The home search can at times be very frustrating, but with the right real estate agent it can be pleasant and productive. A good agent will listen carefully to your needs and preferences and be able to narrow down the possibilities with great efficiency. At first, there may be dozens of homes which match your requirements, so it may take several house-hunting trips to pare down the list. This early phase also allows you to get an excellent grasp of values, so it’s important to make mental notes of each home and its price, even when you know that some of them are not under consideration. After seeing several homes, it’s common for buyers to adjust their expectations of what they can actually afford.
Usually, you’ll find several homes that feel right, having most of the features you desire and appealing to you emotionally. Once you’ve narrowed your choices down to a final list of 3 to 10 homes, it’s time to evaluate the specifics of each. It’s important not to get too caught up in the emotional factors which cause you to like or dislike a certain house. Too many buyers let emotions play a big part in their decisions, such as seeing a perfect sunset from a home’s balcony. A sunset that beautiful might only occur two or three times a year, hardly a reason to pay $5,000 over market value. Or perhaps you’ve found your dream home, except for a slight pet odor. You might decide not to buy for that reason, even though it would have cost less than a hundred dollars to have the carpet cleaned and the odor removed. And, unless you plan on living in the home forever, it’s always important to be thinking in terms of resale value. Also, don’t be fooled into thinking you have to see every home on the market in your price range. Seeing too many homes could even make your decision more confusing. An agent doing his or her job correctly will focus in on the homes that match your desires first. The agent will show you those homes on the first appointment, and later showings will normally feature homes which are less likely to meet your requirements. It’s not at all out of the ordinary to find the right home after only two or three showings.
Use common sense and the knowledge and experience of your real estate agent. Keep your emotions at bay. And, analyze the features and amenities of each home to determine whether the home fits your needs and lifestyle.