Real Estate Shopping Tips

Real Estate Shopping Tips

Moving is said to be up on the list of stressful life events, but shopping for a house is definitely a highlight of it. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and momentum of it all, so keep these tips in mind while you’re searching for your perfect house:

  • Don’t over do it! – If you look at 15 houses in a day, you won’t be able to remember which one had the blue carpet and which one had that amazing master bathroom. If you narrow down your real likes and dislikes with your agent, you likely won’t need to look at that many. There is no reason to look at every house on the market just to say you did—it will do you more harm than good and it will leave a bad taste in your mouth. If you know 100% that you would never buy a house without a garage or you’d never have a pool, then there is no reason to waste your time looking at it.
  • …but it has potential!” – All those shows on TV make it seem very easy to knock down a wall here and there. Be careful before you decide to take it down to the studs. Making changes to a floor plan and knocking out walls is often more expensive than people realize. Don’t get me wrong, I think that everyone should tackle any project they’d like, but just be aware of the reality of it when planning those updates. Make sure that your plans are realistic for your talents and budget before you make an offer on that diamond in the rough.
  • Ask Away! – Never be afraid to ask questions. Houses aren’t cheap and there is a lot of money on line line, so there really is no such thing as too many questions. How old is that roof? What is that weird patch on the wall? The best time to ask is before you buy it!
  • Look beyond the small things – Don’t pass up a beautiful house because one bedroom is bright green or it has some wild bushes out front. Things like paint color, trim hardware color, light fixtures and draperies are all things that are mostly easily and cheaply updated. On a similar note, try to ignore the personal items in the house—whether it is an intensely printed couch from a long gone era or a gorgeous painting—none of these things are included in the sale. A fabulously decorated home will look much different once it’s vacant and the same goes for the not so fab décor. Focus on the home and space itself, not what is in it.
  • Be Real– The more honesty feedback you give to your buyer’s agent, the faster and easier he/she can locate your perfect property. You won’t hurt your agent’s feelings if you don’t like a house. Your buyer’s agent works for you, and your feedback can prevent you from seeing properties that won’t suit your needs.
  • Be open to possibilities – Probably the best tip there is when house searching is to be flexible and open to possibilities. You may start off your search thinking you want minimum of 5 acres and a 3 bedroom house to go with it. As you look at 5 acre properties, you may realize that you need more or less land or a different type of setup entirely—and that is ok! I personally did almost exactly what I just described, so I can testify that even agents aren’t immune. The goal is that at the end of it, you find the perfect property for you—whatever it ends up being.

Shopping for a house is a time of excitement, joy and a bit of uncertainty with all the options for your future home. You might as well make it fun! Keep these tips in mind and you’ll find yourself home before you know it.

Lisa Priest loves to look at property and is an East Texas Area Broker/REALTOR® with Picket Fence Realty, Inc. You can reach her via phone or text at 903-729-7530 or read more at BuyPalestine.com