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Homebuying Step #4: Shopping for your Home

A Guide to the Home Viewing Process with Your Real Estate Agent

This is the most exciting part of the home-buying process. With so many options available, it's essential to narrow down your search to properties that meet your needs, budget and at least some of your wants. Your real estate agent can help you find homes that match your criteria through the MLS and other property databases. In this post, we'll discuss how to evaluate properties and what the shopping process looks like.

Once you've found homes that meet your criteria and budget, it's time to schedule showings. I usually book showings for 30-minute blocks with travel time in between homes, but depending on availability your agent can adjust for larger properties and mobility.

It's essential to be respectful of the seller's time, especially if the home is still occupied. Unoccupied homes may have the water turned off, so it's best to use the bathroom before showings. It's also worth noting that many homes have cameras with microphones, assume the sellers can hear you.

During the showing, your agent should take notes on all the homes you visit, and it's a good idea to take pictures or videos to help you remember each property. You'll want to test the plumbing, try the electrical system (turn on all the lights), and look at the condition of the HVAC unit(s), and hot water tank(s) and evaluate the neighborhood and surrounding areas. Your agent should know common disqualifications for your financing type to look for If the property was built before 1978 and has peeling or chipping paint, it may not qualify for an FHA or VA loan due to lead-based paint concerns.

When evaluating the neighborhood, consider the maintenance of surrounding homes, the amount of traffic on the street, and whether the location is convenient to places that are important to you, such as schools, jobs, shopping, restaurants, and parks.

By taking the time to carefully evaluate each property, you'll be able to make an informed decision when it comes to choosing the right home for you and your family.

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