Home Buying in Dallas>Question Details

Linda V, Home Buyer in Dallas, TX

What's the average number of properties people look at before buying or at least committing to extend an offer?

Asked by Linda V, Dallas, TX Tue Sep 29, 2009

My husband and I have been avidly house shopping, and we've seen 13 properties in the past three weekends. Our Realtor says that's "alot." We were close to making an offer, but with the advice of our Realtor, we decided not to move forward because we discovered that it was a short sale. I honestly didn't think we've seen that many, especially considering a house is a huge investment. What's the average number of properties people look at before buying? We're willing to compromise on so many things and are willing to put in some work to make our next home. What could we be doing wrong?

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Chandra Watkins’ answer
The problem with viewing too many homes can be that the process becomes more frustrating than it really needs to be. The homes start blending and you have a hard time remembering which house had which feature, etc. Try not to make your home search overwhelming. It should be a fun experience to house hunt! I would say that if you have seen 20 homes, you may want to take a break and re-evaluate what your needs and desires are in a home and then start looking with that list in hand. Best of luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 7, 2013
Most of us Realtors are going to relate to your our experience. My experience is that it takes several homes to get calibrated, maybe 5 or 6. Usually the buyer is looking on the Internet without visiting the homes first, though.

When we start looking it takes about 8-10 homes on average before the buyer is ready to make an offer. A few buyers will look at dozens, but that's not because the Realtor isn't presenting houses that meet all the criteria, but rather because the buyer is evolving more slowly than most buyers do.

It takes a good half-hour to an hour, each, to look at the first few so the Realtor can get a good idea of your tastes and the priorities of your requested characteristics, like how many bedrooms, how many rooms, how big the master should be and the kitchen, how big the yard needs to be and other features. This is all on top of location and price. Once calibrated, the showings go more quickly. Based on the listing data, most homes can be eliminated or added to the list to see and 10 minutes will do the trick inside. But when you finally find one that seems to fit perfectly or nearly so, you will spend some time inside that house mentally fitting your furniture and lifestyle into it.

Should that be 10-12 or maybe it's 20 or more? There is no hard and fast rule. My buyers do average about 10, but we do spend time looking at listings on the web first. Have I shown more than 70 houses to a single buyer? Yes. Is that a lot? Yes, definitely. Is 13? Probably not. But you will get confused unless you make notes about each one - what was good about it, what was a turn-off, why you kept it or rejected it, when you see more than about a dozen.

You will also be learning things, like the advantage of one-story and two-story homes, terms like zoned air conditioning, island kitchen, jack-n-jill baths, laminate, vinyl, ceramic, wood, berber, GFCI, and so on. Some of which you know, but some will influence your thinking. You'll also see different styles of decoration and features, that you might not have run into before. You might also hear some estimates for changing things or repairing things. It's a journey, not really a final destination, until you are ready to decide and the Realtor knows you well enough to help you get there.

It sounds like your Realtor is having some trouble getting calibrated to what you want. It is possible that your opinions have changed somewhat as you started looking or it could be the Realtor doesn't relate to your situation. If you're not feeling comfortable working with that Realtor, discuss your concerns (it could have been a slip of the tongue). You may not be doing anything wrong. But write down all the things you want and then prioritize them, including maximum price, expected price, location, nearby facilities (schools, shopping), lot size, lot features, house features (rooms, bedrooms, room sizes, kitchen equipment and so on). This will help both you and the Realtor converge on your home.

If the Realtor is unwilling to adapt, then it's time to find a new one.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 30, 2009
Well I have a very different point of view. if I have done my homework as an agent and ruled everything that will not work based on their priority list, then the list should be no more than 12 and in 11 years of selling, rarely has been. I think the most has been like 20 maybe once or twice. If you are showing a buyer more than that, they either aren't ready to buy or they don't know what they are looking for in a home. Once I have shown that many homes to a buyer and no offers, they need to find another agent that has lots of time and gas to run around endlessly. looking because that's all they are doing. I have usually previewed everything on my own first......... based on their 'priorities" so when i take the buyers out they are looking at the best of the best...... i do all the homework before prior which saves the buyers tons of time and effort
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 29, 2009
Linda V-I have had a buyer buy after they saw the 3rd home. And by the same token I had a buyer I showed about 20 homes to. (Whew! That was tiring but rewarding!)

I fired a client once after I showed his wife and mother-in-law 30 homes and then re-showed him 20 or 30 of the same homes when he relocated to our area, then put in several offers and got accepted contracts that he found reasons to back out. I decided I was not the best person for him if I can't help him find what they wanted. He bought a home a few months later with another Realtor and I'm really glad for them!

Don't be discouraged. What is right for you is finding the right home. The best thing to do is is locate 2 or 3 you really like, and weigh the pros and cons of each by what is important to you. You may have to even put in a couple of offers that get passed up before you get to your home. DO NOT LET IT BOTHER YOU!

