If you work all week, your time on the weekends is precious and can go by in the blink of an eye. When you add being on the hunt for your perfect house, travelling and multiple showings can eat up even more of your limited time. Here are a few tips to help maximize your time while house hunting.
- Find the Right Real Estate Agent – You’ll want to find someone familiar with the area in which you’re looking. He or she will know their way around the neighborhood and will be able to better answer questions. If you don’t already have someone in mind, you can ask for a recommendation from friends or family, check online reviews, or pay attention to the agents who market in your preferred neighborhoods.
- Get Preapproved – Being preapproved for a mortgage can help speed up the process of finding a home. Some agents won’t show properties until after a buyer has been preapproved, so having this step completed beforehand is beneficial. It’s also a great way to know exactly what you can afford, helping to narrow down your choices. If you aren’t sure where to begin, your agent can guide you in the right direction.
- Plan, Plan, Plan – If you’ve chosen your preferred city, town, or neighborhood, start by looking online either with your real estate agent or by yourself. You can map out your commute and find useful information like where the nearest schools, airports, and hospitals are located. Always let your agent know which communities interest you as he or she might be aware of property that is new to the market and hasn’t yet been listed. Based on your short list of properties, your agent will plan the most efficient route to maximize your time on showing day.
- Narrow it Down – Discuss your wish list with your agent. If you can prioritize necessities versus wants it will make it that much simpler for him or her to identify which homes to show you. Keeping track of the things that are important to you while visiting each house will prove useful to both you and your agent when recalling what you liked and disliked about each property throughout the day.
- Gather Your Thoughts – After a long day of house hunting, take the time to review the properties you’ve seen with your agent. Think about your favorites and use your list of likes and dislikes to create a pros and cons list.
At this point, decide if there are any properties you’d like to revisit or if want to continue your search. However, if one stands out among the rest, you may be ready to make an offer. Your agent’s expertise in the market place and negotiation skills will prove invaluable in this next phase of the house hunting process.