4 Tips to begin your Home Search

If you have completed your preparation, now the fun begins! Open houses and private showings are your chance to get a look and feel for different properties.

After you find a Realtor, get pre-qualified for a mortgage loan, and determine your non-negotiables, you can begin looking at homes. Online home search sites such as Zillow and realtor.com are great places to browse, but your Realtor will be able to set you up with more tailored searches. This will help you eliminate homes that don’t match your criteria.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the available options or sidetracked by homes that don’t match what you are looking for. Keep these tips in mind as you start your home search:

Know your timeline.

When do you need to be in your new home? Know and discuss your timeline with your Realtor so that everyone is on the same page. If you need to be in a new house in a month, you will need to be more aggressive with your home search. If you have more time, you can slow down the process and may be able to negotiate more.

Have a backup plan.

When moving, a backup plan is essential. If you are selling your current home while searching for a new one, do you have a place to stay if your home sells first? If you find a home before your lease is up, do you have enough saved to take care of both? Real estate transactions can move much slower – and sometimes much faster – than people anticipate. Having a backup plan helps eliminate stress.

Bundle showings.

When possible, bundle showings for homes within the same day. This will allow you to make a more accurate comparison of the properties you see. If you schedule three showings for the same afternoon, you can then reflect on each property, determine the pros and cons of each, and either make an offer or move forward with your search.

Only visit must-see homes.

Remember the non-negotiable list you made? Now is the time to stick to it. Sending your Realtor a list of 20 homes that don’t fit your criteria is a waste of your time. In order to find your dream home, you must be selective. Even if there is not a lot on the market, be patient. Going to see homes that don’t fit your criteria will only discourage you.

Keeping these tips in mind, enjoy your home search! Try to envision yourself in each home you walk into. If the fit isn’t right, you will know right away.

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