Stick it out, you'll be glad you persevered!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 29, 2009
Hey Linda,

For your problem, i would simply say "The more you dig, the more you get in". Try shopping smartly not hardly. If you do decide to buy Dallas, Texas Real Estateinvest, meet with trusted realtors in Dallas, Texas that can help you navigate the ever changing landscape of the real estate market. They often know when properties are about to go on the market and may have a lead on a short sale property that can be a great buy. Happy house hunting! If you need any assistance or guidance regarding buying/selling home, You can at once contact:

Kamran Baluch
2943 Thomas Ave
Dallas, TX 75204
214-810-4339
Sales@investmentclub360.com
http://www.investmentclub360.com/
The #1 destination for real estate investors
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 10, 2013
Linda,
I don't think 13 is a lot at all. You have to decide what is best for you. Don't feel rushed or pushed, but be diligent and when a home comes up that you really really like, make a good offer.
It's your biggest purchase and you should be happy.
Just like life, you have to live it on your time line, not someone elses.
Good luck out there.
J.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 30, 2009
Carol-You are a far better agent than I. I do not preview anything unless my buyer is out of state. My tastes are not theirs, no matter what I think, it may be the home that suits them perfectly. Of course I find out what they want and weed out accordingly. But isn't it odd how many times a buyer will say "I do NOT want a swimming pool! I've had one my whole life and am SICK of dealing with swimming pools!" The home they buy mysteriously...HAS A POOL! Not ALWAYS...but often.

A limit cannot be put on the number of homes needs to view in my opinion. I would PREFER that they only have to see a few as it makes my life AND theirs far more manageable. However, if takes 14 instead of 4, so be it.

We have those blissful transactions that go quickly and that is wonderful. That just frees up our time to tend to those who need a little more help in making their decision.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 29, 2009
I have looked at as few as 1 and as many as over 120 with a single buyer. If you are going for the Tax Credit the short sale advice is the correct advice. If you are not in a particular hurry sometimes a short sale can be a good deal, if the listing agent knows what they are doing. I find it odd a Realtor would say that 14 properties is alot. In my opinion that is not very many at all.

Thanks
RJ
214-682-0598
Web Reference: http://www.findapadfast.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 29, 2009
DALLAS HOME BUYER DUE DILIGENCE LINKS ..

http://www.ebuyeragents.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 5, 2013
Hi Homebuyer Dallas!
We are about to put our house on the market. Are you interested in a 3900 sq. ft. gorgeous home with a pool on the golf course, great schools....in Rockwall? We are moving 6 miles away.
Blessings,
Owner
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 7, 2013
Everyone,

Wow. Thank you so much for all of your insight. We're already practicing some of the tips mentioned: research, list of priorities, notes, pics/video, and pros/cons spreadsheet.

RJ - We're mainly looking in The Colony but would also be happy in Lewisville and Carrollton.

Thank you again.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 30, 2009
I couldn't agree more. I have actually had a couple of buyers switch agents because they said, they felt like their agent was trying to show them they houses that she thought they would like. As has been said this is a huge investment and depending on the market 14 houses just is not that many. We are paid well on our commissions and expecting your agent to work for it is not out of line.

Im curious what area you are looking in?

RJ
Web Reference: http://www.findapadfast.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 30, 2009
I agree that buying a home is a huge investment. Think about it, it's the most expensive thing you will ever buy...unless of course you win the lottery! I consider anything that takes 30 years to pay off a huge deal. Having said that, if you know your priorities (list of I gotta have, it would be nice if I had, it would be really really cool but it's not a deal breaker) stick with them. Buying a house is a business negotiation set in an emotional setting. Not to ramble but, wait until you know it is the house for you. As to the short sale, I am closing one that took 3 weeks or they can take 3 months. If it's the right house, go for it. Be prepared to be patient and possibly frustrated but by all means don't pass one up just because it can take a while to close! You never know until you ask. By the way, sounds like you are doing everything right!
Best of luck,
Helen
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 29, 2009
Right now there is a lot of supply out there. You may have to kiss a lot of frogs. You will know the right house when you walk through the door.

FYI I have read that 7 is the average amount of homes people will look at before they decide on one.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 29, 2009
Linda,
What a great question! Today buyers are using the internet to do some if not a lot of their own searches even before they speak with a realtor. It wasn't like that in the past. However, things continue to change. I am just guessing, but I think your realtor is trying to show you homes that fit your requirements only. If that is not the case then I would suggest that you sit back down with your realtor and go over what your expectations and requirements are. This will help both of you get on the same page. Some realtors don't like to show their buyers lots of homes all at one time because they feel that it may cause you to be confused of what you really want in a home. If you don't feel that you are seeing enough homes to make a decision then you should request to see some more. I believe that if the realtor has sat down with you before showing you any homes, then they should pick out a number of homes to show you based on your requirements. Hopefully, you will not need to see many homes if you and the realtor are on the same page. You could ask to see the listings via the internet before going to some of the listings to help you narrow down your search.

It has been my experience that looking at to many homes in a day can be quite confusing for my buyers and so I try to limit the number down so that I don't overload them with to many showings. However, if they want to see more homes in a day, I will make sure I sit back down with them so I can make sure I know what their requirements are. I do not want to show homes that won't match what they are looking for and waste their time. If you are looking to get into a home right away then a short sale situation will probably not work for you. Many of the short sales take considerable time to close and for those wanting to move quickly then this may not be the best route. I hope my opinion helped and thank you for allowing the realtor community to assist you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 29, 2009
There isn't a magic number out there...it really depends on if you feel like you've seen enough to be able to compare homes that meet your criteria. I have found that most of the time after a buyer has seen a good amount of properties, they are able to tell when they walk into a home that feels right to them. So if you haven't seen one that "works" for you then you may not of seen enough.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 29, 2009
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