How many houses should you look at?

Managing Real Estate Broker with Full Circle Property Management

I had an agent call me last week to set up one of my showings on a Sunday afternoon for 1:00, and was dismayed when the Seller asked if she could do it at 1:30 instead. She said that she had 20 houses to show them and there was no way she could change her route. I thought, Wow! Thats and agent and a buyer that are not going to get a good look at houses. So how many houses should a buyer see?

That is a question that many buyers ask me. How many houses are we going to look at today? Unfortunately, many buyers and many agents think that they need to see everything that is available. I think that is a bad idea!

I think that a buyer reallly can't absorb more than about 5 or 6 homes without forgetting the features of the homes. By the time you get to house 15 there is no way that you will remember the features of the first home, or the second. Trust me, they alll start to blend in after a while. So how many should you see and how do you arrange that?

My thoughts are that a buyer should sit down and come up with a list of wants and needs, and rank those items. Compare all the houses against your list and rank them from top to bottom, taking into consideration location, features, and price. Then pick the best 5 or 6 and let your agent know which ones you want to see. If there happpens to be more than 5 or 6 then I think you need to pick a second day to go look at houses. Then group them by location and scour one area one day, and another area the next time. If you are an agent, this is also what you should tell your clients.

Bottom line, you will be able to spend more time in each of the houses that you have ranked high in your wants/needs list and you will retain a lot more informmation. Buying a house isn't about seeing everything as fast as you can, but about the journey of finding the right home.


Comments (5)

Not a real person
San Diego, CA

When I was a Realtor, I provided my Clients with a sheet of paper for each house. At the top of the paper was Top 20 likes. At the bottom was Top 20 dislikes. Never had a problem with anyone remembering anything.

Now, at my other company, Marketing & Business Consulting, I counsel my real estate agent Clients to do the same, except that everyone can now take pictures with their point and shoot digital cameras, as well.

Twenty houses, though, sounds like a lot for one day, but it depends on what they were trying to do. Some of those houses would probably be crossed off the list just by driving by, but then the Clients probably should have done that to begin with just to check out the neighborhood.

Feb 08, 2010 07:39 PM
Dennis Swartz
Full Circle Property Management - Columbus, OH
MBA, GRI...experience counts!

Thanks-great idea! I think I will see if I can implement that!

Feb 09, 2010 01:15 PM
Catherine Chaudemanche - Edison & Central NJ
Metuchen Keller Williams Elite Realty / Middlesex County, NJ - Edison, NJ
Full Time, Informed and Involved- Results Driven

Yes 20 houses seem to be a bit unrealistic. Unless it was some kind of Broker's sponsored marathon? :)

Feb 09, 2010 09:22 PM
Norma Crouse
HER Realtors - Pataskala, OH
Norma Crouse

Before I was a realtor and I bought my first house - I know we didn't look at more than 10 homes all together and that was over a period of time.  The realtor I used seemed upset that we looked at as many homes as we did.  There is no way she would have showed us that many homes in one day.  If you think about it, that does sound a bit crazy to do in one day.  Another thing that I think is a good idea is for the clients to go drive around and look at the homes from the outside and see if they even like the neighborhood.  Sometimes I have liked a home, but then when I went to it, it wasn't anything like what I thought it would be.

Feb 22, 2010 11:51 AM
Karol Yeager
REALTY FIVE of Defiance - Defiance, OH
"We choose to give"

20 in one day? Whew that would be a tuff one to acomplish! The only time I show over 6 or 7 homes in one day is if they are reolcating to our area, then I can understand time is of the esseance (more than usual) Most relocation clients only have the week-end to be in town let a lone adding the surrounding areas to the mix! Karol

Mar 12, 2010 11:56 AM