Author: RE/MAX of Southern Africa


While it may sound like a reasonably easy thing to do, finding the ideal home may take a little more time and effort than most expect, especially if they don’t follow any specific process.

One of the biggest challenges that most people face when starting out on their property buying journey is knowing where to start when sifting through the vast volumes and ample variety of properties available to them. While not unheard of, it is rare for someone to buy the first home that they go and view, and looking at multiple properties with no real plan only adds to the confusion and makes the decision more difficult. With a clear plan set out from the start, you will be able to simplify the process and ultimately make the buying decision easier.

Even if you need to find a property reasonably urgently, it is best to formulate a plan and not rush the decision. Those who make a rushed decision could pay for it in the long run. It is best to rather work through the process systematically, viewing only a small number of properties at a time. Viewing a manageable number of properties will help you to retain as much information about each property as possible. To shorten the process, it may be tempting to utilise a lot of different estate agents and see as many listings as possible in a day. However, while this will provide you with a general overview of the homes available on the market, it will also make it impossible to track each of the home’s standout attributes. The logistics of dealing with many different agents could also become an issue.

Ideally, it is best to use one estate agent that you feel comfortable with and view no more than four properties on any given day. A reputable, real estate professional who specialises in the area will be able to narrow down the search and viewings based on the information and criteria you have provided. Doing this will save a lot of time spent on viewing properties that don’t fit into your criteria.

Here are some ways to keep tabs on the various properties that have been viewed to compare them:

• Make notes on each property viewed. Records can be made using an iPad, smartphone or the traditional pen and notebook. The pros and cons of each property should be logged, listing likes, dislikes and standout features.

• Take photos – most cell phones will have a camera, so it is reasonably easy to document the homes. Takes photos of the interior and exterior of the property, paying attention to aspects of a home that is especially appealing.

• Only keep records of properties that you like.

• If uncertain of anything, talk to the agent who showed the property. They will have a record of the homes that they have shown and will have a list of each property’s features. Agents will know their listings and will be able to provide guidance through the often complex process of finding the right house.

Purchasing a new home is both exciting and stressful. However, handling the process calmly and logically will mitigate much of the stress, allowing you to enjoy the process of finding your ideal home.

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