First-time Buyers - Visit Etiquette

Your Realtor will probably go over some of this with you,but there are a few rules of etiquette during yoru viusits to the homes that you will be looking at during your search. At its most basic level you should behave in these house as you would want someone to behave in your own home.

  • Some houses may have signs or showing instructions that requests that you remove your shoes. Just do it. Knowing that this may be the case ahead of the visits, you  should wear shoes that are easy to get off and on. A good homeowner will have a bench or chair for you to use just inside the front door and a mat to place the shoes upon while you visit. This is especially important in the snowy, winter months.

  • No food or drinks - it is not good to take any food or drinks into the homes that you visit. You can consume those in your car (or your Realtor’s car). If the Seller has put out refreshments for visitors (often cookies are left for visitors), it’s OK to eat a cookie or have a glass of cider or lemonade.

  • Try not to use the bathrooms in the homes. While it is not completely forbidden, it is bad form to have to use the bathroom facilities in the homes that you visit. If, you watched the movie Meet the Folkers, you know that there can be some toilets that have issues when they are used.Have your Realtor take you to a local restaurant or other “pit stop” place between visits.

  • It’s OK to open kitchen drawers and cabinet doors and maybe even hall coat closet doors and even bedroom closets; however, bedroom furniture drawers should not be opened. Also not cool is opening a closet door and having stuff fall out onto you and then you have to try to get it back in. Just leave most closet doors closed. It’s not like you’ve never seen a closet before.

  • Don’t disparage the house while you are in it. You may think the place is a dump, but save those remarks for when you are in your car and on your way to the next house. In our modern technology-filled world there are many ways that the owners can be listening (and watching) to you while you are in the house. There is no need to dis the house (and by association the owners) while you are in the house.



  • Stay  on schedule. Your Realtor will have planned out  an itinerary  that allots time for each house and travel time in between. If you get way off schedule you will miss your appointment times, remember that your visit has forced the occupants to get up and leave fore the specified period of time of the planned visit. Getting there too early or too late poses a hardship on them and is discourteous.

Finally, don’t overbook yourself. There is a tendency with first-time buyers to try to see too many houses on a single outing. It is hard to schedule and they all start to run together in your mind. Visiting 3-4 homes on a single outing is probably optimal.

Here’s a link to a good article on home buying etiquette from the National Association of Realtors. It mentions a few things not noted above.

Norm Werner is a Realtor® working for Real Estate One in Milford, Michigan. Norms helps people buy and sell houses in Southeastern Michigan, in Oakland, Livingston and Macomb Counties You can contact Norm about finding a new home or about getting a Market Analysis for your current home by texting  or calling him at 248-763-2497 or click here to go to his web site and fill out Help Form for buyers and sellers.

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