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5 tips for visiting a home efficiently

Published on September 18, 2019

Visiting a home is a natural step in the process of buying a property. Not only do you have to check whether it’s in good condition, but you also have to determine whether it meets your needs.

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“Don’t forget that when you buy a home, you’re also choosing a living environment,” says Martin Desfossés, real estate coach with DuProprio. “Arrive a few minutes before the visit so you can take a stroll around the neighbourhood. This will let you see what services are available nearby.”

1. Prepare for the visit

The online listing can give you a lot of information about the property. Before visiting, find out the asking price, the number of rooms, the dimensions, etc. Note the aspects you want more information about and prepare questions for the owner.

By being well prepared, you can avoid having to call the owner for more information later or having to organize a second visit.

2. Keep an open mind

You’ll often hear people say that, in choosing a home, it has to be love at first sight. But be careful: don’t just rely on your first impression.

Stay objective and try to assess the property’s actual potential. Sometimes a little paint or a few minor repairs can give an older home back its charm. If you keep an open-minded attitude, you might make some interesting discoveries.

3. Be friendly

Always keep in mind that if you’re interested in the home, you’ll have to negotiate the terms of purchase with the owners. This step will be easier if you’ve established a good relationship with them. So be friendly right from the get-go.

Be diplomatic and respectful of the occupants and avoid making negative comments about the place. Take a few minutes to make conversation with the owners and find out why they are selling. This sets the groundwork for future negotiations. 

4. Make a complete tour

Take your time and make sure you see everything from the basement to the attic, without overlooking the garage, shed and patio. Ask for permission to open cupboard and closet doors. Get down and take a look under the sink. Check out the fuse box. Ask the occupants questions about the work done on the property recently.

5. Take notes

It’s wise to bring something to take notes during the visit. The printable property description available on the DuProprio site is perfect for this, because it includes the photos and features of the home you’re looking at. This will help you to remember important details and to jot down new information the owners give you. 

And, finally, once you’ve gone on several visits and are ready to make a decision about a home that meets your needs, it’s generally recommended that you call on the services of a professional inspector to give you a detailed inspection report.