If you’re in the market for a home, you probably have been looking at a ton of listings online. In fact, sometimes there are so many options out there that it can be hard to sort out which ones are worth seeing in person. To that end, below is guide on how to tell if a listing is worth a look. Read it over so that you can bring more clarity to your home search.
The price is right
Often the first thing that buyers see when they look at listings is the price. Though it may sound obvious, before you take the time to go see a property, you’ll want to make sure that it fits comfortably in your price range. While it may be tempting to look at homes that are pushing the very top of – or are even beyond – your price point, doing so is just a way of setting yourself up for disappointment.
The one exception, here, is if a home has been on the market for a while. Though there are no guarantees, when a home has been marketed for some time without much interest, the sellers may be more willing to negotiate on price.
It checks off the boxes on your “must-have list”
Conventional wisdom in real estate holds that, as the buyer, you should go into your home search with two lists in mind. First, a “must-have list”, which includes all of the non-negotiable features that your new home needs to provide like your desired location and the correct number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Then, a “wish list”, which includes all the features that would be nice to have in a home, but aren’t true necessities.
In order for a listing to be worth your time, it needs to check off all of the items on your must-have list. Ideally, it will check off at least a few of the items on your wish list too. While you may want to go see homes that are missing some of those must-have items, you’ll likely find that they require too much of a compromise to make sense for you.
You like what you see in the photographs
These days, listing photographs often give buyers their first impression of a home. With that in mind, take the time to look through any photos carefully. If you like what you see in the pictures, the odds are good that you’ll also like what you find when you take a look at the home in person.
That said, you’ll also want to keep an open mind on this one. While listing photos are a useful tool for judging whether or not you’ll like a property, sometimes they don’t do the home justice. Use your best judgement, but if the property meets all of your other criteria, it may still be worth a look even if the photos aren’t the best.
You’re curious to know more
At the end of the day, all of the information that you receive on a listing is there for a purpose. It’s meant to get you curious enough about the home to want to take a look at it in person. With that in mind, as you look at potential listings, it’s important to pay attention to your curiosity level about each one.
Ultimately, if there’s something that interests you about a listing, it’s worth taking a look. Listing photos and descriptions can only give you so much information. You won’t get a true sense of the property – and whether or not it’s the right one for you – until you see it with your own eyes.
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