Visiting an Open House: Rules and Tips

open house

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Buying a new home is a huge step. Finding the best property is difficult. To make things easier for both sellers and buyers, there is the Open House event, hosted by a realtor, which usually takes place at weekends. The reason why this activity is done at the end of the week is simply that both homeowners and home buyers are busy people who have to go to work.

Additionally, a house looks much better and cleaner during daylight hours. More often than not, it will be clean and sparkling, interior lights will be on to show the real beauty of the premises, a nice smell coming from an air freshener somewhere out of sight will be released every now and then. Music may be heard. It is very unlikely that the house is messy and unclean. After all, sellers do their best to present their properties’ best face.

But what do you know about Open House rules? What is the proper etiquette? Here are some of the most common things buyers should know when visiting an open house kindly presented by SW12 City Cleaners. Read on.

“Should I knock or ring the door bell?”

A common problem for visitors to an open house is, “Do I ring the bell or do I walk in straight away?” Well, here is the thing. It depends on the situation, but unless you’re instructed to knock or ring the door bell, you don’t need to. Normally, there is a sign at the door, saying you should knock. If there isn’t any, you’re allowed to walk in unannounced. And when you do, a quick “hello” will be enough to let the other person/people know you’re there.

Broadly speaking, there are two types of agents: the engaging one and the non-engaging one. The engaging one will be standing at the door, waiting for you. Upon greeting you, he or she will introduce himself/herself. This kind of agent will tell you everything you want to know about the property and will let you examine the house at your own pace.

The non-engaging one is likely to be hanging out in a corner with a cup of tea in one hand and a good book in the other. He or she will not provide any information to you unless asked. Additionally, they will probably ask you to help yourself to the flyers provided on the counter and will get angry if you disturb them. This kind of agent is one who wasn’t really willing to engage in this.

“How do I know this is the listing agent I’m talking to?”

Who you should be interested in meeting is the listing agent. This is the person who has been assigned by the seller to assist in selling the property. Sometimes, there may be two agents and it’s hard to tell who’s the listing one at first sight. What you need to do is to simply ask. Note that listing agents may not have a name badge or be mentioned on the For Sale sign.

“How do I avoid associate agents?

What do you do if you meet an associate agent and he/she wants to represent you to buy this house or another one but you’re already working with another agent? The best and quickest thing to do is to hand them over your agent’s card so that they know you’re not available. Normally, agents must ask you if you’re already committed to another agency, but sometimes they don’t. Be sure to inform them what’s going on in a polite manner.

“Are neighbours allowed?”

“Can I join if I live down the street?” The answer is: yes, of course! Many people think that agents don’t really want to show the property to neighbours but that’s a fallacy. In fact they will be very happy to show you around if you’re a neighbour. Your feedback is important to them. Not to mention, you may know a person who would love to buy the house. Everyone is allowed to attend an Open House, so don’t be afraid to check your neighbour’s house if you’re tempted to.

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