Top Etiquette Tips for Home Buyers
Home sellers often crib about rude and insensitive buyers from hell who traipse through their homes without basic manners and courtesy. Some people think that they can get away with during the viewing, especially if it is a buyer’s market.
However, home viewing, like any other experience in life, requires a person to follow certain rules of etiquette. Have a look at our top 5 etiquette tips to make sure that the viewing process turns out to be a pleasant experience for you and the seller.
(1) Be on time
Be punctual for the viewing. If you are going to be late or cannot make it, inform your realtor. The seller and the realtor may also have to adjust their own schedules or change their plans to accommodate you. Don’t take them for granted. If the listing specifically asks for advance notice, don’t show up unannounced.
(2) Limit your comments, especially if they are negative
Do not make disparaging remarks about the house in front of the sellers. If the color scheme seems too outlandish or the landscaping too gaudy, keep your comments to yourself if the seller is present. You can always share your opinion with your spouse or your realtor once you get back to the privacy of your own vehicle.
Even if you have taken an instant dislike to the house and would prefer not to waste time on viewing it, take a few minutes to look through the house, especially if the owner is present. Don’t forget that he has taken time out to show you the house – it is up to you to show him equal courtesy.
(3) It’s not a party
It is understandable that you would like a second opinion before you make a big life-impacting decision, such as buying a house. But take along your parents, friends or other relatives with you only after you’ve narrowed down your choices and want help in making a decision.
This is a big one. Don’t take young children along and then leave them free to run through the house, while the sellers play baby-sitter and you inspect the rooms.
(4 & 5) Say please and thank you
Show some respect. Never forget that you are walking into someone else’s personal space. Just because the owners have opened their home to you for viewing, it does not mean that you have the right to use their washroom, open closed doors or poke into their closets and drawers without asking. Common courtesy also mandates that you should ask permission before clicking photos or recording a video of the home.
Before leaving, thank the owners for taking time to show you the house and if you liked something about the house, don’t forget to mention it. Don’t worry, they are not going to hike up the price just because you told them that you liked the way they have converted the guest room into a comfortable study/office. On the other hand, it may just tilt the scale in your favor if there are multiple same-price bids.
Kurt Jacobson is a surfing enthusiast with a background in real estate. Having moved 10 times in the past 7 years, he thrives on helping others learn from his experiences. When he’s not out shredding waves he writes about homes for househunter.co.