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How to house hunt efficiently

Blog by Kim Twohey | October 12th, 2016


House hunting can be very time-consuming.  The amount of time it takes to find your new home can depend on various factors including market conditions and availability of listings.  These things are completely out of your control.  Despite this, you can increase the efficiency of your house hunt using a few tips that I have learned during my time as a Calgary Realtor.
Find the right Realtor

Not all Realtors were created equally!  Take the time to find the best Realtor for you.  Partnering up with the right Realtor can save you time in many different ways.  Look for a Realtor that asks you specific questions about your needs, wants, likes, and dislikes.  Use a Realtor that is familiar with the area where you are looking.  Make sure you like your Realtor since you may be spending quite a bit of time together driving around and touring homes.  Changing Realtors part way through your home search is time-consuming and starts your home search back at square one.  Talk to friends, family, and co-workers about Realtors they had success with.  You can even ask potential Realtors to provide references.   

Know what you can afford

This seems like a logical place to start a home search but many Buyers skip this step and end up wasting time looking at homes that are not in-line with their budget.  Most people mistakenly believe that time is only wasted when they look at homes over their budget.  Some homeowners simply do not know the true cost of owning a home and actually underestimate how much they can afford.  This can lead to frustration and disappointment when they spend time looking at homes under their budget that simply do not meet their expectations.  It is a great investment into your home search process to meet with a qualified mortgage broker to help you understand how much you can afford. 

Narrow your search

Looking online before you physically start your home search can save you a great deal of time and effort!  Use online resources to scout out potential neighbourhoods, commuting routes, and to look at houses that are in your price range.  While there is no replacement for seeing areas in person, looking online can give you a better idea of the neighbourhoods that are the best fit for your lifestyle and your budget.  By looking at available listings online, you can take note of house features you can live without and ones that are a must-have for you.  Of course, be sure to share all this information with your Realtor!

Know your priorities

In conversation with your Realtor, determine what your main priorities are for your home search.  Do you have a specific possession date that you need to accommodate?  Are your geographical needs extremely specific?  Are there certain features that your home must have in order for it to work for your family?  Make a list of these priorities and make sure that each home you visit meets your must-haves. 

Make notes

Once your budget is confirmed, your search is narrowed, and your priorities are met make sure you take notes at each home you visit.  Jot down anything specific you would like to remember as well as the pros and cons that you notice during each home tour.  In the moment, you might feel like you will remember all these details but after a few more house tours all your memories start to bleed into one another.  Notes on each property will be a huge help and time-saver!   

Looking for a new home takes time and effort but with a little pre-planning and a good strategy, the process can be efficient and effective!  Do you have even more time saving tips for house hunters?  Share them with me on Twitter.