Dos and Don'ts - open house tips for home buyersInventory is low, and home buyers are swarming open houses. Today I want to provide some open house tips for home buyers so that you don’t damage your odds of success should you want to write an offer on it later.

When visiting the open house, the listing agent may be assessing you while you are assessing the house. Visitors who are rude, combative, or inconsiderate – or perceived as such – may be at a disadvantage when offers are reviewed.  So are those who seem very unsure about the property. Be sure to present yourself as polite and considerate and interested in the home. It can make a difference!

Open house tips: what to do:

  1. Do tell the open house host if you are working with a Realtor, and share the name (or card, if you have it).
  2. If the listing agent or open house host has a sign in sheet, you can fill it in with your first names and then the rest can be your Realtor’s name and contact info.
  3. Do be polite with the agent and regarding the house or condo.
  4. If there are shoe covers provided, either use them, remove your shoes, or ask if you need to wear them at the very least.
  5. Do keep your children with you at all times.
  6. Please speak in normal or quiet tone of voice.
  7. Do keep a good amount of space between yourself or your group and other visitors or the open house host.

Open house tips: what not to do:

  1. Do not ask the open house host for the disclosures if you have your own agent. The open house host will think that if you write the offer, you’ll be writing it with him or her. If you later show up with a different Realtor, this behavior can put you at a disadvantage.
  2. Do not walk through the house and loudly criticize the home or yard or area. Make notes of concerns, take photos discretely, and share them with your agent.
  3. Do not let your kids go through the house or yard where you cannot see or manage their behavior.
  4. Do not open cabinets or drawers that are not being sold with the house. Those are the sellers’ personal property.
  5. Do not bring pets into the open house, even if you plan to hold the animal.
  6. Do not bring food into the open house.
  7. Do not dominate the listing agent’s time. He or she must try to be available to everyone at the open house.
  8. If your car leaks oil, please do not park in the driveway.
  9. Do not use the bathroom. (If there is some sort of emergency, ask.)
  10. Do not use (or let your kids use) any toys, play equipment, etc.
  11. Don’t turn lights off or on (same with fans, heat, air conditioning, television, audio systems, spa, or any appliances)
  12. Ask before video photographing or video taping. Some sellers have requested that visitors do not take photos or videos. (Most are ok, but it is best to ask and not assume.)

As a general rule, behave as you would a guest in someone’s home. When in doubt, ask the listing agent if something is OK or not.

While these tips may seem like common sense, lately we’ve had some open house events at our listings and realized that it may not be common sense to everyone.


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