Open House Etiquette to Look Your Best as a Buyer

Open houses are always fun and exciting, but not if you forget your manners at home. Here are some tips on how to make a great first impression.

homes in a suburban neighborhood


Emma Holt


Jan 21, 2021

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Sometimes buyers tend to forget their manners when visiting multiple open houses. Just because you’re a hot buyer with a pretty penny doesn’t mean you can waltz in like you already own the place. Remember, the sellers are the ones who ultimately get to decide who they want to sell their home to so don’t make yourself look bad! HGTV spills their secrets of what you should and should not do at the next open house in your area.

View the largest and most accurate selection of real estate in Ohio by HER, REALTORS® >

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • Kindness matters, especially when it comes to the agent
  • To stay focused on your goal
  • To never overstep boundaries in someone else’s home
  • Not to stick your nose where you shouldn’t
  • How to keep your opinions to yourself (or wait until you get home)
  • To politely ask questions

Be Polite to the Host

Never give the agent the cold shoulder

Always smile and greet the agent hosting the open house and sign in when asked. If you feel the agent is trying to solicit your business, remember that’s their job! Politely tell them you already have an agent and thank them before you leave.

talking to agent
Always greet the agent!

Keep Your Eye on the Prize

Focus on what you really came there for

Don’t treat this like a social hour and instead get down to business if you’re interested. Some sellers may even hand out description sheets including crucial information such as square footage, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and social features.

Always Ask Before Taking Photos & Videos

Try to remember this is their home

Many owners want to keep their belongings private and would rather not have the inside of their home photographed or videotaped. They especially may not want photos of children, grandchildren, family members, etc. included in the recordings. Always ask permission before overstepping.

looking at painting
Well that's awkward.

Never Rummage or Go Where You Don’t Belong

You can look but you can’t touch

Try to remember that if this were your home, you certainly wouldn’t want someone going through your personal belongings. It’s understandable to want to make sure there’s enough storage space so you may need to open a few cabinets or peak in the closet but be careful when doing so.

‍If You Can’t Say Anything Nice, Don’t Say it At All

Wait until you get home to criticize

This is Kindergarten 101. The seller still calls this place home and the home likely holds sentimental value for them. If there ends up being multiple offers, you may lose your chance because the seller heard you criticize their home. If they didn’t catch you then who knows who else did- a potential neighbor? That would be a rough start.

Politely Ask Questions

If they don’t have the answers, ask where you can get the information you’re looking for

Sometimes it can be frustrating if an open house agent is filling in for the actual listing agent, but hey, these things happen. In this case, the agent may not know absolutely everything about the property like you’d expect. Be polite and ask where you can get the information. The same goes for asking the seller questions. Be courteous when asking about other offers, additional fees, or even about neighbors and nearby schools.

Open houses can be a fun way to spend your Saturday if you’re in the middle of house hunting. Research properties ahead of time and come with a plan so you can squeeze as many as your day allows. As always, don’t forget to bring your manners along for the ride!

Homes for Sale In Ohio
August 23, 2017
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