Searching for homes and touring them can be an exiting time. Buying a new home is a new phase in your life and there's a great many things to consider.

Yet there's more to touring a home than just walking through it. There are factors to keep in mind to avoid making mistakes that could cost you. These are mistakes that could upset the seller and negatively affect the sale.  Here's a few ways you can stay on the seller's good side, while keeping focused on getting the most from your tour.

1. The fewer the better.

It's not a good idea to bring friends and relatives who are not involved in the actual purchase of the home to a showing. It will probably be more distracting than helpful to your decisions. They could also say or do things that will upset the seller. And you would also not want to bring small children, as they can also be distracting.

If you absolutely need to bring other people with you on a showing, ask your agent beforehand.

2. You're on candid camera.

You should always assume you're being watched during a showing, even when they've left the house. Many homes have surveillance cameras that can be easily monitored from a phone. You should expect that the seller wants to protect their home, as you would yours.

Sellers may also be able to hear what you say, so be careful about what you say, as it could affect your negotiations if you decide to buy the home. The seller may not even be using a camera to watch you.  Some will go next door and watch, or have neighbors watch for them.

3. No photography

It may be tempting to snap photos of a home you're looking at. But you need to remember that it's not your property. The listing agent has already taken photos that are approved by the seller. Those photos are carefully staged so as not to invade the seller's privacy. But as a buyer, you do not have that arrangement with the seller. Taking photos without permission on private property is not only bad form, but could be against state laws.

If the seller allows you to take photos, don't post on social media. You could hurt your negotiations and invade the seller's privacy. Wait until the house is yours and post all the photos your heart desires.

4. Use your imagination.

People have different tastes, so most homes you tour won't quite match your style.  That's why it's a good practice to imagine how things would look if you buy the home. Envision inexpensive ways to make the home yours.

Augmented reality (AR) apps on your phone are a great way to view walls in different colors, or view virtual furniture in a room. These tools are powerful ways to picture how the home would look if you buy it.

5. Don’t use the bathroom.

Would you want a bunch of strangers using your bathroom? It's fine to test fixtures and cabinets, but don't use the bathroom unless the seller says it's OK in advance.

Touring homes can be a fun and beneficial experience, as long as you mind your manners and show respect for the seller.

Join us on our blog every week for more great real estate advice, along with articles about the great reasons to buy a home in Baton Rouge. You can also search for your dream home now using our convenient home search tool. And make sure to follow us on Facebook for the latest real estate updates for Baton Rouge and the surrounding area.