What and what not to look for on a house tour

What and what not to look for on a house tour

Because buying a home is a big financial decision, it is best not to blindly get into it. That is why touring is one of the most critical parts of the process of homebuying. And how can you make sure that you get the best out of those visits?

First thing first is to know what to look for, having a strategy that helps you accurately determine whether a home is a good fit for you or not is the right call. If you are still visiting houses, it is fair to say you are happy with the number of locations, rates, and bed/baths.

There are other factors that you should or should not consider when deciding on a home? Aside from personal preferences, there are some factors that you should not pay too much attention to and some that you should most definitely take when you are touring a home. Start training to know more.

Things you don’t need to consider:

Furniture and decoration entering a home, the decor is usually the first thing you notice. Sometimes, what you see will vary significantly from your style to put it politely if you area fan of modern aesthetics in the mid-century, an overly floral living room sofa or a lodge-inspired entertainment room for hunters could be jarring and off-putting.

Do not focus on those elements. Remember that you are buying the house, not the belongings inside the house. So once you have closed escrow, you are out with the old and you are in.

  1. Wall and floor treatments

Although furniture, rugs, sofas, and artwork all quit the house as the purchaser leaves, there are always lighting colors, wallpaper, and carpeting. Don’t worry, anyway. While these things may not be particularly pleasing to the eye, they are not permanent, either. Painting a home’s interior is one of the most convenient and economic improvements you might produce.

  1. Small fixtures and hardware

Seemingly old or visibly worn fixtures like cabinet doors, ceiling fans, and even small appliances, such as microwaves, can be an eyesore. Still, it’s important to remember these elements are merely cosmetic. The general health or habitability of the home is not greatly compromised. 

  1. A bathroom or kitchen design

Buyers also dream of owning a house that already looks like a 5-star hotel with a luxurious top of the line gourmet kitchen or master baths. So, it can be disappointing to discover that the kitchen or master bath of the home you like leaves much to be desired.

Remember that you can always upgrade these rooms once you are settled in. 

  1. No fence around the yard

If you are a consumer with pets or small children, getting a closed yard may be very strong on your must-haves list.

Things you do need to consider:

  1. Odors

Sometimes when you are touring a home, you have to rely on your other senses. The nose will help you discover unique issues that a house may have, such as mold and mildew.

  1. Wall and floor condition

Besides being less than aesthetically appealing, flaws such as bent surfaces, holes in the walls, and watermarks may often signify more serious issues. Hairline fractures no wider than 1⁄8 inch, and flowing upward is typically fairly harmless.

These typically occur when the foundation of a home settles first and is found most often around door and window frames. More extensive cracks or those that run horizontal or diagonally could be a cause for concern. They could indicate more foundational severe issues or even water damage and can appear anywhere on a wall.

  1. Integrated fixtures & systems

Issues involving integrated fixtures and systems are more of a concern than most cosmetic ones. Instead of dwelling on wonky ceiling fans and faulty cabinet doors, search for the electrical lighting, ventilation, and heating components. 

  1. Unpermitted additions

Seldom, you could turn up at a home that was advertised as a two bedroom/1 bathroom only to discover out there’s an extra bathroom – surprise. Before you get too excited about the additional space, you will want to make sure the addition is allowed. Why? For what? An unpermitted building may be something of a hassle to deal with than one.

Beyond being possibly a safety risk if not correctly built, it may also be a financial issue when buying a house.

  1. Lawn condition

Yellow and brown stains are not rare on a home’s grass. Typically they are the product of a humid, dry environment, neglected maintenance, or the escape of a neighbor’s dog in your yard. These spots are, however, sometimes caused by fungal diseases. Although not inherently dangerous, the longer an unresolved fungal problem remains in the yard, the more time, energy, and resources would be required to fix the issue.

Checklist of questions to ask when a house tour.

Simply looking at a property can not satisfy some important decision-making factors. Luckily for you, a trip or an open house is a great way to get important details from the source directly regarding a property. So you should know what questions to ask.

Here’s a checklist of questions you will want to get answered while viewing a home:

  1. When are offers due?

Make sure to ask about the due dates for the offer. A better opportunity to lose out on a home that you enjoy is to skip the deadline for making an application, so this will happen if you get stuck in. In certain instances, before a specified day, vendors could not consider offers. This is also good to know that submitting an offer can come off a bit pushy too soon and hurt the chances of accepting your offer.

  1. How many offers have been made?

That is fairly straightforward. You will also question the real estate agent if they have already received any deals. If the seller has already received a good number of offers, it could indicate that the property could be selling fast. It is helpful to have this information to make sure, however, that not every seller will allow their listing agent to disclose this information as it can scare off prospective buyers.

  1. Why are the sellers moving?

For several reasons, the sellers could be moving and find out why it is also important if you can walk into a house that the owners have sold because of bad neighbors, rising crime, or school failures.

  1. Have the sellers made some changes to the initial configuration of the home?

Recall what we said regarding research that was not permitted? This is a perfect opportunity to figure out if the home contains some illegal research that can’t be quickly found by only searching. It is extremely necessary to learn whether the vendor markets the house “as is” If a house is “as it is” for rent, it is fairly well known that the owners are not going to make any improvements or maintenance allowances (like updating the building to code).

  1. Are there any issues with the property?

Listing agents have to be transparent regarding any and all known home issues. While that information can be accessed through the seller’s disclosure documents, it does not hurt to ask while you’re there. That helps you to individually search out the problems.

Final thoughts

The odds of having a home that suits any one of your personal tastes are small unless you build it yourself. Maintaining a fair level of focus on minor must-have and big must-have when evaluating a house would go a long way in making rational choices on this essential expenditure. A good REALTOR® can aide you make the right offer for the property you’re interested in buying. For free valuation, contact us at 401-396-2888. We’re always glad to help!

Need an accurate home evaluation?


Kamil Sarji - Real Estate Agent


Kamil Sarji

Real Estate Agent

Licensed in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut

Phone: (401) 396-2888



If You're Selling: I know how to present and showcase your house effectively, promote and market it so that it attracts qualified buyers and get SOLD for the highest price possible.

If You're Buying: We start with really learning about your needs and what you're looking to achieve in your new home. Knowing this will help me find and show you the best homes that meet your criteria.


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