How do you know if you’ve picked THE right house? What IF a better ones comes on the market after you make a decision? How do you know you WON’T regret your decision? Welp, if you think I can reaaaaally answer those questions, I must be a better Realtor than I think I am.
There is no way that you or I can really answer those questions, so I am not going to try. But, what I can offer are some tips based on my experience.
How do you know if it is THE house? I think that any house you are afraid somebody else will buy out from under you shows it is pretty high on your list. If you can just totally see yourself living in the house, it may be the one. Same thing with comparing other houses to it. If you are doing that, it means that one is at the top of your list.
How can you prevent regretting your decision. I think the best thing you can do is to take your time in reaching your decision. Granted, sometimes when everybody else wants the house too, you don’t have that luxury. I like it when people want to see a house for the second time. You always notice more of the bad stuff on the second visit. It is even better if you come back at a different time of day. Rooms will look different with the sun on the opposite side of the place. Something that I’ve always told buyers to do, and not many actually have done it, is to drive around the neighborhood on a nice warm Friday or Saturday night. That will bring out anybody that will be annoying, so you won’t have any surprises there! Tough luck if it is winter.
There are a couple other things that bring on the regret: Having a tight timeline and getting so tired of looking that you just want it over with. If you have a tight timeline, preparation is the key. I do a lot of work for people moving to town. They’ll only be in town for a few days and have to pick a house. I try to work with them as soon as I know they will be coming. It all usually happens by e-mail, but we chat about neighborhoods, parts of town I think they’ll like, etc. Then I’ll start previewing houses, even taking videos of the houses to send them. At this point it is all about eliminating houses. You’re not really looking for the right one, you’re trying to whittle down the list to a manageable amount for them to see when they get here.
Now, about getting tired of looking. If you find yourself here and can do it, just take a break. It is really a scary place to be. Take a week off from looking….even online. If you can’t take a week off, have your agent preview houses. By the time you get to this point, your agent should really know what will work for you and what won’t. Of all the questions I asked at the beginning, this is the one I see the most. It’s like a sunburn. It’ll sneak up on you and you’re not aware of what is happening.
Okay. One more question left? How will you know a better house won’t come on the market as soon as you sign a contract? Simple answer. You won’t. I tell people to quit looking at houses online once you get past the inspections. If you don’t look, you’ll never know. And if you are the type that won’t take this advice, remember that sometimes houses look better online than they do in person. You are comparing your house in reality to the select pictures that the listing agents wants you to see……So that other house probably isn’t as good in reality as you are picturing it in your head. You got a good house….now just enjoy it.