Home Buying Etiquette: How to Prepare for a Showing

by D.D. Dolan 12/08/2019

When you’re shopping for a home, it’s essential to find a balance between being respectful of the owner’s privacy and being open enough that you ask the right questions and find out what you need to know about the home.

In today’s post, I’m going to cover all of the etiquette and best practices when it comes to viewing someone’s home that you’re interested in buying.

Basic etiquette

Before we get into the fine details of questions to ask and what areas are okay to explore, let’s take a minute to discuss the basic etiquette of entering someone’s home.

First, make sure you arrive on time and ready to tour the home. Being late will give the seller and their agent the perception that you might not be a serious buyer if you aren’t arriving at the showing on time.

Additionally, when you first enter the home, it’s a good idea to ask if you should take off your shoes. Some homeowners have a no-shoes-in-the-house policy that they extend to guests as well as friends and family. But, at the very least, make sure that your shoes are clean so you don’t track mud around the home.

In terms of cleanliness, make sure you dress appropriately for the showing and that you don’t bring in food or drinks. You don’t want to be dropping crumbs or spilling coffee in a home that is being kept meticulously clean for house showings.

Ask the right questions

As you are viewing the home, it’s appropriate to ask questions that may come up. Feel free to ask about the age of the home and when repairs and renovations were made.

It’s also fine to ask questions about the neighborhood and town if you’re unfamiliar with the area. Traffic and noise levels are pertinent information for any serious buyer. And these are questions that will be vital to understanding the home better and whether it’s a good fit for you at the moment.

Where can you snoop?

It’s a good idea to ask before opening cabinets, closets, and doors the first time. But these are all reasonable things to expect to be able to look inside of when buying a home.

It’s not a good idea, however, to look inside nightstands, dressers, and other compartments that are more private and personal.

If a homeowner or agent asks that you don’t enter a room entirely, such as a bedroom, bathroom, or basement, this is a major red flag that there’s an issue with the room in question. Every room of the home should be in-bounds when it comes to viewing a home that you might someday buy.

At the end of the viewing

Once the viewing is over, it’s best to simply compliment the home, offer your thanks for the tour, and head home to consider your experience.

Avoid making any sharp criticism of the home before leaving, and don’t mention any negotiations or ask questions about the pricing at this point. It’s better to leave on a positive note and have these discussions in private with your family before taking your offers to the seller.

About the Author
Author

D.D. Dolan

SReS SRS GRI e-PRO

First, let me be clear about what I am not. I am not just another salesperson. I am a service professional. Buying or selling your home is a significant and often emotional event in your life; it is not at all the same as buying a product in a store. Choosing the right Real Estate Professional to assist you is essential. Just as you rely on your attorney or accountant to serve your interests with honesty, diligence and integrity, so can you rely on me to represent your real estate interests in the same manner. Real Estate is a Service Profession and my approach is Client-Oriented. More than numbers, success lies in achieving your goals. I understand that every situation is unique, and statistics do not tell the whole story. My strong repeat and referral business is a clear indication of that success. Listening to the client is crucial. Identifying the clients' needs is the first, and most important step in the practice of Real Estate. I pride myself on my attention to detail. From fact-checking, to enticing and thorough descriptions in a listing, to providing the most current information, I never stop at "good enough.” My promise... Client service is always handled personally. Your research, your marketing … all of your real estate needs are my concern, never delegated. Marketing will always be creative, memorable, and far-reaching. Enthusiastic, evocative descriptions and high-quality photos engage buyers! Technology has greatly impacted the practice of Real Estate, and I fully utilize current capabilities. As technology advances, you will always benefit from the best of it! Communication with clients is always prompt and pertinent. Whether you want to know how your home is being perceived, whether new possibilities have come on the market for you, or simply what the next steps are, you will have the information you need when you need it. My skills, dedication, and "straight talk”, combined with enthusiasm and professionalism make me a valuable asset to the buyers and sellers I represent. I will help you easily navigate the complexities of the Real Estate process for a superior service experience. 

EXPERIENCE: Re-sales and new construction, across all segments of the residential market: Single-family homes, Condominiums, and Co-operatives 

EDUCATION: BA in Political Science with Minors in English and History from William Smith College, Geneva, New York 2 years attendance Syracuse University College of Law 

DESIGNATIONS AND ASSOCIATIONS: Licensed Associate Broker, New York State Member, National Association of Realtors Member, New York State Association of Realtors Seller Representative Specialist Seniors Real Estate Specialist Graduate, Realtor Institute e-Pro Certified Certified Home Marketing Specialist President, White Plains Outdoor Arts Festival