Touring various properties can be a stressful experience. Not only is it overwhelming to visit a multitude of open houses in one day, but it can also be intimidating to set foot in someone else’s home while they are still actively living there—even if it is staged. It goes without saying that you are expected to treat every home with respect, but you might be wondering exactly what is and isn’t appropriate when inspecting a potential home you might choose to invest in. Here’s what you should and shouldn’t do when visiting a property.
Do: Wear comfortable and appropriate clothing.
Open houses are those unusual types of events that fall somewhere on the spectrum between formal and informal, which means that plenty of homebuyers are left uncertain about how to dress for the occasion. It’s reasonable to assume that most sellers expect their guests to be dressed in an appropriate style (maybe skip the sweatpants), but they also don’t expect you to waltz in with a designer suit, either. You don’t need to be dressed to the nines to showcase your professionalism and respectability. Just aim for the classier side of casual.
Don’t: Show up unprepared.
It’s normal and expected for tour guests to have questions. If you’re unsure how to arrange your game plan, bring your real estate agent along with you—it’s their job to help you stay on track. While some people prefer to leave their agent behind and peruse their potential homes themselves, it’s inadvisable. Your agent will notice discrepancies you won’t, ask the right questions and put you at ease. What’s more, if you get easily distracted, they’ll help you focus so the current owner or listing agent isn’t annoyed.
Do: Get down to business.
Although a certain level of friendly camaraderie is to be expected between the guest, the agent, and the seller, most homeowners don’t like to be engaged in small talk. Focus on the property and don’t get caught off guard. Review each room with a keen, scrutinizing eye, and don’t forget to bring your tape measure if the square footage is important to you.
Don’t: Be impolite.
This goes without saying. If the home turns out to be not quite what you expected, or you notice serious repair issues that make you want to throw in the towel, you should still show respect and kindness to your host. They’re taking an afternoon out of their weekend to showcase their home, which can be a tedious and frustrating process. Be kind, smile and move on to the next property.