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Never Do These 7 Things at An Open House

When you’re looking to buy a new home, chances are you’re going to attend some open houses. While it’s important to take a good look through the home which may potentially be yours, there are 7 things you should never do while you’re attending an open house.

  1. Make Yourself At Home

Although it may soon be, this is not your home yet, and the current homeowners likely wouldn’t appreciate you sitting on or touching their furniture.

In some cases, the furniture is rented for staging purposes, so the homeowners are on the hook for any damage made. They’re relying on you to be careful in their home.

Occasionally, the owner or real estate agent will invite you to sit down to have a chat or go over some papers. If this is the case, sit respectfully and keep your feet on the floor.

  1. Let Your Kids Run Around

Try not to bring your young children to an open house. When looking at a house to buy, you want to be able to take your time and look at everything. If you bring your kids, you’ll likely feel rushed. Plus, since they are unfamiliar with the stairs and other potential hazards in the house, they could get hurt.

If you must take your children with you, don’t let them run around the house or sit on the furniture.

  1. Use The Bathroom

Since open houses are often either staged by a professional or fixed up by the owner, nothing should be disrupted in any way.

If it truly is an emergency, ask the homeowner (if they are there) or the real estate agent showing the home first. Make sure you don’t leave a mess, and try not to touch the towels which are often rented for staging purposes.


  1. Criticize

Even if you like the house overall, there likely will be a few things you don’t like about it. Openly criticizing the home is rude and won’t get you a better deal on the home, no matter what you may have heard.

Even criticizing the furniture or décor won’t buy you any favours since it’s possible the real estate agent had a hand in staging the home. Plus, it’s not unheard of for a homeowner to go undercover as a potential buyer at their own open house to check out the people who will be putting in offers on their home. Not to mention the fact some people have hidden cameras and other security in their home which can record what is said.

  1. Snoop

    It’s generally acceptable to open cupboards, closets, and appliances (if they are included in the home sale) since those are a part of the house you may potentially buy. But it’s NEVER acceptable to open desk drawers or poke through someone’s end table.

    And even though you’ll likely want to open kitchen drawers and the fridge, since they could soon be yours, you are purely doing it to look at the space and see how they slide open. Whatever items are in there are not yours to look through.

  2. Take Photos

You may be tempted to take photos to remember certain things about the home you are viewing. However, you must remember you’re in someone else’s space, and they may not appreciate it.

If you feel you must have pictures to remember aspects of the house you particularly like or don’t like, ask the real estate agent. They may have already taken pictures of the space they can forward to you. Or they may have permission to allow you to take photos.

  1. Take Up Too Much Time

    Rules for open houses

You’re certainly allowed to take your time looking at the home if you’re a serious buyer. But don’t stick around simply because you’re bored or want to chat with other buyers.

And yes, the real estate agent is there to answer questions and show you the benefits of the home, but if it’s a very busy open house, it’s inconsiderate to take up all their time. If you still have questions or would like more information, arrange a chat with the agent after the open house is over.

For more information about open houses, real estate, and any new homes for sale, contact Alex Irish & Associates. Whether you’re looking for a luxury condo or a townhome for sale, we’re here to serve you in Oakville, Mississauga, Burlington, and Hamilton. Contact us today!

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