When I first entered the home buying market, I had seen thousands of homes in my life as a Realtor. This experience helped me to know decisively that the home I was in was the home for me. But is it possible for you to view that many homes as part of your home buying process - of course not! So how many is 'the right number' of homes before it's time to make a decision? There are a few factors that go into figuring out this number.
Factors That Influence Home Buyers
There are a few factors that will influence how many homes you should look at before making a purchase. The first and most important factor is your previous home buying experience. If you have bought 10 homes in your lifetime chances are you will need to see far fewer homes than a new home buyer. This is because you have confidence in your decision making ability based from those past experiences. Another factor that will influence how many homes you should see is how familiar you are with the area you want to move to. If you are moving to the same or a neighboring community then you will have a lot more neighborhood knowledge than if you are moving across the city.
A third factor would be how wide or narrow your requirements are based on your needs/wants list. I have written in more detail on making a needs/wants list here. Having a clear needs/wants list usually eliminates more homes before the home viewing stage, therefore reducing the number of showings you would have. The final factor that I would mention that could influence the number of homes you see before you make a decision is your timeline. If you only have 30 days or less to move then your ability to view homes will be a lot different than if you have more than 90 days to move.
Home Buying - The Right Number
So what is the "right number" of homes that you should see before making an offer? I can say that it is a very personal decision based on the factors already mentioned above. But what I can tell you is that in my experience there have been home buyers who have bought after viewing 1 home and others who have had others decided after viewing 75 that they were still not happy. In general, I have found that home buyers who have viewed between 15-25 homes in person have ended up happiest with their ultimate decision.
As a home buyer you should have a pretty good idea of a range before you start viewing homes. This should be determined by your previous home buying experiences, your familiarity of the area you are moving into, how wide or narrow your requirements are based from your needs/wants list, and your moving timeline