When you visit an open house to further investigate a home that is for sale and that you're thinking about buying, it's important to respect the privacy of the current homeowner as much as possible. Sure, you'll be carefully inspecting each of the home's rooms, but you don't need to cross the line between looking at the home's features and invading the owner's privacy. There are some things that you should avoid opening — and others that you shouldn't be afraid to open. Here are some examples.
It might initially seem like a bit of an invasion of privacy to open the walk-in closet in the master bedroom and step inside. While this area is indeed filled with the owner's personal items, it's also fair game when the house is for sale. The owner knows that to truly evaluate the features within the master bedroom, prospective buyers will need to open the door to the walk-in closet and go inside. Keep in mind, however, that it's crossing the line to begin going through the owner's possessions; you're not buying them, so there's no need to look at them.
It's typically fair game to open anything that comes with the sale of the house, but you can draw the line checking out the inside of the medicine cabinet. While this accessory will stay on the wall when the owner moves out and thus become yours, it's a bit of an invasion of privacy to look inside. Remember, too, that medicine cabinets are pretty similar inside; all you'll see is a series of narrow shelves.
Opening the kitchen cupboards and drawers and perusing them isn't being snoopy — thoroughly checking out these areas is perfectly acceptable when you're contemplating buying the house. Any serious buyer will want to know about the available storage space inside the kitchen cupboards and drawers. This is especially true if the buyer is an avid food enthusiast who has a lot of kitchen items that will need to be stored in this area.
It's OK to check inside the home's refrigerator if the real estate listing has made it clear that this appliance will be included in the sale. It's not OK to snoop through the owner's food or help yourself to something, but if you want to evaluate the condition of the interior of the fridge and the amount of storage space it offers — especially if you currently have a fridge and you're wondering which one is better and thus worth keeping — you should feel free to do so. If the listing has specified that appliances aren't included in the sale, there's no reason for you to open the fridge.
Keep these things in mind when looking at homes for sale.