When you’re buying a home for sale in Visalia, Three Rivers, Exeter or elsewhere, working with the right Realtor® can make all the difference in the world – and so can following these five house-hunting tips. (For good measure, we’re throwing in three big house-hunting mistakes to avoid, too.)

5 House-Hunting Tips for Visalia Homebuyers

Buying a home is one of the biggest processes you’ll ever go through. It’s also one of the most rewarding, provided that you do what you can to make it easier on yourself. These five house-hunting tips will get you started on the right foot.

1. Make a List of Must-Haves and Wants (and No-Ways)

Think about what you really need from a home – just the basics. This is where the minimum number of bedrooms and bathrooms comes in. Put together a list of the bare minimum you need to live comfortably.

Pro tip: Think about what you’ll need in five years, not today.

Then, list the things you’d like to have in your home.

Finally, list deal-breakers.

Some common things people forget to check when they’re house-hunting include:

  • A gate to the backyard
  • Spigots in normal places around the house
  • Ample counter space for cooking and countertop appliances
  • Enough cupboard space for everything the family needs
  • A decent linen closet
  • A practical layout that works with the family’s lifestyle, including where the laundry room and bedrooms are

2. Get Preapproved

Before you begin your search, get mortgage preapproval. This does two things:

  • It lets you know your price range so you’re looking at the right homes. Ideally, you’ll look at homes below your price range and find something that’s just right.
  • It allows you to make an offer quickly when you find the right house – and it gives the seller confidence that you’ll actually be able to buy it, so he or she will feel comfortable taking it off the market.

3. Start Your Search Online to Make a Short List

Look at homes in (or below) your price range online to get a good grasp of what’s available. Compare them side-by-side until you narrow your list down to ten or fewer homes.

4. Find the Right Realtor

Talk to more than one real estate agent to find someone you really “click” with. You and your agent will be working together for a while, and she’ll be the one taking you to see properties, so it’s important that you get someone who cares about your needs. It’s also important that you have a good rapport with your Realtor, and that you trust her to help you find the right home.

5. Visit Homes – and Be Smart About It

Give your real estate agent your short list. She’ll schedule appointments for you to tour them – and when you do, be prepared for a deluge of information.

Bring printouts of each listing you visit. Scribble notes on them so you can remember which house had the amazing floors, which one had the weirdly positioned bathroom and which one reminded you of your current house. You’ll be glad for those notes when you’re further narrowing your list of homes.

3 House-Hunting Mistakes to Avoid

We all make mistakes… but if you make a mistake while you’re house-hunting, you could end up buying a home that you’re not happy with in five years (or less). Watch out for these three pitfalls.

1. Don’t Be Shy

Open cupboards, look in cabinets and peek behind doors. You need to see as much of the house as possible to make an informed decision, so don’t be afraid to take your time and look in every nook and cranny.

2. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

If you’re not sure about something, ask your Realtor. She can ask the seller’s agent and get you the answers you need.

3. Don’t “Sleep on It”

When you find your dream home, there’s a good chance that it’s someone else’s dream home, too. You don’t have time to go home and sleep on it – you should make an offer as soon as you’re sure it’s the right house for you. Otherwise, you run the risk of a more motivated buyer snatching it off the market.

Are You Buying a Home for Sale in Visalia?

We’d love to help you find your dream home in Visalia. When you’re ready to start exploring your options, call us at 559-471-3227. While you’re here, download your free homebuyer guide and have a peek at our extensive moving checklist so you’re prepared for the big day. You can also explore: