Here Are The Top Tips For Buyers Who Are Looking At Homes To Buy
Searching for a home can be a lot of fun or a stressed filled experience. There are a couple of things you can do before you start your search that will make the process go much smoother. Find a good buyers agent that knows the area and the subdivisions, that alone could save you a days worth of looking. Do your homework about comment times, schools, shopping and prices, buying a house often means giving up something on your wish list but somethings are non negotiable, don’t look at house that fall into that category. Here are some of my top tips buyers should consider when looking at houses.
Don’t Schedule Too Many Houses At Once
It is very counter productive to schedule too many houses to see in one day or one weekend. There is a happy medium and that depends on a couple of factors, for example, the size of the homes, how close the homes are to each other, the highway system allowing for traffic and time of day. How well you as a buyer know what you want or more importantly what your significant other wants and the compromises you will both make. If someone wants a 3 car garage then every house with a 2 car garage will be a short visit. If a large yard is a deal breaker then the ones with a small yard will be in and out visits…typically. If your goal is to be in a particular neighborhood and that’s where all the houses are you can schedule more.
When your agent schedules the showings it is usually done in blocks of 1 hour or 1.5 hours per house so if there is too many houses on the list it will be hard to keep to the schedule and you’ll end up being late or having to reschedule. If you are going to schedule more than four homes, it is a good idea to have a sheet where you can write notes about each house that you see. Doing this will help you when you get home and your memory of each home will have faded.
Leave The Kids At Home…(No You Can Bring them!)
I have shown houses to parents with children who were well behaved and some who were not so well behaved. Some parents have very well behaved kids and still don’t bring them at least for the initial trip. Here is the question, obviously it will depend on the age of the child, but will you be able to devote all of your attention to what could be your future home while at the same time ensuring your child haven’t fallen in a well or found the homeowners Japanese sword collection.
If the children are not happy with the move it can be beneficial to bring them along and once they see the new houses it gets them more interested. “I call this room” is one of my favorite things to hear when showing houses. You never know what you will find when looking at other peoples houses and it is not uncommon to walk into a house with lots of breakable items. For their own safety keep children in sight at all times when showing houses. If the kids are along for the ride, bring plenty of snacks and drinks toys and games to keep boredom at bay.
Don’t Look At Houses You Can’t Afford.
Hopefully before you set out on a day of looking at houses you will have been pre qualified by a mortgage broker and they will have given you a home price that you qualify for and what your monthly payments will be based on that price. If you are pre-qualified for a mortgage up to $250,000 then looking at homes priced around $300,000 is usually a complete waste of time. If you are looking at homes online above your budget you could end up being disappointed when you see the homes you can afford.
A real estate agent who shows you homes that are above your budget is doing you a disservice while also wasting the sellers time. If the home is just over what you qualify for it may be worth seeing if your real estate agent believes they can negotiate the price down. Many sellers build a cushion into the price they have the home listed for to allow for negotiations or if the buyers ask for closing costs.
Don’t Go Through The Sellers Personal Items
It is becoming more and more common to be filmed by the sellers when showing houses these days which was virtually unheard of a couple of years ago. With the freely availability of security cameras set ups that can stream everything directly to peoples phones, sellers are installing these cameras either as part of a security device or specifically to check on the buyers coming through their home. The most cameras I have seen is four but seeing them is no evidence they ain’t there. The laws governing recording of video are pretty standard throughout the states but the recording of audio is different and may be illegal.
Either way I always advise buyers to hold their comments to themselves until back in the car. Regardless of whether the seller is watching or not, it is completely inappropriate to go through the sellers personal items or anything that would be considered private or off limits. Closets are perfectly fine to go into while dresser drawers are not. The refrigerator is OK to open as it may be part of the negotiations and the kitchen cabinets should be looked at while a china case would not be something that a buyer should open or touch. A question I get asked all from time to time is “is it ok to use the bathroom?” and the answer is yes it is.
Do Take Your Own Car
This one is up for debate with some agents in favor of the buyers riding in their car while others expect the buyers to take their own car. This usually depends on how familiar the buyer is with the area, how many homes you’re seeing and how far apart they are. I always defer to my clients as to how they would like to travel but I have found that my buyer clients prefer to take their own car. It allows you time to discuss each house without reservations, people are more relaxed in their own cars and it saves time because we can all meet at the first house and when finished we can go our separate ways.
Having said that I recently had buyers down from New York who were looking for a specific type of horse property. The farms were miles apart from each other with a lot of driving on country roads and these folks did not know the area well so it made sense for me to do the driving which also allowed us to get to know each other.
Google The Houses You’re Going To See
And by Google them I mean take a look at a satellite image of the houses on your list. I always do and while it is not fool proof if there is currently a major highway across the street you’ll see it. A satellite image is a great way to see what’s around the houses you’ll be looking at and whether you will have the privacy you need. If you’re looking at homes in a large development you can see how many turns and side roads you’ll need to take to get to the house. If there is any commercial or retail developments nearby how close are they and will that affect your quality of life. If the house is near the airport does it line up with a runway? Check the date the image was taken to see how recent it was.
Every subdivision and development backs up to something somewhere that is owned by someone or and while the house you’re looking at today might back up to a peaceful pasture or woodland now, that land could become another subdivision or worse. Doing a Google search on an address can sometimes reveal some unexpected surprises as to what the previous occupants used the house for.
If you’d like more tips on looking at houses for sale in Clayton or would like to schedule a showing on a house, give me, David a call at (919) 601-2268 or email firstname.lastname@example.org