Never Sit On The Owners Motorcycle While Viewing Their House...

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Compass 0524642

1. Is it okay for me to use the toilet while viewing homes?
Yes, home sellers are prepped and told up-front to be prepared for people to use their bathrooms. 

2. Can I eat the cookies or grab me a bottle of water? 
Unless the snacks and bottles of water are clearly displayed, it isn't acceptable to grab items out of the refrigerator or kitchen pantry.

3. Can I crawl in the attic with my flashlight to conduct a light inspection of the area?
You shouldn't. It's never a good idea to test water heaters or appliances. You'll have an opportunity to have the home inspected by a licensed professional who is educated on what to look for. 

4. Is okay if I open drawers & cabinets?
I have explained to every seller I've ever worked with that potential buyers will be opening drawers and cabinets while viewing their home. It's natural to wonder how deep and large these spaces are. 

5. Can I get on the roof to check things out? I think I see a leak at the fireplace.

You should never get on the roof without the sellers permission. Leave the roof walking to the home inspector. If you have a suspicion of damage you can easily convey your concerns to your either your Realtor or your home inspector.

Here are 11 additional reminders when viewing homes:

1. Never touch or test electronics around the house. 
2. Don't play pool if there's a pool table or touch the antique slot machines in the game room.
3. Don't lay on peoples beds.
4. Don't let your kids jump on trampolines or play with swing sets, toys or stuffed animals that don't belong to them.
5. Don't sit on the owners motorcycles or hop into any antique cars. 
6. Don't touch the owners china, open their books or read their mail.
7. Don't fool with the owners safe or rotate the dial. 
8. Never light the fireplace.
9. Do not open windows. If something breaks, you will be responsible. 
10. Never attempt to heat up food in the microwave. Last year one of my sellers called to inform me that their house smelled like fried food. Come to find out a buyer used the microwave to heat up a chicken sandwich for one of their children. 
11. Do not flip breakers.

The best rule of thumb is to simply not touch the sellers personal belongings. 

Posted by
Greg Nino
RE/MAX Compass 
Direct & Text 7 days a wk: 832-298-8555 
Realtor since 2004
Mediator & Arbitrator for the TX Assoc. of Realtors
Member of the Professional Standards Committee for the TX Assoc. of Realtors
Arbitrator for the Comptroller's office for the State of TX for Arbitration of Property Tax Values

 Member of the RE/MAX Hall of Fame & Platinum Club


The information contained in this blog is believed to be reliable and while every effort is made to assure that the information is as accurate as possible, the author of this blog, and its comments disclaim any implied warranty or representation about it's accuracy, completeness or appropriateness for any particular purpose. All information is copywritten and the property of Greg Nino.  

Comments (17)

John Meussner
Mortgages in AZ, CA, CO, DE, FL, GA, MD, MN, MT, NC, NJ, NV, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WI - Fair Oaks, CA
#MortgageMadeEasy Fair Oaks, CA 484-680-4852

Wow, I know some bike owners that would be more than a little peeved by a stranger coming over & sitting on their bike.  It's a shame that most these things aren't considered common sense by some people.

Aug 21, 2014 02:05 AM
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

OK, I confess to playing ball with the dog in the backyard, but you are right, just look at the house and get out of there. It is hard with little kids brought along. The hidden cameras will get you yelled at if the clients go nutso like this with the motorcycle.

Aug 21, 2014 02:08 AM
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Great list of do's and don'ts.  Some of this should be common sense, but I keep hearing that common sense is not very common these days.

Aug 21, 2014 02:11 AM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Selling the Main Line & Chester County

Greg, you are turning out these great lists, all very true. Not allowing your kids to use the furniture as a trampoline can be added to the list as well. I think parents find it very hard controlling kids with toys left lying around in a listing especially with very young children. Most of my clients have always told their kids to look but not touch.

Aug 21, 2014 02:31 AM
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Alliance 513.520.5305 - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Alliance Cincinnati & Dayton suburbs

And don't tinker with something that is already broken just to see how badly broken it is (e.g. don't break the flooring when you find a crack next to the door from rotten subfloor). 

Aug 21, 2014 02:40 AM
Norm Padula, JD, GRI
Florida Realty Investments - Sarasota, FL
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Greg: It is amazing what some buyers will do. Many will begin taking pictures and that is a no-no, unless the seller has approved.

Aug 21, 2014 02:51 AM
Doug Rogers
Bayou Properties - Alexandria, LA
Your Alexandria Louisiana Agent

All of these items should be common sense. Should be...

Aug 21, 2014 03:48 AM
Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities
Charlemagne International Properties - Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A.

You've done it again--great list!  

I was appalled when a prospective buyer opened the refrigerator and helped himself to a beer in a luxury listing of mine.  Before he could pop the top, I asked him to please return the beer to the refrigerator as it belonged to the seller.

Aug 21, 2014 04:58 AM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate (435) 632-9374 - St. George, UT
St. George Utah Area Residential Sales Agent

Great tips Greg! Like Gary, I have played fetch with the dogs in the yard and one lady wanted to fill the jacuzzi tub up to see if it worked...I told she could do that only if or when she purchased the home.

Aug 21, 2014 08:30 AM
David Shamansky
US Mortgages - David Shamansky - Highlands Ranch, CO
Creative, Aggressive & 560 FICO - OK, Colorado Mtg

One could say use common sense but I guess if there was a lot of that going around then there would have been no need for this post, right?

Aug 21, 2014 12:53 PM
Steven Zimmerman
Belloise Realty Tropical - New Port Richey, FL
Husband & Father, @Gulf_Harbors Resident Realtor

Good common sense post, for those that we're brought up with manners

Aug 21, 2014 11:26 PM
Fred Carver Personal Real Estate Corporation
RE/MAX Camosun Victoria BC Real Estate - Victoria, BC
Accredited Real Estate Consultant

Like Steven says most of this is common sense, yet a good idea to let many know what is correct behavior when in a clients home.


Aug 22, 2014 01:55 AM
Steve Loynd
Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., - Lincoln, NH
800-926-5653, White Mountains NH

it drives me up a wall...when buyer's kids "pick their room" by laying down on someone's bed.

Aug 22, 2014 02:17 AM
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

Many buyers seem to think viewing, means touch everything in sight as they go through home. You can test stuff with the home inspector if you write offer. One listing I had the sellers son left his BMW motorcycle in the garage. It was a constant distraction, and you'd be surprised how many agents asked me if it conveyed with the house. I'm sure many people sat on it. The house was vacant.

Aug 22, 2014 05:24 AM
Raymond Denton
Homesmart / Evergreen Realty - Irvine, CA
Irvine Realtor®

Good list, Greg.  I always appreciate your lists.

Aug 26, 2014 01:08 AM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I'd be very upset if random person put food in my microwave.

Aug 28, 2014 03:49 PM
Sussie Sutton
David Tracy Real Estate - Houston, TX
David Tracy Real Estate for Buyers & Sellers

one more time...

What I was cringing about while reading this post was a liability that the homeowner faces should an accident occur on the property while it is being visited. Another thing would be if something broke or someone got hurt while on that property ... I can See a homeowner suing the agent and his client for something Like that.

Sep 04, 2014 01:04 AM