Buyer Checklist- Must Have & Nice to Have

When it comes to shopping for the right property, many buyers are shocked by the options their Realtor can provide. My job is to gather as much information as possible and find the property that best meets my buyer’s needs. The best way for a buyer to begin their home search is to go through the process of elimination by creating a simple checklist that outlines what they’re looking for into two categories (“Must Have” & “Nice to Have”)

Must Have

When starting a home search, a buyer can be overwhelmed by the number of features and styles to choose from. Knowing what you need to have in a home will narrow the field and help you to remain focused. For example, home-buyers may require a certain number of bedrooms or bathrooms, prefer a bungalow rather than a back split, or desire to live in a specific neighbourhood. These “Must Have” features should be communicated to their Realtor to ensure that they are fulfilled before buyers spend time viewing homes for sale.

Nice to Have

As anyone with a two year old, or any child for that matter, can tell you: often “I need it” simply means “I want it”. In some cases, buyers may want to own a home that features a master bedroom ensuite bath, walk in closet, close to a specific school, or within walking distance to shopping. These features may not necessarily be deal breakers, but will be important factors when trying to decide between houses. Therefore, “wants” should still be on the home search list. Realtors will work to meet all of a buyer’s guidelines, so buyers shouldn’t leave out the little amenities that make a house feel more like a home.


It’s all about… “Location, Location, Location.” Buyers should be able to envision living in the area. Choosing the right neighborhood features is almost as important as choosing the right home features. Neighbours, school districts, walk score, and amenities are all things home buyers should consider because they will impact their life for years. So, when filling out your list of “Must Have” and “Nice to Have”, try adding specific areas and neighbourhoods to the list.