Open Home Etiquette – A Buyer’s Guide
Looking at photos, video and floor plans of a property can be entertaining, but it’s not nearly as useful (or fun!) as walking through the real thing. We recommend that buyers attend as many open homes as possible, so they can familiarise themselves with specific areas and get a feeling for property value before making a purchase decision.
If you’ve never attended an open home – or are confused about how they work – here are a few tips to help you get started.
- If the open home is advertised online, or there’s a sign at the front, you don’t need to knock or ring the doorbell. Walk right in!
- Kindly remove your shoes at the door – the owners have probably spent a whole day getting the house ready for viewing and this small act helps them keep their property clean and tidy.
- It is standard procedure for the agent to ask for your name and contact details.
- Even if you’re not actively buying, you are still welcome to attend. Open houses also help neighbours and drop ins to spread the word to friends, family, and others who might be looking to buy.
- If your property is already on the market, politely make it known so the agent doesn’t try to solicit you. Agents often use open houses as a networking opportunity.
- Don’t monopolise the agent’s time. If they’re busy, pick up a brochure and go on a self-guided tour. You can always contact them later with any questions you have.
- Ask permission before taking any photos or videos. This is somebody else’s home so please respect their privacy.
- This also applies to using the bathroom. Children sometimes ‘need to go’ but always ask permission first.
- Remind your kids that the bed/couch/beanbag isn’t there for them to jump on. Keep your children close and make sure they understand that this is someone’s home, not a playground.
- The seller usually vacates the house so potential buyers feel comfortable, but this doesn’t give you an all-access pass to their wardrobe, fridge and undies drawer, so don’t stickybeak.
- If the agent has time to talk, feel free to ask questions about the property, the seller’s situation, or recent sales in the area.
- Do your best to focus on the property, not on the furniture and decor. The house will be empty on settlement day anyway. Make a note of anything that needs renovating and take a tape measure if you want to check if your fridge will fit in the kitchen.
- The real estate agent will appreciate feedback on the property, but if you don’t have anything nice to say, keep your comments respectful and private. Remember that other buyers, neighbours or even the seller may also be listening.
- Let the agent know if you are interested; there may be other people they will call first if you don’t tell them.
- Happy house hunting!
Want to know more? We can help you find the property you want, even if it’s not currently on the market. Don’t wait, contact us today!