Whether in-person or virtual, touring homes can quickly turn from exciting to exhausting if you're not prepared and asking the right questions. Don't get discouraged by the number of homes you may end up touring—according to a study by Better Homes & Gardens, homebuyers will view about nine homes before closing on "the one!" Help make home tours as smooth and productive as possible with these tips.
Work With a Local Real Estate Agent
Working with an experienced real estate agent who's familiar with the local market can help make the entire home buying process less overwhelming. Not only will your real estate agent schedule the home tours you suggest, but they'll also have access to Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which notifies agents of new listings, open houses, and other resources that can't be accessed without an agent.
Look at Listings Before Visiting
Not every home that pops up on Zillow or other home-hunting resources is worth touring. Make sure you check out the online listing first to see if it meets your basic qualifications before scheduling a tour. Review important features, such as:
While images from a listing can sometimes be deceiving, they can help you get an overall feel of the space, including a home's front and backyard and how recently it's been updated.
Come up With a List of Questions
Make sure you have prepared questions to ask during each home tour. Unless it's an open house, the seller's agent likely won't be at the tour, but your real estate agent can pass on these questions to the seller’s agent or do some research to find the answers.
This is a crucial step to help you avoid surprises later on. Find out more about each home by asking investigative questions, such as:
- How long has the house been on the market?
- How old are the appliances, plumbing, and HVAC system?
- Are the sellers taking any appliances with them?
- Has the roof been replaced or renovated? If so, when?
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