Open House Etiquette for Buyers

If you’re buying a North County San Diego home this spring, then you’ll probably attend at least one or two open houses. These events are a great way to get a sense of what you like and don’t like, what’s on the market, and the character of a neighborhood. You’ll also get a chance to chat with the listing agent and ask questions to learn more about the home. But it’s important for buyers to be aware that there is a certain etiquette that is involved with attending open houses. Here’s what you need to know to get the most out of the experience.

Wear appropriate clothing

While there’s no need to dress formally for an open house, you should wear appropriate attire. Avoid dressing too casually – even if you plan to hit up the beach afterward. If you’re serious about buying a North County home, you’ll want your attire to reflect that. Dress comfortably but respectfully.

It’s OK to just walk inside

If you’ve never been to an open house, then it may be confusing about what’s expected when you’re at the front door. Should you knock or ring the doorbell? In most cases, unless there is a sign that says otherwise, it is unnecessary – you can simply walk in. You might give a little “hello” if you don’t see anyone, to let the listing agent know you’re there.

Ask before taking videos or photos

You’re going to be taking in a lot of information at an open house. You’ll no doubt want to take photos and videos to help you remember what you saw or to remind you of features that you really like. But you should ask first. This is still someone’s private home, and that courtesy will go a long way.

Be polite

This should go without saying, but you should be polite to the host of the open house. Sign in when you arrive and don’t be afraid to talk with the agent. If you find that the agent is trying to get your business, it’s OK to tell them you already have an agent. When you’ve finished touring the house, thank the host before you leave. Again, a little common courtesy goes a long way.

Don’t be nosy

When you’re touring a home, you’ll want to take a good look at everything. This means opening closets, drawers, and cabinets and checking to make sure everything is in working order. But resist the urge to examine the homeowner’s personal belongings if they’re still in the house.

It’s OK to ask questions

Don’t be afraid to ask the host or listing agent pertinent questions about the property. This could include if there are any offers on the home, the reasons why the homeowner is selling, or the quality of the local schools. But keep your conversation limited to the property and avoid revealing too much information about yourself that could hurt your bargaining power down the line.

Avoid criticism

While you may not like everything about the home, avoid negative remarks until after you’ve left. Remember – this is still someone’s home and their family, friends, or loved ones may overhear you. In fact, badmouthing a property can hurt you later on if you decide to make an offer. If a seller has multiple offers to choose from, it’s unlikely they’ll choose the buyer who openly criticized their home.

Contact the Clark & Gilman Team

If you’re ready to buy a North County home, then it pays to work with experts. The Cristine Clark & Jamie Gilman Team has decades of experience in the North County real estate market. Contact us today at 760-758-1211 or [email protected] to get started.

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