Whether you are looking to rent or buy, looking at properties can mean a long Saturday or Sunday of visiting properties open for inspection.
Let’s be serious about this – opens for inspection are almost like a competitive sport. You have to get around to every property you are interested in – it’s the only way to make sure you are in the running for the property you want. So if you want to be in the race, make sure you get organized before you even leave the house!
Firstly, make a clear list of all the properties you want to see, including their open times. Then use an app like Google Maps to determine the best order to see these in, and the best routes to take to get to each.
You could also schedule reminders into your phone to let you know when you need to leave each property in order to make your next appointment.
It is also handy to have the phone numbers of the estate agent on hand. If you are running a few minutes late, a quick phone call to let the agent know you are interested and on your way may result – if time and appointments allow – in an extension of the inspection time.
If you are house hunting with children, consider finding a baby-sitter for the day. This will make rushing around and looking closely at the property much easier. If not, again preparation is key. Have plenty of healthy snacks and cold drinks on hand, especially with the warmer weather coming up. Also make sure you bring something for children to do in the car.
A simple tip – and one easily forgotten – is to consider your footwear. Many homes will have a “shoes off” policy. Choose slip-on shoes or similar so that the repetition of “on again, off again” is relatively hassle-free.
Remember to bring your ID when you enter a property – some agents will ask you to show this before entering. They may also ask you for your contact details. Agents do this for everybody’s security and is kept private. You could certainly understand wanting a record of visitors if it was your home open to the public! It’s just a precaution. The agent will also use it to keep in touch with you about the property. There should also be a privacy statement on display at the home which outlines how the information you provide is to be used. This is required by Consumer Affairs. If you are a ‘don’t call me, I’ll call you’ kind of person, simply explain this when you provide the details and the agent should respect your privacy.
Also don’t forget to make a list of your non-negotiables. It’s easy to get caught up in the lure of a beautifully presented property – but you may come to regret quick decisions if you are not clear on what you really need in terms of location, space, parking and so on. This list will also help you have the kinds of conversations you need to have with the agent on duty. Even if the property you are inspecting does not meet your needs, you have just let the agent know what you are looking for. They may just contact you when something right pops up.
Make a plan of action like this, and a day of open for inspections can be a breeze!