Open House Etiquette

Open houses are very common and helpful whether buying or selling.  Many neighbors are curious and could bring friends and family who want to live in the area.  Buyers, neighbors and sellers all benefit in different way, but each of them have different roles to play…. and there are rules of etiquette for all involved.


Your role is to prepare the house for the showing.  This means cleaning and polishing.  Depending on the season, you’ll need to mow the lawn, trim the bushes, rake the leaves, shovel the snow.  Remember, it starts with curb appeal.  You’ll also need to do the dishes and laundry, and make sure they are put away.  Spray a little air freshener, open the curtains and windows if the weather permits. Be sure all the kids toys are put away and remove any signs of the pets.  Then, most important of all… get out of the house.  Your agent will put up all the signs and take care of all the visitors.   You’ll only inhibit prospects who want to look the place over carefully.


The buyer’s role is to show up and be respectful.  Even if you’re not ready to buy, open houses are a great way to get started.  Brokers can be lonely, giving up a Sunday afternoon to sit in a house, and will welcome you and can even help get you started on the right path of the process.  Don’t be worried if you’re asked to sign in. If it were your house, wouldn’t you want people to identify themselves before they entered?  Don’t forget that this is still a house that belongs to someone else still.  Common courtesies include wiping your feet and not smoking.


Of course you’re curious about the house and would love to poke around. You needn’t be embarrassed about entering. You don’t need an excuse. Agents know that it’s a good idea to welcome you and you may just know the perfect buyer in your group of family and friends.  You’re also expected to be respectful to the property. 

Remember when selling a house, exposure is a good thing.  That’s why open houses are still successful in the modern digital world, but it all hinges on everyone remembering their roles and following proper etiquette.   For more information and tips on open houses, call Helen today at 847.967.0022 or email [email protected].