Yesterday we talked about 8 Unwritten Home Seller Etiquette Rules..

Today let’s talk about the 7 Unwritten Home Buyer Etiquette Rules.

These can help you score a contract on your dream home.. or, if ignored, potentially sink your chances.

Get pre-approved for a home loan

If you’re ready to buy a house this is a critical first step. Doing this lets you know how much house you can afford before you start shopping. Plus, most Realtors® and now even for sale by owner sellers require a pre-approval letter before meeting to show a home. Think of it this way.. if you were selling your home you wouldn’t want anyone who just “wanted to look” going through it.. you want serious buyers who are ready and able to purchase.

Be on time

If you happen to be running late or need to reschedule a showing appointment let your agent know as soon as possible. Keep in mind many homes you look at are occupied and the owners may have had to scramble out of the house to allow you a private showing. It sends a negative signal when home owners got out of the house for a showing only to have no one show up.. the next call to the listing agent to reschedule a missed showing then involves some level of tension and frustration.

Kick off your shoes

My real estate investing mentor actually taught me this 12 years ago, but it translates to the retail (agent) world too. I take my shoes off when I enter homes I’m looking at to either list or buy out of respect for the homeowner. When you’re viewing homes the homeowner will – hopefully – not be present, but that shouldn’t change this practice. Imagine coming home after a showing only to have to sweep & mop..again. In some cases the owner or agent will have booties you can slip over your shoes so you can keep them on without tracking dirt and mud into the home. Otherwise, kick ’em off!

Don’t bring an entourage

There is no harm in bringing someone who can help you decide on a home; however, it’s best to try to view the home without kids or extra friends and family..at least for the first viewing. This let’s you get a good feel for the home without a lot of distraction or external opinions to see if it goes on the short list of properties to consider for an offer. If it makes it to that point we can always schedule another showing if you need some help from friends or family. If you need to bring your kids make sure to keep an eye on them so they don’t wander off or get into something they shouldn’t.

Think about the seller’s privacy when taking photos

This is a more recent rule with the advent of technology and social media. Make sure you don’t share pictures you took of someone’s house online. They have pictures they’ve agreed to share publicly on the MLS. There may be some angles or items you capture in your pictures that could be a concern of privacy for the owner.

Don’t linger too long

A typical showing lasts 15 to 30 minutes. Some are shorter [especially if a buyer either loves or hates the home] while some go longer. Again, keep in mind that for occupied homes the owners may have had to leave to accommodate the showing.. often this is at times they would normally be home, so they’re driving around, staying at the neighbors or doing something until they can return home and relax again. It’s OK to stay a bit longer, but consider scheduling a second showing if the home makes it onto your short list. 

Avoid excessive multiple visits

I know.. I just said “don’t take too long – you can schedule a second showing.” That’s perfectly acceptable and generally expected. Remember to respect the owners, though.. try to reserve multiple visits for homes you’re seriously considering. If you end up getting an offer accepted you’ll also be able to spend a good bit of time at the home during the inspection.

The original article mentions 7 rules, but I want to mention – just like sellers – you also want to be flexible. This could include when you’re requesting showings and when you’re negotiating on price and various terms of the sales agreement.

A good Realtor® [ahem..see my contact info below..] will help guide you through your home buying experience, but knowing these things ahead of time will help.

Read the original article here: 7 Unwritten Etiquette Rules Every Home Buyer Should Know

If I can help you or any one you know buy, sell or rent a house please keep me in mind.

Houston Long

REALTOR® & Real Estate Investor

Maximum One Greater Atlanta Realtors

Direct: 770-608-7550

Office: 770-919-8825 x 1188