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Touring Properties: What to Do & Bring When Shopping for a Home

House Tour - an agent shows a house to a couple

When you go shopping for groceries or clothing, you’d never leave home without some idea of what you want to buy. Touring and shopping for houses is just like shopping for other necessities. By knowing what your specific wants and needs for your dream home are, you can start looking for those qualities in the homes that you tour and visit.

Once you have a rough idea of what you’re looking for in your next home, it’s time to begin touring spaces! You’ll then use your list of wants and needs to evaluate each home that you visit.

To help you make these evaluations – and make your next house tour a success – you will need to know and do a couple of key things:

What to Bring to an Open House

  • Your agent! Your agent is your #1 resource when house shopping. Bring them on tours so they can help you navigate this step of the home-hunting process.
  • Pen and paper. You’ll want to take notes during your tour so you can reference them later, especially if you have plans to see multiple properties.
  • Measuring tape and measurements. You need to know exactly how much space you have to work with in any new home you may choose. A dream home will quickly become a nightmare if things don’t fit inside it!
  • An open mind! While it’s good to have an idea of what you want, it’s also important to be flexible. You never know what surprises a tour may reveal to you!

How to Tour a Home

  • Read up on home tour etiquette before you walk through the front door. This way, you’ll know how to get the most out of your visit!
  • When you arrive, you may be greeted by the listing agent. While you can chat with them, you’ll want to let them know you’re represented – this is the time to introduce them to your agent!
  • While you can absolutely talk to the listing agent about the property, leave “negotiation” types of questions off the table. Your buyer’s agent is a pro at having these conversations and will be able to get the right information at the right time.
  • Walk through the home twice if possible. Do it once to see its general layout and “feel”. Then do it again to look at more specific items of interest to you. Open up closets, take measurements, do whatever you need to do to see if this is a good candidate for you.
  • Make sure you keep what’s important to you in mind as you tour a home. A gorgeous living room with a natural stone fireplace may be appealing, but not if the kitchen is tiny and cramped and you love to cook!

Plan Your Tour Time & Guests

The typical open house that comes to mind is a weekend event. But these days, other options are also available to you. For example, touring a home after work can be even more helpful and insightful than a weekend visit.

If you have a family, it’s also worth planning out your tour in a way that addresses the entire family. Whether you plan on leaving children at home or end up bringing them to a prospective home, there are things you can do that will help them feel involved without boring them to tears.

Find Your Next Home to Tour

Now that you know how to plan a tour and what to bring to the homes you visit, you can begin finding open house events in your area. Open houses will give you a chance to tour different homes quickly and easily!

To find your next open house event, just visit HowardHanna.com and search for homes in your area. Check the “Only Show Open Houses” checkbox! Doing this will give you results for all scheduled open houses, including those set for this upcoming weekend. Or, make it even easier and download the Howard Hanna Open House app today to see all our open houses in your area!

Are you looking for more information about shopping for and purchasing a home? Do you need more in-depth information about the process and what steps to take? Howard Hanna is here for you! We’ve written a Buyer’s Guide to help you navigate home shopping in 2020, complete with worksheets and helpful hints to get you into the home of your dreams. Click here to get your free guide!


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Tags: , , Last modified: March 19, 2020