When you’re looking at houses it’s important to take a really good look at every inch of the house you’re going to buy. But there are some things you have no business looking at when you’re looking around a seller’s home.
You could probably use common sense to figure out what you shouldn’t be snooping around in by thinking about whether you’d be embarrassed if the owner caught you snooping. But just to make sure—and for a laugh for those of you who’d never dare snoop—let’s take a look at 5 things you shouldn’t open, look in, or look at when looking at a house to buy:
1) The medicine cabinet
While a medicine cabinet is typically affixed to the house, and therefore something that is part of the sale, there’s not much need to carefully inspect it. If you’ve seen one, you’ve pretty much seen them all. Some owners might “depersonalize” it and leave nothing but the toothpaste, face cream, and body lotion, but many often don’t. There could easily be medications or personal items in there that a seller wouldn’t want you seeing. So, no peeking.
2) Dressers and wardrobes
Taking a look inside the bedroom closets is totally acceptable, and owners expect people will be taking a peek inside of them, so they most likely hide anything they don’t want you seeing. That said, “peek” is the key word; don’t go browsing through their clothes or trying on a pair of shoes. Just get a sense of how much of your stuff it’ll hold if you buy the place. But don’t open their dresser drawers or open up a free-standing wardrobe. Those are furniture, and typically aren’t included in the sale. It’s probably where they hid all the stuff they took out of the closet that they don’t want you seeing!
3) The toy box
If the homeowner has children, there’s a good chance there are toys in the house. Ideally the owner is able to put them away neatly in a toy box or closet when the house is being shown. Unless you’re a kid at heart, or a huge toy collector, those probably won’t be something you’ll have any interest in. But if you have kids and they’ve come along to see the house, there’s a good chance they’ll be interested in them! A kid’s toys are their prized possessions, and they probably don’t want a stranger coming into their home and touching them. So make sure you keep an eye on your children and don’t let them treat the house like a visit to Toys ‘R’ Us.
4) The fridge (if it’s not included…)
This one is a bit of a gray area. If the fridge is included in the sale of the home, you do have the right to check it out. But if it’s not included (and they aren’t always included) you shouldn’t be sizing up their leftovers, or whether they drink Budweiser or IPA’s, no matter how appealing a slice of cold pizza and a beer sounds at the moment.
5) Their mail
Sellers shouldn’t be leaving a pile of mail out in the open when their house is on the market, but sometimes it’s just a habit and people don’t think to stash it somewhere out of sight. That doesn’t mean you should take a glance at it, let alone shuffle through it, to get a feel for who they are or what’s going on in their life. There could easily be evidence of legal, medical, or personal issues the owner wouldn’t care for you to know about.
But you should look at houses with us! Kevin and Jennifer Hanley, REALTORs The Hanley Home Team of Keller Williams Realty 904-515-2700 HanleyHomeTeam.com