home we are viewing personally

* Establish a routine…like always turning right once you’ve entered or looking at the kitchen first etc – it will help later when keeping the homes separate in your mind

* Stay together! If looking at the home with your spouse or anyone else please stay together – lots of reasons for this – allows everyone to stay on same page and is much more efficient than zig zagging through the home – not to mention it keeps me from choosing who to stay with 🙂

* If you have young children if at all possible make other arrangements for them to not to be with you. Trust me trying to keep an eye on your kids while focusing on the home can prove impossible – not to mention you are responsible for any damage they may inadvertently cause

* Take notes in homes you like – I will provide you with the full Realtor MLS property data sheet for each home we view – take notes of distinguishing features of the home

* Don’t confuse the sellers furniture and decorationing taste with the home itself!

* When you see a feature of the home that you do not like apply the following thought process
– is it something that can be changed or not? Steep drive ways can not be changed whereas carpet can be replaced with hardwoods

If the item can not be changed ask yourself if this is a deal breaker….if its a deal breaker move on to the next home – no need to spend time looking at a home that you are not going to purchase and it clouds your mind when keeping the homes separate

If the item can be changed ask yourself ‘am I willing to change it?’ (time/headache/inconvenience etc) and am I able to change it (cash flow) typically the item will not be financed in with the home purchase — will you have available funds to make the change after you purchase the home?

* bottom line anytime you discover a factor that can not be changed or that you are not willing/able to change AND it’s a deal breaker the. Move on.

What to Expect from Me

* Lots of questions! I will ask you many questions-they are usually strategic questions either designed to assist you in the decision making process and/or help me to look through your eyes

* Highlight unique features not typically found in that price point – I will let you know if it’s a stand out item

* Helpful construction info. Popcorn ceilings versus smooth ceilings – crawl space foundation versus slab. Fiber cement siding versus hardboard etc

Ready??? Let’s go look at homes!

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