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Open House Etiquette

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Buying and selling a house are both exciting processes full of lots of emotions, both positive and negative. Attending open houses when you are a buyer can be fun, and for sellers open houses are a great way to get potential buyers to se themselves living there. But when people behave badly, open houses can be terrible. Hooked on Houses has a few etiquette tips for buyers. Here’s a few of them and our comments…

  • Leave the kiddos at home. If you can that is! We understand that it might not be possible to hire a babysitter to attend an open house, and older children might be eager to view where they might be living, but younger children can be a distraction. If you bring them with, keep a close eye on them.
  • “Don’t criticize things you don’t like about our house in front of us.” Yes, this would be rude normally but an open house is a business situation, not a social situation. Ideally, homeowners should leave for the open house so they don’t need to hear any criticism.
  • “Don’t waste our time if you’re not a serious buyer.” It might be annoying to have the neighborhood busybodies coming through to get a look at your home, but that’s the risk of an open house. We say that you should expect some curious lookers. If you’re going to open your house up to the public, you’ll get the public–both lookers and buyers.
  • There’s nothing wrong with flushing toilets and turning on water to see how they work. But if you use the bathroom, always flush. This is someone’s house!
  • Remove your shoes. The owners have no doubt cleaned the floors and carpets in preparation for the open house. Even though you might not mean to, it is far too easy to drag dirt inside.

What are your tips for open houses?

Image courtesy of fables98 on Flickr.