House Hunting Etiquette

Do: Arrive on Time

First rule in real estate, in today's market, you're most likely on camera! Make a good impression by arriving on time to your showing. Some sellers have pets, children, or elderly parents to remove from the home during the showing. You could be potentially placing a bid on a home you see, if you're late, or delay a showing, the seller could keep that inconvenience in mind when reviewing your offer.

Do: Take Your Shoes Off

Removing your shoes during a showing is common courtesy. If you can remove your shoes, without physical duress, you should. It also shows the sellers that you respect their home by not tracking in bacteria, dirt and debris from your shoes.

Do: Ask Questions

It is important you ask relevant questions about the home you're viewing. For example, information about the neighborhood and surrounding community, age of the home, size of yard, age of roof and furnace, etc. It's acceptable to open cabinet and closed doors, and appliance doors (if they're staying with the house)- because it is all part of the decision making process when deciding to write an offer. However, it is not acceptable to open medicine cabinets, dresser drawers, night stands, etc.

Don’t: Use the Bathroom

Or at least try not to. Some sellers are uncomfortable with strangers using their home for more than a showing- this includes sitting on their furniture. We understand emergencies happen, if it can't wait, be sure you leave the bathroom (as well as the rest of the home) the way you found it. It is perfectly acceptable to run the sinks and flush toilets to ensure proper function. Consult with your real estate agent to make sure it is okay.

Don’t: Bring Food

While agents have refreshments at open houses, it is not acceptable to bring food inside a home while you are touring the home. You could leave a trail of crumbs that could be noticeable to the seller, or the next prospective buyers (in the event there is more than one showing); or worse, you could stain something.

Don’t: Negotiate While You’re in the Home

Back to rule #1, you may be on camera! Michigan state law requires you to disclose when you record audio, but not video. And while real estate agents inform the sellers of the need to disclose audio recordings, they may not disclose the fact to their agent.

And, as always, if you have more questions or comments, please reach out!

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