Now that you are pre-approved, it is time to start the home search. The first step is to determine a list of needs and wants. Examples of needs are:
- Specific neighborhoods – this may be a part of the city, or specific neighborhoods, or even particular streets or buildings
- Number of bedrooms
- Specific school district(s)
- Pet requirements
- A/C (central) and heat requirements
- Whether the place should be move-in ready or a place that you can fix-up
These are the things you absolutely cannot live without.
Then, make a list of your wants. These are the “nice-to-haves”, but can live without if needed. Examples of wants are:
- Hardwood floors throughout
- Ensuite master bathroom with double sinks
- Updated kitchen with granite and stainless steel
- Wood burning fireplace
Once you’ve made your lists, I’ll set you up for auto search on MLS. This means that each evening you’ll get an email with all of the new properties that have come on the market that day matching your criteria as well as any price changes which put homes in your budget that were previously over your budget. It’s the best way to find a great home in Chicago and the Chicago Suburbs.
When the email comes in I need you to:
- Check the MLS email daily and review all of the properties I’ve sent you that day. Mark properties you want to see as Interested. That tells me to go ahead and set up a showing. Properties you want to think about longer mark as Maybe. Properties you definitely don’t like mark as Not Interested. If you have any questions about a particular property, write those questions in the Comments field for that property in MLS. I monitor those sections and will get answers to those questions to you.
- If there’s something you want to see, shoot me a quick email letting me know when you’re available and what you want to see. That way I can set up the showings. Remember, most properties require 24 to 48 hours notice for showings so it’s rare to be able to see a house or condo the same day. Also, properties are usually available to be seen Mon – Fri from 9am – 7:30pm and Saturday and Sunday from 10am – 6:30pm. Sometimes sellers will allow us to view a property outside of those hours, but it’s up to the individual seller. Also, during the spring and summer, great properties sell in 3-4 days so it’s important that you review the MLS email daily so we can jump on a great property as soon as you see it.
- Once I know when you’re available, I’ll set up the showings and email you where we are meeting and when.
- Remember to wear comfortable slip on shoes for showings as we’ll generally need to take them on and off at each property.
- I’ll bring printouts for each property so no need for you to bring anything other than snacks or drinks if you think you might get hungry.
- Wondering why the square footage isn’t listed on the MLS for more properties? Click here to find out why
While you’re looking at the MLS feeds each day I’ll also be networking my contacts to find you homes before they go on the market.
At this point there should be no need for you to continue to look on other sites such as Zillow, Trulia, etc. as all of those properties should be showing up in your MLS feed. If one isn’t for some reason let me know so I can tweak the search parameters of your MLS feed.