Buying Etiquette 101 | Rules to Follow when Buying a Home

Buying Etiquette 101 | Rules to Follow when Buying a Home

There are a lot of do’s and don’ts when it comes to buying a home, but many of these “rules” are unwritten. Some of these things are common sense, but some of them are not and many people are completely unaware that certain actions and behaviors are frowned upon.

Buying Etiquette 101 - Rules to Follow when Buying a Home

While a lot of home buyers are excited to look at homes a majority of sellers are not excited to have strangers traipsing through their home especially when the buyer has no etiquette, which in turn can stress them out. However, if buyers follow these simple rules they will alleviate unnecessary stress not only from the seller but from the Realtors involved as well.

Rules to Follow When Buying a Home

1. Do NOT Call Other Realtors
Buying etiquette rule 1: If you have a Realtor do not call other Realtors! It’s understandable that you want to see that new listing right away, so you call the listing agent directly. However, you should be calling your agent and if they are unavailable to show the home to you they should be able to make arrangements for one of their associates to show it to you.

The same holds true for any questions you may have, some buyers want to do the “legwork” for their agent. So they call other agents trying to obtain answers, but once again your agent should be able to answer any questions you have, and if they don’t know the answer they should be able to find the answer.

2. Children & Showings
Buying etiquette rule 2: It is best to leave your children at home when looking at homes for sale. However, that’s not always an option for some families, so when you have to bring your children with make sure they are by your side the entire showing, and if they are smaller make sure to hold their hand or carry them.

If your children are unruly it may be best to leave them in the car while you take turns viewing the property. It is not the seller’s job or your Realtor’s job to keep track of your children to make sure they don’t touch or break anything.

3. Avoid Multiple Visits
Buying etiquette rule 3: It’s common to narrow down your home search and want to take a second look at your top picks to make a decision, but it is not normal to continue going back to the same property especially if you haven’t even submitted an offer. Once you go under contract it’s understandable that you want to show everyone your “new home,” measure for furniture or start getting estimates from contractors, but it’s not your home yet. If you need to measure or want to get estimates prior to closing have everyone come during the inspection, which usually takes 1-3 hours, more than enough time to accomplish these types of tasks.

Buying Etiquette 101 - Rules to Follow when Buying a Home in Wellington FL4. No Entourage
Buying etiquette rule 4: Do not drag your parents, friends, and second cousin’s sister’s son with you when viewing homes. Respect not only the seller’s time but your Realtor’s time too.

Dragging multiple people through a home not only takes additional time it can also be very distracting. Plus, it’s incredibly rude to invite people to walk through a stranger’s home when they have zero part in the home-buying process.

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Rules to Follow When Buying a Home (Continued)

5. Food & Drinks
Buying etiquette rule 5: You can certainly bring food and drinks with you when looking at homes for sale, but leave everything in the car, do not bring a bag of chips and soda into the seller’s home.

6. Be On Time
Buying etiquette rule 6: Sellers and Realtors regularly go to great lengths to prepare for an appointment. So respect everyone’s time and be on time. Also, keep in mind this is the seller’s first impression of you. If you’re running late make sure to call. The last thing you want is the seller thinking is you’re lackadaisical about buying a home and don’t respect their time.

7. Pets & Showings
Buying etiquette rule 7: Do not bring your pets into a seller’s home. If you have a service animal make sure to discuss how to proceed with your Realtor. Some sellers have their own pets who may like people, but not other pets, so don’t bring your pet.

8. LOOKING at Properties
Buying etiquette rule 8: If you’re curious about what a home looks like, but have no intention of purchasing it do not ask your Realtor “Can we just look?” This same rule applies to homes above your budget and homes already under contract. Not only are you wasting your time, your Realtor’s time, and the listing agent’s time, but you’re wasting the seller’s time too. A lot of sellers jump through hoops to prepare their homes for a showing. So it is extremely irritating and frustrating when non-serious buyers waste everyone’s time.

9. Follow Showing Instructions
Buying etiquette rule 9: If the seller asks you to remove your shoes or put on shoe covers, do it. If they do not want a door opened, don’t open it. Homebuyers need to keep in mind while the home is listed for sale someone still owns it. Some sellers do not want dirty shoes in their homes and may have a pet behind that closed door.

