You’re ready to buy a home and are on to the fun part of your search, touring houses. Whether at an Open House event, or viewing through a private appointment with your agent, there are steps of etiquette which as a buyer, it’s important to follow. While common sense tells us to be respectful of privacy and polite, your actions and words can have an impact on whether or not your offer is accepted. Following positive open house etiquette advice could make a difference.
Be on time. Follow the open house posted hours. Don’t arrive an hour early hoping to beat the crowd, and don’t show after the event is over. The time set for an open house allows for the seller agent to be there prior to the start, and for the owners to vacate for the time. Hangers-on aren’t typically welcome. If you have a private appointment, punctuality is crucial as it shows your genuine interest in a property and extends a feeling of mutual respect. If you arrive 30 minutes late, not only could you miss your time-slot completely, you won’t leave a positive first impression either.
Be respectful of the property. As a home buyer you’re expected to open cupboards and closets, just do so without making a fuss on what you may find. If medication wasn’t removed, it’s better to leave them be instead of letting curiosity get the better of you. If the weather is bad, hopefully the owners have a place to keep muddy shoes and wet coats. If there isn’t a specific place, remove our shoes before entering anyway; you can ask to place them on the porch, or perhaps inside the garage while you look around.
Take a practical approach. If at all possible, leave the kids with a sitter, especially if they are young. Little ones can be distracting for you and others. The same applies for your furry friend. Just because you see an open house while walking the dog doesn’t mean your pet should come with you. Help avoid a bad mood by allowing yourself plenty of time for open house tours; make a day of it instead of trying to squeeze in one more thing before another appointment, and wear comfortable clothes and shoes, you’ll be happier for it in the end.
It’s OK to ask questions, politely. Sure, you can ask if all appliances are included in a listing, or if the chimney has been cleaned recently. The key is to keep it simple and polite. Ask if there are any pending offers, but don’t ask which one the seller is favoring. Ask if the roof needs to be replaced, but don’t criticize if it does. Ask if the current owners have had issues with the neighborhood, but don’t tell them your own tales of woe. Focus on the important things you need to know about a property in a polite and succinct way, then move on. If you’re serious about making an offer on a home, take the seller agent’s card and have your Realtor® contact them to get the process started.
Following some basic Open House Etiquette guidelines can help you have an enjoyable experience as you search for a home. For more ideas to consider, check out this article published by HGTV, and be happy house-hunting. When you’re ready to buy or sell a home, you want to work with a Realtor® who keeps their client’s interests and needs in mind. We’re ready to put our expertise to work for you. Learn more at our website, DriscollProperty.com, then contact the Driscoll Properties Team at 847-533-6786 to help you discover the home of your dreams.