Starting a home search can be overwhelming. Buying a house is a big decision, since you’re choosing where your family will be living for the next several years. It can be tempting to jump at the first suitable property you see, or to hold off for the “perfect” home until your options are restricted. There are no hard-and-fast rules to knowing how many homes to visit before making a final decision. Your real estate agent can help you determine how many homes to tour until you choose to make an offer on one. As always, choosing a real estate agent you can trust is the key to a home purchase you can feel good about. Portia Luttrell of Realty Concepts suggests that a home shopper shouldn’t visit more than five homes in a day so they don’t become overwhelmed. “Previewing too many homes in a day can cause confusion and discouragement,” she said. On the other hand, she warns against being too cautious, particularly in the current real estate market. “With the low inventory and the competition, if a buyer sees a property they like, they should not hesitate to make an offer,” she said. Susie Wertjes with Samson Properties maintains that each buyer is different, and the circumstances will determine how soon to make a decision. Buyers who have to move quickly will be under more pressure, while others don’t have to rush. Overall, she says that each buyer should visit as many homes as it takes for them to find the “right” one, because it’s good to get an idea of what is available and how other homes are priced. “Even if the first one is the right one, a buyer should look at several others to compare before signing on the dotted line and give careful consideration as to why that home was perfect for them,” Ms. Wertjes said. Christopher Allen Ried said that since buyers already are able to do research online to see what homes and amenities are available in the market, they are better informed than they have ever been. “I feel like a homeowner should at least see 3-5 houses prior to purchasing,” he said. “However, I have had buyers that did six months worth of research and pick out the first home they stepped in and did not want to see anything else.” In some cases, the shoppers and agents can sit down and do the research together as a step to save time instead of having to tour multiple properties. “By looking at the pictures, maps with satellite views and all the information, they should be able to narrow the list down to four or five properties that have what they want in a home,” said John Lewis of Realty Executives Temecula. “From there they should go see the properties as well as experience the location in the development.” Overall, it’s important to have a sense of what is available, but also not to wait so long to make an offer that the home is no longer available. A qualified real estate agent can help a home shopper make a decision, and guide them through the process.
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