Something that has been going on since time began.................OR AT LEAST SINCE PEOPLE HAVE BEEN BUYING HOMES.
Giving a potential buyer a printout of homes in the areas they are considering and having them drive around looking at them from the outside is a complete waste of time. (Not to mention a waste of gas) Sometimes buyers don't even need a list of homes they just drive from community to community watching for signs in yards and calling numbers on the signs for information.
So many people interpret this practice as a great way to look at homes and determining what they would like to see later with their realtor.
Consider this - how many people do you know that do not enjoy or are not very good at gardening! The outside of their home has marginal appeal at best. But once inside you immediately understand why the yard surrounding their property is in need of some landscaping............................because they devote every ounce of energy they have to the inside!
Of course you can reverse this and be in awe of a home's impeccable landscape only to step inside and witness a complete disaster.
I am sure you get my point..................you just had never actually thought of this. If you are really serious about finding the home that is the perfect "fit" for you. Take some well deserved time and let your Real Estate agent go to work for you. Tell he or she what is important to you and allow them to strategically plan some showings of properties that match your criteria.
Keep in mind - Trees, Shrubs and Flowers can be planted, Decorating will disappear when the current owner moves - it's the floor plan that is important.