You would think that it is common sense as to how you should behave when you are house hunting. After all, treating other people and their property with respect seems to be the most normal thing in the world. Realtors come across the strangest things when it comes to showing homes. What are some of the most common house buying etiquettes?
1. Be Polite
When you visit an open house, you will most likely be greeted by a real estate agent. Be polite, introduce yourself and, if requested, sign in. No matter if you are just there out of curiosity or if you are seriously in the market to purchase a home, realtors like to know who was at their event. Be honest and don’t sign as Angelina Jolie….you may look more like Jennifer Anniston.
2. Wipe Your Feet or Better Yet, Take Off Your Shoes
When you enter someone else’s home, please wipe your feet. No need to trace dirt all over the house, especially when someone is trying to make it look in pristine shape in order to sell the property. Take your shoes off if requested, and most certainly use the shoe covers if they are provided.
3. No Snooping
Whatever you do, do not nose through somebody’s private property. Don’t open drawers or cabinets. Closed doors are not to be opened without explicit permission. This is also for your own protection. Who knows which closet the skeleton is in!
Make sure to ask permission if you want to take some pictures or make a video. It may just be for yourself to refer back to when you are home, but often houses that are on the market still have personal belongings in them. Don’t accidentally help the owners get rid of their valuables when you post those beautiful pictures of the house you want to buy on your public Facebook page.
5. Keep Design Ideas to Yourself
You may consider yourself the new Joanna Gaines when it comes to seeing the potential of a home. But even when you have the grandest ideas about style and decor, please keep less than positive comments to yourself.
6. Kids or Dogs
If at all possible, leave your brood with a sitter. Not only is there just too much risk that your little rascals may have an ‘oops’, it’s also incredibly distracting for yourself when you have to constantly watch your youngest who is trying to climb the curtains. When it comes to pets, it should be obvious that a dog is not welcome when you go out to view somebody’s house.
Do not eat things out of the fridge when you are looking at a home. As unbelievable as it seems, it has happened! Even when it looks like those scrumptious smelling cookies on the counter are for grabs, the owner may very well have baked cookies for his or her own family.
8. Don’t Overstay
When you visit an open house it is not polite to overstay your welcome. When drinks and some appetizers are served, lingering too long in someone else’s house becomes awkward quickly.
If you are viewing a home with a friend or significant other, stay together. A realtor will try to stay with you to protect the property as well as you. If something in the house goes missing, it’s a lot simpler when you have viewed the house with your agent.
10. Security Cameras
Many houses have cameras on the property these days. Big brother is watching you, wherever you go. It can be a fancy system or as simple as a recording iPad on the table. Be aware of what you do, but also of what you say. Whatever you would not say face-to-face during a viewing should not be discussed inside the house or even on the front porch. There is a story of homeowners who recorded a visiting family with kids. The children decided it was a good idea to jump on the couch. Even though the family wanted to buy the house, no bid was high enough after that!
It is frowned upon to use the bathroom in a house that you are viewing. Even when you have been on the road all day, going from one open house to another, make sure to find a restroom before visiting a home. This is what Starbucks and McDonalds are perfect for!