Whether you are a first-time home-buyer or a current homeowner looking to trade up or downsize, you will likely be attending some open houses during your search for your next home. Regardless of how many times you’ve purchased, there are always things that homebuyers miss when they’re touring prospective properties.

We reached out to our RE/MAX Influencers – a panel of RE/MAX sales associates across Canada – to take stock of the top things home hunters should do and look for when viewing a property.

Slow down & take your time

Buying a house is your biggest investment, so why wouldn’t you want to slow down and take your time when viewing a property? Our Influencers noted that often times, people miss details such as whether or not the garage is big enough, how much sun exposure the house gets during the daytime and what sorts of repair and maintenance is going to be required to maintain and upkeep the property (such as the size of the yard and the condition of the roof). Another important point to keep in mind is to check both the inside and the outside of the home.

Upgrades & Wants vs. Needs

Upgrades are a huge factor to keep in mind when shopping for your dream home. It is a lot easier (and cheaper!) to re-paint the walls or replace cabinet hardware in the kitchen and bathroom than it is to re-work the floor plan of the house.

“Are the rooms big enough (with storage) to fit your belongings in? Will the property require any renovations or repairs to get it to the standard you want? Does it have everything you want, as well as what you need?” says Justin Havre & Associates, RE/MAX First, Calgary, AB.

Cosmetic upgrades can be easily done and are relatively low in cost, while major upgrades such as renovations or re-designing the floor plan can very quickly add up in cost.

Go back and take a second look

One of the most important things to remember is that it’s a good idea to go back and take a second look at a property you viewed and liked. There is a lot to take in when viewing a home, so revisiting the property and having another look around is always a good idea. It not only lets you get a second feel for the space, you might also notice something that you didn’t see before.

Don’t be afraid to ask.

“Clients often avoid asking their agent questions for fear of ‘bothering’ them. They need to know that they matter and that we are here to accompany them in their buying process, so that they know they aren’t out there on their own,” according to RE/MAX Select Properties in Vancouver, BC.

Your realtor’s top priority is to find you the perfect home and they will be with you every step of the way. Never feel that you are inconveniencing your realtor by asking them questions, they are there to support you and help you navigate through every step in the home buying process.

For more articles from our expert influencers, click here.