Now that winter is subsiding it is time for sellers to start holding open houses. When you are looking to buy a new home, attending an open house is a great way to help you narrow down your search. Seeing a house in photos is one thing, but getting a feel for it is another. Sometimes trying to find the perfect time to schedule an appointment with your agent and the homeowner can be tough. Take advantage of open houses in the area you are looking to purchase a home in, even if it isn’t the exact one you want to look at. It will help you get a feel for the neighborhood and other comparable homes in the area.
Appearances -As important as looking at the home is too you, you don’t have to dress up too fancy for the occasion. Wear comfortable clothes because hopefully, you can schedule more than one home visit for the day. Not only do you want to feel comfortable for walking and driving around, you also don’t want to come on too strong to the seller. Make sure you keep your cool. Ask poignant questions but don’t give too much away about yourself.
Staged Houses – A lot of sellers these days are getting very savvy with staging. There are a lot of professional companies that can come in and perfectly set up a home to attract potential buyers. Make sure you are very careful about what you sit or lean against. Make sure a sofa is really a sofa, or a bed is really a bed. It won’t hurt to ask the host if you can sit down or try out items in the home. Also remember that it is still someones home. You can look around and poke your head into closets and spaces but don’t rummage through other peoples belongings too much. There is a fine line between looking for yourself and snooping.
Focus – Remember you are there to look at the entire property. Be polite to the host and ask to walk around the outside of the house as well as the inside. Also ask for permission to take photos of the home and outside before you do so. This may seem like common courtesy, but nowadays, you never want to take it for granted. Being polite and asking will provide a memorable experience for the host, especially if it comes down to multiple buyers with the same offer. You want to stick out to the seller for all the good reasons.
These are just a few tips on open house etiquette. The person selling the house is eager to have potential buyers come and see the property but remember that it is still their home. Make sure you wipe your feet, don’t leave trash behind, and treat the property the way you would want your house to be treated if it was being shown.