OK to Ask to See Property at Different Times of Day?

Q: I’ve seen a property that I really like, which I viewed at a 12 noon open house, but I’m not sure if the light is good, or whether the building feels safe after dark. I really want to visit it in early morning, late afternoon and later at night to get the proper sense of the place, but I feel like I’m making a nuisance of myself if I keep going back. Is it OK to ask for all these showings?

A: Let’s begin with some short answers to this question. Of course! Surely! Yes please! Without a doubt! Absolutely!

In the Greater Vancouver area the average price of a property for sale is $708,500 according to the most recent August statistics available from the real estate board. I don’t know about you but that seems like a fairly large amount of money to me. Would you buy a $708,500 car without test driving it a few times? Likely not.

This really comes down to the level of service, or lack thereof, that real estate consumers have become accustomed to. If your agent ever gives you a woe-is-me attitude about showing a unit at different times of the day, you should likely walk away from using that person and deal with a true professional. Expect more from your real estate agent, not less!

Viewing a unit at different types of day can be quite interesting when it comes to the discovery process. For example, if you are buying a west facing unit on the 20th floor in Coal Harbour, it could be a great idea to book a showing at sunset. I can’t see any reason why a reasonable seller wouldn’t agree to step outside for 15 minutes. If you are buying a south-facing 40-year-old top-floor condo in Marpole, it could be a good idea to see how hot it gets by booking a showing mid to late afternoon, especially if you are buying during the summer months. If you’re buying a north-east, recessed property and aren’t sure how light it will be, make sure you see it in the daytime and not just at night. And if you are buying a multimillion-dollar home on the West Side, the seller should open up their doors at any time of day that you request, no questions asked.

Patience is truly a virtue in a real estate market like Vancouver. Sometimes hesitating can be very costly given the current circumstances, but it’s also important to balance this out by recognizing and being confident in what you are bringing to the table. A qualified, capable buyer is a valuable commodity, no matter the state of the real estate market.

Ask questions, be diligent, and purchase with confidence.