Why You Should Try Out a Home Before You Buy It

Test-driving a house can help you gather important intel about its feasibility, neighbors and more.

Family discussing with their interior designer how to furnish their new apartment
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It turns out the neighbors heard them in the condo, and knowing the unit was vacant and possibly being burglarized, they called the police. The couple sorted out the issue with the police, and made an offer that night that was accepted the following evening, Gordon says.

"They wanted to buy immediately, knowing the neighbors would be concerned enough to call police," he says. "They loved that this community looked out for one another. It wasn't just an apartment building, but a group of neighbors and friends living near one another."

[Read: Renting vs. Buying a Home: Which Is Smarter?]

Spending the night in a home to check on the early morning noise of a nearby school bell, for instance, or the footsteps of upstairs neighbors, can seem like normal requests when compared to what real estate agent Suzanne O'Neil of Sarasota, Fla., experienced.

A psychic medium asked to stay overnight in a home that O'Neil was selling in Maine so she could communicate with the spirit's presence there and "feel the vibe of the house and get a feel for its ebb and flow," O'Neil says. "It's unusual, for sure," she says. "I do believe there are people who have a sixth sense, or can feel the ebb and flow."

The psychic spent the night and didn't buy the house, telling O'Neill she didn't like the ghost dog or the angry man upstairs. "I never had an issue with either of them," O'Neill says.

One person's noise disruptions – or even a ghost – could be nothing to another buyer. Non-psychics may have a hard time determining if a ghost is living in a house, but a sleepover could make loud neighbors in the unit above or a low-pressure shower easier to spot before taking the final step of buying a home.