Whether you are a first-time home-buyer or a current homeowner looking to downsize, more than likely you will be attending open houses while searching for the perfect home. Regardless of how experienced you are with home buying and home owning, there are always things that are missed when going through the house hunting and home buying process.
We reached out to our RE/MAX Influencers – a panel consisting of RE/MAX sales associates throughout Canada – to find out some of the top things that you should do and look for when viewing a home or an open house.
Slow down & take your time
Buying a house is your biggest investment, so why wouldn’t you want to slow down and take your time when viewing a property? Our Influencers noted that often times, people miss details such as whether or not the garage is big enough, how much sun exposure the house gets during the daytime and what sorts of repair and maintenance is going to be required to maintain and upkeep the property (such as the size of the yard and the condition of the roof). Another important point to keep in mind is to check both the inside and the outside of the home.
Upgrades & Wants vs. Needs
Upgrades are a huge factor to keep in mind when shopping for your dream home. It is a lot easier (and cheaper!) to re-paint the walls or replace cabinet hardware in the kitchen and bathroom than it is to re-work the floor plan of the house.
“Are the rooms big enough (with storage) to fit your belongings in? Will the property require any renovations or repairs to get it to the standard you want? Does it have everything you want, as well as what you need?” says Justin Havre & Associates, RE/MAX First, Calgary, AB.
Cosmetic upgrades can be easily done and are relatively low in cost, while major upgrades such as renovations or re-designing the floor plan can very quickly add up in cost.
Go back and take a second look
One of the most important things to remember is that it’s a good idea to go back and take a second look at a property you viewed and liked. There is a lot to take in when viewing a home, so revisiting the property and having another look around is always a good idea. It not only lets you get a second feel for the space, you might also notice something that you didn’t see before.
Don’t be afraid to ask.
“They (clients) often avoid asking their agent questions for fear of ‘bothering’ them. They need to know that they matter and that we are here to accompany them in their buying process, so that they know they aren’t out there on their own,” says Kristen Cimoszko, RE/MAX Select Properties, Vancouver, BC.
Your realtor’s top priority is to find you the perfect home and they will be with you every step of the way. Never feel that you are inconveniencing your realtor by asking them questions, they are there to support you and help you navigate through every step in the home buying process.