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Open House Etiquette Tips for Home Buyers

Open houses are a great way to check out several listings in a short period of time and get an idea about how much interest a property is generating with the home-buying competition. When it comes to touring properties, it’s important to stick to some basic etiquette guidelines. Doing so will not only help make the day go smoother for you but can also help put you in good graces with the sellers and their agent, which could help get your offer accepted.

Stick to the scheduled time frame. It’s best to plan your arrival within the posted time of the open house. Showing up early can stress out the seller or agent as they often will be preparing up to the last minute. Showing up after an open house is just as inconsiderate. If you can’t tour during the time allotted ask your agent to schedule a private viewing.

Look but don’t snoop. Home sellers expect you to look inside closets and open up cabinets and drawers that come with the house, doing so in the kitchen and bathroom is fine, but leave free-standing armoires and dressers alone. If a door is closed, ask before opening it, there’s likely to be a good reason for it to remain shut, such as keeping an indoor cat someplace specific.

BONUS TIP: If you come across some sensitive personal items during a tour, such as the seller’s latest bills, medication or a mobile device, discretely mention this to the seller’s agent so they may put these items is a safe place out of sight. Your honesty will be greatly appreciated.

Keep the weather in mind. If you’re viewing open houses in the rain, go prepared with a rain coat and umbrella. If you can, bring along an extra pair of shoes you can slip on for something dry to ware when at each open house.

If there isn’t an obvious place to put wet gear, ask the agent where the best place is to leave them, no one want’s their clean and sparking home trounced through with mud and rain. Regardless of the weather, dress comfortably, you’ll be happier for it at the end of a long day.

Leave the kids at home. It’s great to involve the kids in the home search process, but when you’re viewing several open houses in one day, you run the risk of everyone becoming cranky before too long, especially with young ones. The ideal is to leave the kids at home with a sitter, this will also help you also stay focused on each property you view.

Ask pertinent questions. If you find a home you like, start up a conversation with the seller’s agent. Big questions such as when the roof was last replaced, or what if any remodeling has been done, are a great starting point to learn more and to show your interest. In a competitive buying market such as the Washington DC Metro region, revealing your interest in a house could be the first step towards having an offer accepted.

Find more etiquette tips with this article published by HGTV and get the most out your open house home search. When it’s time to buy or sell your property, work with a trusted, local Realtor® who understands the process and how to help their clients with confidence. ADMC Realty Group is pleased to serve the communities in and around the Washington DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia areas. We’re ready to put our expertise to work for you whatever your real estate needs. Give us a call at (202)596-8101 or email us at [email protected].

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