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In the pre-Internet era, the real estate agent was the only resource for finding and selecting homes to view. Now, consumers have the power. Your agent is your guide and advisor and can make recommendations on resale value, what to expect in a neighborhood, and other hyperlocal insights. But only you know what appeals to you in a home.
Browse through and select up to 10 homes for viewing, and send them to your agent. Your agent can recommend a few others to add, or give you ideas on your home selections. Then your agent can get to work scheduling them for viewing day.
Depending on your home search, it may be possible to knock out showing homes in a single day, viewing 5-10 homes and then picking your favorite. That is the most common method of viewing homes in the Fort Hood area.
However, if you are looking for a very unique type of property or foreclosures, there may only be one or two at a time that meet your criteria. They also may not last on the market long, in which case it is important to go view them as quickly as possible.
Your agent can schedule the homes. They cannot get you into a home immediately. There are often showing instructions that an agent must comply with. I recommend on planning on at least 24 hours notice before being able to see a home.
On viewing day, you can either caravan with your agent from home to home, or hop in your agent’s car if it can accommodate everyone comfortably.
Be sure to take notes at each home. At around home #5, the homes start blending together and you forget which home had which features. The notes are also helpful as the seller often appreciates feedback on their showings.
I recommend keeping track of your favorites by asking yourself the following at each home:
- Is the home a contender?
- If so, where does it rank?
After a day of showings, you should have a top two or three to choose from. it is a good idea to return to the favorite if possible and confirm that it is the favorite.
When picking favorites, don’t worry too much about price yet. Once there are just one or two favorites, your agent will do a market analysis and propose what they think a fair price is, irrespective of the actual asking price. This analysis is what your offer should be based on.
Some practical viewing day suggestions:
- Wear comfortable shoes
- Typically, showing day takes approximately 30 minutes per house
- Bring snacks and water
- Bring entertainment for kids
- Use the bathroom before leaving
- Ensure you have enough gas in the tank if taking your car
- Begin early enough that you will have sufficient daylight for all showings
Buying Sight Unseen
Buying sight unseen is not ideal and should be avoided if possible. But if you must, here are some tips on how to pull it off.
- Video tour with your agent on Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts, or WhatsApp
- View the home’s neighborhood videos
- View the home on Google Maps and Street View
- Have a local, trusted friend or family member view the home
- Have thorough inspections completed
In hot markets like Austin and San Antonio, it is common to make offers the same day you view homes, or else the seller might accept another offer while you sleep on it. While that is a risk in any market, Fort Hood is much slower and I often recommend taking a night to consider your options, wait for the agent’s market analysis, and make a decision based on those criteria.
If none of the homes met your expectations or criteria, it’s time for a sit down with your agent to see what you need to change, rinse, and repeat.
If you’ve narrowed it down to your favorite home, it’s time to make an offer!
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