Step 3 for Home Buyers: Searching for Your New Home

Finally we are to the fun part – let’s get busy searching for your new home!  Here are some important things to consider:

Needs versus Wants

We will ask you to make 2 lists as we begin your search process.

  1. Needs: things that must be present or you would not even want to see a house
  2. Wants: features you would like, but could compromise on if other factors outweigh these.

As an example, your need list (keep it around 5-7 items) might be: “we need a minimum of 4 bedrooms, be no more than 30 minutes from the airport, we will only buy in XYZ school district, my lender says my maximum price point should be $ABC, and we need at least a 3 car garage”.  We will use these non-negotiable items to exclude properties that don’t meet these criteria.

Your want list can be much longer.  For example: “I would like a first floor master bedroom with en-suite bath, I’d rather have a side-load garage, I prefer mid century modern style, and I like a basement.  The general understanding here is that if the rest of the house is great you could live without some of these items.  These will help us find ideal matches but we won’t limit our search initially to exclude properties based on these items.

What we have learned is that your initial list may dramatically change and that’s fine!  If as we look we see that your non-negotiables aren’t really fixed – or that your negotiables aren’t really flexible after all, we’ll talk about that and adjust as we go.

What YOU do and what WE do

Once we have your initial search parameters, we will set up your private portal.  This is your stealth access so that you can search online without being bothered by the agents who pay for leads from public sites.  If you come up with new properties that change your criteria, tell us.

We will also set up an automated search in our extensive system that will send you all the houses that meet your needs criteria.  The automatic feature will continue to email you with new listings that may go live or with listings that undergo a price or status change that brings them into your “possibles” list.

What we ask of you is that you open the messages, look through specs, pictures, and info, and let us know if something comes up that you’re interested in seeing so that we can arrange access for us to view the home.

We will monitor all the data that goes to you as well and we will be asking and listening in conversations with other agents for properties that may not yet be live on the market in hopes of grabbing first look at new properties as they become available.  I will inform my extensive network of colleagues of what you need and ask that they let me know immediately if they have a match.  We don’t wait for the computer – we are actively seeking to be matchmakers long before that!

How long will we Search?

We do not have a minimum number of properties you must identify before we will go looking with you.  It’s unlikely that the first one you see will be “it” but it isn’t impossible and regardless we both learn more about your needs and wants by seeing actual properties.  While we don’t have a minimum, we do have a suggested maximum.  In my experience, there are only a few scenarios when looking at more than 5 houses in one day makes sense, such as with an out of town buyer on a tight moving schedule.

Searching is fun but touring can get exhausting.  But searching is the step where it really starts to get exciting.  Try to envision yourself in the homes you are viewing and start to see what feels right!

If you have any questions about this post, we would be happy to talk with you!

Maureen Watson: 317-752-3377                               


Posted on November 15, 2018 at 12:54 am
Maureen Watson | Category: Steps for Buyers | Tagged , ,

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