So, you’ve contacted an agent and are ready to start viewing homes to purchase.
During your search, you could see dozens of homes. You might be jotting down things, and you’ll have the listing from your agent, but it’s important to keep accurate information that you can understand and use at a later date. It’s not only to remember the specifics and the outstanding features, but to measure homes against one another in a calculated way.
For example, if you write down “nice bathroom” or “great backyard,” you might not remember what you liked or how much you liked it in comparison to other bathrooms and backyards in other homes.
A surefire way to keep notes that are comparable is to use the same checklist every time and to rate features out of 10. Include main rooms like living room, kitchen, and basement, and some room to put in special rooms and features that you may see more than one of on your hunt, like swimming pool, balcony, and bedroom 3, 4, and 5. Then, you can also give each home an overall out of 10, completing a detailed and measured comparison tool if you can’t decide between a few properties.
Here are a few other points to include on your checklist, either while at the home or using research you find online:
- Proximity: to work, schools, grocery stores, and other places you’ll visit frequently
- Pros and cons: more general than measuring rooms and features out of 10
- Desired characteristics: a simple checklist of things you’re looking for, like central air or electric heat
- Answered questions: anything you happen to ask that may be of value, like why the current owner is selling
- Neighbourhood: comments on neighbours, the street, and the possible value of the area in the future
- Special costs and conditions: is there anything weird or extraordinary you need to remember?
This might seem like a lot of work while you’re trying to take in each home, but if you have the checklists printed out and ready, it can make a world of difference and will save you time and energy should you get stuck on more than one property.
Used with the listing and information from your agent, you’ll be the most prepared homebuyer out there, which could give you an edge on offer day.