Home buyers get excited about touring potential new homes. Not only do you get the chance to find your perfect living space, but you also get to check out new design concepts that help you narrow down what you want in a home.
However, you do need to remember that this is someone else’s house, even if it is unoccupied. You may also run into situations where the homeowners are present.
Before you head out for your next house visit, be sure to brush up on these etiquette basics so that you don’t step on any toes.
#1: Be On Time
Searching for a new home sometimes means squeezing in tours after work or seeing several houses on the weekend. While life does get hectic, you need to remember that showing up late gives a bad impression to the seller and anyone else involved.
Try to plan your tours with enough time that you can arrive early. This also gives you some time to check out the overall neighborhood as you drive up.
#2: Limit the People in Your Group
Buying a house is a big decision, and it helps to have other people’s input. However, you should still limit your touring group to only you and any other people who are directly involved in the purchases.
This limits the amount of traffic coming through the home and allows you to focus on finding out the answers to your questions.
#3: Take Care Of the Flooring
Many of the houses that you tour may have brand new flooring or carpets that have just been professionally cleaned. When you arrive, look for clues as to whether or not you should remove your shoes.
For instance, some sellers place a shoe rack or disposable shoe covers nearby to make there preferences clear. If you are unsure of what to do, then follow your real estate agent’s lead. If they slip off their shoes, then you should, too.
#4: Respect the Homeowner’s Privacy
In most cases, it is generally accepted that you need to open up features of the house that will impact your daily life.
For instance, you should feel comfortable opening closets, pantries and other areas that you would not normally enter in a stranger’s house. This helps you to check the condition of these areas along with the amount of space each contains.
However, you should not open anything that the homeowner is likely taking with them or that could contain personal items. For instance, it is best to leave the medicine cabinet and dresser drawers closed.
#5: Ask Before Using the Plumbing
It is always best to handle using the restroom before you arrive for the home tour. If you find yourself in an emergency situation, asking before you go is just polite.
You may also simply want to know if all of the plumbing fixtures in the house work. Always ask the homeowner or the realtor before you flush a toilet or turn on a faucet. The water may already be turned off in an unoccupied home.
As you tour houses, remember that each one could be your future home. When in doubt, just ask if something is appropriate before you do it. This way, you can relax and fully explore the potential of the houses that you visit.