Blog > Etiquette for Open Houses

Etiquette for Open Houses

by Michelle Goetzinger August 18, 2018

Can I Use the Bathroom?

If you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go — but don’t just wander off and take care of business. The plumbing might not work in every house.

Is It OK to Bring in My Coffee?

We’re pretty sure ordering house hunters to forgo coffee qualifies as “cruel and unusual punishment” in some states. But if you’re carrying a drink, be careful — unless you’re prepared to go mano a mano with the floor.

Food, on the other hand, is no bueno, unless the seller has left out cookies. By all means, take one, but eat it in the kitchen. Preferably over a napkin.

Can I Peek in the Closet?

Absolutely. Buying a home is probably the biggest purchase you’re ever going to make, and you need to check out everything.

Basically, look all you want, but don’t rifle around. You’re shopping for closet space, not a new wardrobe.

How About a Quick Selfie With This Awesome, Lemon-Colored Range?

With smartphones being practically an appendage for many buyers, snapping pics to share with friends and family is so easy. But hold your trigger finger, especially if you’re planning to share the images online.

Can I sit down?

No – you should not sit in any furniture.  It isn’t your furniture and you’re not buying it.  Plus, that cozy looking couch or comfy bed might be staged — air beds or cardboard boxes wearing fancy clothes — so you might take a spill.

If you need to sit, for health reasons or that sprained ankle from your last marathon, just ask. That’s not unreasonable.

The bottom line is the old-fashioned Golden Rule: Do unto others’ homes as you’d have them do unto yours.

Pretend the seller is there — and sometimes they are, even if you can’t see them. They might be waiting next door at a neighbor’s house or have a camera. So it’s also a good idea to keep comments to yourself. You wouldn’t want them to overhear how much you love the master suite — that could mess up your negotiating power if you decide to buy.

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Michelle Goetzinger

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