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If you're planning to look for a new home sometime in the future, you may be wondering how long the process will take. How much time should you set aside for viewings? How many of the listed homes should you see? 

Of course, the process varies from person to person. According to the Department of Housing & Urban Development, home buyers view an average of 15 properties before finally choosing to make an offer on one of them. That number may be a good benchmark for you. 

On a Saturday afternoon, you can comfortably look at three or four potential properties. You can see more if you want to make a full day of it. 

One factor that impacts the home shopping process is how clearly you know what you're looking for. 

For example, if you're certain you want a three bedroom backsplit, backing onto a wooded area or ravine, in an upscale neighbourhood, then the process is going to be fairly simple. You're just going to view properties that closely meet that criteria. 

But if you're the kind of person who simply says, "I'll know it when I see it", then you'll need to look at several homes on the market. That means carving out plenty of room in your schedule for viewings. 

A good realtor can help you understand what's available on the market and which homes are worth seeing. He or she can also help you determine how long the process will likely take, and show you ways to make the process go more quickly and smoothly.

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