Tour Your Favorite Homes

Do you have:

  • A pre-approval letter in hand?
  • A single agent selected?
  • Your wants and needs prioritized?
  • A home or two that seem like a great fit?

If so, then it’s time to tour some homes!

In this step we’ll review showing etiquette and walk you through the home showing process.

Best practices

TOP 10 BUYER ETIQUETTE RULES FOR SHOWING APPOINTMENTS

Be pre-approved for a home loan before viewing homes.

Sign an Exclusive Buyer’s Agency Agreement with your agent before viewing homes.

Do not view a home just for fun. Respect the time of your agent and the seller. Do not request a showing if you are not considering a home with the intent to purchase. 

Do not view multiple homes with multiple agents. Let other agents you come into contact with know that you are already working with an agent. Looking at a home with one agent and using a different agent to write an offer could create a sticky situation where the first agent is entitled to compensation as the procuring cause of sale. 

Have YOUR agent set up all showing appointments . Your agent can open the door to any house on the MLS and can also help you handle the purchase of a home listed For Sale By Owner. 

Call YOUR agent to view a property, NOT the agent on the yard sign.

Call YOUR agent to view a property, DO NOT knock on the door.

Be on time. 

Do not go through owner belongings or sit on the furniture.

Ask permission before taking pictures or video.

The showing process

DETERMINE THE FINAL FIVE

It’s time to hone in on your favorite homes, trimming your list to five or less. You can see yourself living in these homes and will seriously consider making an offer if your showing experience is positive. Walking through a home in person allows you to give the home a final thumbs up or thumbs down. 

However, pictures can be deceiving. The listing photos may be fantastic, but you should also ask yourself what’s not in the photos that could be a deal breaker for you.

Take a quick drive to preview your favorite homes before scheduling showings. Get a vibe for the neighborhoods and how well the surrounding homes are maintained. Take notice of traffic noise, the commute and local amenities. Did the photographer strategically angle his camera away from something unsightly? There’s no need to tour a home if it doesn’t pass the drive-by. 

 

SET UP APPOINTMENTS

Next, let your agent know which homes you want to see. Keep the list to 2-4 homes for a full yet relaxing day of showings. It is respectful to give sellers ample notice so they can prepare. Typically, scheduling appointments one day in advance is sufficient. Vacant homes can usually be seen with very short notice. 

Your agent will check the seller showing instructions for each property and make the appointments. Showings are granted a one hour window and most buyers average 15-20 minutes per house. You know your preferred pace so if you need more, or less, time at each house let your agent know so they can schedule the day accordingly.

Agents will access the keys to a property with a Supra Box. This is an electronic box accessed with their phone. These boxes work from 8am-8pm and showings are generally scheduled between 9am-7pm. 

 

SHOWING DAY

Hooray! You’ve made it to showing day! As your agent opens the door to the first home on your list, remember what this part of the process is all about: experiencing what you can’t see from pictures. Try to see past the décor and get a feel for the flow, age, and details of the property. 

As you tour homes, remember that you are in someone’s home, so be very respectful and treat it as if it were your own (maybe it will be!). Many homeowners today have cameras in their homes. You should assume that you are on camera at each home you tour and keep your behavior and comments in check.

If you are seeing multiple homes it is important to stay on schedule. If you need more time at a particular property you can make a second showing appointment to return another time.

Take notes to keep the details and your thoughts about each house straight. Property specifics for multiple homes can start blending together by the end of the day. 

Additionally, jot down any questions you have about each home so your agent can inquire and follow up with you. 

 

Helpful items to have on hand for showing day:

  • Flashlight
  • Measuring tape
  • Phone (for directions, camera and timer)
  • Notebook/pen
  • Snack pack
  • Wasp spray/bug spray
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Toilet paper
  • Umbrella 
  • Printed property information (MLS) sheets
  • Activities for children
  • Full tank of gas 🙂

 

SECOND SHOWINGS

If you are seriously interested in a home you can request a second showing. This is a large purchase and first impressions can be deceiving, especially if you looked at several houses in one day. The purpose of the second showing is to catch anything you may have missed the first time and allows you more time in the home to better assess the condition of the property and  the age of appliances and equipment etc,  which may affect the offer you wish to make. 

Have your found the one!  Let’s start the process of making it yours.

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