Top 7 Etiquette for Visiting an Open House
Top 7 Etiquette for Visiting an Open House
In most areas, visiting an open house can be considered a leisure activity for a number of people. However, regardless of whether you are a legitimate house hunter or you are just interested in checking out these properties to entertain yourself or satisfy your curiosity, the need to learn about rules and proper etiquettes is important before waltzing into every open house.
Here are some reminders to help you have a productive house hunting experience while you are in an open house visitation:
1. Arriving at the House
Really, an open house wouldn’t be identified as an “open” house if everyone wasn’t welcome to just walk in. Whether you are a neighbor, someone who admires the house and just wants to see what it looks inside, you are still allowed to enter and observe. Afterall, seeing the actual property can make anyone change his/her mind even if he/she initially doesn’t have any plans of buying. Besides, your feedback and connections are also important to the agent who is selling this property and whether they can assist you.
Another thing: As long as the property is listed as an “open house”, there’s no need for you to knock or ring the bell before stepping in, well unless you find a note saying otherwise.
Expect also that you will not be the only person who will be inside the property. There’s the listing agent, the buyers’ agents, homebuyers, the seller, and other interested parties, so be considerate of these groups while you are inside. For instance, if you see that the listing agents are talking with someone, just approach them in a way you’ll be acknowledged as someone who just arrived. Afterwards, if you don’t have an agent of your own with you, just do some self-guided tour and wait until you get the chance to talk to the listing agents, in case you have queries. Lastly, be punctual and respect the time that has been set for the open house.
2. Ask Relevant Questions about the Property
There’s no harm in asking, as it’s a great way to uncover the truth. You’d also get to see the agent's reactions and a feel for whether they’re being honest or not. Above all, the listing agents are there so they can guide you in case you have anything to clarify and ask about.
Just a little reminder though: Only ask relevant questions and always, always be polite to the hosts of the open house.
3. Focusing on the Property
Most open houses only take less than an hour, so be ready to immediately get down to business. Take down notes as you observe and walk through the house, and also avoid overdoing things that are no longer necessary.
Moreso, don’t wear disturbing and too much fashionable clothes. Remember, you are there to just check out the property. Just wear an appropriate and comfortable clothes, and you will be fine.
Don’t bring your children and/or pets as well if you seriously want to focus on having a proficient house hunting experience.
4. Respecting Privacy
First off, don’t park in the owner or a neighbor’s driveway.
You might also need to remove your footwear if you saw that there is a floormat in the front door. Just ask first if it’s alright to enter with your shoes on instead of assuming. Basically, always ask permission first before you do anything such as capturing photos and videos, opening cabinets and closets, and mostly touching personal belongings.
5. Holding the Criticisms Until Your Opinion is Asked
Nobody wants to receive any negative feedback if others – especially those that they’re trying to impress – can hear it, right? Be careful at what you’d say during your tour, as it can all affect those who are around you. If you dislike anything inside the house, just keep it first to yourself and don’t show off any emotions. Again, be polite and considerate.
In some cases though, the agents may ask for feedback. Take this opportunity to give them your insights, so they can still fix and improve whatever it is as soon as possible.
6. Listening to Other Homebuyers
Although you were holding your own thoughts while at it, some buyers just couldn’t. Whether it’s positive or negative, listening to their reactions might help you with your observation. Who knows? They might be more knowledgeable than you are in terms of the neighborhood and the property itself., Thus, grab the chance to engage them in a conversation and learn from what they have to say.
7. Listing Your Name on the Sheet
A lot of strangers will be entering an open house and you can help the sellers as well as the listing agents in tracking them by listing your name on the sheet that might be provided. This is not just for emergency purposes, but they can also call you for updates and other properties that you might be interested in. However, of course, you can opt not to leave your contact number if you don’t want any of them to call you. You can just leave a note that you don’t want to be contacted too.