As a buyer, visiting open houses is part of the home search process. Sometimes you can visit them with your agent and sometimes that’s not possible. But there are best practices and I’m here to tell you all about those!

What is an Open House?

Believe it or not, the sole purpose of an open house is not to sell the house. It’s also so the agent can meet new buyers who may not like the house at hand but will buy another home in the near future. Therefore, the sign in sheet is for them to gather your contact information. Don’t do it. Simply hand them your Realtor’s business card. If the agent insists, sign your name but your buyer agent’s phone number. Be clear that you ARE represented. That will save you from a whole bunch of phone calls, texts, and emails.

Questions to ask a Realtor

Don’t bother asking questions about the owners. It’s not important where they are going, how many kids they have, why they are moving (the answer will always be that they are relocating), when they got married. You are there to look at the house and see if it fits your needs.

How much storage do you need?

Open closets, cabinets, or fixed units that are remaining in the house. Do not open dresser drawers, chests, or other personal pieces. That’s just nosy! They are not part of the storage options in the house.

Fairness when viewing a home

Negative comments should be saved for private conversation outside of the home. Remember, your opinion is not everyone’s opinion and although the house may not fit your aesthetic or level of cleanliness, another couple may find it to be lovely. The listing agent wants every visitor to see the property without any outside judgement. That’s only fair.

Don’t Judge a Book….You Know the Rest

Don’t judge a home by the outside alone. Exteriors can be changed. However, if you enter and you know immediately that the layout is just not right, don’t waste your time or the agent’s time by feeling obligated to walk though every inch of the house.

How to Make and Keep an Appointment

And lastly, if the open house visit is not a scheduled appointment and you find that the neighborhood or area is not to your liking, drive away. If you’ve made an appointment though? Please show up and explain to the agent why you’re no longer interested. Better yet? Drive by every property before you commit to seeing it.

Following these best practices will save you time and headaches. If you are interested in more tips on buying your ideal home, click on this link for The Ultimate Home Buyer’s Guide: