Touring a property as a home buyer is an exciting experience. You get to imagine yourself living in a new space, and you might even discover something new about your own preferences.
The property tour is one of the most important aspects of the home buying process. So, how do you ensure that you’re making the most of it? Here are some do’s and don’ts of property tours to help you do just that.
Do act as if the owner is watching
Surveillance cameras are increasingly common. They can sometimes be used to monitor the buyers’ behavior and comments while on the property tour. It’s an easy way for the homeowner to safeguard their property
Don’t take photos without permission first
Though it may seem normal to want to take pictures of parts of the property that you like (or didn’t), remember that you’re on someone else’s property. Don’t take photos without asking permission.
Do think about how you would use the space
If the house doesn’t reflect your current style, there are easy upgrades you can make to change it. Things like window treatments, wall paint, and light fixtures can give a home the facelift it needs to make it feel your own.
Using your phone, you can even use augmented reality (AR) tools that some paint & furniture retailers offer to visualize how the home might look with different selections. One example of this is the Project Color app by The Home Depot. It allows you to browse paint colors, match colors around you, and even see the colors in your space.
Don’t bring an entourage
Relatives or friends might enjoy tagging along to check out the property and offer advice, but they could also be a distraction. You don’t want to take your focus away from your interests and/or concerns with the property.
Plus, you don’t want your own judgment to be clouded with outside opinions of the property. Everyone’s taste is different, and you should use the property tour to imagine how you would customize and function in the space.
Do consider the conditions
When you’re walking through, take note of the conditions of the vital aspects of the home. These can include:
- Odors: Sometimes, your nose can help you uncover hidden issues in the home. Things like mold & mildew can turn into bigger issues that you may not want to deal with. Other odors, like cigarettes and pet smells, can cling to the walls & floors of a home and might not dissipate without considerable effort.
- Warped floor: A warped floor can be a sign of rotting wood, water damage, or termites. Be cautious of any spots that look uneven or feel a little springy under your feet.
- Cracks in the walls or ceiling: These can be tell-tale signs of potential foundation issues. Smaller cracks can appear when the home’s foundation first settles, and those cracks typically appear around doors or windows. Larger cracks that run horizontally or diagonally can be signs of a larger foundation issue.
- Integrated fixtures & systems: Be on the lookout for signs of issues with electrical or heating & cooling elements. These are things like flickering lights that can signal potential electrical wiring issues, orange/brown water coming from the faucet that can mean rusty pipes, and loud noises coming from the HVAC system that can mean it needs maintenance or replacement.
Don’t consider the cosmetics
Cosmetic aspects of the home can all be changed or customized to your preferences. These are things like:
- Furniture & decor: The furniture and decor can be the first thing you notice when you enter a home. The personal style of the current homeowner may not match yours, so try not to focus on these elements.
- Floor covering: Outdated or damaged floor covering can always be refreshed or replaced, so don’t let it skew your image of the home.
- Wallpaper or paint: Paint is one of the easiest and lowest-cost upgrades that can be made to a home. So, if the home has a bright red accent wall in the dining room, don’t fret. It can easily be changed and made your own.
- Small fixtures & hardware: Old or worn fixtures on kitchen cabinets or bathroom vanities can be an eyesore, but they are another example of something easily customizable.
- Design of the bathroom or kitchen: If you like everything else about the home, are you willing to pass it up because of an outdated kitchen or bathroom? Even if you don’t want to tackle those renovation projects right away, they give you the opportunity to design your own custom kitchen & bathroom and potentially increase the home’s value.
Ready to start the process?
Team Melton is ready to help you with the home buying experience. Our team of professionals has over 50 combined years of real estate experience to assist you through every step of the process.