~Make Your Momma Proud~ (or… How To Act in an Open House)

It’s summertime and we’re all kicking off our shoes enjoying the warmer temperatures & the feeling of less restriction overall.  Kids are lounging, we’re eating later & the sun is out… till 9:00!!  I love summertime…  something about the relaxed feeling of everyday life (while we’re not rushing around that is…) is just so pleasing. Reminds me of childhood I suppose, and the absence of school for a few months.

While we’re all a bit more laid-back, there are a few things to remember when you’re out on a Sunday (or Saturday) and touring Open Houses.  I thought it might be helpful to list some do’s & don’ts just for fun:

* You may be encountering a Realtor, or an Owner.  Either way, get out your best manners and make sure to ask if you may entere with shoes.

* If shoes are welcomed, please remember to wipe your feet, and if wearing stiletto heels, take them off anyway as a courtesy. Some wood floors will receive permanent indents from heels… pine, other soft woods, etc… and what a horrible feeling that would be to notice as you look backward!

* When meeting the Owner, remember that this is his or her beloved “home”, and keep any negative comments to yourself.  Leave that kind of delicate conversation to the Realtors.

* When meeting the Listing Agent, make sure to announce if you are already working with your own Realtor.  They will not mind at all, and in fact will appreciate your information greatly (Your Realtor will appreciate it too!).

* Remember not to divulge your innermost secrets to the Agent or Owner.  Your motivations for your own home sale & your subsequent purchase and other personal details are your own business, and sometimes information divulged in this preliminary stage while your Realtor is not there with you can come back to haunt you when you are in the negotiating phase.  You have every right to know all kinds of things pertinent to the home itself, and they have a right to know basically who you are, and that perhaps you might be interested in the home and plan to talk with your agent about another showing with him or her. Alternately, perhaps you think it’s a lovely home but it will just not suit your particular needs., and this is perfectly fine to communicate, and appreciated by Sellers and Agents alike.

* If you have voiced that the home will not work for you (don’t forget to to throw in a compliment or two anyway!) and are asked to share feedback on the home, feel free to do so.  Just remember to be polite.  Good feedback can come in handy for their selling process.

* If you are a neighbor and “just looking”, let this be known as well.  No one will mind at all, and you may want to mention that you are happy to pass information about this great home on to friends of yours whom you might enjoy having nearer to you.

* If you are looking for a home for yourself, bring a notepad and do ask pertinent questions about the home.  If you forget a notepad, utilize a flyer to make notes.  This comes in handy later when you are trying to remember characteristics of various homes.  When you see a lot of homes our brains have a difficult time distinguishing important details without this kind of reference.

* Ask before snapping photos or taking videos.

* Do not bring food or drinks into the home with you, and do not assume that beverages in the refrigerator are there for your consumption.

* Speaking of opening cabinets, closets and refrigerators, this is a really good idea so that you can see how much space there really is for storage. Some bedrooms look as though they have a lot of closet space until you open the doors and find that the closet is a foot deep and doesn’t span all the way from side to side.  The same is true for pantries etc.

* Opening drawers is fine as well, let’s say, in the kitchen… but when in peoples’ bedrooms and personal bathrooms, use your good judgment and do not open drawers and medicine cabinets at all.  Privacy is to be respected, and you do not want to be accused of taking anything such as jewelry or medicines either (this has been known to happen). Most Sellers will remove personal items, but some will not.  Just mind your P’s & Q’s and respect privacy in these areas.  If you decide you want to make an offer on this home, there will be plenty of time to inspect drawers in these areas further down the line.

* Refrain from using the restroom unless it is absolutely necessary.  If it is, remember that people will be following you with the idea of possibly purchasing this home after you exit.  Be kind to the Seller and leave everything tidy & fresh.

* If you are bringing children into the home, be extra vigilant and do not allow them to run through it or play on the couches or take food or drink from the refrigerator.  Treat the experience with the care you would appreciate if it were your home, and keep the environment welcoming for others who are also there & perhaps pondering purchase.

* No pets, please.

I hope these ideas were helpful & good food for thought.

Happy house-hunting!


PS- I am holding my listing at 979 Devon Lane Open this SATURDAY from 1 4 PM with LIVE MUSIC and hopfully clear skies for views of Mt Hood & Mt Adams!  Come say hi & listen to some great tunes with Michael MandrellMimy, and Jimmy Free.  I can’t wait!!