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Charlie Glahe WIN Broomfield

The dos and don'ts of visiting an open house

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Before you get a detailed report of homes you want to buy with a property inspection, you may check them out yourself during an open house.

Although sellers are staging their homes to appeal to your and other potential buyers' tastes, that doesn't mean you don't have your own steps to follow. In fact, there are best practices when it comes to how you should conduct yourself when viewing the property.

Ask before you open
Sellers expect guests will want to examine every inch of their homes. However, they're still owed some privacy. Although they may not be at the property during the open house, they may denote rooms or drawers that shouldn't be opened by keeping them closed.

Don't give into your curiosity and open any closed areas without consulting the selling agent at the house. Also, don't open medicine cabinets or other storage items that typically hold private belongings.

Use your manners
There's no rule saying you have to leave the open house with plans to meet up with the selling agent for a few drinks, but be polite and follow the rules. If there's a sign-in sheet, fill it out. If you're told to stay on the plastic runners on the carpet, do so.

Additionally, be courteous to the selling agent. Some real estate professional can be adamant about getting your business in addition to that of the property you're visiting. Kindly inform him or her that you've already got an agent to help you with selling your current home.

Be candid but not rude
Along the same lines of the previous point, avoid uttering malicious statements about the homeowners. You can discuss issues you find with the house, such as cracking or chipping paint, wobbly doors and poor plumbing. These details can be useful for the selling agent, as he or she can inform the client of necessary repairs.

However, it is best to withhold comments that are less about the house and more about the homeowners. If you believe the sellers have the design taste of someone who's been living under a rock for the past 20 years, it's best to keep that sentiment to yourself or wait until after you've left the open house. Not only can such statements be in poor taste, but they can also hurt your chances of getting the home if the seller is offended.