10 Open House Etiquette Tips

If you’re selling your home, having an open house or two is a great way to get more eyes on your property. The extra advertising it provides and the opportunity to walk through a home at your own pace can be very attractive to buyers that have been looking for a while.

When attending an open house, it's important to remember that you are a guest in someone else's home. Here are some etiquette tips to keep in mind:

  1. Respect the property. Avoid touching personal belongings or using the bathroom. Be gentle with doors, windows, and furniture.
  2. Remove shoes. Most hosts will appreciate if you took off your shoes upon entering the house. This helps keep the floors and carpets clean. If there’s a mix of people wearing shoes and not wearing shoes, er on the side of being a guest.
  3. Register your name with the host realtor. While this may get you a call from the realtor asking about your interest, it is also a way for the realtor to protect their client. Walking into a fully furnished home with an all-access pass does come with some risk to the seller, and a sign in sheet is a respectful way to show your intent.
  4. Avoid bringing food or beverages into the home. If you need to eat or drink, step outside, or wait until you leave. 
  5. Be mindful of other visitors. If the home is crowded, wait your turn to view each room. Don't linger in any one area for too long and avoid monopolizing the host’s time. If you need more time, ask the host realtor when the offer date is and schedule a private showing to go through the property more thoroughly.
  6. Let the host realtor know if you already have an agent. It’s common courtesy among realtors to not attempt to take on each other’s clients. Everyone wants to remain professional and provide the best representation they can, and if you already have an agent, they will focus on the guests that need representation.
  7. Ask permission to take photos. Always ask the host for permission before taking photos inside the home. Some sellers may not want photos taken at all.
  8. Leave the kids with a sitter if you can. There’s a possibility the home is not childproof and bringing children into a foreign environment full of new things can be more than some little fingers can handle.
  9. Please don’t bring a pet unless required for medical reasons.
  10. Leave feedback. If you have feedback for the host realtor or seller, share it respectfully and constructively. 

By following these simple etiquette tips, you can be sure your open house visit is a positive experience for everyone involved.