How Many Houses Should I See Before Buying?

In Buyers by Doug Phelps

If you’re starting your search for a new home, it’s natural to wonder how many houses you might need to see before finding “the one.” Now, there’s no hard and fast answer to this question, but be prepared to put in some time.

Every successful purchase begins with defining what you want in a home and what you need in a home. Combining both definitions leads to the best possible outcome. 

Before beginning to look, know what you can afford by getting approved by a lender. Pre-approved financing keeps you on the straight-and-narrow in terms of looking for homes in the right price range (there’s nothing worse than falling in love with a home beyond your reach).

Here are some tips to make the most out of your experience and hopefully keep showings at a reasonable number.

  1. Use a real estate agent. A Realtor has insider information that can help you in your search, so you don’t waste time on homes that don’t fit into your parameters. The data a Realtor can access and share gives you virtual “keys” to the doors of desirable properties. You look inside from the comfort of your computer screen. Then, when we find ones that you want to see, set up the visits.
  2. Keep an open mind. It’s easy to get caught up in the idea of your dream home but keeping an open mind will help you find a home that is in your budget and has the most important features you are looking for.
  3. Narrow your expectations. You’ll probably start out with a long list of all the things you might like your house to have. But this can create a lengthy search. Try creating a list of 3 must-haves and 3 deal breakers to get started.
  4. Take pictures if you can. Sometimes, when you’re considering multiple houses, they all start to run together. If you allowed, consider taking photos of potential homes to keep them straight and make sure you remember all your favorite features.
  5. Take your time. You don’t want home buying to be a rushed process. This is a big decision! Take your time in finding the right house and then be ready to act quickly when the time comes to make an offer.
  6. Buying a home requires striking a deal beyond price. Possession terms, inclusions, inspection contingencies, appraisal, and much more. The Colorado Buy and Sell Contract typically requires 203 information items, and sale price fills in only one “blank”.  The other 202 represent significant opportunities to make the contract safer and more favorable.