Open House Do's and Don'ts
- Yelaine Suarez
- Real Estate Tips
If you are currently in the process of buying a home or thinking about purchasing in the near future, you will most likely be going to many open houses on the weekends. While this is often a fun experience, seeing too many homes or too few can make it difficult to find the right home for you; not knowing how to properly attend an open house, can too. Keep reading for Do's and Don'ts and general etiquette that can help you efficiently navigate through an open house.
- Research beforehand: newspapers, driving around neighborhoods you like, and online searches can help.
- Tour the neighborhood at different times of day and different days of the week to get the full scope of what living in the neighborhood will be like.
- Walk in without knocking or ringing the doorbell (unless there's a sign stating otherwise). If there is an open house sign out front, they're expecting you.
- Call out “hello” if no one is in the front to greet you upon walking in.
- Be sure to sign in/register upon walking in; its common courtesy. If you don't want to be contacted by the realtor in the future, simply state that you are already working with an agent.
- Take an information sheet- it will contain all the stats on the property such as; year built, square footage, etc., that you will want to have when you are comparing the properties you are interested in.
- Take a picture of the outside of each home you visit, and keep the pictures in order of viewing.
- Take notes on the information sheet or bring a notepad so you can remember how you felt about the home while you were in it.
- Freely ask about school/the community, you want to make sure the home you purchase is in an area that you enjoy and feel comfortable living in.
- Tell the Real Estate Agent if you spot something like mold or mildew—they appreciate the constructive feedback.
- Have a pre-approval in hand. It is a testament to your seriousness as a buyer. See our previous blog for all you need to know about the pre-approval process.
- Wear comfortable clothes and shoes, you never know how long you'll be at an open house or if you happen to drive past another one that might interest you.
- Don't open drawers and cabinets or touch personal items—the seller is generally not in the open house, but for the time being, it is still their home, so respect their privacy.
- Don't say negative or critical comments out loud
- Don't take pictures of the inside of the home—refer to don't #1
- Don't leave your shoes on if it's raining outside—remove your wet and muddy shoes.
- Don't dismiss the Real Estate Agent. If you are just looking, or working with another agent, it's okay to just state it.
- Don't bring your children with you. But if you must keep them at your side and make sure they know not to touch personal belongings.
- Don't be afraid to ask the Real Estate Agent pressing questions, you won't offend them, they're expecting it.
- Don't bring your pets—we love your pets—but the homeowner might not.
- Don't bring food and drinks from the outside into the home. If the Real Estate Agents have set out refreshments, feel free to enjoy!
- Don't be closed minded, think outside the box. Some homes are staged for open houses, but most aren't. Décor can change the look of the home, so try to look past this, and just see the structure/layout. A simple change of carpet and adding your own personal touches in décor can make it look like a brand new home.
It's important to weigh all your options, take a look at as many homes as you feel you need to until you find “the one” be advised though, after a dozen or so you will start to get confused and having the notes you took while in the homes will allow you to look back and remember which home had what, with ease. Happy house hunting!