Mistakes to Avoid When Touring Homes

Written by Posted On Thursday, 25 June 2015 07:39

The long, harsh winter might have delayed the start of the spring real estate season, but with the weather improving and winter clean-up finally accomplished, we're bound to see more homes listed for sale. And while you may be drawn to Internet listings to nail down what types of properties are available in your price range, at some point you're going to want to visit some homes in person and see if there are any properties that suit you.

Touring homes that are for sale can be exhausting and even frustrating, especially if you are in a particular hurry to move. But it can also be lots of fun. After all, how often do you get to see different architectural and decorating styles? And if you do find that perfect home, it will be worth the effort of visiting a few clunkers along the way.

To make the most of your home tour, there are a few mistakes you should avoid and steps you should take to get the most out of the experience.


DON'T: Contact the listing agent for the home directly. Remember that this agent is working for the seller, trying to sell the home, and doesn't necessarily have your best interests at heart.

DO: Hire your own real estate agent. While touring homes on your own can be casual fun, if you're serious about buying, you should hire an agent. A licensed agent is better qualified to identify problems, spot a questionable price, and even inform you about the neighborhood in which a home is located. Your own agent will be working for you, and may even identify some properties of interest that you haven't located on your own.

DON'T: Bring the whole clan. It can be tempting to bring along little kids or even get the opinion of relatives or close friends, but all that additional input can get in the way of your first impression. On the first visit, shrug off the baggage of extra people to keep track of and go alone or with your spouse so you can really get a feel for the property.

DO: Book a second showing if you want input from others. If you really like a home, you can always go back another time to get the kids' approval or your parents' opinions. 

DON'T: Rule out a home based on aesthetics. If you're willing to do a little work, a house with "good bones" can easily transform into a dream home with your personal stamp on it.

DO: Decide what you can afford in terms of a "fixer-upper." If you're super handy and enjoy do-it-yourself projects, you can probably take on project like re-tiling, finishing floors, and swapping out appliances. But even if you don't have a lot of experience with home renovation, things like fresh paint, updated light fixtures, and new window treatments can really change the appearance of a home that lacks your sense of style. Figure out your budget and your limitations and go from there … and if you can afford to hire a contractor for larger-scale remodeling, go for it.

DON'T: Fall head-over-heels in love with a home before you know its history and details. You're headed for heartbreak if you decide you can't live without that fabulous kitchen, only to find that there's a glaring structural problem or pest damage that you'll have to remediate.

DO: Rely on your agent's advice. Real estate agents have lots of experience identifying both the best and worst features of a home. Before you throw caution to the wind and make an offer, trust your agent to help you understand exactly what you're getting into.


Once you've partnered with an agent you trust, you're ready to head off on a grand adventure. Touring homes with an eye toward a purchase can be fun and exhilarating if you approach it the right way. Good luck!


Interested in learning more? Visit www.lexingtonresidences.com for more information.


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Kristin Brown

Kristin Brown is a realtor for Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Lexington, MA. As a lifelong Lexington resident, Kristin has deep local roots. She has served Lexington and the surrounding communities for eight years, working with buyers, sellers and developers. She is 110-percent committed to achieve all of her clients expectations. Kristin graduated for the University of Massachusetts and is a member of the Greater Boston Real Estate Board, MAR, NAR, MLS-PIN, Women's Council of Realtors, and a recipient of The International Elite Award.


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