So you’ve found a few homes that look good on a screen. According the online profiles, these homes meet your criteria for bedrooms, baths, square footage and price. What do you do next?
You contact your agent to set a tour of these homes. Coordinating your calendar with the agent’s calendar, and you will find a block of time to view 2 or more homes at a time. I suggest seeing more than one home at a time, simply to make good use of everyone’s time. But sometimes, it is unavoidable to only see one home at a time.
When you are inside the home, do your best to view the home itself, and not the myriad of furniture, pictures, and personal effects the seller may have decorated the home with. Sometimes, sellers do not do a great job of minimizing their personality on the home, and it makes your task of viewing the home more difficult.
As you approach the home, take in the exterior condition. Do you see damaged siding? In what condition does the roof appear? Is the landscaping overgrown, well-maintained, or snow covered?
Upon entering the home, do you smell anything? Is it objectionable, or pleasant? Are the walls in clean, good shape, or do they show signs of wear? How about the trim around the home, is it beat up or in good shape?
Take a look at the floors. Do you see claw marks from animals on the hardwood floors? How about the carpeting? Is the carpeting taught, clean, and not showing signs of heavy wear?
Really, upon touring a home, you want to keep your eyes open to the things that are of greatest importance to you. Note, it is ok if the home’s appearance is less than perfect; a little paint, and new flooring, could go a long way to making an otherwise good home, great.
Some purchasers are very concerned about the age and condition of the mechanicals, the furnace, the hot water heater, etc. Unless you are an experienced buyer or licensed contractor, allow your inspector to ascertain the condition, age, and abilities of the mechanicals. Of course, if they appear to not be functional during your tour, this may be indicative of the home’s overall condition.
This is a brief rundown of what, exactly, to look for during your tour of a home. The takeaway, however, is to be mindful of those things that are important to you in your purchase, and to do your best to see past the personalization of the seller.