A home viewing is essential to the buying process. It is during this time that you get to truly see whether you can see yourself making a life there. Before you get too at home, here are some Do’s and Don’ts for your home viewing experience.
- Schedule your appointment ahead of time. Try to schedule your appointment at least a day in advance, if possible. This will not only allow the seller and listing agent to prepare but will also allow you the time to research the home and neighborhood more.
- Arrive on time. As with anything else, first impressions are key! Arriving on time (or even a little early) shows the seller that you are really interested in the home.
- Remove your shoes. Some signs that should warn you to take off your shoes are a pile of shoes by the door, light carpeting in the home, or if you had an outside tour before you go inside. Additionally, some cultures may require the removal of shoes before entering a home. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Remove those shoes!
- View the interior of the home first, and then move onto the exterior. There may be another showing coming in after you. By completing the interior home viewing first, you will not hold up the other viewings of the day. Additionally, if you complete the inside viewing first, you won’t have to worry about dragging dirt or mud through the house.
- View the home together. If you are going to the home viewing with more than one person, don’t break off. It is the listing agent’s duty to walk you through the house.
- Leave it as you found it. Leave any lights on that were on in the home and keep off any lights that were off. Don’t touch or move around any possessions or toys.
- Research, research, research! The house is important, but what’s even more important than the actual home is the location of the home. Research the neighborhood the home is in to ensure that it has what you’re looking for. Some things to keep an eye out for are restaurants, parks, and the school district!
- Ask questions! The home viewing is the perfect time to ask any relevant questions. You may want to ask about the age of the roof or furnace or for information about the neighborhood.
- Watch the agent use the code to the lockbox.
- Use the bathroom. If it is completely unavoidable, use a guest bathroom. Never use the master bath. If you are serious about buying the home, ask the listing agent’s permission to check the pipes. Flush the toilet and let the sink run for a minute. Listen for any strange noises. If you hear anything, that could be an indication of faulty or old plumbing.
- Buy a home for its décor. Instead of focusing on the cozy looking sofa, focus on the floorplan. Will the home still fit your lifestyle after the seller moves out? Will the square footage be enough for you?
- Trust everything you read. A real estate ad is written to pique the interest of potential buyers. Try to learn the language of the ad. A home described as cozy may be very small. A home listed as-is might have a lot of work to be done.
- Bring food. The seller may have refreshments out for you. Bringing in your own food can make an otherwise clean home dirty and can run the risk of upsetting allergies.
- Negotiate while in the home. This is not the time to try and get a lower price on the home. If you are serious about buying the home, negotiate on a different date.