Home > Buying a home > How to execute a successful online home search.

How to execute a successful online home search.

Finding a home to buy is like anything else. You have to prioritize what’s important to you and eliminate those that don’t meet your requirements. I discuss this in more detail HERE.

The most common method today of looking for a home is to do a search online. There are many websites that give you this capability.

Where do you begin though in deciding what to put in your search parameters. Some of the criteria you want may not even be available as fields. For those you’ll have to do a basic search and read through the listings individually to find the ones that you want.

It’s all about compromise and finding something as close as you can.

There are three four basic components. Let’s start by looking at the first three.

  1. Price
  2. Location
  3. Features

You have to list your wants and “gotta haves” in each of these three areas. For example:

  • You cannot or will not pay more than, let’s say, $400,000.00
  • You must be within 2 miles of an entrance to I-84
  • You must have a flat lot, 2.5 bathrooms, hardwood floors and a dining room big enough for your furniture.

When you first do an online search, stick to all three components. As mentioned above, not all the things you want will be available as search options. You’ll have to pull what you can and go through them manually marking the ones you like. Save the search or print the results.

Then do 3 more searches.

1. Keep your location and features but come up $50,000 in price.

2. Put the price back down and look for places that are a little farther from the highway.

3. Then put the location back where you want it and open up the search relaxing the features you want.

Save or print the results of each search and label the results as to what the differences are.

Compare each group by looking through all the listings that you have.

This way you’ll have many more homes to choose from. Select the ones that come closest to your wants and needs. Call you Realtor and arrange to see those.

The fourth component is TIME. This comes into play primarily when you are not very flexible on the first three.

If you must have all of the other three components, the net result will be that there are significantly fewer homes returned in the online search results.

This does not mean, that you cannot find what you want. Unless you are very far removed from reality, you will likely find something that meets all your needs – eventually. The catch comes in if you have a firm time when you must move by. Perhaps you are renting and your lease is up at a certain point. Perhaps your home is sold already or perhaps you have to move because of a new job.

The more firmer your requirements, the longer it will take before your ideal home comes up in the search.

TIP: Database searching is only as valuable as the criteria you put in. If you don’t ask the right questions, you won’t get the right answers.

If you want to take a stab at online searching – click HERE.

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