When you are looking for a new home your time is limited, you need to become an expert at assessing new listings that come onto the market quickly as either fitting your needs or not.
We have found that buyers tend to only have enough time to look seriously at 3-8 properties in a weekend – unless they are in the early stages of looking and are going crazy looking at 8-10 per day in the weekend. If you are still doing this you need to stop, read my post on knowing what you want and take control of your time again.
Here are some tips to quickly assess if a home will fit your needs:
Study the photos
Look carefully at the photos that have been listed with the property.
A good North Shore Real Estate Agent will only put up complementary photos on the websites, but you should look what is outside the photos and look at the details.
Look at the finer details
Look at things like the floor size of a property to quickly get a feel for the size of the property. If the photos make the house look large, but it’s a 3 bedroom and 80m2 you know the photos are not a true reflection of the size. Same goes for the land size. Look for the sky dishes in the photos, this will show you where North is (they are always pointing North).
Keep in mind that the floor size on the property databases can sometimes be inaccurate.
Use Google Maps
Use Google maps like it is your best friend. See what is close by, if you need schooling, shops, public transport etc close by then check that first.
Use the satellite version to see how the house is positioned on the site, how is the aspect and outdoor entertaining areas for you?
Use the street view to get a raw version of the front of the property.
Google The Address
You never know what might come up, maybe it has sold before and there is other images online.
Check the Values
If you are looking in a particular area you should have a report on the recent sales in the area, check the sale values vs the value on the new listing and decide where you think the value is.
Look out for buyer tip#5: Know your property values for more details on this.
Visit the Property
If you have time do a drive by on the property, what you see on Google and the photos vs what you see in person can be very different.
Once you have been looking for a while you will very quickly get a good handle on what you are looking for and how to cull properties quickly. When in doubt refer back to your buyer wish list.