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Ask McEnearney: How Do I Know If I’ve Seen Enough Homes?

This week’s Q&A column is sponsored and written by Hope Peele of The Peele Group and McEnearney Associates Realtors®, the leading real estate firm in Alexandria. To learn more about this article and relevant Alexandria market news, contact Hope at 703-244-6115 or email [email protected]. You may also submit your questions to McEnearney Associates via email for response in future columns.

Question: Some of my friends looked at just a couple of homes before buying, while others seemed to look at hundreds. How do I know that I’ve seen enough before making my decision?

Answer: Different sources can vary on the exact number, but on average a buyer tours between 10-14 homes before choosing the one that they will buy. This is an important decision, and many buyers I’ve worked with want to be sure that they have an opportunity to tour everything that is out there. There really is no perfect number.

That’s the short answer. My long answer is a bit more personal, so bear with me here.

I am recently engaged, and in the process of shopping for my wedding dress. While the market for homes in Alexandria is vastly different than that of wedding dresses, the decision-making process can be similar.

According to the advice blogs I’ve read (and believe me — I did my research), the recommended number of bridal boutiques to visit is three.

This is to ensure variety, while not overwhelming yourself with choices. Although my first appointment ended with me wearing a dress that I absolutely love, I was unsure that I’d seen everything that was out there.

Just like brides trying on dresses, most homebuyers have looked online and have some sort of idea of what they’re looking for. Once a target price has been established, you develop preferences for style, location, size, age and other things that are important to you. Some features will matter more than others and it’s crucial to talk with your trusted Realtor about what is non-negotiable, versus what you can live without.

Unlike bridal stores, there isn’t an exact number of homes that I’d recommend you visit, but most Realtors I know would advise against seeing dozens and dozens of homes. Making any big life choice is exhausting enough without factoring in driving all over town or zipping up thirty-pound dresses.

Viewing homes that don’t have the features most important to you will only make this process more convoluted. As the old saying goes “when you know, you know,” but if you continue to look for something better, the fear of missing out will always be in the back of your mind.

Of course, I am as typical a consumer as anyone. I am still going to visit one or two more dress shops, because I need to convince myself that I’ve seen what I could be missing out on. But at the end of the day, like any consumer in a social media world, I’ve done my research and I know what’s out there for me. I am confident that I can go with the first dress that I feel “at home in.” And that is how you will feel certain that you are not missing out on anything.

Sometimes you find the right house immediately and sometimes it does take several visits. However, in our busy market it’s more important than ever to have explored your priorities before exploring your options. A wedding dress can be put aside, but your perfect home will not wait around for when you’re ready, so be ready!

If you would like a question answered in our weekly column or to set up an appointment with one of our Associates, please email: [email protected] or call 703-549-9292.

McEnearney Associates Realtors®, 109 S. Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. Equal Housing Opportunity. #WeAreAlexandria

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