Open House Etiquette
The time has finally come, you've visited your bank and you have your coveted Pre-Approval in hand. You've made a list of all your Wants and Needs and the homes you want to see, and now it's time to start looking for your Dream Home.
"So what now...what exactly is "Open House Etiquette" when shopping for a home"?
I have compiled a quick and easy "go to" list for you to follow to ensure your Dream Home Shopping is a raving success and a positive experience for everyone.
First, it's good to keep in mind and always remember that you are in someone's home, and although the purpose of an Open House is to allow strangers to wander and oooh and ahhhh through your home, it can still be very stressful opening your home to complete strangers when you are not there.
Leave Your Shoes At The Door
When approaching an Open House there is no need to knock or ring the doorbell, but do be prepared to remove your shoes at the door if you are asked. Usually there will be a sign, but in the event there is not, always be prepared to remove them. You don't want to be tracking the outdoors inside especially with our inclement weather here in Victoria. Some Open Houses, particularly brand new homes the Realtor will even provide little booties to go over your shoes. For the Fashion Savvy, this is definitely a statement!
You may be asked to sign in, be sure to leave your name to give the Agent an idea of how many people viewed the home. This is also done to let the owners also know who has been in their home. If you don't wish to be contacted, simply omit your phone number.
Always Be Respectful
Do not open doors that are closed, always ask the Agent first for permission, as there may be an important reason why that door is be closed. Let's say for example if the owner has pets, well you don't want to be the one that let the prized parrot fly out the open patio door.
And while it should go without saying, keep in mind that it is never appropriate to go through drawers or personal belongings while at an Open House. Resist the urge to touch. Remember the saying your mom taught you? Look with your eyes and not your hands.
Say Hello to the Agent
Introduce yourself and don't be shy, say hello and let them know if you are currently working with an Agent. They are there to answer questions and provide information so feel free to ask questions, but keep the questions on the home and property in question. They likely will not know if the homeowner is the second cousin twice removed from the Duchess of York.
Be Tactful in your Questions and Comments
You will not like everything about every property, but be sure to keep any negative remarks quietly to yourself. Keep a list of any Pros or Cons and ask the Agent privately. You never know who else may be present in the home and you don't want to offend a potential new neighbour, or the homeowner himself.
Always ask before taking Photos or Video
In the age of the Smartphone, as an extension of our arms sometimes, we can often do this without even thinking. Remember, this is someones home, most times there is not an issue with taking photos, just be sure to ask permission first.
Ask permission before using the Facilities
Now, I'm not talking about doing a load of laundry while you wait, just be courteous and always be sure to ask if it is ok to use the washroom, and keep in mind that in new builds often the plumbing is not yet hooked up, so beware!
Keep the Kids Close
Let's face it, finding the Family Home is a decision for the whole family, there's not one of us that hasn't run through an Open House screaming "this is my room"... (I know I sure have...) If you do bring the kids be sure not to let them roam around the home unattended, and keep them close. The last thing you want is a priceless family heirloom being knocked over during an innocent game of tag.
Finally, give yourself permission to have fun, dream and fall in love. Let's face it when you know it's the right home...you just know!
If you are interested in viewing beautiful homes for sale in Victoria, call experienced Real Estate Agent Tammy Marcoux today!