What is an Initial Home Walkthrough in Real Estate and How to Make the Most of It

What is an Initial Home Walkthrough in Real Estate and How to Make the Most of It

  • Choose Wisely Group
  • 08/8/23

Arlington, Virginia, boasts a lively urban core with stunning residential pockets. Nestled along the Potomac River, you'll find picturesque homes in McLean, while Great Falls offers expansive green spaces and horseback riding trails, just to mention a few highlights. All these perks are situated a mere 30 minutes from Washington, DC, fueling the high demand for Arlington-area homes. If you're a homebuyer in this location, we're here to help you make the most of your search.

During our initial meeting, we'll discuss the features you need in the home and the lifestyle you're after. It is the perfect time to jot down those must-have amenities and any additional ones you'd love in your future home. With your wish list in hand, we'll start looking for homes for sale in Arlington that align with your goals and budget. Once we've narrowed down some potential gems, it will be time for the walkthroughs.

Defining the walkthrough

The initial walkthrough, also known as a showing or home tour, is where you will explore various properties you might be interested in buying. These homes are often staged or may have remnants of the previous owner's belongings. The walkthrough allows you to take your time exploring the layout and features of the home, visualizing how the space would suit your needs. The ultimate goal is to gather enough information to determine whether this is a home you want to invest in. However, the catch is that you might only have one chance to tour each property and might be visiting numerous homes on the same day. Here are tips to make the most of your walkthrough so you can make an informed decision.

Do prior research

Before checking out a potential new home, dive deep into your research! How long has this house been waiting for a buyer? What details can your agent share about the sellers? If they're in a rush to relocate, they might be more open to your proposal. However, something might be off if this place has been listed for a while. Remember to weigh the taxes and utilities against your budget. Some neighborhoods have higher taxes due to the school district or recent city bonds.

Explore the neighborhood

If you can, drive through the area and spend some time in the neighborhood to get a sense of the community, traffic patterns, and commute. Keep in mind that you're not just purchasing a house but investing in the community. If you are relocating and can't drive to the area, do some research online. Be sure to check neighborhood pages on social media. While you have the power to transform many aspects of your home, you can't change the location. Take the time to ensure it's a place you'll enjoy for years to come.

At the walkthrough

Remember to keep your cards close to your chest as you tour the home during an open house. Avoid revealing your enthusiasm to the seller's agent, which could weaken your negotiating position. Whether exploring the property during an open house or a private viewing, ensure you're armed with a camera and something for taking notes. After visiting multiple homes, their features may start blurring together — that's why it's essential to document what catches your eye.

Know what's included

Don't assume everything you see in the house is part of the deal. Those lovely window drapes, the fancy fridge, and even the outdoor sauna might go with the current owner. Bear in mind that if it's not built-in, it might not stay behind. Should you find something that catches your eye, like the striking chandelier, confirm it's included. If not, we can ask for it during negotiations. Just keep in mind that negotiation is all about compromising. Demanding a price reduction while also requesting to keep items the seller was planning to take might be pushing it, and the seller could reject your offer without making a counteroffer.

Pay attention to structure

When exploring a beautifully decorated home, it can be challenging to keep your focus on the crucial structural elements. To help with this, make a list of key items to investigate as you tour the property. For instance, check the foundation for any cracks, examine plumbing for potential leaks, and scrutinize dim corners in the bathroom for signs of mildew – all essential to ensure the home's structural soundness. Additionally, don't forget to look inside all closets and cabinets to check for ample storage space to meet your needs.

Remember your must-haves

When you first embarked on your quest for a new home, you had a crystal-clear vision of your requirements. You knew exactly how many bedrooms you needed and visualized a kitchen that would seamlessly fit into your daily routine. However, as you began exploring the housing market, your wish list of desirable features expanded.

Perhaps you came across a charming house with a wrap-around porch, and you could already envision yourself sitting in a rocking chair, reading a book while your children play in the yard. Or maybe, you found a home with a pool – something you've always dreamt of owning. While it's perfectly fine to dream and aspire to attain those dreams, be mindful not to let them overshadow your needs. A house with a pool won't serve your long-term interests if it falls short on bedroom space or has a cramped kitchen that hinders your enjoyment of cooking in it every day.

Your guide along the way

Discover the full potential of your home walkthrough with the assistance of Susan Wisely from the Choose Wisely Group. She's got your back, ensuring you don't overlook any crucial features that matter to you. She will be your guide to finding the perfect home to meet your needs and fulfill some of your dreams. Give her a call today to schedule the initial meeting.

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