For most people, the home buying process is a stressful one—with ups and downs, unexpected twists and turns—and it often takes many prospective homes, visits, or offers to find the one meant for you. But then there are others that buy the very first place they visit.
Not surprisingly, actually stepping in the door to take a look at the place totally swayed their opinion of the home.
They said that home buying is a bit like dating: you don’t marry the first one you meet (or possibly even the first one you fall in love with). Chris and Susan took a look at a few other places (about 4 or 5), but it didn’t take much time for them to know which property was the right one. “It was in the best condition for the price, and best location for our needs” he said, “and was more updated than the others.” Together with their agent, Reed Colwick, put together an offer and succeeded in getting the place.
The Limitations of Online Shopping
Chris and Susan started their home search 6 months ago while visiting San Diego, after looking at a few homes they put in an offer right away. Unfortunately timing wasn’t right and their offer wasn’t accepted. Seller was holding out for a higher price. So one returning to Boston, MA they began to search online, and while their internet research helped them get a better idea of what they were looking for, they needed to visit the home to understand what the space felt like, and whether the pictures really did it justice.
Their agent Reed Colwick even went so far as to take videos using his iPad and sending them via youtube for them to view each of the properties they were interested in. This gave them a better sense of the layout of each property and room sizes without having to be there physically.
“With the internet,” they said, “you can really educate yourself about the home buying process and do a lot of research on homes for sale, but actually buying a house is different. You’re only looking at pictures and reading the specs, not getting the full report.” Like online dating, you can get a sense of the qualities you’re looking for in a home, which neighborhoods are in your price range, and rule out homes that you’re not attracted to at all.
“With photos, you can’t really get a feel for the flow of a place,” said their agent, Reed, “How does it feel when you’re in it? Is it dark or well-lit? You have to visit a home to know these things.” It’s a tricky balance. You don’t want to just rule out a well-priced house because it lacks curb appeal or the backyard is overgrown – these things are easier to change!
Visiting a Home with an Agent is Key!
Not everything is shown in the pictures you see online. “There was this great room off the Kitchen for an office,” Reed continued, “We didn’t understand where it was located by the pictures until we visited it and realized it was the converted garage.”
Susan agreed, “You can definitely narrow things down by screen appeal, room sizes, sqft, but you need to view it in person to really get an understanding of the feel and layout of the home. You can’t remove the agent or the personal portion of the home buying process.”
Susan says that Reed’s knowledge was essential for the negotiations and in the inspections. “It’s really important to have an agent that will walk you through any potential issues with the property,” said Susan, “and to help everyone—the buyer and seller—get to a happy place.” Plus Reed’s contacts with contractors, electricians, & roofers has been invaluable since we just moved here from Boston and didn’t know who to call.
Although the first house they put an offer in was not accepted it worked out for the better. The second house they put an offer in they liked but the diligence of searching and not giving up lead to the perfect house in the perfect location in a great neighborhood. While pictures are worth a thousand words, a home visit is worth a million. So if you’ve been waiting to step inside a home, call to visit one today.
And who knows? You might just find the home you’ve been looking for!