How to Do an Effective House Hunt
The average home buyer searches for 12-16 weeks and looks at 12 homes before making an offer.
Most people start there home searches by going to open houses and looking around, but eventually, you will want to get serious and go with a professional agent and get into homes that are not open to the public.
My job is to create an efficient plan so that you can see the most homes in the shortest amount of time. After our initial consultation I should know enough about you so that I can make a home search list.
Home Search Tips
Make a list of the features your home has to have
These are the non-negotiable items such as number of bedrooms, home size and any other features you need. Don't look at any homes that don't have any of these features.
Often during the home search, buyers can't help but want to look at homes because they see a for sale sign. Only to find that the home doesn't fit their needs or is out of their price range. This use to happen a lot to me, and it's a big waste of time. Of course now with home search tools on smartphones, it's easy to see if the home for sale sign will lead to a dead end trip.
Start Broad and Narrow Down
I recommend starting in a few neighborhoods and discovering which appeal to you the most. This might make the first few home searches with me take a long time, but eventually we will narrow our search down to one or two neighborhoods, saving us time in the long run. We will also be able to visit homes faster when they hit the market if we are only looking in specific areas.
Take Notes and Make Comparisons
After you have seen a dozen or more houses, it becomes very difficult to keep track of the features in each one. Make things a little easier by creating your own comparison chart or checklist to bring along to each home, and make notes on it during or immediately after each tour.
When you get surprised by a cool feature of a house, make a note of it, and look for other homes with that feature at night. Do not change you house hunting plans for that day just because you now want something you didn't realize you wanted before.
Make Each Visit a Short One
Take a tour and let is soak in. remember to take notes. you can always come back later. You can even cme back later that day, when you are done with looking at the homes on your daily search list.