This holiday weekend I've spent both Saturday and Sunday working with a terrific couple who will be relocating to the Edwardsville, Illinois area very soon. They move fairly often and are familiar with the homebuying process.
We have been communicating via email and phone for a few weeks and they spent time diligently looking though the listing cart I set up for them in our MLS, selecting their favorite properties and asking good questions. As we set out to see the homes in person, they each readied their clipboards and prepared to evaluate the pros and cons along the way.
We saw about 10 properties the first day -- all located in the Edwardsville school district -- and while a couple of them would work, we decided to go through the MLS at the end of that very long day to see if anything else appealled to them.
The Saturday night search turned up about seven more homes, five of which we were able to get into today. Two of today's homes were good candidates and I wrote an offer for them on one of them this afternoon. While it was a bit like a forced march while we were running from home to home, we achieved the objective in the end.
I thought my readers might enjoy a peek into the process with very experienced buyers, so here are some of the things they do when they view homes. They...
- ...ignore decor and think about the floor plan instead. (That doesn't mean they love that floral wallpaper or those window coverings, but for the right house, they can see past some issues.)
- ...weigh the price against the value carefully. (For example, if a home doesn't have a finished lower level, it's going to be hard to price that home in the same ballpark with those that do and get away with it.)
- ...walk the yard to make sure the outside will mesh with their lifestyle and to check on odd slopes or drainage issues.
- ...assess whether the home is too close to busy streets.
- ...look at rooms with their existing furniture in mind, especially placement of large or unusually shaped pieces.
- ...appreciate consistency throughout a home. (If your faucets are bronze, and the light fixtures are chrome and the door hinges are brass, they will notice.)
- ...evaluate the amount of kitchen cabinet space, pantries and countertop work area.
- ...keep good notes on the MLS sheets as they go through each home.
Whether you're buying your first house or your tenth, emulating these behaviors will make the home buying process quicker and easier. Now go get that clipboard ready!