Let’s face it, with family and work commitments we all have very limited time. Admittedly, home buying can be a pretty time consuming process if not handled efficiently. If you’ve been putting off your home search because you don’t have the time to devote to it, there is a better way. We have developed an approach to save you time and reduce the level of frustration often caused by the home search process. Our goal using this 5 step time saving approach is to show you all of the homes you want to see and none of the homes you don’t. Check out our five step time saving system to make your home search efficient and effective.
Step #1 Set Up a Targeted, Automatic Search with Email Notifications
The first way we can save you time is by setting up a targeted, automatic search with email notifications. This way you won’t be constantly going back to your favorite search sites to check for new inventory. If there are certain things that are must haves like master bedroom on the main floor, 3 car garage or pool, there is no sense in wasting your time looking at homes that don’t have these features. Everyday – sometimes multiple times a day – you will receive notification of homes that come on the market that match your criteria, not the ones that don’t. This way you won’t waste any more time on homes that obviously are not a match.
Step #2: Discard the Obviously Unacceptable Homes Immediately
When you get a new listing notification, discard the obviously unacceptable homes immediately. Though we are able to weed out a lot of the homes that aren’t a match in the automatic search, we’ll still see some that come through that will not be a match. Not spending time on homes that are not a match will reduce the volume of choices to a more manageable level. Then, slowly and carefully pick through the rubble of unsuitable homes to find those homes worth visiting.
Pro Time Saving Tip: If you’re looking for a home that’s move-in ready, discard homes that don’t have interior pictures. The reason why listing agents choose not to include pictures is because of something they don’t want to show relating to condition.
Step #3: Mark the Possible’s for Further Research
The remaining homes left after the first elimination get moved to the “possible” category. Note the addresses for each and head over to Google Earth and Google Street View to get a quick tour of the area. Note things like location flaws, such as a home located next to a railroad track, gas station, strip mall or near the dump and eliminate homes with incurable locational defects. If distance to school and work is important, map to those places to determine if they meet the proximity criteria. Finally, narrow your “possible” list down to those homes most nearly matching your most wanted features and characteristics for the next step.
Pro Time Saving Tip: A buyer’s agent who really understands what you’re looking for will alert you of any homes you may have hastily eliminated. We’re on top of our client’s searches and from time to time catch homes the client eliminated that were a fit. If we think you eliminated something that might work, we’ll tell you, so don’t be afraid to eliminate.
Step #4 Drive By the Home and Tour the Neighborhood
Once you’ve narrowed down your possibles, it is time to do a drive by when it is convenient for you. Ask yourself whether you would be comfortable living on the street and in the neighborhood. Is this a house where you can raise your family? Is the location appropriately proximate schools, transportation, employment, churches and medical facilities? Observe the orientation of the lot and placement of the house and remember it gets hot in Austin. The intense summer heat makes for much discomfort when your backyard entertainment and relaxation area is on the west side of the house. A drive-by will reveal many locational flaws that negatively impact the liveability of a house and will take much less time than a showing.
Step #5 Tour the Inside of the Best Homes
Once you have whittled the list to those homes apparently most suitable, it is time to go inside. We’ve found you have to go inside every home that can’t be eliminated by the methods above. An in person tour is the only way to really get a good feel of what it would be like living in the home. When you work with an Eleven Oak’s Realty buyer specialist, we will candidly point out things we think you should know about the property and the neighborhood so you can make an informed purchase decision.
Elimination is Key in Saving Time with Your Home Search
The notion of looking at every single home is physically overwhelming. In a fast paced market like Austin, there is not sufficient time to look at the several hundred homes that may be listed for sale within specific price range. Spending some time getting clear on the neighborhoods you want to target and specific requirements of a house at the beginning stages of your search will allow you to focus your valuable time on the homes that are a serious consideration.
We Take an Educational Approach to Home Buying
At Eleven Oaks Realty we take an educational approach to home buying. Buying a home is one of the most important decisions of your life and we take the time to answer all of your questions. When our clients find their homes, they are comfortable and ready to make an offer. We’ve told them the resale impediments they would face when it comes time to sell and they have a good idea of what it is going to be like living in their home. If you’re looking for a buyer’s agent who takes the time to educate you about the process, not simply sell you the most expensive house you can afford, we might be the buyer’s agents for you.
Considering Buying a Home in Austin and Need to Save Time?
We have a combined 58+ years of experience in residential real estate and have helped thousands of buyers find the perfect home for them – all while saving them time. We have the systems and procedures in place that will help make your home search efficient and productive. Check out our Austin Home Buyers section to learn more about our team and how we work. Then, call us at (512) 827-8323, email us at info@11OaksRealty.com or fill out our Buyer Survey to get started.