Open House Etiquette

There are many reasons to visit an open house. I’ve had people come through my open houses to find decorating ideas, remodeling ideas, floor plan ideas and of course, potential buyers come to see a house they might buy.

Whatever brought you in to the open house, I’m glad you came!

An open house is a marketing tactic that realtors use to help sell a home. They can be quite effective – the first home I ever sold in my entire career was an open house and I’ve sold other homes from open houses since. Of course I wish that everyone that comes through the door of an open house is a well-qualified buyer that is interested in this particular home, but that’s not always the case. Whatever the reason you came, please be kind and use the following nine open house etiquette tips to ensure a great open house experience.

  1. Come right in! No need to ring the bell or knock.
  2. Tell me your intentions. I know I make “realtor-ing” look sooooo easy when I’m hosting an open house but I’m actually hard at work. If you came out to an open house to look for ideas and not because you might buy the home please let me know. I’m still happy you came! It might turn out that you go into work on Monday and your co-worker starts talking about buying a home and describes the exact one that you were in on Sunday. I’d be so happy if you mentioned it to them! If I know that you are just out looking for decorating ideas, that frees me up to talk to serious prospective buyers. Feel free to look and be inspired but please don’t monopolize my time if there are buyers there. I’m happy to answer your questions, but my job today is to get the home sold.
  3. Ask before taking pictures. Please do not assume that it is okay to take photos. There are some people in this world that are very private. Please ask before pulling out your phone for a quick snapshot.
  4. Do leave feedback. Owners love to know what you thought about the home. Please give me your candid opinions.
  5. Be courteous. When you do leave feedback, please be honest but not hurtful. Please keep bad decorating comments to yourself but let us know ways to improve the home’s saleability.
  6. Don’t expect privacy. This is the age of webcams and nanny cams and where you’re on camera an average of 75 times a day. If your comments about the home would embarrass you if the owner heard them, please wait until you leave the home to share that information.
  7. Let me know if you already have an agent. I’ll most likely want to follow up with him/her on Monday to see what you thought about the home.
  8. Complete the sign in sheet. This sheet is a security precaution to let the home owner and agent know who came to the open house. This sheet is used to obtain your information so I can follow up with you later to see what you thought about the home. Most people think about homes they’ve seen long after they were there and you may have some really good information about changes we can make to get it sold. If you don’t want to be contacted, just leave out your phone number and email address.
  9. Don’t linger. Again, if you’re on there to get ideas, please try to be courteous and only spend a short while at the home. That way I’m not distracted and can attend to other potential buyers.

By following the nine etiquette rules above, you’re sure to have a great experience. Happy home shopping!

Additional Helpful Articles:
A Buyer’s Guide to Open House Etiquette, Source: HGTV
Make Sure You Know Open House Etiquette for Home Buyers, Source:
Rules of Engagement for Home Buyers: Open House Etiquette, Source: Huffington Post