When I first meet with buyers, this is the most common question I get asked. We all like following a clear-cut plan, so it’s understandable that people expect me to divulge the secret for a magical number of homes they need to see before finding the one. Sadly, my answer will be disappointing. It varies very much based on you and your situation.
If you know where you want to live and the features you are looking for, and you are relatively decisive, it may only take a few viewings. For instance, there are buyers who will make a purchase the first time out. On the other hand, there are those who take months – even years! – before they find the right property. From my experience, it’s not important how many you view, because people usually know the moment they walk in the front door that it’s the one for them.
Nevertheless, it may be a good idea to keep these thoughts in mind when it comes time to view homes:
1. “LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION” IS A CLICHÉ FOR A REASON.
If you start off on the right foot, you can save yourself a lot of time and stress. Make a list of the things that you and your family absolutely need to have access to, and this will help your agent root out unsuitable properties. How far is the nearest school? If you don’t drive, how close is the nearest TTC stop? Can you live without a library within walking distance? Don’t forget to differentiate between what you need and what you want.
2. THIS IS A GOOD TIME TO PULL OUT THE DO-NOT-WANT LIST
Once you’ve decided on the necessities, it’s time to think about the deal-breakers. If a house doesn’t have enough bathrooms for your family, then there’s no point in getting in the car. Make sure that the house is not too big or too small. With the former, you might find yourself struggling with high maintenance fees, and with the latter, your two children may need to, unhappily, share a room.
3. THE VIEWING BEFORE THE VIEWING
Looking at houses can be exhausting and time-consuming, so it’s no wonder that a lot of real estate agents now offer 3D virtual tours on their websites. This is an easy way to “preview” the property and discover ones you can’t wait to tour. At the very least, this method will weed out the ones you are certain you don’t need to see in person.