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5 Things Home Buyers Need to Stay Out of When Viewing Homes

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Associates RS - 0019092

When searching for a new home, it is crucial to thoroughly inspect every aspect of the property you intend to purchase. However, there are certain areas that are not within your purview as a potential buyer when touring a seller's residence. It is important to respect the seller's privacy and avoid prying into personal belongings or areas that are off-limits. By focusing on the features and amenities that are relevant to your needs and preferences, you can make an informed decision about whether the property is the right fit for you. Remember, a respectful and professional approach is key when navigating the home-buying process.

To avoid any potential embarrassment or invasion of privacy, it is advisable to exercise common sense when exploring a property. However, for those who may be tempted to snoop, here are five things that should not be opened, looked into, or examined when viewing a house for purchase. Not only will this information prevent any awkward situations, but it may also provide some amusement for those who would never dream of snooping.


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The medicine cabinet

A medicine cabinet is usually a fixture in a house and is therefore included in the sale. However, it is not necessary to scrutinize it closely as they are all quite similar. While some homeowners may remove personal items and leave only toothpaste, face cream, and body lotion, others may not. It is possible that there may be medications or other personal items in the cabinet that the seller would prefer to keep private. Therefore, it is best to refrain from snooping. 



Dressers and wardrobes

It's also important to respect the homeowner's privacy and refrain from opening dresser drawers or free-standing wardrobes. These items are typically considered furniture and are not included in the sale. Who knows, they may even be hiding items they don't want you to see in there! 


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The toy box

If the homeowner has children, it's highly likely that there will be toys scattered around the house. Ideally, the owner should ensure that these toys are neatly stored away in a toy box or closet when the house is being shown. Unless you're a kid at heart or a toy collector, these toys may not pique your interest. However, if you're bringing your kids along to see the house, they may be fascinated by them! Children's toys are their prized possessions, and they may not appreciate strangers coming into their home and touching them. Therefore, it's crucial to keep an eye on your children and ensure that they don't treat the house like a visit to a toy store.



The fridge (unless transferring with house)

This issue can be a bit ambiguous. If the refrigerator is part of the home sale, you are entitled to inspect it. However, if it is not included (which is not always the case), it is not appropriate to scrutinize the contents, whether it be leftover food or the type of beer they prefer. As tempting as it may be to indulge in a cold slice of pizza and a beer, it is best to refrain from doing so.


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Their mail

It is important to remember that as a potential buyer, it is not appropriate to take a glance at the mail, let alone shuffle through it. Doing so could lead to a violation of the owner's privacy and could potentially reveal sensitive information that they would not want to disclose.

Posted by


Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Christopher Pataki - It is the real etate agent who is showing properties to address all these great tips you suggest. I am a stickler for that when working with buyers and informing sellers about items that need to be addressed before it goes on the market. 

Mar 08, 2023 07:49 AM
Sean Gilliam
LoKation Real Estate - Longmont, CO
Real Estate on the Front Range

Great points.  Most of my buyers have respected a seller's privacy without having to be told, or a family member did so before I had to.  However, once in a while I have to gently remind a buyer that they don't need to look into the seller's personal possessions when evaluating a house.  

Mar 08, 2023 09:16 AM
Paddy Deighan MBA JD PhD
http://www.medicalandspaconsulting.com - Vail, CO
Paddy Deighan J.D. Ph.D

These are all or should be common sense but human tendencies are to snoop … I wonder which oft he 5 is violate mist frequently ? Fridge or the medicine cabinet?

Mar 08, 2023 07:40 PM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Those who bring children with them when viewing homes have a responsibility to keep those kids out of things - not just the toy box, but everything!

Mar 08, 2023 09:10 PM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Yes these are all good tips for buyers/agents to keep in mind!

Mar 09, 2023 05:02 AM
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

Informative!  Never thought about the fridge--agree, if it is staying, OK to open it up!

Mar 09, 2023 08:55 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Great tips even though you'd think that common sense would prevail. It's a good practice for agents to review these "stay out of" areas with their buyers. 

Mar 09, 2023 07:57 PM
Charles Ross - eXp Realty LLC
eXp Realty LLC Salina Group - Salina, KS
Love To Help People

Excellent  Information. Thank you for sharing. Have a wonderful day and a blessed weekend.

Mar 10, 2023 01:35 AM
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

Keeping an eye on the kids can be tough, 

Mar 10, 2023 12:25 PM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Your post reminds me of the time I called the seller's agent to get permission to look in the attic to see which way the trusses were running!  We ended up being the winning bidder out of 5 offers in 2018!

Mar 10, 2023 01:03 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Mar 11, 2023 06:31 PM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Christopher - uh oh - common sense.   And many think including a discussion involving mathematics can become confusing.  

Mar 12, 2023 05:53 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Good morning, Christopher... sounds like common sense doesn't it? Sadly common sense is not so common. Never understood why people think that when someone is showing their home it's an invitation to be intrusive.

Mar 12, 2023 06:01 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Christopher. Great points and when I have to consistently ask a potential buyer not to break the rules, sometimes you have to break the relationship. Enjoy your day.

Mar 12, 2023 06:04 AM
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
The Grit and Gratitude Agent

Common sense behaviors of respect, but again not so common.

Mar 12, 2023 07:52 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Good tips, Christopher. And while this should be common sense it's probably not and so it needs to be said.


Mar 12, 2023 02:53 PM