Home showings are typically scheduled to range between 20-30 minutes long, depending on the size of the home. So how can you get the most out of that limited window of time inside each home? Here are some practical showing tips for home buyers to get the most out of home showings.
Whether you’re going to see one house or six at a time, it’s important to take notes for you to reference later. With the limited amount of time you get inside each home it’s going to be difficult for you to remember all that you observe and have questions about. It will be much easier to recall later if you jot it down.
If you’re seeing multiple houses close together, taking notes will help you to distinguish between the different properties, which will make it much less confusing. It can also save everyone time from having to schedule additional showings of the same home simply because you can’t remember what you liked, or didn’t like.
Use All Your Senses & Ask Questions
Once you’re inside the home, now is the time to let your curiosity run wild. Ask questions when you have them. If your agent doesn’t know the answer immediately, he or she can make a note to find out later.
Remember to activate your senses. Don’t just use your eyes when you’re viewing a home. You are allowed to touch the floor, woodwork, cabinets, etc., but be sure to keep an eye on any children present.
Don’t forget about your sense of smell too. Does the home smell musty, smoky, or worse? That can tip you off to look for and ask about potential mildew, mold and such. Granted, sometimes a home has been vacant and closed up for some time, which can make it smell stale. Your agent can tell you that.
Picture Yourself There
Now it’s time to activate your imagination. Can you see yourself, your family, your belongings in this home? Consider where your large pieces of furniture could go. You may even want to have measurements on-hand of particularly large pieces to be sure they would fit in a given room.
Try to see beyond the possessions that are currently there. As a homeowner, there are numerous changes and upgrades you can do. After all, if you buy it, then it will be your home. So consider what would be an easy change, like painting the walls, and what may be more time-consuming and expensive, like tearing out a wall or building an addition.
Listen to Your Gut
If you walk into a home and immediately know it’s not the right one for you, then be honest and let your real estate agent know. Explain why you feel that way as best you can. It can give a clue to another home your agent could show you, or another one to cross off your list.
Plus, this could allow you to spend a little more time at a home you really do like. Depending on the scheduling of the showings, you can travel to the next home on your list immediately. If you find there’s a little time to kill, take the opportunity to look over your notes of what you’ve already seen and give some feedback to your Realtor.
Next Steps After Home Showings
This is where knowing the speed of the market comes into play. If you have time to make a decision and consider making an offer, then take time to go over your notes and look at the photos and information again.
Be honest with yourself, your partner, and your buyer agent to let them know what you liked and didn’t like about the homes you saw. Reference your notes. If you didn’t find the right fit today, maybe you need to reevaluate your search criteria. Or maybe you want to schedule a second showing of one or two homes you saw.
Scheduling multiple showings of the same property is okay. Just be considerate of the current resident if the home is occupied. Each time you want to go in, they have to go out, and stay out for a while. They may want to do some additional cleaning too, or have children and/or pets they have to keep occupied during that time. So keep in mind the time it takes for the resident, and even your realtor, to revisit a property.
Be prepared. Take notes. Process your next steps.
If you are beginning this phase of home buying and don’t have a buyer agent yet, it is worth considering. You can see how they are particularly helpful at this stage of the home buying process, but they are there to support you every step of the way. They are there to represent you and have your best interest in mind.
Contact us at CG Shepherd Realty, LLC to speak to our qualified REALTORS® about our buyer services.
Read How to Make the Most of Home Showings (Part 1) for more on taking your online home search offline.