Between attending showings, meeting with lenders, trading emails with me, your real estate agent, and vigilantly scouring for new listings, house-hunting often feels like a part-time job. Now, there’s actual data to back up the feeling. A new report from real estate platform Opendoor found that first-time homebuyers are sinking a lot of time into finding a new home — and many are actually taking time off work for their search.

On average, first-time buyers missed about 14 hours of work during the homebuying process, which is nearly two full eight-hour workdays. That time translates to about $845 million in wages across the U.S., according to Opendoor’s data. But in today’s ultra-competitive market, what’s a first-time buyer to do? Diligently staying at your desk, instead of rushing over for a showing, might mean losing out on the perfect house. House-shopping is a time-consuming process, period, but there are some steps we can take to help shave off precious minutes — and even hours — during your search.

1. Send me, your Real Estate Agent. I am willing to go look at a house in-person, then report back. I can even take a video tour, upload it to youtube and send it to you!

2. Skip the Open House. Prioritize private showings over open houses, if we schedule a showing we can skip the lines and spend time efficiently.

3. Limit Your Online Searching. It can be super tempting to refresh Zillow or Redfin every five minutes — after all, finding a home is all you can think about right now. But this can be counterproductive. Block off one or two hours and limit the online searching to just that amount of time. Set these boundaries so that the search doesn’t drive you crazy or make you feel like you need to compromise.

4. Understand the Timing. A big reason why the house search is so disruptive is that new listings seem to pop up at random — some agents might frantically text you about a new listing right in the middle of an already stressful day at work. But, in truth, real estate listings tend to follow a pretty stable pattern. If you can mentally prepare yourself for the day that most listings come on the market — and even block off an hour or two in your schedule — you can be more efficient (and feel less frazzled). You can determine what time of day you want me to send you the new listings and I will follow your schedule.

5. Trust Your Gut. First impressions matter. If you can tell that a home is not for you, then don’t waste a single extra minute on it. If we pull up to the house and immediately, you know it’s not what you want, we can leave. If we had an appointment, I simply notify the homeowner privately that they have decided it’s not a property of interest. In addition, if we walk into a home and you realize at any point on the tour that you wouldn’t make an offer, we don’t have to complete the tour, or we move through it quickly.

6. Do a Neighborhood Tour. Though you won’t be able to step inside the home at any hour of the day, you can still get a feel for the neighborhood while running other errands or on your lunch break. Drive by after work and see if you like where the place is and its general vibe.

 7. Use Digital Tools. Take advantage of all the digital tools and technologies at your disposal. “Walk” through the neighborhood by using street view and looking at satellite imagery on Google Maps. Watch the videos included in the listing. Click through the 3D tour of the house. The 3D tour will help you understand the layout of the property, the room scale, and other important details.

Allow us to work for you. Give us a call or text 210-418-0067 or send us an email Ray@KandE.Realty