Last Updated on September 16, 2014 by Kathy Rukat Smith
Looking at Homes in Myrtle Beach
“Looking at Homes in Myrtle Beach” is continuation of a blog post series, “Overview of Buying a Home“. You may want to read previous posts, “Buying a Home – Finding a Real Estate Agent“, “Buying a Home – Getting Pre-Approved for a Loan” and “The First Meeting with Your Real Estate Agent“.
By this point in your search for a home, you have found a real estate agent to guide you through the process, gotten pre-approved for a loan and had your first meeting with your chosen real estate agent. Now, it’s time to start looking at homes in Myrtle Beach.
Preparing to See Homes
From your first meeting, your real estate agent will narrow down the houses that are currently for sell to 5-10 that fit your criteria. It is best to do this in the real estate agent’s office. This way, you can look at all the MLS information available and locate the house on a map. You want to make sure you like the area where the house is located and like what you see from the pictures and description. Your agent will schedule appointments for your to see the homes that you like. Here are some additional tips to keep in mind as you are looking at homes in Myrtle Beach.
- Keep in mind that sellers are still living in some homes you may want to see. Give the seller as much notice as possible to see a home. In case this home is the home for you, you do not want to start off on the wrong foot with the sellers!! I typically like 24-48 hours to get the appointments scheduled and get the information I will need to help you make the best decision on the home (past sales prices, taxes paid and any MLS history).
- I like to show no more than 5-6 houses in one day. Any more than that, and all the houses start to look the same!! Instead of focusing on the layout of the house and if it would work for your and your family, you remember the house only as “the house with the bright paint” or “the house with the cat”.
- Showings are typically allowed from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. However, showings should be scheduled during daylight hours so you can see the home better and for everyone’s safety. During winter months, showings may need to happen on the weekend or you may need to take some time off of work.
The Day of Showings
Knowing what to expect will lessen your stress levels so you can spend your energy focusing on the houses we view. Here are some tips that will make looking at homes in Myrtle Beach less stressful for you…
- The sellers may ask that you remove your shoes during a showing. Usually this is done to protect hardwood floors or to keep from tracking dirt/mud inside the home.
- Dress for the weather. Bring a light jacket in the fall, winter and early spring and wear lightweight clothes during the summer. Also for ladies, it may be easier to navigate homes and yards in flat shoes versus heels.If you are looking at land or a home with acreage, you may want to consider bringing a pair of boots. Homes also may not have working A/C or heat.
- Vacant homes may not have the utilities turned on. Bring a flashlight to better see the house.
- While looking at homes, you may not be able to use the restroom – the water could be turned off or sellers still living in the home may request buyers not use their bathroom. Breaks throughout the day will be scheduled, especially if we have a longer day of looking at homes.
- Avoid sitting on furniture
- Avoid being “nosy” – It’s okay to look in the closet to see the size, but it is not okay to look in drawers of furniture that will not convey as part of the sale.
- Do not allow child to roam free through the home or touch seller’s items.
- Do not bring pets to showings
- Nanny Cams – I have not personally experienced this, but I know some agents have. Sellers have been known to use nanny cams to spy on buyers. If you love the home, keep your excitement to yourself. We can discuss the pros and the cons of the house either outside or back in the car. Also, be careful of what you do. Some sellers have gotten buyers and agents on nanny cams snooping through their things.
- Some sellers cannot leave the home for health reasons or prefer not to leave the home during showings. This occurrence is rare, but it if happens during a showing, try your best not to interact with the seller about the home. Do not give away too much information about yourself that could hurt you later in negotiations.
What to Look For While at the Home
It is exciting to look at homes and it is also fun. Remember, we are looking at homes to see if the layout and style of the home will work for you. Focus on the items that convey with the sale…
Don’t get distracted by the “extras”…
- The seller’s furniture
- The seller’s personal pictures
What NOT to Look for While at the Home
The showing is the time to look at the home to see if it meets your needs and has the features you want. If you decide to write an offer on the house, the home inspection will be conducted after the offer is accepted and the home is under contract. The inspector will check the attic, roof and crawl space (if there is one) and he/she will check things like the dishwasher, electrical outlets and heating/air conditioning. These things should not be checked during a regular showing.
Use of Technology While Looking at Homes in Myrtle Beach
I love technology and I like to incorporate technology in the home buying process…as long as it makes sense and makes our life easier! One app that you will hear me mention throughout the home buying process is Evernote. Evernote is basically like an online filing cabinet of notebooks. Each of my clients has a notebook, and I use Evernote to record important information as we move through the home buying process. Evernote is a wonderful helper while we are looking for homes in Myrtle Beach. For each day that we view homes, your home tour will be kept in Evernote. I order the homes based on the order in which we will view them. For each home, I keep a record of the MLS sheet so I have all the information the listing agent provided right at my fingertips. As we are going through each home, I will take notes on things you like and things you do not like. I also use Evernote to take pictures of the home and visually document our property tour. We can annotate these pictures as well. Let’s say you love the house but hate the paint color in the living room. I will take a picture and make a note to change the paint color. While changing paint color is simple, and you would think you would remember that, after a long day of looking at houses, you may forget! Also, let’s say we notice a window is cracked. I can take a picture and make note of the cracked window. This way, in negotiations, we will remember the cracked window and make of note of that in our offer. I can also make note of any questions you may have and I can follow-up with the listing agent after we finish for the day. At the end of each property tour, I will email you the notes from our day. You will have a record of where we were, what we say and what we thought of the houses.
Most buyers find the home that works for them after looking at 5-10 homes. Keep in mind that no house is perfect though 🙂 Once you close on the house, you can make it your own!! Once you have found the house that would work for you, it’s time to write an offer!! There is a lot of paperwork involved in writing an offer, and I will cover that in my next post of the Home Buying Series.
Until then, you can contact me with any home buying (or home selling) questions. I can be reached by email at Kathy@KathyRukat.com, by phone/text at 843-267-2710, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/KathyRukatMyrtleBeachRealEstate or by commenting on this post. Start searching for your dream home by visiting the Basic Search section of my website. Happy house hunting!
“Helping You Find the Sandcastle of Your Dreams!