Denver Relocation Home Search Plan
Wow! You have been using our Advanced Home Search and have 48 of your favorite properties saved. That’s a lot of houses to see!
I have had this happen a few times, especially with out of town buyers relocating to our area. One buyer had saved 56 properties they thought they wanted to see! It is a good reason and time to let relocation buyers know that they need to go through their saved properties list carefully, and narrow it down to the top 20-24 properties, all within their loan pre-approval price range. This allows for 2-3 days of showings at 8 properties in a 6 hour showing day, plus one more half day to see the top 3-4 a second time for a final decision before writing an offer.
We need to have a structured plan for success during your relatively short home hunting visit. You are flying in for a full week, and only for a week. You don’t want to make two home search trips unless absolutely necessary. You may only have a limited amount of time to look, so I need to give you my full attention. I clear my schedule for that week as much as possible. When I arrange all of the showings for you, there is no reason to be driving around calling listing agents from signs. That is not the best use of your time, and exposes you to agents who represent the seller’s best interests, not yours! Assuming you will be in town for a full week for your home search, which is what I strongly suggest, here is the time line I generally propose.
Denver Relocation Home Search Schedule
The day before you arrive, I pull broker and public MLS listings sheets for all of your saved properties. My copies of the broker showing sheets include a Yahoo map printed on the back, and I will use those to organize the showing drive plan for each day based on the property locations.
The day you arrive in town. Schedules permitting, we have a one hour or 90 minute mid-afternoon meeting at the office to do the required agency and RESPA disclosures paperwork, review and copy your lender pre-approval letter, and go over the showing plan and schedule for the following days, including a detailed review of the MLS sheets for each property on your list. After reviewing the MLS sheets, and perhaps looking at photos and virtual tours online using the conference room projection system, we usually drop 4-5 homes off the list for various reasons, which gets you down to the ideal 20 property maximum. If we can’t do this the day you arrive, then we meet at 9 AM at the office on Day 2, everything else below drops back 1/2 day, and we start out in the afternoon of day 2 showing no more than 4 homes.
At the initial office meeting, I will give your a blank copy of the Colorado Purchase and Sale agreement for your late night reading pleasure, and so you can formulate any questions they may have about that, which we can discuss in the car the following day between showings. We talk a little bit about the overall buying process and time lines, from offer, through counter, acceptance, inspections, appraisal, lender approval, etc. I also give you some ideas on good area dining and shopping venues, so you can relax, get settled, and get a good night’s sleep so you will be ready to roll first thing in the morning. Between 4-5 PM that day, after our initial meeting, I make all showing appointments for the next day.
Day 2, Day 3, and Day 4 AM:
Meet buyers at the office at 8:45 each morning. Show up to 20 homes at no more than 8 per day. First four 9-noon, then stop for lunch and review of morning’s four showings, then 1-4 PM for the final four showings. Make sure to keep good notes on the public MLS sheets for each home as you see them. Conduct daily end of day showing reviews at the office at 4 PM. Of the 7-8 we saw today, pick no more than one or two to keep, and put the rest in your reject pile. Make showing appointments for the next day.
Day 4 PM:
At the day four early afternoon end of day review, of the 1-2 per day top candidates from each day’s showings, pick no more than 3-4 homes that we need to see a second time before making a final decision. You may need to take your final candidates back to the hotel and discuss your choices privately, but I find that it is good to get the decision made while everything is fresh in everyone’s minds, and make the appointments that afternoon for the final showings starting at 9 AM on day 5.
If you make your decision over night, you would need need to call me by 8 AM so I can make the final showing appointments, and those showings will probably go from 10 AM to 1 PM. We will do all final second showings in the morning, and plan to write two offers in the afternoon. Why two offers? You are going home in a couple of days. The first offer may not fly for various reasons. The second offer is a backup just in case the first offer doesn’t work out. We need to be prepared to move on to another offer, and you may not be in town. It is also great leverage on the sellers of offer #1. I might say to seller agent #1: “My buyers have selected two properties to make offers on. Your listing happens to be the one they like a little bit better, so we are making that offer first. However, if we can’t come to terms with your sellers, they are ready to move on quickly to our 2nd offer.” I also request all seller disclosures at this time, and if they are emailed right away, I print them out for you to review that evening.
Relax. You can drive around and explore on your own now that you have selected a home and made an offer. If we get a quick offer acceptance, that’s great. If not, we may need to meet at the office that afternoon to go over the seller’s counter and decide what to do. We may need to submit the second offer at this time, perhaps even before or instead of a counter on the first one. Hopefully, as long as it is a private seller and not a bank owned or short sale situation, we will have a final accepted offer by the end of the day.
You leave for home, hopefully with accepted offer and copies of all seller disclosures in hand. But if not, you know that we already have another offer written, signed and ready to go for your second choice.
If you have another couple of days in town, any last minute loose ends can be cleared up, possibly including the home inspection with buyers in attendance if the first sellers accept our offer quickly, and it can be scheduled with the inspector.