House Hunting: A Guide for Homebuyers

a person shaking hands

Any savvy homeowner knows that you need to have a good idea of what’s out there to make a good purchase in the real estate market. That’s why it’s crucial to look for properties from different sources — you never know when you might find the perfect fixer-upper or turnkey rental property.

So if you’re serious about maximizing your real estate purchase and having a great deal, be sure to give yourself a wide variety of options. Here are some places where you can find houses for sale:

Listings Websites

The most obvious place to start your search is on a listing website. These are pages that have thousands of homes for sale in their database at any given time. It’s like a directory of properties that you can browse through at your leisure.

The advantage of looking at listings online is that you can get a good idea of what’s on the market without physically visiting each property. Properties in listings often have images and videos that you can view and vital information such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, and more.

These websites also have the search function to filter by location, asking price, property type, and other essential factors. Although it’s not a personal viewing, it’s a great way to start your search and get an idea of what you’re looking for. So, check out some of the most popular listing websites, and you might find your dream home.

Real Estate Agents

If you want a more hands-on approach to finding a property, you can consult with a real estate agent. They will be able to show you homes that fit your budget and preferences in person.

One of the advantages of working with an agent is that they have access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). It is a database of homes for sale by real estate agents. It’s usually only accessible to people in the industry, so it’s a great way to find homes that haven’t been listed to the public yet.

Another plus is that real estate agents are very knowledgeable about the market and the house acquisition process. They can help you negotiate a reasonable price and guide you through all the paperwork. Remember that agents work for the seller, so their loyalty lies with them. But as long as you’re aware of that, working with an agent can be a great experience.

For Sale By Owner (FSBO)

If you want to avoid paying a real estate agent’s commission, you can look for homes for Sale By Owner (FSBO). These types of sales are becoming more popular as people become savvier about the internet and real estate.

The main advantage of an FSBO is that you can save on the agent’s commission. However, you should be aware that an FSBO can be a lot of work. You and the seller are responsible for arranging the property, negotiating the price, and handling all the paperwork. So, if you’re not sure you’re up for the task, it might be best to look for other sources. Nonetheless, if you’re feeling confident and have enough time on your hands, an FSBO might be the way to go.

a portrait of people showing bidding cards with a gravel on the table


Another option for finding a property is through an auction. This option is usually only available if the seller is in a hurry to sell or if the property is in foreclosure.

Auctions can be a great way to get a bargain on a property. However, they’re not for the faint of heart. You need to be prepared to make a quick decision and have the cash ready to pay for the home on the spot. It’s also worth noting that you might end up in a bidding war with other buyers, which can drive up the price.

On the other hand, there are unsold auction lots that you can usually snag for a lower price. You can find these properties on listing websites, through the auctioneer, or from the lender if they are a foreclosure. So, if you’re feeling lucky, an auction might be the way to go.

Private Sales

Another avenue for finding a property is through private sales, where the seller decides to sell their home without going through an agent or listing it online.

The advantage of a private sale is that you can often negotiate a lower price since the seller avoids paying an agent’s commission. You should be aware that private sales are usually “as is” transactions. So, if there are any problems with the property, you’re on your own to fix them.

Another thing to remember is that private sales can take longer to complete since there’s no agent to help with the paperwork. But if you’re patient and do your research, a private sale can be a great way to get a deal on a property.

There are many ways to find a property. It’s essential to explore all your options and choose the best one for you. Whether you choose to work with an agent, go to an auction, or find a private sale, make sure you do your research and are ready for the process. With a bit of patience and effort, you’re sure to find the perfect place to call home.

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