If you’re new to house hunting, you may be wondering what the etiquette is for visiting a home for sale. In fact, we get this question a lot from first-time home buyers and experienced buyers alike; which makes sense since looking for a new home has evolved over the years. Years ago, homes for sale would be viewed mostly at open houses, events where a pre-scheduled time was determined for the home to be cleaned, on display by the listing agent and sellers would be absent. With the rise of buyers’ agents and showing services, the convenience factor has gone up considerably, but leaves some questions on etiquette. Since we like to be as polite as possible in Texas, here are our tips for being a polite home seeker.
Leave It As You Found It
Similar to visiting nature, we encourage our clients to leave the house as you found it. This includes leaving lights on (or off) and doors locked (or unlocked). There’s nothing worse than coming home as a home seller and realizing the prospective buyer locked your interior garage door, leaving you unable to gain entry to your home.
Inspect the House Not the Stuff
You’re debating buying the house so it’s important you know what type of storage you might have. Opening closets, visiting the garage, checking out the pantry are all important activities. That said, you’re not buying their dresser or nightstand.
Involve the Kids But Keep Them Safe
If you’re moving with your family, you probably want your kids to be involved with your home search. We think this is a great idea, but we’re always cautious of helping keep them safe. Since you don’t know what might be in the house, having them explore with you is the best way to do so. We also recommend, especially with small children, that they not handle any toys that are in the house. While most homes for sale look spic and span, you can never tell what type of germs might be around.
Check for Any Posted Signs
One common sign we see is requesting that prospective buyers remove their shoes when touring. This is especially common in the rainy months in homes with carpet or children. If you are able to comply with the request of the home owner, we recommend doing so.
Be a Friendly Visitor
In rare cases, the listing agent or the seller is present when viewing the property. We recommend treating this situation as if you are a friendly, new neighbor. Introduce yourself and ask permission to view the home, but be neutral in your statements. Anything that is perceived as negative runs the risk of alienating the other side and overly positive statements might be seen as leverage. Play your cards close to the vest so you have negotiating power should you choose to make an offer.
Thinking About Buying a Home in Austin?
Our team of experienced buyer’s agents can help you find the right house. We know the area like the back of our hand and will work with you to determine which neighborhood is perfect for you and your family. Our team takes a consultative approach to home buying and will never hard sell you! For more about our team and why our home buyer program is better than any other Realtor out there, check out our Austin Home Buyers page. When you are ready to start the conversation, fill out our Buyer Survey, call us at (512) 827-7323 or email us at info@11OaksRealty.com to schedule a no obligation consultation.