Step 7 to Buying a Home: Finding the Home of Your Dreams

At this point, you’re probably excited and full of optimism.  You’ve gotten pre-approved, your checklist printed out and have (hopefully) started to complete it.  Now comes the most important step.


Finding the right home.

Before we start, make a list of your top 4-6 needs and a list of your top 4-6 wants.  Examples of needs are:

  • 3 bedrooms (because we have 2 kids and they will fight and drive us crazy if they have to share a room)
  • In a certain school district/s 
  • Yard for the dog  (because you’re sick of walking the dog in the dead of winter)
  • Central AC   (because the kids are driving you crazy complaining about the heat)
  • Updated and move in ready (because you don’t even own a hammer)

These are the things you absolutely cannot live without.  You won’t even see a property unless it has every one of the above items.  Get it?

Then, make a list of your wants.  Examples of wants are:

  • Hardwood floors throughout
  • Ensuite master bathroom with double sinks
  • Updated kitchen with granite and stainless steel
  • Wood burning fireplace
  • Rainbows over the home, flying unicorns, and pots of gold in every room

These are the things you’d really like, but can live without if needed (unless your budget is $40 million then we can probably find something with everything on your list).

Once you’ve made your lists, email them to us.  That way when you see a property you love with the kitchen of your dreams we can remind you that it doesn’t have central AC so we don’t waste time seeing it.  Once that’s done, we’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.

When the email comes in we need you to:

  1. Check the MLS email daily and review all of the properties we’ve sent you that day.  Mark properties you want to see as Interested.  That tells us 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. We monitor those sections and will get answers to those questions to you.
  2. If there’s something you want to see, shoot us a quick email letting me know when you’re available and what you want to see.  That way we 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.  
  3. Once we know when you’re available, we’ll set up the showings and email you where we are meeting and when.
  4. Remember to wear comfortable slip on shoes for showings as we’ll generally need to take them on and off at each property.  
  5. We’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.

While you’re looking at the MLS feeds each day we’ll also be networking our 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 us know so we can tweak the search parameters of your MLS feed.

Now on to the showings! Read this great article about how many showings it usually takes to find the ONE.