Featured News 2016 All About Open House Etiquette

All About Open House Etiquette

It's your day off and you're running all over town looking at houses. As you're calmly walking in and out of people's homes, you're struck with questions. Can you bring in hot drinks? Can you sit on the sofa? Can you bring your dog inside? Since navigating all of the dos and don'ts of touring homes can be a bit awkward, we compiled a list of everything that real estate salespeople want homebuyers to know.

Can I bring in my coffee?
House hunting and coffee seem to go hand-in-hand, especially during the cooler months. If you're going to bring in a drink, be careful, especially as you're walking on light-colored carpet. Food on the other hand is not good, unless of course the listing agent left out cookies. In that case, eat the cookies in the kitchen and preferably over a plate or napkin.

Can I bring my little dog?
If you're one of those people who bring their dog everywhere, you probably want to leave them home on the day you go house hunting. You don't want to risk an "accident," plus the homeowners can be very allergic to dogs.

Should I take off my shoes?
While it varies from house-to-house, you certainly want to keep this possibility in mind. Some homes have tile and the seller isn't concerned about it, while other sellers are adamant that you take off your shoes or slip on a pair of booties that they provide. When in doubt, ask your agent.

Can I peek in the closets?
Yes, absolutely. Sellers understand that buying a house is a huge decision, so you have to check out everything. However, it's OK to take a look, but you don't want to go through their things.

Can I take pictures of the inside?
These days, most people don't leave their homes without their smartphones, but don't be so quick at the draw, especially if you plan to post the pictures online. Some sellers have valuables or privacy issues and do not want people posting pictures of their homes online. Basically, ask permission first.

Can I sit on the furniture?
It's preferable that you don't get too comfortable, plus, a lot of homes are staged. That soft-looking bed may actually be an airbed or a cardboard box in disguise, so you could end up taking a spill. If you have a health reason for sitting, it's perfectly reasonable to ask.

Can I make remarks?
You want to be on your best behavior, the seller could be in the next room or walking behind you. Or, they could be on an errand and walk through the door at any moment. If you have unfavorable remarks, it's better to keep them to yourself while you're in the home.

Even if your remarks are about how much you love the house and "have to have it," they can weaken your negotiating power when you put in an offer.

If you're on the market for a new home, contact a real estate attorney for professional guidance with your new and exciting purchase!

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