Pre-Showings is all about getting yourself prepared to go out and look at homes to buy. It is the second step in the Buying Process Overview.
The Pre-Showings process is shown visually below.
The Pre-Showings stage consists of the following steps with brief explanations of what is included in each step:
- Qualify with Lender – Before we start going out and looking at properties you should plan to go out and qualify with at least one lender to make sure you are able to get a loan for your purchase.
- Pre-Approval Letter – The goal of meeting and qualifying with your lender is to get a copy of your Pre-Approval Letter. We want to get this in advance of going out and looking at homes because occasionally we will look at a home and want to make an offer when your lender is not available. It is best to have a Pre-Approval Letter fore your maximum purchase price in advance for those cases.
- Earnest Money – If you’re going to be writing an offer, you will want to make sure you have a plan for Earnest Money should you want to write an offer.
- Down Payment – Similar to Earnest Money, what is your plan regarding coming up with Down Payment to purchase your next home.
- Mock Contract – Sometimes we’ll need to act very quickly to write an offer on a property. If we look at homes after work but feel compelled to get an offer in that day, it may not be practical for you to sit down and learn about the Contract while in one highly emotional, high pressure and high stress evening. Better to have reviewed the contract, had time to review it with your attorney, ask questions when the pressure is off. That’s why we typically suggest a mock contract prior to going out and looking at homes.
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- Wear easy to remove shoes
- WARNING: Sellers can easily record audio (and video) of you while inside their home... don't say anything inside the home that you wouldn't say right in front of the Seller. This is especially true of offer price and strategy.
- Arrive 5 minutes early. Some Showing windows are very strict time ranges.
- There may be others present at the Showing.
- If Tenants are present, we typically will ask them questions about the property.
- Drive/walk around the neighborhood especially if you're interested in the property.
- Consider using the +/- system to make property notes.
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- Meet the neighbors... tell them you're considering making an offer on the property and ask them how they like the neighborhood.
- What appliances are included? Which are excluded?
- What school district is this in?
- Is the AC included? What type of heat is used in the property?
- Where is the water disconnect located?
- What is the age and likely need to replace or update the major, expensive items like:
furnance, AC, roof, carpet, paint, hot water heater. You'll also check these during inspection.
- Where are the property lines?
- Is there adequate parking? Is it owned? Is there adequate garage spaces? Is it owned?
- What does the HOA cost? What is included?
- Is there anything from the current "Seller's Property Disclosure"?
- Is there anything from previous "Seller's Property Disclosure" from past sales?
- Where is the sewer cleanout?
- Are there smoke/CO detectors within 15 feet of each bedroom doorway?
- Does the house already have a radon mitigation system? Is it passive or active?
- Will you be having a property inspection (it is recommended)? Will you be testing for radon? Mold? Meth? Termiates? Sewer scope?
- If this is a condo, is it a warrantable or non-warrantable condo?
- What are the secret broker comments on the "MLS Sheet"?
- What due diligence documents are you going to want to see?
- Are there any additional documents provided by the Seller's agent in the MLS?
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The following are improvements I plan to make to this page based on some of my Standard Process Improvement Questions.
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IMPORTANT NOTE: This checklist is based on what I personally use with clients in Northern Colorado. Please rely on your local real estate agent for how it works in your local real estate market. This process will definitely vary in different States.