Buying a home is the largest financial transaction most people ever experience. It’s valued typically at the most money they’ll ever spend on anything and so being practical is necessary but often the secondary emotion because it’s also highly personal.  When making such a huge decision, buyers often wonder how many homes they should see before they make an offer on the one they like.

The short answer is that there isn’t a magic number.  The long answer is that it could be one home, fifteen, or more!

Buyers who only see a few homes

There are some buyers who luck out and make an offer on the first home they see.  They go for a showing, it speaks to them, they make an offer which is then accepted, and the rest is history.

These buyers are either lucky, know exactly what they want and find it, or are a combination of both.  Most buyers who are confident about making an offer on one of the first few homes they’ve seen generally have a pre-determined list of characteristics they:

  • Need in a home
  • Would like in a home
  • Do not want in a home

How long these lists are, how flexible the buyers are, and how realistic buyers are about being able to afford a home to accommodate their list of needs and wants, as well as how effective their REALTOR® is at locating homes available on the market to suit these lists, will determine how many homes will need to be seen prior to finding the right one.

It’s also a gut feeling.  There are plenty of homeowners out there who own homes they didn’t picture wanting at the beginning of their search.  Open minds are key.

Buyers who see many homes

It is the age of technology, so most buyers see lots of homes online before ever setting foot in an open house or a private showing.  With that being said, there are buyers out there who feel like they’ve seen every home on the market and still aren’t ready to make an offer. In this case, it’s recommended that the buyer sits back down with their REALTOR® to review their list of needs, wants, and undesirables.  It’s possible that there might be an unrealistic expectation for what their budget can afford, or it’s possible that the buyers may just need to wait until the right house becomes available.

Plus, some homes are available for purchase without being listed, so it’s best to have a REALTOR® with these resources who can make that connection with other listing agents who haven’t gone public yet.

It can be frustrating to keep looking, and sometimes it’s advisable to take a break for a couple of weeks to regenerate the open-mindedness and excitement to see possibilities in homes that are for sale.

Some people have the luxury of that ‘love at first sight’ feeling, and for some buyers, it’s less obvious.  At the end of the day, buying a home is both business and personal.  It’s imperative to keep your budget in mind along with your lifestyle, but until a home seems like the one you want, it’s worth the wait.  Be sure to be prepared with all the necessary documents, pre-approvals, and financials in line so that when that home does eventually appear- and it will- you’re ready to get it before someone else does. Read this related blog about 6 mistakes buyers can avoid during the home search process.

Additional Resources