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House Hunting Habits: What Not To Do

February 15, 2011

Feb 15, 2011 – When hunting for a new home, there are some actions you may want to avoid in order to successfully scrutinize the properties you are viewing. In order to guarantee smooth scouting, try to avoid the following:

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is attending a viewing by yourself. Regardless of the safety factor, going it alone may be a waste of time. “A qualified real estate professional will be able to trim your list down significantly, ruling out homes that don’t match your criteria,” says Bill Plattos, Executive Vice President of First Team Real Estate. Additionally, if a seller thinks you are unrepresented, you may be setting yourself up to be taken advantage of. “You don’t want to lose your bargaining leverage. Always view a home with your Realtor,” says Plattos.

Avoid taking separate cars on lengthy buyer’s tours, adds Plattos. “If you’re house-hopping, meet your Realtor at a set location and hop in with him or her. This avoids possible separation, and you can use the time to provide your agent with feedback on what you’ve just seen.” Feedback is crucial to the process so that you can convey your likes and dislikes with your representative. “The more they understand what you want, the better homes they can find for you that match your buying criteria,” says Plattos. “Don’t ever be afraid of offending your Realtor: by being honest, you’ll be saving your Realtor — and yourself — lots of time in the long run.”

Though honesty is the best policy, avoid being too vocal at open houses. “You never know when sellers will be lurking around the home,” says Plattos. “In a multiple-offer scenario, you never know what could work against you.” Be open with your Realtor, but do so once you are in the safety of your own vehicle — not in public when surrounded by other open ears.

Don’t hesitate to look in closets and drawers. For houses that you’re really interested in, leave no spot unturned. Rifle through cupboards and drawers and really investigate everything the property has to offer. Don’t feel bad by being nosey. This information will be important later when comparing the different homes you’ve seen. If you know right off the bat that it isn’t the home for you, skipping the smaller details might make sense for you.

Viewing properties is a fun and exciting time for soon-to-be homeowners, however, there is a formula for success. For more information regarding getting prepared for homeownership, please contact a local First Team Real Estate professional today or visit

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