When you tour a home that you’re interested in buying, it’s important to pay close attention to different factors — from the floor plan to systems that need to be replaced. However, there are certain things that you don’t need to check because they may distract you from what’s important.

Here’s a look at some things to ignore when touring a house. 

1. Staging and Furniture 

One mistake that some first-time homebuyers make during a house tour is paying too much attention to the staging and decor of the home. Staging refers to the presentation of a home during house tours, using furniture and decor to make the home aesthetically pleasing. 

According to the National Association of Realtors, staged homes sell three to 30 times faster than homes that are not staged. However, looks can be deceiving. The plush sofa, fancy sheets, and impressive artwork typically don’t come with the home. In some cases, staging can even be used to creatively hide or distract from flaws in the home.

2. Cosmetic Issues 

According to Kristen Conti, broker-owner at Peacock Premier Properties in Englewood, Florida, you should try to ignore minor cosmetic issues like paint color or dated carpeting.

“I cannot tell you the number of people who can’t see past such simple fixes,” Conti says. “Two years ago, buyers accepted any condition without requesting any repairs. Now they have become much more selective and to the point they want to move right in without doing anything. They oftentimes walk away from cosmetic repairs on an excellent value which I explain to them can be a big mistake.” 

Here’s are some potential cosmetic issues that aren’t worth worrying about.

Wallpaper and paint color

If you don’t like the wallpaper or paint color, you can change it when you move in. The average cost to repaint a home is around $900 to $3,000.


Don’t let old carpeting or chipped floor tiles become a deal breaker. Unless it’s a symptom of a bigger issue — such as cracked flooring, which can indicate foundation problems — old flooring can be fixed. Replacing it typically costs around $3,000.


The kitchen cabinets may be outdated for your taste. If you love the home but hate the kitchen cabinets, you can spend a few thousand dollars to replace them. 

Popcorn ceilings 

Popcorn ceilings have a bad reputation — primarily because they used to contain asbestos and can get dirty over time. However, if the ceiling was finished after 1978, it’s likely safe.

3. Appliances

While the condition of appliances is important, it doesn’t need to be a determining factor. A general rule of thumb is that the appliances that are physically attached to the home — like the oven, stove, and dishwasher — typically are part of the deal. It’s best to confirm with the seller what’s staying in the purchase offer, so you can leave room in your budget to buy the appliances you’ll need.

4. Sound Systems

Some homes have smart sound systems with speakers that play music during a house tour. Instead of focusing on flashy home sound systems, pay attention to how well the windows and walls insulate outside noise. 


Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about house tours.

Can I negotiate with the seller to have some of their belongings or furniture included in the purchase?

Yes. If there are pieces of furniture or art that fit perfectly in the home, you can ask for them to be included in the deal during negotiations.

Is it OK to take photos when viewing a house?

It’s typically acceptable for prospective buyers to take photos of the house — but it’s polite to ask for permission from the homeowner first. Also, be respectful of their privacy and avoid photographing personal items or posting the photos online.

Why should sellers not be home during showings?

While it’s ultimately up to the seller since they still own the home, Realtors often advise the seller to not be home during showings. Having the seller present can make potential buyers uncomfortable and feel like they’re invading the seller’s privacy.