Where to start the house hunting process

08 November 2021 | Life Style

While it may sound like a reasonably easy thing to do, house hunting may take a little more time and effort than most expect.
One of the biggest challenges buyers face when searching for homes is knowing where to start when sifting through the variety of properties available.
“The chances of buying the very first home you view are rather slim,” says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa. “Looking at multiple properties with no real plan will only add to the confusion and can make your decision more difficult.”
It’s a common misconception that utilising different estate agents and going to view as many listings as possible in a day is the best way to house hunt. However, Goslett warns that this may only provide buyers with a general overview of the homes on the market and make it challenging to keep track of each home’s standout attributes.
“Viewing a manageable number of properties – the rule of thumb is to view no more than four properties on any given day – will help buyers to retain as much information about each property as possible,” he says.
Keeping track of hyperlinks to property listings can also become tricky, especially when you are viewing multiple listings in person. To help buyers keep track of key points, Goslett recommends taking notes on each property using an iPad, smartphone or the traditional pen and notebook. “The pros and cons of each property should be logged, listing likes, dislikes and standout features. At the end of the day, delete any notes on homes you disliked and only keep records of the properties that you did like.”

Take your pic
Instead of looking at pictures on the online listing to refresh your memory, Goslett also recommends taking photos of the property while you are viewing it, paying attention to aspects of a home that are especially appealing. Again, only keep pictures of homes that you liked.
Ideally, Goslett suggests that it is best to use just one estate agent that you feel comfortable with. “A reputable real estate professional who specialises in the area will be able to narrow down the search and viewings based on the information and criteria you have provided. This will save you from wasting time viewing properties that don’t meet your needs. Sticking to just one agent also simplifies the admin involved. You can always chat to them if you are uncertain of anything or can’t remember something about the home you just viewed. They’ll have a record of the homes that you’ve seen and a list of each property’s features. Agents will know their listings and will ensure that you find a home that ticks all your boxes,” he explains.
Purchasing a new home is both exciting and stressful. However, handling the process calmly and logically, and with the assistance of a reliable real estate professional will mitigate much of the stress, allowing you to enjoy the process of finding your dream home.

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