Open Home Etiquette For Buyers

House hunting is an exciting time filled with possibilities, although it can become tedious if it drags on too long.

1. Create a check list and a scoring system: 

Be organised about your house hunting. Create a checklist and a scoring system and do it on the back of the brochure the agent will hand you at each open home. List everything your home must have, followed by the nice-to-have features. Give each feature a score out of 10. When you’re looking over your notes after a couple of weeks, this will help you keep it straight in your mind which property appealed more and why.

2. Remove your shoes:

This is someone’s home and they have likely taken enormous care and gone to a lot of trouble to clean everything for your visit, including the floors. Even if you’re positive that your shoes are spotless (and really, how can they be when you’ve just walked from the car to the door?) please show some respect for their time and effort and remove your shoes. It’s a small thing but it reveals a lot about a person.

3. Be respectful of privacy issues:

It’s polite to check before you take any photos and while it’s understandable that you want to check the cupboard doors open and close properly, there’s no need to peer closely at the contents of cupboards and drawers.

4. Don’t be late:

The owners have likely vacated the property for this event and the agent has other open homes to conduct, so try to be punctual and remember that you’re not the only one involved in this process. Equally, once you’re there, don’t hang around for hours mulling over the possibilities. Take some notes that you can refer to, chat to the agent, get their promotional material, and leave.

5. Don’t be a time-waster:

If you’re keen on the property, great. Ask all the questions you want and return a couple of times to check out the property at different times of the day. But if it’s only a small possibility, please don’t return four or five times. Understand that the agent is trying to do the best job for the vendor and they want to spend their time on someone who’s relatively certain they are going to buy the property.

6. Don’t bring an entourage:

If this is your first visit, you probably don’t need to bring mum, dad, the kids, the cousin-who-is-a-real-estate-agent and your mortgage broker. Too many cooks can spoil the broth and too many opinions can be confusing. Just you and your partner to begin with, and then when you’re culling the short list, perhaps bring the second opinions then.

Something that many people don’t tell you is how much of your purchase decision goes on gut feel. When you walk into a property you sometimes just *know* that this is the one. Don’t risk letting that one get away by visiting too many other properties, or dallying too long over the price. If you love it, buy it.


Information sourced from The Real Estate Institute of Queensland Ltd

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