How Long Should it Take to Shop for a House?

If you’re planning to look for a home sometime in the future, you may be wondering how long the process will actually take. How much time should you set aside for viewings? How many of the listed homes should you see? It’s such a big thing, how are you going to make a choice without seeing everything! How will you even know that it’s actually the right house!

My Brain Hurts!

Of course, the process varies from person to person. According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing (CMHC), home buyers view an average of 15 properties before finally choosing to make an offer on one of them. I have had clients buy the first house I show them,  and others take in 20 properties before making a decision. Some of this will depend on how you make decisions, are you an impulse buyer or a logic based decision maker? My experience is that either method works about the same, its just being comfortable that you have satisfied your personal ‘selection process’ when you do make your choice.

On a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, you can comfortably look at three or four potential properties. You can see more if you want to make a full day of it, but my experience is, most people are ‘done’ after four or five properties. You start seeing the bathroom from one property in another etc., etc..

One factor that impacts the home shopping process is how clearly you know what you’re looking for.

For example, if you’re certain you want a three bedroom bungalow, backing onto a wooded area or ravine, in an upscale neighbourhood, then the process is going to be less complex. You’re just going to view properties that closely meet that criteria,  waiting for the right property to show up on the market.

But if you’re the kind of person who simply says, “I’m not sure but, I’ll know it when I see it”, then you’ll need to educate yourself on the market. In this instance I would recommend signing onto and search the entire MLS yourself. Then compile lists of potential properties, drive by and get a feel for what you really want, or just as important, what you don’t want. Then call me when you find homes that are of interest, and we can take a look inside. At this point I can ascertain why you find the home interesting, and help zero in on your ‘absolutes’ (as in; “any house I buy must have this feature……”).

I work very hard to separate your ‘needs’ from your ‘wants’.  Spending time a little time asking questions, really helps narrow your parameters,  and answer questions about the process and separate urban myth from the cold facts. I have lived in Edmonton and area my entire life, and selling Real Estate here for 25 years, there isn’t too much I can’t answer or get an answer very quickly.

A good REALTOR can help you understand what’s available on the market and which homes are worth seeing. I can also help you determine what you are actually looking for, how long the process will likely take, and show you ways to make the process proceed more smoothly and efficiently.

Looking for a good REALTOR? Call me today.

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