How Do I Start My Home Search?

If you read my recent post “Why I May Not Be Able to Represent You” then you know that it’s imperative that you choose an agent early in your home search process. But what happens when you meet with an agent for the first time?

Everyone is different of course, but here is a general idea of how many of my first meetings with clients go. Typically, we’ll spend about an hour to go over the basics:

1) Go over the home purchase process.

2) Get an idea of needs vs. wants (i.e., ‘must haves’) – Bring any listings that you are already interested in.

3) Discuss neighborhoods, what you get for the money, etc.

4) Discuss the financing process. Before we go out to look at properties, you will need to be pre-approved by a lender. If you have already spoken with a lender by this point, bring your Good Faith Estimate(s) and I will go over some key points on them.

We’ll also briefly discuss buyer agency agreements, and our mutual obligations.

Depending on the situation, we may even go out to tour properties following this initial meeting. If not, then we’ll work together to identify some properties that might fit your needs. If/when we have a few properties (about 6-8) that you wish to view, we’ll set up a block of time that we can go see them.

I find that most buyers need to see 8-10 properties (through a combination of open houses and agent tours) in a given neighborhood before they have a good idea of what they like and what they get for the money. Typically during our first few weeks working together we get you “caught up” to homes that are already on the market. Following that, it’s easy to keep up to date and see what’s new via open houses and brief (1-3 property) tours.

The search process may take longer than you think, though it varies widely by person. The search process itself takes anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. I’ve had buyers make an offer after just one or two days of looking–it’s part focus, part preparation, and part luck.

From contract to settlement (for loan processing, appraisal, home inspections, etc.) then takes 30-60 days additional. You should count on at least 3 months from start to finish.

Shoot me an email today if you’d like to discuss starting your search!


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