The busy spring market means lots of showings at lots of properties. This is a stressful time for sellers as they welcome strangers into their homes, all while they are not even present! For home buyers, it is important to abide by certain home showing etiquette guidelines. After all, at some point, buyers will become sellers and will want the same level of consideration from their potential buyers.
Showings during inclement weather
Rain will be common during spring time showings. This can create a mess inside of homes, if not handled properly. First, consider viewing the interior of a home before you explore the yard. Secondly, when entering a home, wipe your shoes off thoroughly. If you have muddy shoes, be sure to take them off. Many sellers will actually request that visitors remove shoes. Be sure to abide by such requests.
This topic is always a tricky and awkward one. Obviously, when nature calls, you must answer, but there are a few common courtesies. First, avoid using private bathrooms such as those in the master bedroom. Instead, opt for common baths located in main hallways. Secondly, don’t leave a mess. If you have children using the bathroom, be sure to check it after they are done. This probably goes without being said, but make sure that you flush properly too.
Many buyers want to take photos to help remember homes being viewed, to show a family member or friend, or even to post on social media. Be sure to ask for permission from the seller before doing so. Most sellers will not object, but there are some cases where sellers do have a preference and for a legitimate reason. For example, sellers sometime opt not to photograph children’s rooms for safety reasons. Also, they may not want expensive items (such as collectibles) appearing in photos that get posted online as they may be targeted by burglars.
Sitting on furniture
As you preview a home and imagine yourself living there, you may be tempted to sit on a couch or lay on a bed. It is best not to do these things. Sellers may feel violated by such actions. After all, you would be buying the home and not the furniture. Additionally, some furniture may be purely for staging and therefore not designed to be used. You could damage the setup, or worse, injury yourself. It’s best to avoid these issues by being considerate and not using the furniture.
Food and drinks
As a common courtesy, unless a seller has provided food or drinks for showings, it is best to leave these items in the car. Plus, if you were to damage any property (i.e. spilling red juice on a white carpet that leaves a stain), you could be held liable. It’s best to avoid this altogether by not bringing any food or drinks into showings.