Some Property Search Techniques

by : Scott Hubbard

Looking for a home online is a great tool for any homebuyer. The Internet is a great place for Do-It-Yourselfers. However, there are some pitfalls that come with the territory. For instance, there thousands of properties for sale in most cities and only a fraction that will meet your needs.

Weeding through hundreds of potential candidates can be a monumental waste of time. So, how do you narrow down the long list?

Make a List

I always suggest my clients make a list of those things you would find in your Dream Home. Include all the amenities you want and do not hold back! Do not forget location. Proximity to schools, shopping, and work are very important too. What about type of construction, would you prefer block/brick or wood and stucco. Do you prefer single or multiple levels? Do you want a pool? Remember, the key is to be VERY specific.

Consult with a Lender

Second, you need to decide on a price range. This is the area of great importance and should not be skipped. Pre-qualifying for a loan is necessary prior to entering into a purchase contract. If you are not sure on the loan amount you will qualify, contact a Long Mortgage Officer. In many cases, the loan officer can pre-qualify you in just ten minutes and there is no obligation!

Ready, Set, Search!

Finally, you are ready to begin your search. Start your online search here at o your favorite real estate site. Once there, fill out the form with all the criteria in your Dream Home list. Be sure to include the pre-qualified loan amount with a 15 percent floor and ceiling. That is to say, if you're qualified for a loan up to $100K, then your low price range should be $85K and your upper limit should be $115K. Using this technique will include those properties that are under-valued as well as over-priced. You want to be able to get the most for your money, right?

Evaluate Your Results

After you run your first search, you will want to evaluate your results. For instance, if you did not get any properties in your search, you may want to remove the least important amenities. That white picket fence might be too limited in available properties. Or, perhaps you have hundreds of properties and need to narrow the list. Well, perhaps narrowing your search to a more specific location like a zip code, or adding more amentias may work as well.

User Error

Don't beat yourself up if you are having difficulties. With just a phone call, I will personally walk you through your search. Once entered, you can save your search. That way, you have only to enter the information once.

The Finalists!

After all this, you should, in my experience, have five to twenty-five properties. If you have only five, you are ready to begin scheduling your showings. If you have 25, you may want to narrow your results even more. Viewing twenty-five properties does not sound like much, but take it from me, all the properties begin to blend together after seven or eight. Then, you have to make multiple trips to the same properties and then the twenty-five begins to multiply exponentially.