Touring Homes for Sale After Dark? Maybe Not!

Real Estate Agent with Key Properties of the Hudson Valley NYS DRE #40BO1055114

Tips on buying YOUR next home

Touring homes in the dark can lead you astray

DARK ROADI know you are anxious to see homes and schedules can be overwhelming busy. A frequent assumption would be touring them AFTER work. 5:30 seems a reasonable time, but at this time of year it isn't. The sun sets much before that and by the time 5:30 rolls around, it is DARK outside. So when you ask your agent to tour homes, they may be trying to accommodate your schedule, when in fact they are not helping you at all.  

Daylight shows a homes best features! Yes, the front door makes an impression. Yes, you do have to find the front door for that to happen. It is best to go before dark so that you can find the home, and see what it actually looks like. If you are spending time getting lost or only seeing long dark roads, you are not focusing on anything but that. The home that might work can lose its appeal. Seeing yourself getting lost, in the dark, on a long quiet road is how you will remember this home. If you don't know the neighborhood, it can appear that the home is very isolated. It may only be one mile from the main part of town though, and the perception is not all that great of where the home really is.

The Hudson Valley has many residential areas that can seem quite remote and others that are in major subdivisions. We don't have street lights everywhere like some areas. New construction is likely to be on a private road, or a recently dedicated road. Once the sun goes down and it gets dark outside there is no indirect light. If a showing is on one of these roads, it can be quite dark. If the moon is out you may get lucky, but when darkness hits the area, it can be way too dark to tour a home.

Depending on the owners you may be able to tour a home early in the day. I have had new construction buyers come in as early as 7:30am. While it may not always work with a resale home, the builders are not concerned with early-birds. Try to work an early time in the day rather than late. Seeing the home the first time around in the daylight is the way to go. A second showing after dark is not a bad thing either. First showing are best during the day.

When looking at homes for sale there are so many things to consider. Making smart decisions can be a challenge. Make sure that you work together with an agent that knows the area. 

I'd love to show you homes in the Hudson Valley when you are ready. I do recommend that we do it during the daylight hours. Let me know you are available so we can get started!


published by: your real estate expert Janis Borgueta Key Properties of the Hudson Valley as a community service in Newburgh NY. To receive more real estate information please subscribe to this blog. Looking to buy a new home? Search the MLS for New Homes in Newburgh NY. You can contact Janis at (845)-527-7115 or find her on Google+.


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Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

Janis, I’ve only done this twice. Both times it was a disaster. Never, and I do mean NEVER again. Not going to happen! 

Nov 06, 2014 11:17 PM #35
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Our logs behind the scenes show 10:30 at night is the busiest open house on demand time. Real estate buyers in their jammies, leaning back in recliners with a cat in their lap are one by one in and out of the listings beyond 9-5 if you have real full motion videos for the show and tell. On a mobile phone between flights when there is a long or even short delay. It is you're on... show me what you have for Victorians in this price range or waterfront lake places. Go. You can with video. After hours, day or night more exposure happens. No taser worries.

Nov 06, 2014 11:40 PM #36
Kevin Mackessy
Blue Olive Properties, LLC - Highlands Ranch, CO
Dedicated. Qualified. Local.

My pet peeve when showing after dark is a home with no built in over head lights.  Then every room is dark and you're really missing the big picture.  

Nov 07, 2014 12:29 AM #37
Susan Jacobsen
The Alliance Group Realty - Hilton Head Island, SC
20 Years Providing WOW Real Estate Service

Janis - you are so correct! especially now with 'daylight savings time' - I already feel as though when 4:00 comes around the day is over - I know some of our pretty oceanfront homes have photos that are taken at dark - and that's lovely but to see a home in the dark for the first time is really not a good idea - and from a safety standpoint, just not good!

Nov 07, 2014 12:36 AM #38
Janis Borgueta
Key Properties of the Hudson Valley - Newburgh, NY
LIC RE Salesperson

Kathleen- no I agree not worth it!

Andrew - yes to sitting in front of the computer for an evening online viewing!

Kevin- Absolutely the wrong view

Susan- safety first, but our rural areas, although only one mile from the center of town, appear very DARK and remote. It is a big misrepresentation of where the homes are in our area. City folk for sure get spooked! and realtors get lost.

Nov 07, 2014 12:40 AM #39
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

So true.  We should require daylight showings for safety!

