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The amazing race … for a home


The race is on … sometimes, when people are shopping in a popular neighborhood, they feel pressured to see listings during their first open house.

“Depending on the location you are shopping in, it could be stressful to know that you may be required to make a decision within minutes of stepping into the open house because of intense competition,” says realtor Rick Nakama of East Oahu Realty.

Nakama offers some tips to help overcome the pressure:

  • Always try to get an appointment to see the house as soon as it comes on the market.
  • For listings that don't allow any showings until the first open house, try to at least drive by the house to see if you like the location and the exterior (you may not be welcome to walk on the property, so be sure to respect the occupant/owner's privacy).
  • Have your realtor review the terms in the purchase contract and addenda in advance. You should be comfortable with all the terms in the purchase contract so that you don’t have the added pressure of not understanding certain terms at the last moment when you need to submit that offer on a property with multiple competing offers.
  • Review and look at all other comparable properties by keeping up with all new inventory in the market you are shopping in. Even if you know you won't like certain houses that are in the area, it helps if you have seen it when comparing it to one that you do like.
  • Have an offer prepared prior to going to view the potential property at the first showing. If it was thoroughly reviewed in advance, only certain terms that have been decided after seeing the home need to be discussed and your offer will be ready to submit to the listing agent. You don't need to sign and submit the offer if you decide you don’t like the house after seeing it. It may seem like extra work for your realtor (and you), but the more times you go through this process prior to finding "the one,” the more it will feel like a breeze when you do find "the one.”

Before you even get this far, Nakama strongly recommends: Make sure you have been pre-qualified with a lender and you have a reputable mortgage officer (preferably local for ease of verification, among other benefits) that can prepare your pre-qualification letter to submit with your offer along with proof of the cash funds for the portion of your offer that is not being financed. If you haven't done this and you end up seeing one of those hot properties during its first public showing, it is very unlikely that the seller will select your offer in a multiple-offer situation.

Good luck!

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