Let's go look at some properties, it’s amazing how many things you need to know and do before actually getting to this step and if you haven’t don’t the steps listed prior to this maybe you are “putting the cart before the horse”.
And while there is little wrong with that in the property search world it wastes the time of the professional agent you’re working with. Imagine if you were a waiter committed to offering good service so that you can get a great tip and someone spends an hour of your time finding out whats best on the menu only to let you know they are thinking about coming to eat here in two months, that would be crazy, realtors see it similarly. But if you have done the preliminary steps mentioned in the Perfect Property Buying Guide then all is well. So what do you need to do looking at properties, well here are my suggestions;
Many people come to a showing without a notebook to detail what the liked or disliked about the property. They should also take notes of things their agent needs to check on for them like, is the gas tank included in the purchase, what are the HOA (Home Owners Association) fees or has the home been treated for termites. In addition you should note things that stand out like master bedroom was perfect size, cabinets need to be replaced, guest room too small. If you see any more than two homes the details start to blur together as to which one had the nice bathroom and which one had the great view unless you take notes that will help jog you memory when you get to sit and think about your decision.
Clients often go into the showing sharing more than is necessary for that meeting and the things you say, the emotions you show can cost you big dollars in the long run and this is why its important to have a buyer's agent. I'm not suggesting you be disrespectful but I am trying to make you aware that when you say “oooh honey this is the one” the owner who may be present and the agent who definitely is will communicate that to the owner and hurt you position of negotiation. Get in, see the property, and get out.
Become an Investigator
Look for the small details like termite trails, old electrical, the neighboring houses and things like this. If a vacant house is next door with graffiti, a number of vagrants or a number of repossessions in the immediate vicinity indicates a number of things about the neighborhood. Another skill of a great investigator is asking the right questions, but what are the good questions to ask? How old are the replaceable home fixtures? (A/c, water heater, kitchen appliances, generator etc.)
What is included in the sale of the home?
Why are the owners selling?
What is the current value on the property? Is this based on an appraisal?
Are they willing to less than asking, how much less do you think?
This question is the kicker because it puts the agent on the spot and causes them to answer impromptu. It can reveal a clients level of motivation and maybe their bottom line. Now that you have viewed some properties let's decide on one that works for you and your family.