Who doesn’t love online shopping? You get to sit back in the comfort of your own home and browse fun things for sale on the internet. However, with online shopping comes hundreds of options from which to choose — and not all of them will work for you.
The same goes for online shopping for a home. With so many options available on the Multiple Listing Service, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. But there are a few ways to make your search easier.
Instead of saving hundreds of different favorites, you can fast-track your search by prioritizing homes for sale with the features that are important to you.
If you feel like you keep seeing homes that aren’t a great fit, here are five easy tips for streamlining your online search and finding your dream home.
Create (and Stick With!) a List of Wants and Needs
What are the home features that you can’t live without? Do you have a price range in mind? Will it need to have a certain amount of acreage?
These requirements should be at the top of your list. Creating a wants and needs checklist like this will help you determine which homes are right for you, and which you shouldn’t even look at. Feel free to read our article Wants Vs. Needs For Your Home Search for more in-depth advice on the topic.
Will your home need at least two bathrooms? Do you need a large yard for your dogs? Does your home have to be close to the interstate? Come up with a list of features that you absolutely must have in a home.
These will also serve as your deal breakers. When you come across a home that doesn’t have these features, you’ll automatically know that it’s not the home for you, and it’s not worth taking the time to tour.
Set Your Budget
A great way to determine your budget is by getting pre-approved for a loan. You’ll sit down with a lending agent who will go over your current income, credit score, borrowing history, and outstanding debts. Then, they’ll let you know exactly how much the bank is willing to lend you.
Look, your budget is set! Having a predetermined budget means you can eliminate homes from your search that you know you can’t afford.
Use the Advanced Home Search Option
On our home search tool, there’s an option for an “advanced search.” Using an advanced search is especially advantageous as it allows you to filter results by important features, location, and price.
Use that list you just made to fill in the advanced search! You’re now one step closer to finding your dream home.
Sign Up to Receive New Listing Alerts
When you complete an advanced search, you have the option to receive email alerts. When you register for email alerts, we’ll send you notifications whenever any homes that fit your criteria hit the market.
That way, you stay one step ahead of the competition!
Schedule a Tour and Do a “Twice-Through”
Ready to see a home in person? Easily schedule an in-person tour on our home search tool. During your tour, we recommend going through the home twice.
First, breeze through the home to get a feel for living there. Does it smell pleasant? Is it easy to navigate? Will it be the right size for your furniture?
Then, go back to the front door and tour it again. This time, look at the details. Be meticulous. Is there enough storage space in the hall closet? Are the floors in need of refinishing? Do the windows let in plenty of natural sunlight?
On your second run-through, jot down your impressions. Take pictures and maybe even measure the rooms to see if your furniture will fit.
Work with a Professional Realtor
When you choose to work with a professional real estate agent, you’re enlisting the help of an area expert who will make your home buying experience even easier. You can even hand over your list of “must-haves” and let us do the rest!
Give us a call today if you have any questions.