7 Tips to House Viewing Etiquette: Viewing a Home

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It’s not often that I have a guest blog on my site as blogging is something I love to do.  This week however, is a guest blog post by my good friend Maria Doll with Leadership Matters.  Maria is an etiquette expert and she’s sharing with us her 7 tips when viewing a home to potentially purchase it!  Enjoy.

Purchasing a home is one of the single most expensive investments for a family. Most of the time, there isn’t a large number of terrific houses to choose from. So when you find that ideal home to purchase, be the best potential buyer with these tips inspired by a blog written by Allison Hendricks.

  1. Be prompt

Make a great first impression with the seller or broker by being on time for the viewing appointment. It shows that you respect the schedule of others. Often the sellers won’t be present but the listing broker, referred to as the “spy” for the seller, is. Afterward, you may decide to place a bid so remember that the broker will report back to the seller their initial feelings about you as a buyer. You want that person to like you so that the seller will accept the bid!

  1. Respect the home

viewing a homeGenerally, there is a common understanding about removing shoes when entering someone’s home. And some cultures actually demand it. Nonetheless, removing shoes is a way of showing respect for the seller’s home. This is especially important if you have done a tour around the exterior of the house. Definitely, the shoes will have dirt which you don’t want to track inside particularly if the carpets are light-coloured.

  1. Have questions ready

Do ask questions about the age of the furnace; the roof; as there many children in the neighbourhood; the community. Plus, it’s fine to open the following:

  • Closet
  • Kitchen cabinets
  • Bedroom doors
  • Bathroom doors
  • Pantry
  • Linen closet
  • Dishwasher door (if it is part of the sale)
  • Refrigerator door (if it is part of the sale)
  • Washer lid/dryer door (if they are part of the sale)

If unsure, just ask the broker for permission. Often the seller will provide a list of those areas that they don’t want viewed for privacy sake, for example medicine cabinet; night table; home office. Once again, be respectful of the seller’s wishes.

  1. Bodily functions

Refrain from the using the bathroom unless it’s an absolute emergency. Sellers feel very uncomfortable about strangers using the facilities particularly since they work hard to keep their home clean during the viewing period. However, should an emergency occur, leave the bathroom as you found it.

There may be instances where you want to check on the plumbing if you suspect that it may be old. Always ask the broker, first, before flushing the toilet or running water in the sink. You don’t know if the water has been turned off.

  1. Food

Never bring along that half-eaten sandwich from lunch or a snack. You might inadvertently leave a stain on the wall or door handle. Plus, the seller’s family could have allergies that your food might trigger. Once again, show respect for the home by eating your meal ahead of the appointment.

  1. Let’s make a deal

The viewing appointment is not the time to negotiate with the broker. And refrain from making negative comments as you move through the home. “That ensuite is too small”; “What were they thinking with that orange shag in the dining room!!”. Don’t forget that the broker is the “spy” and will report those remarks back to the seller.

viewing a home


  1. Children and pets

Don’t bring children to the house viewing even if they are very excited to see the home for the following reasons:

  • They require attention and you want to be focused on the viewing not missing anything
  • They could open up doors to areas that are off limits
  • They might become restless during the viewing

The same goes for your pets as well:

  • They might relieve themselves in the seller’s yard who might not appreciate the mess
  • The sellers could have pet allergies

Buying a home is a stressful event so you want to be as hyper focused as possible without extra distractions.

To conclude, you want to make the best first impression possible especially if the prospective home would be perfect for your family. These tips will ensure that you will be top of mind for the seller and listing broker. Remember the adage that says we like doing business with those whom we like!

Thank you Maria for these great tips.  I know as I read your blog that I thought many of your tips were ‘common sense’.  As we all know all too well, what is common sense for you and me is not common sense for others.  Thank you again for the great tips! 

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  1. Maria
    on 14.08.2017
    at 8:16 PM

    Thank you, Sheri, for sharing my blog post!! Much appreciated…

    • on 20.08.2017
      at 12:34 PM

      Thank you Maria!

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