Attending multiple viewings is part of the natural course of finding the home of your dreams, but the wrong viewing etiquette could ruin your chances at open property tours
That’s why at JustinHavre.com we prepared an overview of the accustomed etiquette for inexperienced first-time homebuyers to learn. We talk about property, money, and sales, but the one thing that drives it all is basic human behavior. Realtors, sellers, we all need the right etiquette and viewing manner for deals to happen smoothly.
Those behind the sale will always try to win your sympathy, comfort, and goodwill, as that’s half of the magic. After all, it’s what professionals aim to persuade a prospect and close the deal, right?
However, buyers have to follow etiquette, too. Imagine you’re one of a dozen of prospect buyers. Who do you think will get the news first? Well, there’s no definitive rule about that, so it comes down to the impression you made at the open house viewing.
Are there rules to this? Yes, there are. We call these the house viewing etiquette, and it’s a must for both realtors and property buyers.
So, what are the must-know tips when attending a viewing?
Arrive at the address on time
There’s a reason for scheduling house viewing well in advance.
The realtor assigned to the property or his assistant is following a plan. Open viewings are meant for multiple people to attend, and being late will only worsen your chances of being the one to purchase, not to mention being respectful of your temporary host.
Attest your Manners
When entering the property, always present yourself in a polite and respectful manner. Just stay away from a pompous attitude. Stay humble and show your courtesy to others attending the house viewing.
Mind your Hygiene
The property owner would have surely taken the time to declutter and prep the property. It would be a sign of disrespect to bring food, drinks, or make a mess.
Leave Shoes On
When entering another property as a prospective buyer, get ready for using a pair of overshoes as it’s inappropriate to enter the home of another person as if it is yours. It’s part of realtor protocol to provide a pair for you to use.
Also, many nationalities follow traditions that you would offend if walking without your shoes on.
Keep Your Family Home
More often than not, the entire family has a great deal of involvement in buying a property, but bringing everybody on board for an open house viewing is a no-no. The same applies to kids and pets as having either could cause an unnecessary commotion and displease the estate agent or owner on site.
Ask for Permission when Due
Viewings are “open”, but that doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want.
You might want to look around, open doors, cupboards, drawers, or simply touch or relocate furnishing, but not without the explicit permission of the person in charge of the viewing.
The same applies to visiting the bathroom and sitting down on sofas, couches, etc.
Are Pictures Allowed
While most estate agents wouldn’t, the property owner would. That’s why you should always ask first before taking photos of the abode or you risk out-stepping privacy and ruining your profile.
Keep Badd Feedback to Yourself
The house viewing etiquette puts respect to the seller or owner first.
Any form of attacking comments about decoration, furnishing, or exterior red flags can worsen your chances of buying a property.
One, this is a sure sign of poor manners, or worse, lack of respect. Two, the realtor or landlord could consider such comments as an indication of bargaining, or worse, any of the “we buy any house” signs of scammers.
Neither does you any good.
Handpick Your Questions
Keeping negative comments for yourself doesn’t mean that they forbid relevant and meaningful questions, too. However, you better have those well in advance.
Interior and renovation experts Home Reno Guru advise you to do homework well in advance. Be it details on the electrical installation, plumbing systems, energy consumption, insulation, pests, make sure to prep those prior to attending the open house viewing, as you’re surely not the single person having questions.
Schedule Subsequent Inspections After the Viewing
Do you want to explore the basement? Or maybe the attic?
Well, an open house viewing is not the best time for either. If you want to inspect areas or particular aspects of the property, take notes, and call your estate agent to arrange another visit.
Mind the Clock
If you want to see everything that interests you, know that you’re not visiting a museum. Usually, open house viewings would have a strict time frame, and overstep is likely not an option.
Prep a list of areas or details you want to inspect prior to attending the open house viewing, so you don’t wander around.
Should You Bring Something
According to etiquette and manners guide Joel Flynn, there a few things you should definitely bring along:
- Your charming smile and friendly mentality
- Elegant yet formal clothing;
- Overshoes to impress your host;
- A notebook so you don’t trust your memory;
- A complimentary present for the host.
House Viewing Etiquette
Stick to the handful of simple tips in this guide and rest assured that you will be recognized as a perfect buyer. And what does that mean? That you can gain a fair advantage over other buyers by simply having good manners well before you write your home purchase offer.