Once you’ve identified a property, or multiple properties, of interest, let your broker know. Private showings are the most common way for you to view a property at a time that is convenient for you. However, you can also view property during an Open House.
A professional appointment is referred to as a “showing” and is an opportunity for you and your broker to tour a property in private. Typically, the sellers will not be present for the showing, allowing you to take your time and thoroughly examine the property. Occasionally, the seller must remain in the home due a medical condition or other extenuating circumstance. If the seller plans to be present during the showing, this will be communicated by their broker ahead of time.
The standard amount of time reserved for a showing is 30 minutes, although it takes the typical buyer about 15-20 minutes to walk through a property. If you feel more time may be helpful for you, just let your broker know ahead of time so that they can request a longer amount of time.
When you find a property that you would like to view, let your broker know right away. Your broker will communicate with the listing broker to find a time that works for both buyer and seller. In a busy market, appointments can be scheduled in close succession and there may be a day of solid showings. Keep in mind that it is very important to be on time to your scheduled showing, since arriving early or staying later may not be an option.
- Remove your shoes at the front door or wear provided shoe coverings.
- Be mindful of your surroundings and treat the space with care and respect.
- Limit the opening of drawers and avoid touching any of the sellers personal items.
- We advise you leave your pets at home out of respect for the seller and any unknown allergies.
Take notes and photos
You will most likely look at several homes before you find “the one.” In fact, the average number of homes toured by a potential buyer is approximately 10 homes in 10 weeks, and believe us, it’s easy to get the details mixed up. Remember to take photos, videos, and notes on each tour. Take pictures of features you particularly like or dislike about each home. This not only helps you keep track of your preferences, but can also trigger additional questions you may have about the home later on.
The sellers might be watching or listening
From Ring doorbells to Nest security cameras, many of today’s homes are outfitted with cameras and microphones. Please be mindful of your words and behaviors while in the home because the sellers could be watching or listening to you during your showing. In general, do not over praise or insult a home while you are in it. Save the conversation with your broker about how you feel about the house until after you have left the property.
Don’t forget the exterior
Walk around the entire home and surrounding property. Give special attention to items such as age and condition of the roof and siding, as these are important and expensive items to consider. Does the landscaping need a lot of work? What type of upkeep will it entail? These are good things to keep in mind and should be noted at the time of your showing.
You know what they say when it comes to real estate: “Location, Location, Location!” While it’s possible to replace finishes, move walls and update fixtures, you cannot change the location of the home. It might seem simple, but it is important to be aware of how the location could impact the value of a home. Take a few minutes before or after your showing to check out the neighborhood. How does it feel to you? Is there a lot of activity or is it too quiet? What amenities are nearby? Does it seem like a good fit for you and your family? What are the schools like?
An Open House is a scheduled block of time during which a listing broker is present at a property for potential buyers to tour the property. Open Houses typically occur on weekends and are 3-4 hours long. Because a listing broker is present, buyers do not need to be accompanied by their broker in order to attend.
Attending Open Houses can be a great opportunity to see what is available in certain neighborhoods, or to get an idea of a property’s condition and price point in a “no pressure” situation.
Often the listing broker will use an Open House as an opportunity to convert browsing buyers into potential clients, so if you do attend an Open House, be sure to let the broker onsite know you are already working with a broker.