You’re ready to sell your home - or you are purchasing for the first time - congratulations!

This means you will be contacting an agent, attending open houses and booking private viewings.

If you are selling a home, you want the people coming to see it to treat it with respect … just as the people whose homes you will be visiting want you to treat their home.

The Sally McGarr Realty Corp. Brokerage team offers tips to ensure your house-hunting visits go off without a hitch. They want you, and the selling clients, to be happy with one another before negotiations begin.

1. Know your price range. This will ensure your agent takes you to see every possible home for sale in your chosen area that is within your budget.

2. Remove your shoes. It’s a little thing, but the people who live in the home you are visiting may have two, three or more showings booked for one day. They want their floors to remain as tidy as possible during this time.

3. If your family has expanded and you are seeking a larger home, it’s a good idea to get a sitter, or leave babies or small children with family. You won’t be able to concentrate on how a home might benefit your family if you are too busy supervising your children. Also, house hunting can take up long hours, if you are booking more than one viewing at a time. It’s hard for young children to understand why they need to be patient from one visit to the next, so it’s better for them to remain at home or with a sitter. This allows you and your partner time to discuss each viewing as it happens. 

4. Touch as little as possible during your visit to someone else’s home. If you must move something for any reason, please return it to the spot in which you found it. If you have questions, our agents will happily call the selling agents and ask questions for you.

5. If the seller is present as they sometimes are, please don’t criticize their home in their hearing. It’s OK to ask questions, either directly or through your agent, but keeping your comments to yourself will make negotiations easier later, if you end up making them an offer.

6. It’s generally not a good idea to use the bathroom during a house-hunting visit. However, as we all know, sometimes the need is greater than the good intention. Please leave everything exactly as you found it.

7. If you turn lights on, please remember to turn them off. Also, close any doors you needed to open, such as closet doors or basement doors.

8. If you are travelling with your agent, this won’t apply, but if you arrive in separate cars, please do not block or use the driveway. It would be embarrassing if you suddenly developed an oil leak on someone’s pristine paving job.

9. As a courtesy, and before you arrive at your destination, ask your agent to confirm that it will be possible to take photos or video. Photos act as reminders of the things you loved, or didn’t love, about the house you just saw. It’s a good idea to take a few moments following a house-hunting visit to review the property’s pros and cons. If you take notes right away or make yourself a voice memo recording, you will be able to remember the home better during your later discussions.

10. Your agent is a busy person, and is making every attempt to ensure your purchasing or selling experience is the best it can be. The one thing they ask from you is to be on time to any scheduled viewings. If something comes up and you are unable to attend, please get in touch as soon as possible to free the agent up for other business. The homeowner whose property you are scheduled to see will appreciate knowing if you have been delayed.

The final tip from the Sally McGarr team is to dress comfortably for your house-hunting visits, wearing shoes you can easily get on and off. You’ll be doing a bit of walking outdoors, too, as you inspect properties, so make sure your feet are going to be comfortable.

We can’t wait to help you find your dream home! If you are ready to start searching, give our office a call at 905-468-9229 in Niagara-on-the-Lake, or 905-687-9229 in St. Catharines.

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