Open house events are popular places to be on Sunday afternoons (and sometimes Saturdays depending on your local market), and we've got some helpful tips on open house etiquette so you know going in, what to expect!
FOR PROSPECTIVE BUYERS:
- Dress comfortably and lay out a game plan ahead of time so you make the most of your afternoon!
- You will be asked to sign in, and this is for the seller's purposes and for the agent to keep good records of all visitors.
- Don't be afraid to make small talk with the Realtor holding the open house.
- If you do not already have a Realtor representing you, be prepared that the agent holding the open house may try to solicit your business. Simply let the Realtor know whether you have representation or not, and set to work seeing the home!
- Some homes have been staged and as such, all furniture may not be real. Be aware before you plop down on a bed!
- Please refrain from going through the seller's personal items.
- Take your time and note the bedroom layouts and the living spaces!
- The Realtor at the open house event may not be the listing agent and may not have all facts readily available. If you have questions that aren't answered, ask for the information of the listing agent or ask your Realtor to find those answers for you.
FOR PROSPECTIVE SELLERS:
- As you prepare your home for an open house event, take the advice of your Realtor as he/she makes suggestions.
- Remove evidence of pets and focus on clean, airy scents as opposed to flowery or heavy scents in the home.
- Clean out your closets and storage areas, as these are the most common places potential buyers will look to compare your home to another.
- Provide photos of your home and the neighborhood at different points throughout the year. Are there beautiful events at Christmas time and you're selling in Spring? Highlight that! If you're listing in the Winter, share photographs of your beautiful garden blooming in the Summer.
- Do make plans to be away from the home during the open house. The Realtor has a better chance at identifying prospective buyers for your home if you are not there.
- Provide bright, colorful plants or flowers for the walkway on the day of the open house!
- Request that your Realtor provide take home paperwork for all visitors of your open house.
- Request that your Realtor follow up with all visitors of your open house on the same day (evening) or the next morning, if better convenient.
There you have it, some simple open house etiquette!