|Making appointments to view houses that are on the market can be great fun. If you are not just window-shopping but are seriously looking for property, the chance to tour a home can be critical to your financial decisions and have an impact on your personal living situation for years to come. But touring condos and houses can also be a foolproof way to waste a perfectly good weekend, especially if you are not sure exactly what to look for or how to maximize the brief window of opportunity that a real estate showing provides.
An educated and alert buyer can walk through a typical house or condo and get a snapshot of the home within a matter of minutes, while those who are not so skilled can spend an hour and walk away more confused than they were before the visit. For example, when Realtors “preview” homes – their lingo for viewing homes that are on the market before showing them to their clients – they often complete the whole tour of an average sized home in less than 10 minutes. If a seasoned real estate broker wants to scout for houses or condos on behalf of a client, he or she might visit a dozen different properties in a single afternoon – and most of that time is spent in the car, driving from one location to the next.
Before venturing out to see listings, first organize your strategy by following these simple guidelines:
· Prioritize by Price and Amenities
First decide exactly what your price range is, and stick to it. Otherwise you’ll spend time looking at the wrong houses. And touring homes above their pay grade often inspires buyers to spend much more money than they can really afford.
List the amenities that are deal breakers. If you absolutely require a basement or a garage, don’t waste time looking at listings that don’t have these features. If proximity to work or schools is critical, don’t wander outside those geographical parameters.
· Put Your Realtor to Work
If you’re working with a real estate agent whose job it is to help you find a home to buy, never accept an appointment to view a home that they have not already previewed. You will only risk wasting both their time and yours.
Ask your Realtor to notify you after he or she has located and already toured at least three properties that match your criteria. Let them first share any insights they got from seeing the homes in person