Searching for a home can be a very exciting time for a buyer but if not done properly it can also be a source of stress and frustration. As a Realtor, here are a few tips that I use to make the search process flow a little smoother.
1. Schedule all showings the evening before – Often times sellers require several hours notice prior to showing in order to prepare and make sure the home looks its’ best. Sometimes there are pets in the home that need to be crated or removed. Scheduling all showings the evening before helps to cut down on last minute surprises. Of course, if your dream home comes on the market the morning of the showings, we schedule that one as quickly as possible!
2. Have a clear plan of which homes will be shown and in what order – I will send out a buyer’s tour prior to showing in order for all parties to be clear on the days’ events. This buyers’ tour lists all of the homes to be shown that day as well as details and interior photos of each listing. There is a map view so that we can be efficient in our drive time which is crucial in the Atlanta market.
3. Schedule no more than six showings in one day – After 5-6 homes, buyers often begin to confuse one home with the next. While I encourage my clients to take notes, it becomes mentally draining to see 9-10 homes in one outing.
4. If possible, have all decision makers present. If more than one person is purchasing the home then it is best to have everyone present for the showings. Sometimes, one person will go out to view all of the homes, narrow down the list and then bring the other person back for a second showing. Often a second decision maker is a parent who only wants to see the final choice. All of these methods for showing can be accommodated but the most efficient way is to have all decision makers present from the beginning. As the Realtor, I like to see reactions, ask questions and have clarity on what each person is looking for. Leaving one person out of the entire process may cause us to miss out on some valuable feedback.
5. Limit the number of additional people present during the showings – Again looking for a home is very exciting and there is sometimes a temptation to bring friends along during showings. If you have a trusted advisor or friend, consider inviting them back for a second viewing once you have narrowed the list.
6. Limit the showing areas – Metro Atlanta is a large metropolitan area so going from one county to another in one outing is difficult. If you are considering multiple counties, coordinate your showings to one area per day.
This is a very competitive housing market right now so these tips are designed to make the house hunting as efficient and stress free as possible. Not being properly prepared for the search can delay the process and possibly cause you to lose out on your dream home.