Tips for Home Buyers: Viewing Properties

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Showings, Tours, Open Houses and the Online Search

Home Buyers! Now that you’ve decided to make the jump to buy a new home, you get to enjoy the fun part – viewing properties! Personally, this is my favourite part of Real Estate (negotiation is a close second) because you get to see different types of homes, different floor plans, different exposures and potentially different neighbourhoods so you’ll get a sense of where value is in certain homes and best yet, you’ll get to decide how and where you want to live and how this fits in with your lifestyle.

There are four different ways in which you’ll view properties:

Online Home Search

This is where Buyers these days are starting their search. We take great pride in ensuring that our listings display really well online (you know, great photos, floor plans, videos, etc) but not every realtor puts in this much effort. It’s easy to click by certain properties with terrible or no photos online, but give it a second chance. Knowing which properties are available and their potential is a big aspect of my job, which is yet another reason to retain the services of a Real Estate Agent – I might drag you to a home that looked terrible online but you just might thank me for it. Otherwise, having seen so many homes in person, I might tell you not to waste your time going to a unit with no photos.

We offer a very cool service that makes searching for your new home online automatic, which is a Custom MLS Search. This will send you an ongoing list of all the properties for sale that match what you’re looking for – price range, neighbourhood, size, etc – it’s a fantastic way of staying on top of the market since it’ll also give you sale prices when the homes sell. Here’s a little bit more information, a screen shot, as well as the chance to sign up: Custom MLS Search.

Open Houses

I run a lot of open houses (at least 2 every weekend) so I see a lot of Buyers come through the door who haven’t retained the services of a real estate agent and are trying to viewing these properties themselves. That’s fine, but it gets to a certain point where you should have someone representing you at these viewings. The negotiation, and relationship with the Seller/Seller’s Agent start with the first interaction, often at these open houses, and not only do you not want to give away your intentions, budget or motivation but it’s a good chance to find out what the Sellers is thinking. Also, buying a new home is a combination of the Emotional (how much you like the home) and the Logical (is it in good shape? is it good value?) – you provide the emotional reasons, and as a professional realtor, I’ll provide the logical reasons. Viewing Open Houses together will prevent you from falling in love with a terrible property.

Often, after learning about my clients wants and needs, I’ll send them through to Open Houses of properties that might be ideal if I’m not available to view it with them (since I’m probably running my own open house). This is especially true for new listings that might sell quickly or for really eager clients.

View a list of the East Van properties that have Open Houses this weekend

Private Showings

Private showings are showings that I schedule on your behalf (at a day and time that works with your schedule) so we can view the property together to discuss your likes and dislikes, as well as the important aspects of the property. The listing will often be there to let us into the property and give us any information they want us to know. Private showings occur when you have really specific requirements and see a home online that could be the one.

Property Tours

Property Tours are basically a handful of private showings lined up within a short period of time. I’ll schedule all the appointments in an order that makes sense, giving us anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes to view each property. These tours give you a chance to view a few homes in a short period of time so you can quickly get a sense of what you like and dislike about each, and how differences (like exposure and floor plans) can change what you think about the property. These are a great way to get a sense of value, to get a sense of which way you’re leaning when it comes to certain decisions and to learn about these units that piqued your interest online. It often makes sense for you to hop in my car as I’ve planned the entire tour and often know of the best place to park. We can chat about what you thought of the property between showings. Typically it’s limited to under 8 properties, if not under 5, as any more than that and they start to blend together.

Give the WeLoveEastVan Team a call when you’re starting to get serious about looking for your next home. With our knowledge and your preferences, we’ll find you the ideal home, and ensure that you’re on track with your mortgage and other requirements as well.