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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Open House Etiquette For Homebuyers

Open House Etiquette for Buyers

When visiting an open house, homebuyers can expect to tour the inside and outside of the home for sale. But what do home sellers expect from homebuyers visiting the open house? If you plan on touring a St. Louis or St. Charles County, Missouri open house you’ll want to learn these ground rules to be a great guest and an astute homebuyer.

1. Inspect and Respect the Neighbors  
When arriving at the open house inspect the neighborhood and the neighbors, as these could one day be your neighbors. Take note of the condition of the neighbors’ homes and if they maintain their property. When parking, be respectful. Don’t block a neighbor’s driveway or cut through their yard to get to the front door of the open house.

2. Show Up Early
Showing up early at an open house will help you avoid any crowds. This will also give you more time to speak with the agent or seller holding the open house and ask pertinent questions. But don’t monopolize the agent’s time if there are multiple people viewing the home.

Remove shoes at open houses

3. Remove Shoes
Many home sellers will ask open house attendees to remove their shoes. This is often because the sellers have had their floors cleaned, waxed or shampooed to make their home look its best. Some home sellers may provide cloth booties to put over your shoes. Other home sellers won’t mind if you remove shoes or not. Knowing this will help you decide if you want to wear slip-on or other easy-to-remove shoes to open houses.

4. Sign In
The home seller or real estate agent hosting the open house will likely ask you to sign in and if you currently have an agent. The information you will be asked to provide when signing in is usually name, phone number and email address. Use your real information. This gives the seller or agent the opportunity to follow up with you if the home is reduced in price or other changes are made. If you’re working with an agent, let them know. If not, this is a good opportunity to interview the agent.

5. Special Instructions
There may be special instructions for those visiting the open house. A family pet could be crated or enclosed in a specific area that you should be aware of so you aren’t startled. Or there may be construction being performed on an area of the house that could be dangerous for children or those not paying attention. So check if the agent or home seller has special instructions you should be aware of. You may even learn something about the home that you would not know otherwise.

opening cabinets at an open house

6. To Open or Not to Open
When touring a home for sale home sellers usually expect that homebuyers will open and look in cabinets and closets to inspect for size and space but it is a good rule of thumb to ask if you can do so. Do not open furniture that is not attached to the home such as dressers, side tables, armoires, jewelry boxes or other furniture where the sellers keep personal items.

7. What to Look For
When visiting an open house get a closer look at the home’s major systems and appliances to see the condition. Use the opportunity to check for foundation cracks or old plumbing or wiring. Also check for dampness in the basement or if the land around the home is graded to keep water out of the home.

8. Ask Questions
If questions arise as you tour an open house, ask the home seller or agent holding the open house. Since the listing description that appears on websites and the multiple listing service won’t be able to tell you every single detail about a home, this is a great chance to get more information. Asking about the neighbors, neighborhood, the age of the roof and major systems like the furnace and air conditioner, and if the appliances stay with the home are all good questions. Keep in mind that agents holding an open house are not allowed to say if a home seller is willing to take less for a home.

9. Use a Buyer’s Agent
A listing agent holding an open house represents the seller’s best interest. Keep in mind that working with a separate buyer’s agent means that you have an agent on your side that represents your best interests as the homebuyer in the transaction. A buyer’s agent doesn’t have to go to open houses with you, but having one means you’ll have an expert on hand to represent and negotiate for your best interests as well as follow up on what you saw at the open house.

Is moving on your mind? The Boehmer Team has experienced buyer’s agents to help you navigate and procure the home you want in a competitive real estate market. If you are thinking of buying a home in the St. Louis, Missouri metropolitan area, be sure to interview TheBoehmer Team. You can learn more about The Boehmer Team and search for open houses in the area and price range of your choice at If you’re selling a home and would like to know what is expected from home sellers for an open house, check out our article Open House Etiquette for Sellers

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Open House Etiquette For Sellers

Open House Etiquette For Home Sellers

Part of the process of selling a home is making it available to show to those who are considering purchasing it. An open house is one of the best ways to make it available to lots of potential homebuyers at once. For home sellers looking to sell a St. Louis or St. Charles County, Missouri area home, these ten open house etiquette rules are great guidelines to follow to make the most of your open house.

