Once you reach the "serious" stage in home shopping, it can make all of the difference if you have an effective plan to view the best homes for you first. It is good to let a real estate professional help you, but as it is going to be your mortgage payment for years, a proactive approach to which homes to see first is essential.
It is likely that you will be doing much of this home viewing on the weekend, though getting into some of the best on a week day before the weekend rush could be worth some time off work. However, even for weekend viewing, the right plan can help you to get to the best homes before the competition.
Studies of home sales have shown that home listings that go active on Wednesdays are most likely to sell faster than those listed other days or on the weekend. That is because real estate agents have figured out that you need a couple of days to plan your viewings and set appointments, so they know that taking a listing active on a Wednesday is a smart move. It gives serious buyers like you a chance to get it into your schedule.
Help your real estate agent to help you by getting them to set up an automated email report of new listings from the local real estate MLS ( Multiple Listing Service) database. Once you enter your home selection criteria, a custom search gets created. You will receive email alerts as new listings or price changes get entered into the MLS.
Pay attention to all new listings, but those that come on the market in the middle of the week or just before the weekend give you time to alert your agent that you want to see them. Unless you have a unique set of criteria, you are not going to be the only buyers out there wanting to see the newest listings. Set up your list in a way that will help you to prioritize them based on which appear to meet your needs best.
It may pay off if you leave a little room in your schedule for listings that go active on the weekend while you are out looking. If this happens, you can receive that email alert on your smartphone and see if it is a home you would like to visit right away. You never know when being the first or almost-first buyer into the house can get you the perfect home.
Even in slower market areas, the very best homes are the first to sell. Do not let poor planning or a lax attitude keep you from getting the perfect home.