While online listings and web-based tools have simplified the process, your home search could still benefit from one crucial component-- planning


Home SearchSearching for a new home has never been easier. With online listings and virtual tours, a few clicks can give you a sense for a merits of a property before you ever set foot in it. While this can help you cast a wide net, the sheer volume of listings can sometimes be overwhelming.

In order to cut through the noise and make the most of your time, it may help to add some structure to your search. A few simple steps can help.

Step 1- Begin with Goals: Define Your Must-haves and Nice-to-haves

Nearly every home purchase ultimately involves compromise. Arriving at the best destination means defining where you are willing (or unwilling) to do so. This means carefully considering your goals for the future and the components of a new home that can help your family meet them.

By prioritizing and classifying these as wants -vs- needs you will be able to assess a given property objectively. Recognizing success is a lot easier if you put pen to paper to define it first. This step in the process is also a good way to get multiple stakeholders on the same page and balance perspectives to develop group priorities.

Step 2- Build some Geographical Constraints

School districts, neighborhoods, commute times and proximity to places you visit can help create another important filter. Perhaps you know your search area well, but even so, getting in a car and driving the nooks and crannies can uncover pocket neighborhoods you never imagined.

Geographical concerns also present an opportunity to leverage the wisdom of experience by engaging a local agent. He or she will know your general search area well and can help you refine your search by offering an extensive knowledge of the local community, resources and homes.    

Fall Home Search

Step 3- Create a Saved Search

According to the National Association of Realtors, buyers spend on average six to eight weeks searching for a home. In a competitive environment this can mean scores of viable properties falling on and off of your radar.

Counting on diligent daily searching as your main avenue to keep track of listing can be hard for busy families. Instead it may make sense to engage an agent to build a custom saved search that brings the listings to you. This will ensure a steady flow of viable options into your inbox, taking the burden off of you, while putting you squarely in the director’s chair.

Step 4- Visit Some Contenders

While your computer can go a long ways toward simplifying your search, it is a poor substitute for your best tool-- your shoes. Inevitably through this process you will find homes that are close, but the way to define if any of them are actually "home" is to visit them.

What’s more, visiting multiple homes (even those that aren’t quite right) will help you understand what is available within your budget, and make the right home stand out even more. Said another way, if you want to get married, you should probably go on a few dates.

Most buyers can expect at least two or three home tours before zeroing in on a property.  Any reputable agent will be more than happy to make that happen. So be sure to visit homes, ask questions and verbalize what you think works (and what doesn’t) for each of them.

The Bottom Line

The information age puts home search tools at your fingertips, making searching a breeze. However, taking this data and synthesizing a clear path forward requires a systematic approach. Supplementing the many tools available by working with a local agent who has hundreds of residential transactions under his or her belt is a key component to adding the structure you need.

Zach Adams has a depth of knowledge about the west metro that is unmatched and he has leveraged this expertise across a broad spectrum of diverse clients to deliver results.  If you are ready to add some structure to your search, Zach can meet you where you are in the process and assist you in defining and executing next steps.

This will happen on your timeline, in your style, with your goals front and center. Contact Zach today at 612.845.7890 to get started.