So you want to look at properties . . . a primer.

Real Estate Agent with Sutton Group Seafair Realty - Richmond, Ladner & Tsawwassen



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!  



Comments (38)

Teresa Tedder
Carolina Realty of Wilkes Inc - Wilkesboro, NC

Thanks for the post!  I agree with you!  And I have had to say to the kids (with parents that wont discipline them) "okay kids!  lets go outside and play so mom and dad can look at the house and so we wont get in trouble by disturbing the house!".  Usually the parents get the point when I say this but if not, then I take the kids outside to walk around the outside of the house or play outside.  Thankfully my husband is usually with me so there is still someone inside with the parents.  I have also asked  "how about we walk around the outside first to get some of the energy out of the kids so we can look more in depth once we come inside?"........its so hard but usually they get the point.  If you cant take control of the kids situation then you really shouldnt show the property because you will be responsible as the agent for what happens in the home if you are there.

Apr 03, 2011 02:21 AM
Melissa Zavala
Broadpoint Properties - Escondido, CA
Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County

SO, I'm thinking that you are not interested in those shoes, right? This is a really great primer; glad it was featured.

Apr 03, 2011 02:47 AM
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Jan, great pointers for all buyers to keep in mind when viewing homes. Thanks.

Apr 03, 2011 02:52 AM
Lori Cain
eXp Realty - Tulsa, OK
Midtown Tulsa Real Estate Top Producer

Jan - what a comprehensive list - and all great advice on all counts. Especially to the Buyers not yet ready to purchase - be mindful of your Realtor's time and the home Seller's inconvenience.

Apr 03, 2011 03:01 AM
Michelle Francis
Tim Francis Realty LLC - Atlanta, GA
Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease


Excellent post!  It's a ton of work to sell and buy real estate for the folks and this is a great list that coveres how buyers should behave in a home. 

All the best, Michelle

Apr 03, 2011 03:19 AM
Jan Rankin Richmond
Sutton Group Seafair Realty - Richmond, Ladner & Tsawwassen - Richmond, BC
South Delta Realtor

Hi Karen & Phil - thanks for your comments.

Chuck - YES!

Ruthmarie & Julianne - I agreed.

Apr 03, 2011 03:21 AM
Jan Rankin Richmond
Sutton Group Seafair Realty - Richmond, Ladner & Tsawwassen - Richmond, BC
South Delta Realtor

Hi Betsy - yes, they do.

Gina, Ann, Ed & David - kids are a tough one. I now have this list in my buyer handbook. It's not always easy or possible for people to not bring their kids along. When kids do start to "do kid stuff" I just tell them this is someone else's house and we need to respect that.

Ginny - true. 

Apr 03, 2011 03:26 AM
James Harner
Considering Selling Your Home? Call 610-310-7646 first - Royersford, PA
James Harner Group - Philadelphia PA Real Estate

beautifully written! Thanks for taking the time to write these thoughts down! i hope this gets featured!

Apr 03, 2011 03:43 AM
Jan Rankin Richmond
Sutton Group Seafair Realty - Richmond, Ladner & Tsawwassen - Richmond, BC
South Delta Realtor

Randy - thx

Betsy amd Chris - feel free to reblog, reprint etc. I'm honoured!

Theresa - the kid thing is really a tough one and if the weather is friendly and depending on the age and temperment of the kids it can work. Sometimes, I have asked the parents to take turns with the kids - I need to see what they see in the house too!

Apr 03, 2011 03:54 AM
Donald Reich
Prudential Centennial - New Rochelle, NY

Regarding kids: Kids can easily get excited about a home, that parents cannot or will not buy (for a variety of reasons. It's just not fair to the kids to bring them to EVERY home untill their parents are ready to make an offer.

Apr 03, 2011 04:28 AM
Linda Smardon
EXIT Realty Citadel; - Halifax, NS

Jan, great job. As a Broker I often teach new and not so new agents to set expectations. A good business relationship is founded on a clear understanding by each party of the expectations of the other party(s). As professionals we write contracts that clearly lay out the expectations of the Buyer and Seller so that all parties have signed a contract fully informed. The alternative is litigation and an E&O Claim. It is unfortunate that so many of the same people do not take the same care when developing a business relationship with the contracts they enter into on behalf of the Brokerage they represent. Your simple primer is a great example of how setting expectations does not need to be reduced to pages of legalese that means little to the non-legal world. Thank you for sharing,

Apr 03, 2011 05:19 AM
Mel Ahrens, MBA, Kelly Right Real Estate
Kelly Right Real Estate - Hood River, OR
Customized Choices for your Real Estate Needs

An excellent list of tips for showing homes, both for potential buyers and Realtors. Thanks for the reminders.


Apr 03, 2011 05:45 AM
Bryan Robertson
Los Altos, CA

Great list and I especially like #5.  I've had people make bad comments inside a home with the owner and agent present.  I've never been so embarassed.

Apr 03, 2011 06:00 AM
Jan Rankin Richmond
Sutton Group Seafair Realty - Richmond, Ladner & Tsawwassen - Richmond, BC
South Delta Realtor

Hi Melissa - :)

Michael - thank you!

Lori & Michelle - Yes!

James - Yes and it did!

Thanks for the feature post!


Apr 03, 2011 06:02 AM
Jan Rankin Richmond
Sutton Group Seafair Realty - Richmond, Ladner & Tsawwassen - Richmond, BC
South Delta Realtor

Donald - I'be been there as well and it's hard when the kids are picking out the bedrooms they will never have or going gaga over the pool . . .

Linda - Thanks so much for your comments. Validating!

Gretchen - thx!

Bryan - been there too! You just want to crawl under the carpet.




Apr 03, 2011 06:08 AM
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Jan, great rules of the game of showing and I agree avoid tire kickers. Children can pose a problem as they like to scatter and play with others toys. Photography on our MLS sheets say whether that is permitted or not.

Apr 03, 2011 06:09 AM
Jan Rankin Richmond
Sutton Group Seafair Realty - Richmond, Ladner & Tsawwassen - Richmond, BC
South Delta Realtor

Hi Gary - thanks for the tip re: photos


Erica - I have to tell you, I thought about adding this as I have had the pocket/purse pooch and a hamster in a "travelling bag" - but I thought I was the exception! Ha . . . there really is no end to this stuff.

Apr 03, 2011 06:42 AM
Ronald DiLalla
Century 21 Discovery DRE 01813824 - Anaheim, CA
No. Orange Cty Real Estate

Great Post.  just goes to show you, we can learn something new everyday....Lot of comments tht I can use.  thanks again for the post.

Apr 03, 2011 08:35 AM
Julie Baldino
Front Door Realty - Vancouver, WA
Opening Doors to New Chapters...

Good post.... #5 is something we often forget about when exploring a post. Strongly agree with #9. Having your home be show ready takes a lot of work and that isn't fair to the sellers to casually look.

Apr 03, 2011 10:30 AM
Jan Rankin Richmond
Sutton Group Seafair Realty - Richmond, Ladner & Tsawwassen - Richmond, BC
South Delta Realtor

Hi Ronald - you are most welcome!

Hi Juilie - Thanks!

Apr 04, 2011 06:44 AM