When buying a house, first-time buyers are often interested to know how the home search process works. Our search funnel helps to give an idea of how the process works! Check it out.
The search funnel
As a buyer, you are in control of deciding what your search funnel is going to look like. To do this, you will start by looking at all the active listings on the MLS and then begin to narrow things down based on your needs and budget. This is where you will need to sit down and really think things through.
What are the attributes that I would like to have in my new house? What geography do I want to be in? What school district? How big? Do I need a fireplace? How many bedrooms? What is the yard space like?
There are many different factors that will play into the ultimate list of features that you are looking for in your new home. Initially, you will probably have a very long list. Unfortunately, when you start to look for homes that feature all of your needs, most of the time what falls into this ideal category will be way out of budget. However, there are a lot of reasonable compromises that can be made to still find something that works for you!
You will need to make trade-offs
Once you realize it’s not a perfect world, it will be time to start making some trade-offs.
Maybe instead of this neighborhood, you could be in that neighborhood. Perhaps, you could get by with 3 bedrooms instead of 4. Possibly, the next school district over is almost just as good as that one, but their prices are 20% less.
When you start making intelligent trade-offs, your search funnel is going to go from thousands of prospective homes to a manageable number. Ideally, this will leave you with a handful of options that meet all of your requirements! These will be the listings you look into in-depth online and then eventually tour in person. The National Association of Realtors surveys buyers and sellers each year. One of the questions they ask buyers is, “how many homes did you look at before you actually purchased?” The answer is usually around 12. When looking for homes, aim to find 10-14 homes to truly focus on.
If this is your first home, it is typically not going to be your last. Families, needs, jobs, etc. change so most often, homes do too. The majority of people in America trade up their homes several times throughout their lifetime. So, do not get stuck on trying to find your forever home. Focus on finding something that meets your needs and fits your budget!
If you have further questions about buying or selling, please do not hesitate to reach out to an agent on our team as soon as possible. We also offer up to 40 free classes a month to our agents and their clients. There are in-person and/or virtual formats available. Check out our training calendar for the most up-to-date offerings. Be sure to check out this video with our founder, Lon Welsh, for more details on the home search process!