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of unwritten rules about buying a home. Every buyer should have “buyer etiquette” and be respectful of people’s time and property! If you’re working with a Realtor you need to contact them for all showings and questions. If they are unresponsive or have limited availability, you may have hired the wrong Realtor and might want to consider hiring one that’s a better fit. Buying and selling can be a stressful process, but respect can go a long way and alleviate a lot of stress for all parties involved.

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Are you looking to buy a home? If so there are a lot of do's and don'ts aka a certain buying etiquette that you need to follow, here are the top 9 rules. #homebuying #realestate Click to Tweet

Popular Home Buying Questions

What are the requirements to buy a house for the first-time? The requirements to buy a house for the first time will vary and depend on your location, financial situation, and the type of mortgage you are seeking, if you aren’t paying cash. However, there are a few common requirements. First, you need to have your finances in order. If you need a mortgage you should be pre-approved prior to looking at homes. If you’re paying cash the money should be readily available and you should have proof of those funds. You should know what fees are involved with buying a home.

The Ultimate Home Buying Checklist - How to Find the Perfect HomeAdditionally, you’ll want to discuss all of your “needs” and “wants” with your Realtor, so they have a better understanding of the type of home you’re looking for. Do you need a home with a pool or want a pool? With that being said, how many of your needs and wants you’ll be able to have will most likely depend on your budget and how much you want to spend. If you are approved for $400,000 but want a 5-bedroom home, which usually starts at $500,000 you’ll need to set your expectations accordingly.

There are several steps to buying a house for the first time and a top Realtor and mortgage broker will be able to guide you through the entire process from start to finish.

What is the 30/30/3 rule for home buying? The 30/30/3 rule for buying a home is a general guideline that some experts suggest to help individuals assess their readiness and financial capability to purchase a home. According to this rule, your monthly housing costs should not exceed 30% of your gross monthly income. Additionally, you should have a down payment of at least 30% of the home’s purchase price, and your total debt-to-income ratio (including housing costs) should not exceed 3 times your gross annual income.

The 30/30/3 rule provides a rough estimate to gauge affordability and ensure that you’re not overextending yourself financially when buying a home. However, it’s important to note that individual circumstances can vary, and it’s recommended to consult with a mortgage broker or financial advisor to assess your specific situation to determine the most appropriate homebuying budget and financing options for you.

About the Author

Top Wellington Realtor, Michelle Gibson, wrote: “The Home I’m Buying Didn’t Appraise, Now What?”

Michelle has been specializing in residential real estate since 2001 throughout Wellington Florida and the surrounding area. Whether you’re looking to buy, sell, or rent she will guide you through the entire real estate transaction. If you’re ready to put Michelle’s knowledge and expertise to work for you call or e-mail her today.

Areas of service include WellingtonLake WorthRoyal Palm BeachBoynton BeachWest Palm BeachLoxahatcheeGreenacres, and more.

Buying Etiquette 101 | Rules to Follow when Buying a Home

3 thoughts on “Buying Etiquette 101 | Rules to Follow when Buying a Home”

  1. Simple rules, but you would be surprised how many people do not follow them. Another rule for Millennials: If you attend the inspection, do not bring your dad or some family friend who “knows all about construction”. They will conflict with your professional inspector and you will begin to get pressure from them to buy or not to buy based on their having been there. Get a professional you can trust, then actually trust them.

  2. Thank you for all the home buying etiquette. My husband and I have been looking to buy our first home, and we were wondering what to do when we go to showings. That is good to know that we should avoid visiting a property multiple times even if we do want a second look. I didn’t know it wasn’t normal to do that.

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Michelle Gibson Wellington Florida REALTORMichelle Gibson of the Hansen Real Estate Group Inc is a full-time REALTOR who has been specializing in Wellington Florida real estate since 2001. This veteran of the real estate industry has expertise in technology, marketing, and social media.


Hansen Real Estate Group Inc. is a full-service real estate brokerage specializing in residential real estate. As a customer-focused, quality organization, we achieve success one client at a time. Call 561-333-0446 or e-mail me today at [email protected].

Michelle Gibson and Hansen Real Estate Group Inc fully support the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Accessibility Statement


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