The Right Conduct: Etiquette Guide to Open Houses

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Couple talking to a broker

It’s always a good idea to attend open houses. Not only for the purpose of finding your next home. But also, you get to see the kinds of properties you can have for your budget, the possibilities. You can meet a lot of good agents out there; one of which may be the very person who can help you find your dream home a year later. You’ll even realize that you need this and that when you see actual, real-life interiors. But while there’s a lot of promising benefits to open houses, attending one also entails a sense of responsibility on your part. Etiquette is something you should take with you as soon as you step into a property. You need to take note of these etiquette rules when you go in:

On inspecting the house:

Your top mission in attending an open house is to check out the actual property. When you’re already keen on buying, you want to make sure that you make the most of your investment. So you take note of the square footage (not only how big the area feels), the number of rooms, the availability of outdoor space. You keep your eyes open on the red flags, like strong fragrances, cracks on walls or floors, peeling paint, or recent renovations. But while you are considering these things, remember: etiquette. You don’t talk about the bad stuff with your spouse, in front of the agent. You don’t comment about it either when you’re away from earshot. You never know, the seller may just have a hidden camera or recorder planted in different corners of the house. You take note of those things silently. When you get to your home, that’s when you discuss it.

On talking to agents:

The number one rule here is: be kind and polite. Greet them on your way in. Don’t be shy about your compliments about the house, if what you see pleases you. Do ask them questions. You will not just learn more about the house, but also build rapport with them, which can probably help you have insider information about the market or get you closer to a network of other agents you can work with on your own house hunting later. What should you ask exactly? For one, you may want to know how long the house has been on the market. If the price changed, why? Have there been offers already? These questions will help you gauge the condition of the market and make an intelligent guess about the next move of the seller. Now, do note that the agent would throw questions at you as well. One thing they commonly ask is the price range, so it’s best to talk to financial experts from a mortgage company in Utah so you know how much house you can afford.

On dealing with other people:

You’ll be with other buyers when you attend open houses. Technically, they are competition. But it’s important to be polite and kind to them, regardless. It’s a nice gesture to wait for your turn when looking at different areas of the house. Wait until the others leave a room before going. Give them space and the time to look and inspect. Maybe, just maybe, others will pick up on it, and give you the same courtesy (but of course, don’t expect too much). Strike up some small talk to create a friendly atmosphere. You never know, they might just disclose something critical about the neighborhood or the house you aren’t aware of.

Good Manners on Open Houses

Broker showing a house to a couple

Attend all the open houses you want to attend. But make sure to bring along etiquette with you. Kindness and politeness will go a long way. Sometimes, towards securing your dream home.

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