Whether you’re a buyer looking for a home or an agent representing or acting as a communicator between two parties, there are a few unwritten rules on how to conduct yourself during a house viewing. Here are a few tips on house viewing etiquette to consider.
House Viewing Etiquette
If you are planning on purchasing a home, it is important to remember certain etiquette when going through the homes. So, if you are preparing for homeownership, consider the items below.
Arrive on Time
First impressions matter, so you want to start on the right foot with the listing broker or seller by arriving on time. The idea is to present yourself in a positive light as you may end up putting a bid on the house.
Take Your Shoes Off
While it may seem like common courtesy to take your shoes off at the door, some sellers may require that you take your shoes off before entering the house. A typical tell-tale sign that you should take your shoes off if there’s a pile of shoes on a rack inside the house or directly outside the door. If you’re not sure about taking your shoes off, just ask.
There’s no harm in asking relevant questions about the home. For instance, you want to find out about the surrounding community and neighborhood. It’s also acceptable to want to view items such as closets, bedroom doors, linen, closets and pantries but try to avoid any private areas. Often, sellers will have a written request for areas they do/don’t want to be viewed during house showings. Ultimately, if you end up going through with the sale, you’ll get a chance to view these areas during the inspection.
Don’t Use the Bathroom
Unless it’s an absolute emergency, you should avoid using the bathroom at the house viewing. Some sellers could be uncomfortable with buyers using their bathroom, especially if the house has been cleaned and is vacant. An instance when it would be appropriate to use the bathroom is if you’re really looking to buy a home and want to check the plumbing, for example.
Don’t Bring Food
It’s never polite to bring food to a house viewing. Food is also a bad idea because of food allergies. You never know if the seller or any subsequent viewers might have a food allergy (even to a smell), so you’re better off avoiding any food during the showing.
Don’t Negotiate While You’re in The Home
House showings are not the time to negotiate. Moreover, it’s not the time to pick out a flaw in the house. It’s advisable to wait until you’ve left to discuss your opinions and findings. The last thing you want is for a seller of agent to mark you as a buyer who wouldn’t get past inspection.
There are plenty of other pointers on house viewing etiquette to bear in mind. For instance, you want to avoid bringing your kids/pets to the initial house showing. Kids may require your undivided attention and may accidentally open or access areas you’re not meant to view. At the end of the day, it all boils down to first impressions.