There are a lot of do’s and don’ts when 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.
While a lot of home buyer’s are excited to look at homes a majority of seller’s 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 buyer’s 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
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 it 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 buyer’s 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
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 Realtors job to keep track of your children to make sure they don’t touch or break anything.
3. Avoid Multiple Visits
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.
4. No Entourage
Do not drag your parents, friends and second cousins sisters son with you when viewing homes. Respect not only the sellers time, but your Realtors time too. Dragging multiple people through a home not only takes additional time it can also be very distracting.
5. Food & Drinks
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
Sellers and Realtors regularly go through 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, so if you’re running late call, the last thing you want is the seller thinking buying a home isn’t a priority, that you’re lackadaisical about the process and don’t respect their time.
7. Pets & Showings
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, which may be people friendly, but not pet friendly, so arrangements might need to be made.
8. LOOKING at Properties
If you’re curious 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 Realtors time and the Listing Agents time, but you’re wasting the seller’s time too. A lot seller’s jump through hoops to prepare their home for a showing, so it is extremely irritating and frustrating when non-serious buyer’s waste everyone’s time.
9. Follow Showing Instructions
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. Home buyer’s need to keep in mind while the home is listed for sale people still own it and some seller’s do not want dirty shoes in their home and may have a pet behind that closed door.
Be respectful of people’s time and property! If you’re working with a Realtor who is unresponsive or has limited availability, you may have hired the wrong Realtor and might want to consider hiring a Realtor that’s a better fit. Buying and selling can be a stressful process, but respect can go along way and alleviate a lot of stress.
If you think this article, Buying Etiquette 101 | Rules to Follow when Buying a Home, was an interesting read and helpful, please share it across your social media platforms!
— Michelle Gibson (@WellingtonHomez) January 3, 2018
Additional Home Buying Resources
- What Not to Do Before Buying a Home by Bill Gassett
- 14 Steps To Buying A House by Kyle Hiscock
- Don’t Be Left in The Dark When Buying Your First Home by Maria Mastrolonardo
- Home Buying Tips: Signs You Are Ready To Purchase! by Luke Skar
- Guide To Buying A Home by Wendy Weir
- Age in Place Searching for a Home by Sharon Paxson