Home Buyer Etiquette - Viewing Homes for Sale

Reblogger Lyn Sims
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Suburban

Home Buyer Etiquette - it's what you can expect to do and how to conduct yourself when you view someone else's home for sale.  In the real estate business we just call it 'showing manners'.  This is a great post from Claudette Millette on how to do just that.

Sure you can look under the sink and check out the closets.  This just might be your new home!  Just be sure to leave it EXACTLY how you found it!

Original content by Claudette Millette

Welcome Mat and doorHome Buyer Etiquette - Viewing Homes for Sale 

As a prospective home buyer you will want to be sensitive and respectful when touring properties with your Realtor®.  After all, at some time in the future, you may be on the receiving end as potential buyers traipse through your beloved abode in search of their perfect home. 

Home buying is an emotional experience and sometimes people can forget the fact that, whether the house is filled with precious antiques or it is completely vacant - it belongs to someone else. 

Here are a few simple guidelines to follow on your home hunting days: 

  1. Arrive on time.  Or at least call your buyer agent to say that you are running late. Showings are usually set for a certain time and it is not only an inconvenience to your agent but the seller may  be on a schedule.  Often owners will leave just in time for a showing and may be waiting to return after its completion. 
  2. Be prepared to take your shoes off. Although not all home owners require it, common sense dictates that coming in from the snow, rain or mud it only makes sense to remove your shoes.  And, some owners demand it under any circumstances.  Wear shoes that are easy to take off, and plan for this possibility when choosing your socks - The ones without holes would be preferable. 
  3. Respect the seller's personal property.  While it is expected to open kitchen cabinets, pantries and closets, try to keep the investigation down to a minimum.  Opening dresser drawers and looking at personal items is to be avoided, as well as use of the master bath.
  4. Children are always welcomed - It's going to be their home too. However, they need to be watched.  For safety reasons, particularly in new construction, keep them by your side at all times.  And, obviously, you would feel terrible if they broke any of the seller's possessions.
  5. If owners happen to be at home, keep conversation with them to a minimum.  Most sellers try to be out when a showing takes place.  But, sometimes it is just not possible.  It is best not to "grill" them about why they are selling or where they are going.  Those questions are better filtered through your Realtor®. 
  6. Don't let the cat out! If there are pets in the house, they usually need to be kept inside. Make sure that the front and back doors remain closed to avoid a homeowner heartbreak.

Most people have enough common sense enough to be courteous and careful when entering a stranger's home for viewing.  When in doubt about protocol, just ask your agent. 

One of my standing rules about showing a home is - leave it exactly the way you found it. 


"Home Buyer Etiquette - Viewing Homes for Sale"

This post was written by 

Claudette Millette, Broker, Owner, The Buyers' Counsel - (508) 881-6230

An Exclusive Buyer Brokerage serving the Greater Metrowest area

MLS Property Search With No Registration Required 

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Mike Wong
Keller Williams Realty Southwest - Sugar Land, TX
Realtor: Commercial, Residential, Leasing, Invest

Great tips Lyn. Anytime I meet with new buyers I like to explain the ground rules while Im driving them there.

Mar 28, 2011 12:22 PM #1
Cindy Justice
Synergy Realty Pros - White Pine, TN
Synergy Realty Pros

These are very good tips and are very important to remember. Thanks for posting

Mar 28, 2011 12:22 PM #2
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

I once wore odd socks to a showing of a very high end home, and one of them had a hole in the toe.  Of course, we were asked to remove our shoes.  It was pretty embarrassing!

Mar 28, 2011 12:24 PM #3
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

Lyn:  You ask for common courtesy and common sense.  That's all.  Plain and simple.  We all need these little reminders.  Got to chuckle about Pat's (above) socks ...


Mar 28, 2011 01:42 PM #4
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Hi Lyn!  Great re-blog and thanks for doing so because I missed this one.  Funny about the stocking feet though--I have learned that I need to hang tight to the railing on stairs that are made of wood and recently polished!!  I am such a klutz and have fallen down them before, winding up with a great big eggplant colored bruise on my rump and embarrassment out the wazoo!  

Nice list of courteous tips!

Apr 03, 2011 06:07 AM #5
Joanna Szwyd
StoneHouse Properties - Great Barrington, MA

Lyn, very good points. We can's assume that most people would know that, sometimes we have to remind them..

Apr 04, 2011 04:33 AM #6
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Real Estate

Joanna:  You really do have to tell them what to expect. They follow our lead & advice. Since I've been doing it so long I forget this basic info.

Apr 04, 2011 04:43 AM #7
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Schaumburg IL Real Estate
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