Home showings are an important part of the home buying and selling process. Its an opportunity for a buyer to imagine their family and belongings in a new setting, and a seller to showcase the property’s best features. When it comes to showing a home, regardless if someone is the buyer or seller, there are a few simple etiquette rules that should be followed in order to increase the likelihood of a sale.
For the buyer
- Be on time – This should be obvious, but many times potential buyers are late to showings. Homeowners are given a window of time to be out of their home in order for the buyer to walk through, and being late can extend that amount of time. No one enjoys being asked to leave their home, even for a short time, which is why its important to be on time, or if there is a delay, it should be communicated to the buyer’s agent as soon as possible.
- Show up – Everyone understands that things happen and sometimes appointments can’t be met. If you’re unable to make a showing you need to contact your agent as soon as possible so they can cancel with the seller. By failing to cancel, it is wasting not only the buyer’s agents time, but also the homeowner’s time. It also can leave a negative impression on the homeowner if they’re asked to leave the residence for no reason.
- Do not use the bathroom – Sometimes using the facilities is unavoidable, especially if small children are present, but use a guest bathroom instead of the master or one connected to a bedroom.
- Don’t touch – This should go without saying, but do not touch the homeowner’s belongings, such as pictures, collectibles, toys, etc. Do not move furniture around either, nor sit or lay on the bed(s).
- Remove your shoes – This is especially important when its rainy, muddy or snowy outside, but it is also a courtesy to the homeowner.
- Watch your children – If children are attending a showing, its important for parents or guardians to keep a close eye on their movements. Children should not be allowed to bring snacks and drinks into the home, nor jump on furniture. Sellers may have cameras in the home and pass on an offer because their home and belongings were not respected.
For the seller
- Leave the home – It is uncomfortable for homeowners to be in the home at the same time as the potential buyers. If the buyers do not like something they may be afraid to voice their opinion if the homeowner is present. Additionally, it can hurt the sale of the home if buyers can’t look around and ask questions freely.
- Place pets in crates or take them out of the home – Not everyone is into pets, and not all pets are friendly to strangers in their home. For everyone’s safety, its important to crate all pets or remove them from the home during showings. If the pets are in the backyard, please make sure the agent knows in advance.
- Clear off the stairs and hallways – The idea of a showing is for buyers to imagine themselves in this space, and that’s hard to do when there’s a laundry basket on the staircase or piles of shoes stacked in the hallway.
- Put personal items away – For everyone’s comfort and safety, it’s a good idea to put all personal items away, such as, clothing, jewelry, mail, pictures and toys, to name a few.
- Organize – Buyers will look in closets, cabinets and other areas to see how much space is available, so while its tempting to shove everything in a closet, its not a good representation of the space. The same goes for garages and outbuildings. Buyers should be able to walk into the space.
Showings are excellent ways to sell a home as it gives a prospective buyer an idea of what their life would be in that space. Sellers can do themselves a favor by keeping their home picked up and clean while its on the market, so when a call comes for a showing, not a lot of work needs done. Additionally, buyers should be courteous of the seller’s time and openness to see the home, and respect the space while inside.