Home viewing protocol.

 You have a responsibility when viewing homes with your Realtor.  

Please leave young children and babies at home.  It is not a great idea to take kids on a first viewing as they can be too distracting.  

 Arrive on time for the viewing .  You should always make the effort to arrive on time. Also if you are coming with others, make sure you arrive together. Showings are usually set for a certain time and it is not only an inconvenience to your agent if you are late but the seller may be on a schedule. Often owners will leave just in time for a showing and may be waiting to return after its completion.

 Take off your shoes even if you are not accustomed to taking off your shoes.   Before entering someone else's home, it is best to do so when viewing a home so that you do not track mud and dirt into the home. People from various cultures and religions who do not wear shoes in their home may be offended if you enter their house with your shoes on.

 Respect the seller's personal property.   While it is okay to open kitchen cabinets, pantries and closets, try to keep the investigation down to a minimum.  Avoid opening dresser drawers, looking at personal items and using the master bathroom. Don’t criticize things you don’t like in front of the homeowner If the owners happen to be at home, keep conversation with them to a minimum. Most sellers try to be out when a showing takes place but sometimes it is just not possible. It is best not to ask them about why they are selling or where they are going. These questions are better filtered through your Realtor.   The very worst thing you can do is say things like " we'd have to knock that wall down' and 'if we filled the pond in the garden it would look much better'. The vendor is probably very proud of their property the way it is. Although, some aspects of the house may not suit you and while you may not wish to purchase the home, it is best to have those discussions with your spouse out of earshot

Most people have enough common sense to be courteous and careful when entering a stranger's home for viewing. When in doubt about protocol, just ask your agent. One of the standing rules about viewing a home is - leave it exactly the way you found it.

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