Open house can be a good way to preview houses that may be of interest to you as a buyer. However buyer’s need to remember that they are entering a property that is owned by someone, it is their home and they have graciously allowed you to preview it…So a little courtesy is necessary in exchange.
1. Bringing that cup of coffee from your car to the house and then walking through the house is not okay. You could accidentally drop it, you could trip on a rug and spill coffee and so all drinks and coffee should be left at the door during the time you are in the home;
2. Same for food it is simply not appropriate to bring food into someone else’s home and walk around eating. Crumbs can drop and bugs can be attracted. all food should be left at the door when you are previewing a home;
3. Children previewing homes…we all know that parents love their kids but what you might allow them to do in your home is not okay in someone else’s home. You should either carry an infant or hold their hand as you go through a home aways keeping your eye on them and what they may be touching or dropping. Remember this is someone’s home and their things.
4. If you decide to view a home and you bring a group of people with you everyone needs to go through the house together room by room and not scatter all over the place. You may not realize it but the real estate agent that is there needs to follow and watch and insure that the contents of the home are intact and we can’t do that if you all go your separate way. Think about this being your home and people walking through it.
5. An Open House is only an opportunity to “view” the home. It is not the time to inspect it.
6. This is one of my pet peeves and buyers are constantly doing it. Looking inside the refrigerator! Why in the world do buyer’s want to see what someone else is eating is beyond me but opening the refrigerator is not necessary at an Open House. This also goes for opening the drawers of bureaus or anything else that is personal and not part of the house. It is okay to open a closet door since that is part of the house you might buy.
7. Letting children walk around and open doors without an adult is not acceptable. One of those doors may be a basement steps and a young child might step in not seeing steps and tumble down the stairs (this has happened).
8. Going up into an attic is also not acceptable without the agent there. Not all attics are floored and properly lit and going up attic stairs and stepping onto an area that may not have a floor while looking for a light switch can be dangerous. Another reason everyone needs to stay together with the agent keeping an eye on you.
So while an Open House is a great first step in the Home buying process it is only the first step. You also need to know that the agent at the Open House is a representative of the seller so chatting with them if you have your own agent is not a good idea. Chatting with them if you don’t have your own agent is also not a good idea until you discuss with them if they will work with you and how.