Many times our search for a home requires many viewings and sometimes we tend to forget about our etiquette during these showings. This is especially important to keep in mind for realtors as we are intrusted with the sellers’ home and we should be taken it as an honour and never take advantage of as a professional industry.
Here are my top five etiquette tips for viewing homes which can apply for both realtors and home buyers.
Arrive on time for the viewing
It is highly recommended to make every effort to arrive on time. Showings are set for a one hour window which in most cases provides plenty of time to view the property, discuss it and so on. Therefore, it important that both parties arrive on time and if not, it is best to connect with one another. Please keep in mind that often owners will leave just in time for a showing and may be waiting to return home after its completion.
Take off your shoes
In most viewings you will see a “Please Remove Your Shoes” sign, please respect these wishes and remove your shoes. When in doubt, it is recommended to remove your shoes.
Respect the seller’s personal property
Be respectful of private spaces; you are there to look but not to touch. Avoid opening dresser drawers, looking at personal items and using the master bathroom. Rifling through any personal belongings is a big ‘no no’. It is proper etiquette not to use the home owners’ bathroom. Recently one of my sellers felt extremely disrespected as the bathroom was used inappropriately.
As you are viewing the home be cautious of what you are doing to ensure no damage is done to the home while you are there. You are not a professional contractor so please refrain from trying to do a “self-home inspection.”
Don’t criticize in front of the homeowner
It is recommended that homeowners should leave the home when showings are scheduled. It can make it awkward for the buyers to view the home comfortably with the seller present. However, sometimes it is just not possible and the home owner is home. In these cases, it is important to not criticize the home in front of them. Remember it is still their home.
These etiquette tips will make the house hunting process easier for everyone involved. At the end of the day it is all about being respectful of someone’s home. There is a saying, “Home is where the Heart is.” Therefore, let’s be respectful of it when we are viewing them. The representative of the seller in most cases feel obligated to prevent these things from happening but unfortunately, they are unable to attend that many showings in today’s aggressive market. Therefore, please take pride in your profession, respect the seller and also be an example to your buyers.
If you are ever in doubt of what is acceptable during a viewing you can always ask your real estate agent in advance. I am also here if you have any questions as I would be happy to help.