Home Touring Tips

Home Touring Tips

You’ve made the decision to move, looked at homes online, and partnered with a REALTOR. Next step—touring prospective homes. Buying a home is a major decision, and while your REALTOR will help guide you through the process, being informed can go a long way to boosting your confidence. Read below for issues to be on the lookout for when you are touring homes and those that you should look past.


  1. The Bones

    From unpermitted additions to roof leaks, issues with the structure of the home make the top of our list. Unless you are planning to buy a fixer-upper, repair costs could end up being more than you bargained for. Before you tour, your REALTOR should ask the listing agent if there are any major issues with the home. Knowing those issues before you go will allow you to check them out for yourself. 

  2. Lender Requirements 

    Some lenders won’t approve a mortgage on homes that don’t meet certain criteria. Let your REALTOR know if you will be using a government-backed loan, like FHA or VA, BEFORE you start looking for homes. They can sort out homes they know won’t meet those requirements, saving you time. Know your lender’s requirements before you go.

  3. Odors

    When touring homes, you’ll want to make sure you do more than just look around. Pay particular attention to the way the home smells. Too many candles and air fresheners could be masking an underlying issue like mildew, smoke, or pet odors. A home might look pretty, but strong odors could lead you to discover issues that could be hazardous to your health or cost thousands to remediate. 

  4. System Age

    Is the HVAC original to the home? When was the last time the kitchen appliances were updated? The older a system is, the higher the chance of it failing while you own it. The good news is that home sellers are often open to purchasing a home warranty to offset any risk that might come from older appliances.


While it’s good to be aware of a home’s issues from the start, they don’t necessarily have to scare you away. Often sellers are willing to negotiate price, make repairs, or provide credits at closing. The only way to know is to have your REALTOR ask. We always recommend that our home buyers hire a licensed home inspector. They are a great way to get extra peace of mind.


Now that you know what to be on the lookout for, let’s talk about some of the things you should look past. When walking through a home, do your best to ignore paint colors or flooring that isn’t your style. These are easy fixes. If the home meets all of your other needs, a couple of gallons of paint and a few hours of your time are a small price to pay. The same can be said for landscaping, hardware, and light fixtures. If you can’t get past the worn carpet, ask the seller if they are willing to provide a flooring allowance. Remember, everything is negotiable but be careful not to ask for so much or you could end up losing the home.


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Communication is key. Your REALTOR should know your dealbreakers before you start looking at homes. They’ll be able to talk to the listing agent, make recommendations, and protect your interests from the start. If you're ready to begin your home search, contact one of our REALTORs today.