Nov 07, 2014 01:05 AM #40
Dana Hollish Hill
Hollish Hill Group, KW Capital Properties - Bethesda, MD
Lead Associate Broker

I love when condo buyers tell me they're interested in seeing condos in the dark. Sunlight is a crucial part of the appeal of a condo. Lack of sunlight is a huge negative. Why look when you can't determine it's likability?

Nov 07, 2014 01:06 AM #41
Raymond Denton
Homesmart / Evergreen Realty - Dana Point, CA
Capo Beach Realtor® -

Monday through Friday is tough because it gets dark early, and for many, Sunday doesn't work because of Football and Nascar.  Saturday's are probably a pretty busy day this part of the year for Agents.

Nov 07, 2014 01:19 AM #42
Rob Arnold
Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc. - Altamonte Springs, FL
Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F

Initial showings of a home after dark is a mistake in my opinion.  You just cannot truly see what you are dealing with.  Make it more of a pig in a poke. 

Nov 07, 2014 01:36 AM #43
Suzanne Otto
Six Twenty Designs - Lansdale, PA
Your Montgomery County PA home stager

Janis, I can understand touring homes after dark in remote locations is less than ideal. But in the suburbs, with the proper lighting, it can really accentuate a home's appearance. 

Nov 07, 2014 01:51 AM #44
IRMA Beltran
Century 21 M & M and Associates-Turlock homes Real Estate - Turlock, CA
Your Real Estate Agent 4 Life Always there 4 You!

Showing at night never recommend it even though I've done it a couple of times. You miss so much go to the home that it's not even worth going there.

Have A Wonderful Blessed Day!!!!

Nov 07, 2014 02:57 AM #45
Scott Gleason
RE/MAX Select - Westfield, NJ
Westfield NJ New Homes Specialist

Showing homes in daylight hours may be the best aesthetically.  But safety is also a big issue to consider.  Good article!

Nov 07, 2014 03:55 AM #46
Jeanne Gregory
RE/MAX Southwest - Sugar Land, TX
The most important home I sell is YOURS!

Rob Arnold is correct!  The initial viewing should never take place after dark. You will just have to go out and show it again in the light. 

Nov 07, 2014 05:20 AM #47
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

There is no reason to show a home during the diminished daylight hours.  If the home is of interest, then we have to trek back out in the DAYLIGHT anyway to see the yard, the color of the home, the condition of the exterior, etc.  Why make two trips?

Nov 07, 2014 06:01 AM #48
Jeff Stevens
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New Mexico Properties - Las Cruces, NM
Jeff Stevens, Associate Broker

Terrific blog! I love the image, captures the blog-theme perfectly. I won't show homes after dark. Not just because you will miss important features of the home, but as Scott Gleason said, safety must also be considered. Dark house. Never been there before. Sometimes properties without electricity. No thanks. 

Nov 07, 2014 06:34 AM #49
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

I agree.  I had this exact conversation with a buyer this week.  We went to see a home in the dark and they thought that they loved it.  But the next time that we went back to see it, not so much.  They didn't like it as well as they thought.  It can be deceiving both ways.  The dark hides too much and the daylight shows all the flaws.  Better to see them up front to make the best decision!

Nov 07, 2014 09:10 AM #50
Joanna Cohlan
Fresh Eyes For Your Home - Chappaqua, NY
Designing, Decorating & Staging Westchester Homes

You are so right Janis.  I only go to my client's homes for first time consultations in the daylight hours in every season because you can not see color or features in the same way in the dark!

Nov 07, 2014 10:13 PM #51
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

The problems with showing a home after dark, after breaking an ankle stepping in a hole in the yard, is that

1.  You may not be able to find it. 

2.  The first thing the buyer will say is, "I'd like to see it in daylight".

Nov 08, 2014 12:28 AM #52
Claude Labbe
Real Living | At Home - Washington, DC
Realty for Your Busy Life

Touring homes in the're right, it doesn't make sense.

If your buyers can't understand that, it doesn't mean you need to get into the car to go show.

I've had buyers step into holes during the middle of the day, and I can't imagine what it's like by 7:30 in November. 

Stay with your rules, remain calm.

Keep Calm

Nov 08, 2014 01:30 PM #53
Janis Borgueta
Key Properties of the Hudson Valley - Newburgh, NY
LIC RE Salesperson

Thanks for commenting on this post. My inclination is to discourage any agent that is showing my listings from bringing their clients in the dark. I can't control them for the most part. Showing a home in the dark has it downfall.  I too believe that with the proper lighting a home can look really great, but I agree that they are going to want to come back again to see it in the daylight. I think that is the best way to begin. 

Nov 08, 2014 09:20 PM #54
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