I have had the pleasure of showing homes to all kinds of buyers (singles, couples, first timers, downsizers, families) in many different communities such as across the Greater Vancouver area and the Fraser Valley including Ladner/Richmond/Tsawwassen to Chilliwack and all points in between. Some homes are beautiful, pristine and lovingly staged. Others not so much. Either way - rules apply.
For the most part, sellers want to sell their home and are happy to have you come through and see if their home will become your next home. That said, there a few tips that I think will help to make your "house viewing" experience as fun and enjoyable as possible!
1. Everyone in your group, including children should wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off. With few exceptions, you will need to remove your footwear before going through a home. It can be a challenge juggling purses, bags, cameras, umbrellas, children etc.
2. Do not bring food, drinks, candy, gum, chips whatever into someone's home. And we can deal with any garbage you may have somewhere else. If, for some reason I am doing a "marathon" showing tour with clients, especially those with children, I schedule a break into the day for bathroom, coffee and food.
3. Sometimes it helps to sit on the couch or chair to get some perspective on a room and to see how the space "feels". I understand this. However, it think it's best not to lie down on the bed.
4. Speaking of children (I have a blended family of 4 boys) please keep them within your view and under control. The contents of the fridge are not for the taking, the toys are not to be played with, drawers are not to be sifted through. Beds are not for jumping on etc.
(As for 2, 3 & 4 - I mention them now so I don't have to mention them later)
5. Whether you love the house or have not much good to say about it - tell me outside of the house, preferably at my office. Some sellers have nanny cams and some sellers may actually be at home. No one wants to feel insulted by their taste in decor, design or housekeeping skills. Not every home is for everyone. On the other hand, we don't want to tip our hand if you really, really love it!
6. I encourage my buyers to bring along a notepad & pen, as well as a camera (a picture's worth a thousand words). I do have a note about photos - not all sellers are comfortable with having photos taken other than the ones taken by the listing agent. I once had a home listed of a prominent individual who had certain rooms off limits to photos. As your agent/buyers representative, I do my best to confirm photo taking in advance.
7. Sometimes circumstances come up, but try to be on time. A lot goes into scheduling showings and having people leave their homes sometimes with kids and pets in tow.
8.There are occassions where extra sensitivity is required on our part and as a realtor I will likely know in advance what the issue is - estates, foreclosures and tenancy where the tenant may not want to move.
9. In all of this, if you are not really ready to commit yet to purchasing and are "just looking for fun" I would like to suggest that you visit open houses or display suites until you are ready. Booking showings with private homes requires a lot on the part of the seller to have the home ready to show and to make arrangements to be out of the house.
As always, it will be a pleasure to help you find the house of your dreams that fits your lifestyle and financial goals. House hunting should be a fun and exciting time!