Buyer Etiquette: Dos And Don'ts Of Touring An Open House

Attending an open house can be a great way to explore a local home for sale without the commitment of scheduling an official showing with the seller's real estate agent. On the other hand, there are some important etiquette tips to keep in mind when touring an open house if you're in the market to buy. By following these basic dos and don'ts, you can show the sellers the same respect you'd want if you were in their shoes.

DO Remove Your Shoes

Speaking of shoes, the first rule of touring homes for sale is to remove yours every time you set foot inside another person's home. This is especially important if the house is carpeted, but it's also a basic showing of respect to remove your shoes even if there's a more durable and stain-resistant flooring (like hardwood or tile) when you walk in. More than likely, the sellers have deep cleaned their home in preparation for this open house, and they will appreciate not having mud and dirt tracked through their freshly staged property.

DON'T Take Photos Without Permission

You may be planning on taking photos during your visit as a means of better remembering the details of the home. Before you start snapping away, however, check in with the seller's real estate agent (he or she should be present at the open house) to make sure this is okay. Some sellers will request that no photos be taken of their home for security reasons, and these wishes should be respected.

DO Close Exterior Gates and Doors

If you open any exterior doors or gates while touring the open house, be sure to close them behind you. You never know if the current owners might have pets that could escape an open door or gate, and it's common courtesy regardless.

DON'T Snoop Around

While it's expected that you'll want to peek inside the home's closets to check out the space, be respectful of the current owner's privacy in the process. Don't go peering into drawers or other places you wouldn't want strangers looking if you were showing your home.

A little bit of foresight and courtesy can go a long way when touring an open house, and following these basic etiquette tips is a great way to avoid upsetting a seller. From there, should you go on to make an offer on the home, your relationship can start off on the right foot. For more information on real estate for sale near you, contact your local realty team.