What to do / not to do at an open house

What is the etiquette at an open house?

I recently did an open house on one my listings and found myself in shock about how open house attendees treated the property. Somehow, I think people forget that they are in someone else’s home and it should be treated as such. The Golden Rule is the easy answer here; do to others as you would have done to you. 377298-14_0


Look at the home thoroughly. You are there to see if you would like to own it/live in it.

Open closets, cabinets, the refrigerator, dishwasher; in short, things that go with the property.

Turn on the water, shower included, flush the toilet, make sure the water works.

Ask lots of questions. What has the seller repaired during their ownership, have they remodeled, did you have a pre-sale pest report or any other inspections.

Ask to come back at different times of the day so you can see how it changes during the time of day, is it noisy during different times of the day (i.e. rush hour, neighbors, etc..)

Be careful walking through the property. Watch for things could be unexpected and that you can trip on.

Ask how to see disclosures after you have seen the property if you are interested in further information.

Turn lights on and off so that you can see how a space looks in different light.

Hold your children’s hand and keep them with you at all times.

Leave pets at home. If you are out on a walk, please tie them up outside. If they are companion animals, have your paperwork with you for the agent to see; if you don’t you will need to carry the pet.


Do not

Open drawers/doors on furniture. That doesn’t go with the property; you don’t need to know what’s inside.

Touch art work.

Use the bathroom without asking. Some sellers are funny about that. 9 times of 10 it’s not a problem, but please do ask. It’s respectful.

Let your kids run around unattended. Kids like to explore and that’s great. But, picking up someone else’s things, eating their food and sitting, lying or jumping on someone’s bed/furniture is not cool. I do not want to reprimand other people’s children and I’m sure they don’t want me to.

Bring in coffee, drinks or food-they can spill and cause damage or a mess.

Take pictures without asking first. There may be other sources of better pictures for you to download, which the agent would be happy to share.