Home Buying - Showing Etiquette
House hunting can be very fun and exciting. When shopping for a new house, it is important to try and imagine yourself living there. Although, you need to remember to not get too excited or too comfortable in someone else’s house since you do not own it yet. Here are 10 quick things to remember when going into someone else’s home.
Arrive on time. Your agent will have booked and confirmed the appointment to see the house prior to arriving. Showings can be scheduled for 15 minutes to 2 hours. Most showings are scheduled for 30 minutes. If you think you may need more time, communicate that with your agent.
Take your shoes off. You may be asked to take your shoes off. Not every homeowner will request you remove your shoes. This will most likely be requested ahead of time to your agent. It is always smart to wear shoes that do not have to be laced up a lot since there may not be a place to sit by the door. Shoes that can be slid on and off are best in these instances.
Ask questions. It is very important to ask questions while walking through the house so you do not forget. Although, it is important to watch what you say while in someone else’s house. With all the new technology that exists within homes these days, you never know who is watching and listening. It is perfectly okay to ask questions about the actual house. It is not a good idea to make comments about the people in photos, things you may see in closets and drawers, or any bad decor or design. If you do have a comment or question you are not sure you should say inside the house, wait until you get outside and to ask your agent.
What can we touch? It is important to see if things are in working order when walking through a house. It is okay to open or touch:
Kitchen or bathroom cabinets and drawers
All closets or pantry doors
Appliances if they are staying in the house
It is not okay to open or touch:
Laundry bins or baskets
Office desks or drawers
It is very important to be respectful of peoples home. It is better to be more hands off during the showing in order to be respectful. If you do end up submitting a purchase agreement for that house, you will bring in an inspector that will open and check everything during their inspection to make sure nothing gets missed.
Do not use the bathroom. While in someone else’s home for a showing, it is not okay to use the bathroom. You are only there to look at the house, not to use any part of the house. A home inspector will check the plumbing to make sure everything is working properly during their inspection.
Do not bring food or drinks into the house. You never know when an accidental spill will happen. It’s best to just avoid the problem and keep all your food and drinks in the car.
No pets. Do not ever bring your pets into someone else’s house during a showing. You cannot always control what your pets do. It would be very bad if your pet had an accident in the house or ruined something by chewing on it.
Do not take photos. While in someone else’s house for a showing, you cannot take photos or videos. The only photos you are allowed to have/see, are the photos the agent posted online in the listing. There have been issues in recent years of people taking photos in someone else’s house and then posting them online. This is a problem for privacy reasons. Plus, you wouldn’t want to not get the house you want because the homeowners are mad at you.
Leave young children at home. Buying a house is a huge decision, and it’s best that you are able to focus on looking at the house. Kids are not allowed to run around or touch things during a showing. If your kids are young, it may be best to get a babysitter while you are looking at houses.
Do not ask to see a house last minute. Most occupied homes need to have the showing request in 2-24 hours before you want to see it. Your agent will send in the showing request and then wait to hear back from the sellers agent or homeowner on whether the appointment is confirmed or not.
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