Depending on the market in your area, hunting for a home can put you in competition to a large number of other home buyers. Even in a poor market, just one competitor can cost you the house of your dreams. This type of competition is especially fierce when the seller hosts an open house. For that reason, you will have to turn a home tour to your advantage.
Tour the Home Quickly
Homes don’t stay on the market for long and the worst among them still only remain available for less than two months. As soon as a house hits the market, you should be arranging a tour and decide if you want to make an offer. As a general rule, sellers publish their listings on Thursdays and review offers at the beginning of the following week, so it is important to act fast.
Shop Below Your Approval
Most sellers and real estate agents are reluctant to deal with buyers at all until they have been pre-approved by a lender. When the agent asks how much you can afford for the sale of your home, it’s advisable to settle on a number below the amount for which you were pre-approved. This will give you leeway to make changes to the home, if you deem them necessary. Otherwise, you may invest everything in the purchase of the home and find out that your remodeling plans just aren’t possible.
Attend Several Open Houses
Your first open house tour may not result in an offer to buy, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t serve a purpose. As you tour open houses and discuss your thoughts with the agent, he or she will learn more about your interests. By the time you’ve attended three or four open houses, your real estate agent will have developed a keen eye for what you want in your next home. Home tours can help your agent provide you with properties that are more in line with your needs, which can help refine and shorten your search.
As you tour homes, don’t be afraid to pay attention to the community and visit at various times of the day. What goes on in the neighborhood is just as important as the home’s features. Attending as many open houses as possible will help you learn how to watch for these characteristics in each property, so you’ll be able to tour homes more efficiently.