When can we start looking at homes?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843

As a Realtor here in the Fort Wayne area, I (Jared) work with a lot of home buyers.  Some are first timers, some experienced.  

Many times I am contacted by buyers that are still working on financing or don't quite have the entire down payment yet.  These buyers are often 45-60 days away from being ready to write an offer.  

When can we start looking at homesA common questions I get is "When can we start looking at homes?"

I totally get it.  Folks are excited to get out there and find their dream home.  Looking at homes is fun!  

I couldn't agree more.  

But...  is now too early to start looking if you're 60 days away from being able to actually write an offer?  

In my opinion, YES.  

Let's say that I schedule 5 homes for us to see this coming weekend.  We get out there and you absolutely fall in love with a home.  That's awesome!

Or is it?  

What are the odds of that home still being on the market in 60 days?  Very slim to none.  

You know what happens next?  

While you're sitting on sidelines not being able to write an offer on your dream home, somebody else comes in and buys it.  

You're crushed!  Oh, and nothing else you see out there is going to be as nice as the dream home that got away.  

In my opinion, it's best to monitor the real estate market online until you are actually ready to buy.  Over the next 60 days I'll be emailing you homes that fit your criteria. This way you'll be getting familiar with the market and what you can expect for the money.  

Then, when you're ready to pull the trigger, we'll head on out and make it happen!  

The exception to this is somebody relocating to the area that has no idea what the market it like here or what to expect for the money.  Maybe an afternoon of a few showings there wouldn't hurt.  

What are your thoughts?  


Posted by




Fort Wayne Realtors Jared and Amanda Christiansen with Century 21 Bradley

Amanda Christiansen is an award winning Realtor with Christiansen Group Realty.


Jared Christiansen is a business partner and in charge of marketing and taking care of things behind the scene.


Enough about us...


Tell us what you want your real estate experience to be, and we will do it YOUR way.


Buying a home in Fort Wayne? Tell us your wants and needs. Let us know how you envision your family living.  Tell us what's important to YOU, and we'll find the community and home that fits.  


Selling your home in Fort Wayne?  Our job is to make you the most money possible in the shortest amount of time. We offer our sellers professional staging, professional photography, and more internet marketing than most. 


We are committed to giving you everything we have to offer.  We are both full time agents and will work around your schedule.  Do nights and weekends work better for you?  NO PROBLEM. We are here to help YOU at YOUR convenience.


Amanda can be reached at 260-704-0843, and Jared can be reached at 260-704-0842, or you can email us at JaredChristiansen@gmail.com, or Amanda427@gmail.com.




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  1. Winston Heverly 06/25/2014 10:56 PM
Home Buying
Indiana Allen County Fort Wayne
Real Estate Rookie
Posts to Localism
Diary of a Realtor
fort wayne homes for sale
century 21 fort wayne
amanda and jared christiansen
when can we start looking at homes

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Brian Clinger
Coldwell Banker AJS Schmidt - Cascade, MI
Brian Clinger ABR, GRI, CRS, SRES

We are in a full blown sellers market with a shortage of inventory so the only reason to look before you are ready is to learn something about the market.

Mar 22, 2014 09:28 AM #41
Karen Steed
Tallapoosa, Bremen, Waco, Buchanan, Temple, Carrollton - Tallapoosa, GA
Associate Broker Haralson Realty

It is sad to have buyers waiting to qualify see their dream home go to someone else.  I show with out a prequal to develop a relationship, but I try not to show too many. 

Mar 22, 2014 09:47 AM #42
Dana Basiliere
Rossi & Riina Real Estate - Williston, VT
Making deals "Happen"


I think in general the answer is YES. One exception is if we have a potential seller client who wants to see if there would be a home that they would like in their new price range. When that happens I show them 3 houses I think would work for them. Usually they say yes we could be happy in the red cape on 4 acres so then I say it's time to list your house. When things heat up and they are close to an offer we can re-engage. (full disclosure... it doesn't always go according to Hoyle)  DanaB

Mar 22, 2014 10:14 AM #43
Dörte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Jared,

Excellent point! I suggest, folks start looking online, so they can narrow down neighborhoods & home features they may like from the pictures. This way, they are already on their way to a decision, when the time comes to look inside.

Mar 22, 2014 02:30 PM #44
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

I agree that falling in love with a house before you're ready to buy is a bad idea. Once it's gone, nothing else will look as good.

But then, falling in love and deciding to "sleep on it" is a similarly bad idea when you're in a hot market.

Mar 22, 2014 03:20 PM #45
Amanda Christiansen
Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Christiansen Group Realty

Wow!  Thank you for all of the comments!  It looks like most of us are on the same page here.  We'll show homes when the buyer is ready.  It's just good business sense!

Mar 22, 2014 11:27 PM #46
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

If they are not ready, they are not ready. By not ready, I mean can’t buy – not won’t buy. They want to but they can’t. If they find their dream house and can’t buy it now, that house will become the standard for every house that they look at when they are ready to buy. That is a recipe for frustration for buyer and agent.

