Open House Etiquette
Open Houses are a great way to get people into a house that may want to buy the home. There are some guidelines that can help make the experience more enjoyable for both you and the showing agent.
1) Please come in. Don't be shy about attending an open house. Sellers have worked hard to get you in the door, so come on in. Agents like to answer your questions and help you along in the home buying process.
2) Introduce yourself. Please use your real name, nothing is worse than being called by the wrong name. It is ok if you are working with a different agent.
3) Let the showing agent know if you are working with someone else. It is more comfortable for everyone when the truth is shared. You as a customer won't need to worry about putting your agent's commission at risk and the showing agent won't be stepping on your agent’s toes.
4) SIGN IN! Please know this is a security issue. If there is a sign in sheet it is there because the seller requested, it. You should not be contacted unless you request to be. If there is not a do not contact box - write it in.
5) Please keep your children by your side. Do not allow them to run around the home unattended. Do not allow them to yell, scream, etc. Know that there may be treats at the open, please ensure your child follows your wishes about treats.
6) Ask Questions. Your questions will be answered to the best ability of the showing agent. Please know all material facts about the home should be disclosed to you by the agent. The showing agent is directed by the seller as to what other information is allowed to be shared by the agent with potential buyers. Typically, any information that could harm the seller's ability to negotiate would not be shared, or able to be shared.
7) Don't disclose anything to the showing agent that may harm your ability to negotiate a sale. Remember the agent is representing the seller during an open house. How that showing agent can help buyers as well will be covered in a different BLOG called AGENCY WHAT DOES IT MEAN? OR IS MULTIPLE REPRESENTATION RIGHT FOR ME?
8) Look the property over thoroughly, take your time. You are welcome to look in closets, not the drawers of the seller's personal furniture, i.e. dressers, file cabinets, etc.
9) Leave plenty of time to look over the property. Typically, open houses are for a set time. The agent may have a different open house to get to, the agent may have a different showing scheduled, and most importantly the seller wants to get back into their home. Try to show up at least 15 minutes prior to the closing time of an open at the very latest.
10) Finally talk about it. Share with the agent what you like and don't like about the house, so they can share with the seller. Remember when you look at an open house it may not be the right one for you. It may be the perfect house for someone else you know. Tell them about it.
So relax and go to the open house. Let the agent know if you want to, or don't want to receive any further contact. Enjoy your home finding experience.