Home showings are fun! Getting a chance to see the home in person that you loved online can fill you both with excitement and apprehension. Will this property be the one? Will it live up to its online hype? What will the neighborhood be like? There are many questions about the home that still need to be answered.
Sometimes getting the answers to these questions shouldn’t happen during the showing. For instance, you don’t want to climb into the attic to determine how well it is insulated. Remember, the real in-depth questions on structure and mechanicals will be answered during the inspection. And any other questions you don’t feel have been answered during the showing or after reviewing the property disclosures, your Realtor can ask the sellers through their agent (never contact the sellers directly as it may end up hurting your negotiating position should you put an offer on the home). Below are some tips of what you should and shouldn’t do during a showing.
1-Limit the Number of People you Bring with.
Many times buyers, especially first-time buyers, will bring along friends or family members to a showing to help with their decision. While this may be helpful in the end, wait till you see the property for the second time to do so. Initially these extra guests may turn into a distraction and their views may erroneously sway you into liking or disliking a home. Remember the one guest you have that has looked at hundreds of different homes is already with you – your Realtor. Use their guidance and help to narrow down your list of possible homes to properties that you are both comfortable with. Then if you still feel you want to show others the property before the house-warming party, invite them to the next showing.
2-Do Assume you are Being Watched and Listened to.
Surveillance cameras and monitoring devices are increasingly common. You do not want to do or say anything while viewing a property that may anger the owner. Nor, do you want to do or say anything that may hurt your negotiating position. So, keep your opinions of the home and possibly your excitement about it to yourself until you leave the property and can discuss it with your realtor. Remember even if they do not have cameras inside and out on the property, the owners may be sitting with the neighbor having a cup of coffee and watching you. So keep cool!
3-You Need Permission to Live-Stream or Take Photos.
If you need to take photos or live stream to another decision maker who is unable to be at the showing you need the seller’s permission to do so. Unless you have been given that permission you may be violating state laws. Please let your Realtor know beforehand if you would like to take photos, videos, etc. and they can get you the permission you need. If the owners do give you permission, remember the photos and video are for your personal use and should not be shared on social media. Its another way to hurt your negotiating position and invade the owner’s privacy. Wait until it is your home!
4-Do Use Your Imagination.
There will not be a home that you view that will be exactly perfect. Whether it’s the color of the walls or the overall layout you may need to use your imagination to come up with inexpensive ideas to make it perfect for you. Remember you are looking for a solid home in a good neighborhood, that is harder to find than one that is perfectly staged. Your ideas along with the use of different online tools to help you layout the home (do bring a tape measure) and picture it with different flooring and wall colors can help you see the home’s potential.
5-Don’t Help Yourself to the Bathroom.
It’s OK to flush toilets, check the water pressure, open drawers and cabinets. But if you need to use the bathroom don’t be embarrassed to let your Realtor you need to stop along the way prior to getting to the next house. In fact, most Realtors will ask if you need to stop to prevent you from needing to use the bathroom at one of the homes you are seeing. If absolutely must, check with your Realtor first. Some owners can get upset knowing someone has used their toilet.