The Do's and Don'ts of House Tour Etiquette

Buying a house without touring it is a bad move. 

The tour gives you a brief look into your potential home. The realtor is there to explain the particulars of the place and you can get a feel for whether it seems like the right spot for you. 

That said, it’s more of a social expedition than it might seem. Realtors are in direct contact with the sellers from who you’ll be buying. Further, you’ve got to get key insight into the home to assess your opinion of it. 

We’re exploring the dos and don’ts of your house tour today, giving you key insights into house tour etiquette. Hopefully, the ideas below put you in a better position when it comes time to make an offer. 

1. Do: Make a Good First Impression

Most purchasing situations don’t require that you make much of an impression at all. Someone wants your money, you want the item that they have, and you make a deal. You don’t need to dress nicely to buy a bag of chips, after all. 

In a homebuying situation, it’s a little different. The seller is a scout to find the right buyers, and their impression of you matters. So, show up on time and do your best to be friendly. 

Even if you don’t know whether you want to buy the home, keep the option open by establishing a good rapport with the realtor.

2. Don’t: Make Yourself at Home

Going to the bathroom, eating food, leaving your shoes on, and letting your pets inside are all faux pas unless the realtor gives you express permission without you asking. 

Imagine that you’re entering into someone else’s home that they’re actively living in. Even though things are stripped of their hominess with staged furniture and charcuterie boards, treat it like you’re visiting someone’s home for the first time.

Again, all of this is the case unless the realtor makes a point of telling you that certain things are allowed or preferred. 

3. Do: Ask Any Questions

One exception to the rule above is that you can ask intimate questions about the house on your first visit. You wouldn’t ask your friend how much their house costs or whether the plumbing system is up-to-date, but you should certainly ask a realtor those questions. 

Anything that comes to mind, let ask about it. You’re getting an idea of whether this place is a good investment, a comfortable place to live, and a safe environment for your family. In order to find those things out, you need to ask questions.

In that spirit, you can also open doors to different rooms and cabinets without asking. Things like pantries, dishwashers, freezers, rooms, and other appliances are all fair game. 

You shouldn’t open clearly private cabinets or dressers, though. This is true whether there’s someone living in the house or not. If there is someone living in the house at the time of the showing, make sure that you ask permission to open things like pantries or bedroom doors. 

It should be obvious that you need to see those rooms, but it makes a good impression to ask permission.

4. Don’t: Start Negotiating

If you feel like you want the home but aren’t fond of the price, the showing isn’t a time to start negotiations. There are appropriate channels to go through in order to negotiate and land on a price. 

Showings are just opportunities to see the home, see what they’re asking for it, and make a decision later. It’s not the time to ask if they’re willing to lower the price or make claims about the quality of aspects of the home. 

Sure, the flooring might be subpar and you could use that fact to negotiate, but don’t let that out while you’re walking through the house for the first time. This will put a bad taste in the realtor’s mouth, thereby giving the sellers a bad impression of you. 

5. Do: Bring Your Realtor or Agent

If you’re working with a real estate agent to try and find a house, you should bring them along for the showing. 

It’s always better if they’re able to join you. They have key insights into property value and different selling aspects that you don’t have. Further, they know what it’s like to be on the other end of the process while selling a home. 

They’ll have a much better idea of whether the sellers will negotiate, which points to bring up in negotiations, and more. They’ll know just about how much you can ask to bring the price down and still wind up getting a deal. 

Another great thing about seeing homes with your agent is that they get a great idea of what you like, and they can report back to you with similar home options and more info.

It streamlines the whole process to have someone working for you. Odds are that you’ll save a lot of money when you use an agent as well. 

6. Don’t: Get Sold

The final thing to keep in mind is that the realtor is there to sell you the home. They’ll make the pot look sweet as can be even if it’s not. 

Make sure you know how much you want to spend before you see the home. If there are hesitations or anxieties about the home, don’t go through with the purchase. Big decisions like purchasing homes require that you take some time to sit and think. 

We often regret purchases made in haste, especially when they involve mortgages and monthly payments. So, stick to your guns when you’re purchasing a house. Don’t let fancy offers or staging furniture distract you from the things that you’re really looking for. 

Want to Learn More About House Tour Etiquette?

Hopefully, our tips on taking a house tour were useful to you. It’s challenging to find the right fit, so it’s important to have all the insights you can get. There’s a lot more to learn. 

We’re here to help. Explore our site for more ideas on how to behave on a house tour and tips on house hunting etiquette.¬†

By Malik