They will look on-line which is good. They can educate themselves in regard to the market. I would be delighted to answer their questions. They will likely visit open houses (so stay close to them so they don’t get stolen by another agent). But take them on tours of houses for sale prior to being able to write an offer – no.

Mar 23, 2014 01:49 AM #47
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

They can't purchase a home without a preapproval, so looking at homes and being disappointed is simply an unhappy way to start a home hunt.  I'd rather have them hold off looking until they are financially ready.

Mar 23, 2014 04:08 AM #48
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

Buyers, esp some first timers, want to start looking first, then get the financing together.  After an agent explains the best way to get started, as you described, sometimes they will follow the agent advice!  I often think some people want to look at homes just as a 'fun way to spend the afternoon' when they know they are months away from a real decision.  That's what open houses are for

Mar 23, 2014 08:49 AM #49
Linda Greco Rich, ABR, SRES
Exit Preferred Realty - Bel Air, MD
Harford County Specialist

You have hit upon one of my biggest frustrations! There are lots of agents who are afraid to say NO until the timing makes sense. It's really a catch 22, you show the houses too early and waste your time, the buyer's time, and the seller's time. OR, you can say no and the buyers will call around and find an agent who will jump in the car.

Mar 23, 2014 10:57 PM #50
Karen Mathers - REALTOR®
Keller Williams Vero Beach - Vero Beach, FL
When it Matters, Choose Mathers! 772-532-3221

It is a difficult area.  You do not want them to find the dream home and lose it, but you want to make sure they understand exactly what they will get size wise for their money.  It might be a good time to throw out to them HOA homes, non HOA, if taxes factor in, etc. so they can preshop with these ideas in mind.


Mar 23, 2014 11:25 PM #51
IRMA Beltran
Century 21 M & M and Associates-Turlock homes Real Estate - Turlock, CA
Your Real Estate Agent 4 Life Always there 4 You!

Why start a relationship knowing that you cant' buy at this moment. If you find the dream home and loose it because you're not ready frustration will take over and it's hard to keep someone frustrated focused on their needs.

Mar 24, 2014 02:53 AM #52
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

I sometimes show buyers a few homes when we initially connect.  It allows me to spend time with them and build a relationship.  But I do direct them to work on the loan before I run all over town helping them find the dream home.

Mar 24, 2014 03:55 AM #53
Lesley Wilson-VanGoethem
Innovative Realty Solutions Group - Winter Springs, FL
Residential Real Estate Broker Associate

On my first meeting with them we discuss why we dont look at homes until we are fully prepared to move forward, show stats on DOM and also explain that it isnt fair to the sellers , showing their property  to someone who isnt ready to purchase. Once explained nicely , they understand.. while they are excited to start the search, they also dont want to be disappointed.
Thanks for the great blog!


Mar 24, 2014 04:19 AM #54
M.C. Dwyer
Century 21 Showcase REALTORs - Felton, CA
Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist

Linda #50 makes a great point - if we don't show them homes, they'll find someone who will.    It's a balancing act of education about possible frustrations and even "loosing the dream home,"  while simultaneously motivating people to really get everything ready.    

You're so right - when people are relocating, they need extra insight into what makes different areas more valuable than others.     Just this weekend I explained that, in a sellers' market, a buyers' offer that is contingent on selling an unlisted home in another city is tough for a seller to consider, let alone to accept and go into contract.   

Mar 24, 2014 08:25 AM #55
Anthony Stone
Keller Williams Realty - Chesterfield Township, MI

During the buyers consultation, I explain what a buyer is:  ready, willing and able.  Someone who isn't preapproved isn't "able" to purchase the home.  I don't think it's fair to the seller.  Plus, you might be wasting your valuable time in scheudling the showing or any possible follow-up calls.  I have had this in the past, I just think it's good practice to explain to potential buyers during the meeting so everyone is on the same page.  It works form me....Nice Blog

Mar 24, 2014 09:15 AM #56
Amanda Christiansen
Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Christiansen Group Realty

Wow!  Thanks again for all of the comments and thoughts!  

Mar 24, 2014 09:47 AM #57
Deleted Account
Fort Myers, FL

Jared, great post and I agree with you on most points.  The problem is if they want to see something and you don't show them something, they will most likely go to another agent.  I will set them up for 3 showings and spend 2-3 hours showing them the area to gain each others trust and get to know each other.  Then ask them to work on the down payment, as well as getting pre-approved for a loan.  As long as they show promise by moving forward with what they need to do, then after 2 weeks, time permitting, I will show them a couple more homes to keep them interested.  I have found this to work out great!

Mar 25, 2014 10:26 AM #58
Melissa Sall
Sulek & Dutton Real Estate - Saint Clairsville, OH
Realtor ~ Belmont County ~ Ohio

I totally agree. No use in getting your hopes up to be crushed a short while later. Great post. Thanks for sharing. 

Mar 27, 2014 06:50 AM #59
Deb Harshman
Long and Foster - Christie's International Real Estate & Owner of Staged Home Decor - Potomac, MD
REALTOR & ASPMaster Stager, The Selling Advantage

I absolutely agree. Well said, #56 Anthony Stone. Great tips to grow by.

Apr 02, 2014 12:06 AM #60
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