Buying Your First Home – Three Things To Keep in Mind When Visiting Homes

One of my favorite things to do as a Real Estate agent is to show homes. I personally find looking at different properties very interesting and I know clients like you, who are buying your first home,  love it as well.  When you are buying your first home, you will dream about the possibilities of making the property your own. It is especially gratifying when you find a home that marks off most of the items on a buyer’s list. Most likely, several homes have been visited with none of them fitting the bill for the buyer. Once you find a property that is perfect for your client, there is no better feeling. However, there are some things to keep in mind when visiting homes. Here are three of them.

  1. Showmanship – Selling a home is as much presentation as it is material facts about the property. Many agents will go out of their way, as they should, to present the home in the best light for potential buyers. A home can have hidden defects not easily visible when viewing a home so keep this in mind as you visit homes. A home might look stellar when you visit it, but you should always do due diligence and have a home inspection done during the option period, which is a period of time you have to consider the purchase before going forward with a contract. Home inspectors will go over the home with a fine tooth comb to find all the hidden defects. You will be able to put in an amendment during the option period requesting repairs be done to the house. It is just a good idea to keep all this in mind as you are viewing homes so you can set your expectations accordingly.

  2. Privacy – Many homes you will visit will have the owners currently living in the home and they have decided to open up the home to potential buyers for them to see what it has to offer. I have seen buyers do some questionable things when viewing some people’s homes (I request they stop the actions). It is always a good rule of thumb to respect the owners privacy and just walk through the home without looking through desk drawers, medicine cabinets, kitchen cabinets, etc. None of the items you can find by opening anything in a home is worthy of your inspection. Owners are due the respect required by potential buyers and listing agents track who has been in the home through lock boxes and other means. It is never a good idea to do anything beyond inspect the quality of the homes. Let the sellers remain anonymous.

  3. Cosmetic issues – Many buyers look at the wrong things when viewing homes. They tend to notice things like wall color, flooring condition, smells, paint jobs, etc. It is a good idea to keep in mind that cosmetic issues are temporary and can be changed by you after purchasing the home. Yes, it is work to do the cosmetic changes and your agent can work with you on how this affects your offer price, but you will always add your own touches to a home no matter how good, or bad, the cosmetic issues. I always tell buyers to focus more on things like room size, floor plans, size of the backyard and for visible issues with structural issues, like cracks in the wall or visible shingles eroding on the roof. You should make sure the home works for you from a practical standpoint first. You can then focus on how you might change the cosmetic aspects of the home.