House hunting can be a stressful endeavour for everyone involved. You’re making a huge decision about where you want to live and how much money you can spend. You’re dealing with banks and realtors and a mysterious “other side” that’s trying to make as much money off you as possible. When we get that stressed out, politeness and general decorum tend to fall by the wayside. That’s okay sometimes, but your realtor is probably not happy about it.
Seriously, realtors have seen. some. things. There are some obvious no-nos (like taking a nap in the master bedroom) but there are other little things that irk realtors and make their jobs harder that you might not have even noticed you’re doing. Let’s all just try our best to make this whole process as painless as possible. Here are a few things you should never, ever, ever do at an open house.
Use the bathroom
Every real estate agent has a bathroom horror story that involves awful smells, possibly a plumbing situation and a super uncomfortable conversation with the home owners. Don’t be the person who uses the bathroom at an open house, even if it’s just for a number one. This isn’t your home, you don’t know these people and using their washroom is not okay. If it’s an emergency, at least let the agent know and make sure you leave everything the way you found it. Scent included.
Bring your kids
Schedule your house viewings at a time that you can have someone take care of the kids. Your children might be angels and know not to touch anything or run around, but they are still a distraction. This is a big decision and you need to be able to focus on being present in the house, asking your realtor questions, weighing your options and discussing things with your partner. You don’t need your kids’ input on the house. They’ll live there no matter what. Trust us.
Book a viewing if you’re not serious
If you’re not seriously considering buying a house, don’t book a viewing. Along the same vein, if you get into a house and know immediately that you would never pay good money to live there, don’t waste your time or your realtor’s by checking out every room “just to see.” Real estate agents don’t make a dime until you buy or sell a house so any amount of time they spend showing you a place you’re definitely not interested in is unnecessary work they’re doing for free. Don’t do that to them. Do everyone a favour and let your realtor know you don’t like a place right off the bat so you can all move on.
Make yourself at home
As a general rule, don’t touch the contents of the house. You’re not buying the furniture, you’re buying the structure. We’re sure you’re not the type to rifle through the fridge or put your feet up on the kitchen table, but opening dresser drawers and touching personal belongings is just as intrusive. If it’s not coming with the house or covering something structural, don’t touch it at all.
Bring friends, family, your neighbour, your hair dresser etc.
Buying a house is a big decision for the people who are bearing the financial burden of it. That means the peanut gallery needs to stay away. The kids don’t need to be there, but neither do 15 of your closest friends, your parents if they’re not involved financially or anyone else who might have an opinion and make the process longer. You don’t need distractions, just focus on the task at hand. You can show everyone pictures later.