Open House Etiquette Dos and Don’ts for Buyers on the Hunt

by Alex ThatcherJune 12, 2017

Proper Open House Etiquette Sets a Good First Impression

The summer real estate market is about to heat up and with plenty of competition expected among buyers, it is more important than ever to make a good first impression when attending an open house for a home you’re interested in buying. After all, the broker will notice how you present yourself and act when touring the home; that information could possibly be passed along to the seller when the bids start coming in.

If you have an upcoming open house you’re planning on attending, here are the do’s and don’ts of open house etiquette.
Open House Etiquette

Dress Appropriately

When you are visiting an open house, you should dress appropriately. You don’t want to wear anything too revealing or clothes that are torn, stained, or otherwise damaged. A clean and neat appearance is always recommended.

Entering the Home

When you arrive at the property, you don’t have to ring the doorbell or knock before entering unless there is a sign on the door instructing visitors to. Upon entering the home, the first thing you should do is greet the broker.

The broker will either take you on a guided tour of the home or she may tell you to “feel free to look around.” If you are already working with an agent, let the broker know so she won’t try soliciting your business.

Walking Through the Home

If there are other people or families visiting the open house, you should wait for a room to be vacated before you enter it. You want to give others the freedom to really inspect the room at their own pace, just as you want the opportunity to do the same.

If you come across a door that is closed, you should check with the real estate agent before just opening it and walking in. There may be a reason why the door is closed.

You should also avoid snooping through the homeowner’s personal belongings. Stay away from their medicine cabinet and don’t open any drawers.

When walking through the home, avoid making any disparaging comments about the home or the homeowner. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t mention problem areas to the agent, however.

For example, if you notice mold growing on a bathroom wall, you can politely bring it to the attention of the agent, who will then inform the seller that a potential buyer commented on the problem. By doing it this way, the seller will be more inclined to fix the problem.
Open House Etiquette

Before You Leave

When your visit is complete, take a moment to thank the agent for his or her time and then sign the visitor’s sheet. If you wish not to be contacted by the agent for a follow-up, you can leave your phone number or email address off of the sheet.

All in all, just act like you would want someone to act if they were attending an open house in your home. Be respectful of the homeowner, the agent, and the other people attending the open house, and you’ll make an excellent first impression with the agent, which could come in handy should the seller ask the agent for her impressions of the bidders.
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About The Author
Alex Thatcher
Alex is a home staging guru who moonlights as a writer. She loves everything about interior design and loves working in the industry. Alex is an expert in finding what makes people light up when they walk into a room, and has made a living by creating interiors that are unique, warm and inviting. When she isn't arranging flowers or making sure she's found the right loveseat for prospective buyers, she writes about her passion — home design.