When it comes to house hunting, home tours are an essential tool because they can help you experience how a property truly looks and feels.
Is the home updated? Is it on a quiet street? And are the neighbors friendly? Sometimes the only way to find the answers is by going to the house yourself for a revealing look-see.
The average home buyer visits ten homes in the same number of weeks before buying a house, but what’s right for you can depend on many factors. Consider the following variables to help determine how many properties you might want to see in person.
This market indicator, which is a raw count of how many homes are actually listed for sale, can affect how you plan your visits. For example, a low inventory may limit your options to only a handful of houses, in which case you’d likely want to visit all of them. Conversely, a high inventory would require you to be more selective and target the houses that fit your preferences so you can maximize your time.
If you’re considering buying, you can start your home search online, such as on Realtor.com, to get a general idea of what’s available in your area. You can also use criteria like where you want to live, your budget, the type and size of home you want, and how many bedrooms and bathrooms you’d like to narrow your results. Once you’re ready to officially begin looking, contact a local real estate agent, who can help you find homes that might be perfect for you.
To help you keep track of the homes you’re considering, put together a spreadsheet that includes listing photos, stats, and pros and cons for the homes for each one; you could also download a house-hunting spreadsheet template. Then add your own photos and comments after your home tours. The information can help you differentiate between properties and pinpoint the one that best suits your needs.
The temperature of the housing market can impact the timeline of your house search, which may lead you to visit fewer or even more homes. For example, in a heated market where there are many interested buyers, you might need to rush to place a bid on a home you love. Alternatively, a more balanced market would potentially give you extra time to consider more homes.
Your agent will be up-to-date on current market trends and forecasts and will be able to give you insights into how that may affect your home search.
If you must purchase a home quickly, whether because you’re relocating for a new job or you’ve already sold your old home, the amount of time you have to search will be limited. In that case, you may need to visit only the handful of homes that most appeal to you to ensure you stay on schedule.
This is where online resources like Realtor.com and Zillow can be especially helpful, as you can browse them during off-hours when you have free time. And make sure to lean on your real estate agent, who can use their expertise to do the heavy lifting for you so you can focus on other priorities during this fast timeline.
No home search is ever the same as another—one buyer could fall in love with the first house they see, while another might tour dozens before finding one they like. In addition, there are a variety of circumstances that could boost the number of houses you wind up touring, such as if the seller doesn’t accept your offer or if your purchase falls through. But with these tips, the right planning, and your trusted real estate agent by your side, you can trim the visit total to the right amount and find your true home sweet home.