Are You Serious About Buying A Home? Or Just Browsing...
Well, it’s official, you’re obsessed with real estate. You find yourself looking at shiny home buying websites and property pictures in the early hours of the morning, and you investigate every open house sign or posting you see. But, sometimes it’s hard to tell if both your head and heart are in on the idea of home ownership.
If you exhibit any of the following symptoms, you may be a victim of “looky-loo-itis.”
Symptom No. 1: Your search is limited to open houses and internet browsing
Open houses give you the opportunity to explore and enjoy a home, but they are low-commitment, and no one is pressuring you to make an offer. But wait, you say, everyone starts the process with open houses and internet listings, how do I know how much is too much? It’s simple, if you haven’t yet considered moving to the next stage, one-on-one appointments, then, odds are, you’re a looky-loo, and reluctant to commit to homeownership.
Symptom No. 2: Location, Location, Location
If you find yourself looking at houses all over town without considering their location or proximity to amenities or areas that are important to you and your lifestyle, then that means that you aren’t considering a huge aspect of home ownership, and you may not be serious about buying a place.
Symptom No. 3: You’re viewing a house for the fourth time
One tour of a house is fine, and a second showing is expected, but if you find yourself going back to a house for a third or fourth time, especially if there aren’t any other houses you’re “seriously” considering, then it may mean you aren’t truly considering purchasing the property. If you haven’t put up an offer after the second showing, then both the agents and the sellers may assume that you’re just not ready to pull the trigger. And, if you find yourself doing this with multiple properties, then it may be time to consider whether now is really the time to consider homeownership.
Symptom No. 4: Agent? What Agent?
If you’re exploring the ins and outs of properties without an agent in sight or on speed dial, then there’s a chance you’re only window shopping. Sure, it’s possible to buy a home without an agent, but come on, it’s more likely that you don’t have an agent yet because you don’t want someone around whose job is to pressure you into making an offer already.
Symptom No. 5: It’s been a while
There will always be scheduling conflicts between you, your spouse, your agent, their agent, and the sellers, but if you’ve been consistently looking at and touring houses for a month or more and still haven’t found anything feasible that you love, then it may be possible that you’re not a serious buyer. Eventually, home shopping may transform into a weekend hobby of sorts. Even though, at this point, you’ll probably know more about market values and renovation costs, you still won’t be any closer to homeownership than the average Jack or Jill.
However, if you exhibit any of the following signs, then they may indicate that you’re on your way to owning your own place.
Sign No. 1: You prefer the one-on-one appointment
Those that want to buy a home are anxious to get to the next, more serious step: the one-on-one appointments.
Serious buyers don’t play around with others, they want to get some private time to really explore the property, and, if they really love the property, then they’ll find a way to make that happen.
Sign No. 2: Everyone but the kitchen sink
If you’re married, but you don’t feel the need to bring your spouse along to viewings or appointments, then odds are good that you’re just a looky-loo. Realtors can always tell the serious buyers from hobbyists, because when you’re serious, you bring your spouse, your mom, your aunt, your brother, your best friend, etc. When you’re serious about buying a home, you’re not just thinking about the property, you’re imagining how your life will be there, and you need people who you trust, or who you may be sharing the home with, to imagine with you.
Sign No. 3: You can’t turn the questions off
If you can’t sleep at night because you’re wondering if your dream house really has genuine hardwood floors under the carpeting, then there’s a pretty good chance that you’re “all-in” for homeownership. Serious buyers don’t just want to know about the property, they want to know about the process. They will question, interrogate, and even annoy their realtor about every aspect of the process.
Sign No. 4: You’ve secured financing, and have a budget
If you know how much you’re willing to spend on a property, then, honestly, it’s probably time to begin packing up your old place. If you are already pre-qualified or seeking out a mortgage from a lender, then this tells sellers that you are serious and ready to buy.