What to Know About a House Showing

There’s etiquette for house showings for both the buyers and the sellers. While everyone might have differing opinions, realtors should be able to offer advice for their clients on what is expected.

Sellers will need to prep their homes in different ways and they also should not be present during the house showing. They should also make sure that there are no pets loose in the home during a showing.

Buyers are asked not to bring in any food or drinks into a house showing and to supervise their children. The buyers should also go to a house showing prepared with questions in case they decide to put an offer on the home.

Realtors are the liaison between both parties. The realtor for the seller will give their client advice on how to prepare for house showings while the realtor for the buyer will prepare their clients on what is expected of them during a house showing.

Below are the house showing guidelines for both parties so they understand what is expected and what to know about house a showing.

Tips for Sellers During House Showings

As a seller, there are certain ways you can prepare your house for the market. Remember that all of that preparation needs to continue to be maintained the entire time your house is on the market! Things like cleaning your home and yard, decluttering and depersonalizing your home, and staging can make a huge difference for how appealing your home is to buyers.

When it comes time for your house to be shown, there are certain things you realtor should tell you. One thing is that you shouldn’t be in the home during certain times of the process. Leave the house before any showings, don’t stay.

If you receive enough time before a showing request, get your home in showing order! Pickup and put away any objects that would distract the buyers from looking at your home, don’t leave dirty clothes out, and remove anything from the floor that potential buyers could step on.

Be sure that your home not only looks good, but smells good! Stay away from candles and sprays as these only cover up odors and don’t eliminate them. Put toilet seats down and add a freshener for a clean scent. Take out any garbage with strong odors since bad odors can make buyers dislike your home.

Our list of things you can do quickly before a home showing includes turning on all the lights, opening the blinds to let natural light in, dusting, wiping down the fridge, emptying the dishwasher, and removing dirty dishes from the sink! Buyers will open your fridge and dishwasher, so make sure the appliances are presentable.

Be sure to stow valuables away so they are out of site. For more tips, see this post on how to clean your home before putting it on the market for more information. Also, here is a short video on how to quickly get your home ready before a showing!

One thing that you can do before you show your home is to buy doormats for your front and back doors. This way buyers will have something to wipe their shoes on when they enter your house. Get into the habit of making the beds every morning. Realtors usually try to give you time when scheduling a home, but every now and then a buyer will make a last minute request.

Make it easier on yourself and keep your home tidy and your yard mowed and trimmed so that you don’t have too much to do for any last minute showings. Another thing sellers should prepare for is what to do with their pets during a showing. Either put pets up or, have a friend or neighbor watch them.

Even some pets, like birds or reptiles, should be out of the house if possible during a showing. Ask a family or friend to keep them, you never know when potential buyers might have a fear of your pet! You definitely don’t want a simple mistake such as this to sway a buyer into not liking your home. Click on this post on how to sell your home with pets for more information.

If you want more information on how to get your house ready for the market we have another post that covers this. Click here to read a post on how to sell your home. There are sections for cleaning, decluttering, depersonalizing, and staging your home in this section so your house will be ready to go on the market!

Tips for Buyers During House Showings

While most of the preparation for the home is conducted by the sellers, buyers still need to know the etiquette for a house showing on their part. The easiest way for buyers to get in the house showing mind frame is to act like they would when visiting a friend, but not a close one!

A lot of times the sellers have to find somewhere to go when their house is being shown. They may or may not have animals with them or have asked a friend to watch their pets during the showing. Arriving on time to occupied house showings is a polite gesture on the buyer’s behalf.

If a home is still occupied, the realtor should knock on the door or ring the doorbell just as a courtesy. Most of the time your realtor will get to the home before you and turn on all the lights, so this shouldn’t be an issue. If you do enter a room and turn on a light yourself, be sure to turn it off when you leave.

Another thing that buyers can do is to wipe their shoes before they enter a home. Wipe them again if you go outside to the backyard and the renter the home. Take your shoes off if they are dirty and you think you may track dirt into the home. Think of how you would want people to treat your home if it was on the market.

You can open any drawers or cabinet that are part of the home, but try and refrain from opening bed stand table drawers or medicine cabinets since these are the owner’s personal items. If you need to use the bathroom, make sure that the water is on in vacant homes.

As a buyer, one of the number one things you can do is not bring any food or drinks, besides water, to the showing. Sometimes buyers leave out snacks, but be sure to be careful when eating inside the home. Don’t leave crumbs around the house or leave stains on anything, including the walls or any cabinets you might open!

Another guideline when seeing a house is to not let your children run around the house unsupervised. There may be hazards around the house and if you kids are unsupervised they may get into something they aren’t supposed to.

Plus, you may not be able to focus on the house if you kids are running around. If possible, try to find a sitter for your children or keep them with you during the entire house showing. Also, don’t bring your pets into the house showing!

Lastly, be sure to have a list of questions about the home and nearby areas on hand in case you want to put an offer on the house. Know where grocery stores are, ask about schools if you have kids, and also ask the age of the HVAC and roof. This way you won’t forget to ask anything. Even better, if you can prep your realtor for what you need to know, they can have it available for you when you go to see the home.

There are a lot to things that home buyers, especially new home buyers, need to know. See this post for more information on what home buyers need to know. This way you will be prepared.

Other Times to Follow House Showing Guidelines

There are a few other times when the seller should respect the house showing guidelines. This includes any open houses, the home inspection (the buyers pay for this), and any other inspections that may be requested.

Please note that any of the owner’s pets need to be put up or if friends or family can keep the pets during these time frames. Even though sellers may want to be at home during any showings or inspections, your realtor can relay the reasons why this is not a good idea.

Other Information

Now that you’re prepared for house showings whether you’re the buyer or seller, you should have an idea of what to expect and what’s expected! Every person is different, as is every home.

The realtors representing the buyer and seller should communicate the above information for their clients to ensure a smooth house showing. Ask your realtor if anything is unclear about what you should know for a house showing.

You can also have an open house so more than one potential buyer can view your home in a short amount of time. Read about the benefits in this post.