Our top house hunting tips for buyers

Attending open homes is an important part of the purchasing process, allowing you to see a property you’re interested in and gauge whether it really suits your needs.

But back-to-back inspections Saturday after Saturday can be a touch overwhelming, so here are our top tips to simplify the process and help you find the property that is ‘the one’.

How long should the house hunt take?

Make no mistake, house hunting can be a drawn out affair, with research suggesting the search for a home takes between six and nine months on average.

While that may seem like a long haul, the reality is there’s a bit involved in the process and it can also take a while to get a feel for the market in the area where you intend to buy.

Know your market

The search for a property almost always starts online these days, involving research into what exactly is available, the areas that might suit, the prices that properties command in that region and more.

Chances are you’ll peruse the real estate portals for a while familiarising yourself with this information before taking the leap and actually attending open homes.

This research allows you to understand what’s going on in the market where you intend to buy, and also gives you an idea of how much you’re going to need in order to purchase.

This is also the time to approach your preferred lender to work out exactly what your budget will be.

Know your needs and wants

Once you have an idea of the market, it’s time to narrow down your needs and wants, looking at things like:

  • The suburbs you hope to purchase in
  • The type of property you want (freestanding home, apartment, duplex etc)
  • Minimum number of rooms
  • Things you’re not prepared to do without
  • Things you would like but could do without

Many of these can then be used to filter search results in the real estate portals, effectively narrowing down the list to properties that suit your needs.

The itinerary

With your search results in hand, the house hunt is set to get serious and involves a list of properties you intend to inspect in person.

Chances are these open homes will take place on a Saturday, so it pays to make a list of the properties you want to look at and the time of the inspection.

If possible, translate these onto a map, so you know where you need to be, when, and how to get there quickly.

There’s also a chance some inspection times might overlap, so it’s a matter of prioritising the properties you’re most interested in.

Some inspection tools

When you’re looking at a lot of properties in a short period it’s worth having some tools with you to help you crystalise your thoughts on the ones to rule out and the ones to pursue.

This inspection toolkit includes:

  • A notepad – so you can make notes about the property after visiting it, including what you like, what you don’t and whether it is to remain on your list.
  • Your phone and camera – Professional marketing of a property tells one story, but visiting it in person tells another. Have a phone with camera at your disposal so you can take your own pictures to jog your memory. Remember,  it’s polite to ask the agent if it’s ok to take photos of the property.
  • Snacks – Back-to-back inspections require energy, so it’s a good idea to arm yourself with some snacks that give you sustenance as you do the rounds.
  • A list of questions – Attending an open home is the opportunity to ask the agent questions about the property, including why it’s for sale, how long it’s been on the market, how much interest there is etc. We have a comprehensive list of questions you might ask here.
  • A friend or trusted family member – A second opinion can be invaluable when it comes to attending open homes. If you’re not inspecting properties with a partner, take a friend or family member to gain that additional perspective.  

After the inspection

In the days after the inspection, there’s a good chance the agents from each property will reach out to you to seek your feedback.

If a property does pique your interest, this is the time to indicate it’s on your list. 

It’s also the chance to highlight exactly what you’re looking for and ask them to contact you if they have anything that might suit your needs.

The shortlist

Ultimately, attending open homes will allow you to find ‘the property’ that you want or create a shortlist of homes that you’re interested in.

If that’s the case, it’s time to start getting serious by organising pest and building inspections and speaking further with your lender with a view to submitting an offer.

How we can help

If you’re considering buying or selling a property, why not chat with one of our friendly agents to understand the state of play in your local market?

Or feel free to enter your address below to get your instant property estimate.


We’re not just about property, but the people and the stories behind it. You can also view our list of currently available properties here.