Time for the fun to begin! The home hunting phase is typically the longest part of the home buying process. There’s a lot to take into consideration here, so be prepared with the below key steps.
Meet with your Agent & Make a wish list.
It’s important to identify your must-haves and your nice-to-haves: these are your needs and wants. Make a list of each and write them down. You should meet in person with your North Andover real estate agent to show them your wants and needs lists.
If market values don’t match your pre-approved amount, be prepared to scratch some requirements off your list. Obviously, you’ll scratch the wants first and try not to scratch the needs at all.
Bring the lists with you as you go to showings and open houses! It’s easy to forget some items once you walk in the door.
Recieve your Emailed Listings.
Your real estate agent has access to a central database of real estate properties called MLS. Every property for sale is listed on MLS. Your agent will set you up with daily email notifications when properties in your price range are listed or updated.
These emails are sent automatically by the MLS system, not by your agent or their office. And most times, they don’t get the emails—only you do. That means that if you see something you like, you’ll have to notify your agent.
New listing catch your eye? Time to call the agent. Let’s set up a showing!
Property Showings: Up Close and Personal
Your agent will ask you for a list of your favorite properties. They’ll contact the seller’s agent(s) for each property to arrange private showings for you.
These private showings are—by far—the best way for buyers to choose the right house. You can take your time and inspect every last detail of the property.
Be prepared to go on lots of these showings, but don’t schedule more than 4-5 per day. If your search takes a few weeks or months, as most Triangle Area real estate searches do, be prepared to go on these showings at least once or twice a week.
Patience is Key, these things take time.
House hunting is different for every buyer in every market. But houses stay on the market for an average of 3 months in the Triangle Area. If it takes 3 months to sell a house, it can take at least that long to find the right one.
Spring & Fall are the most active.
All real estate markets, including the Triangle Area, see a huge boom in the spring, and a slightly smaller one in the fall.
More inventory comes on the market and more buyers start their search, which means more competition for each property. Be prepared to act quickly or you risk having a property bought out from underneath you.
Summer & Winter are slow.
Real estate activity slows down in the summer. Most families have kids home from school and are planning travel. But things pick up again in August and September. The Labor Day crowd is often motivated to buy quickly.
Winter sees a big slow-down. For example, homes listed in January take almost 3 times longer to sell than homes listed in April. BUT there are 2 sides to every coin: that makes January a great month for buyers like you!
- Spring — under a month
- Summer — 1-2 months
- Fall — 1-3 months
- Winter — 3-4 months