1. Clean and Declutter
Since the condition of your home is a place that your participation has the most effect, you’ll want to make your home look its very best by cleaning and decluttering. This includes: paint touch ups, organizing, making room in the closets and cabinets to make them look spacious, removing extra furniture and collectibles to make the rooms feel larger, and other projects. For a complete list of projects to prepare your home to sell, read our blog Preparing a Home to Sell.

2. Stage  
Staging a home to sell goes beyond cleaning and decluttering, it is looking at the home through the eyes of potential buyers and setting up the home to most appeal to them. This may mean repainting dark-colored walls to neutral colors, moving furniture placements, and removing personal items and photos that keep potential buyers from envisioning themselves living in the home.  Although in most cases staging is extremely advantageous, selling a vacant home is not always a problem.  Often times the design, finishes and architecture are sufficient to demonstrate the home in its best light. For more advice on staging check out the article Advice From Award Winning Home Stagers or bring in an experienced real estate agent to give you advice on what buyers are looking for.

Open House Curb Appeal

3. Get the First Impression Right
Don’t forget to clean and declutter the outside of your home and landscaping as well. Cut the grass, trim the shrubs, touch up any paint and put away any toys or yard maintenance items. This will create nice curb appeal and give potential homebuyers a good first impression of your home.

4. Use Light
Brighten up your home with lots of light. Replace any burned-out light bulbs, clean the windows and open the curtains and blinds. Light makes the home appear larger and lighter. Read Enhance Your Home With Lighting for more extensive tips on lighting a home.

5. Smell Test
One of the first things potential buyers will notice is if a home has a smell. Check your home for any lingering odors. This can be difficult because we often become nose-blind to the scents in our home. We recommend having a trusted friend come over and tell you if they notice any smells. For more great info on home smells and how to get rid of them, check out our blog How to Remove Home Smells.

Get Rid of Home Smells

6. Temporarily Remove or Crate Pets
We understand that pets are part of the family. However not all homebuyers are pet owners, and some may even have a fear of certain pets. Show potential homebuyers that you respect their desire to inspect your home without pet interruptions. If you do leave pets in the home, crate them, and consider leaving a sign to alert open house attendees that a pet is crated in a particular area.

7. Secure Valuables and Medications
Though a real estate agent is present to show potential homebuyers your home during an open house, it is not always possible to keep track of multiple people viewing the home at once. A good rule of thumb is to secure valuables and medications in a safe place or off the property during open houses and home showings. 

8. Park Somewhere Else
When hosting an open house for potential homebuyers, park your car somewhere other than the driveway. This will accommodate visitors and allow them to use the driveway, just as they would if they one day owned the home. It’s a great way to set the stage to make them feel at home.

9. Let the Agent Host
Potential homebuyers will be more open about their thoughts on a home they’re viewing if they are viewing with an impartial third party. By letting your agent host the open house you can get valuable feedback that divulges the true thoughts and feelings of those viewing the home. Then you can use that information to make any improvements to create a more positive impression for future homebuyers viewing the home.

10. Be Patient Waiting for Feedback
Your real estate agent may need up to 48 hours to gather all notes and feedback from the open house. Why so long? The agent hosting the open house may have follow-up to do with homebuyers who saw the home, particularly if homebuyers had specific questions the agent couldn’t answer at the time of the open house. The agent will then get back to the homebuyers with the answers and may be able to get even more information from those potential buyers. So be patient. Your agent is working hard to make sure they can give you a full report.
Is moving on your mind? If you are thinking of selling a home in the St. Louis, Missouri metropolitan area, be sure to interview The Boehmer Team. We would be honored to prove our experience and expertise in person. Or you can learn more about The Boehmer Team at