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Open House Etiquette for Buyers: What to Do and Avoid

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Open houses are a common practice in the real estate industry, allowing potential buyers to view a property without the need for a scheduled appointment. Attending an open house can be an exciting and informative experience, but it’s important to remember that there are certain etiquette guidelines that should be followed. By adhering to these guidelines, you can make a positive impression on the seller and increase your chances of securing the property. In this article, we will explore the do’s and don’ts of open house etiquette for buyers, providing valuable insights and research-based tips to help you navigate the process successfully.

1. Arrive on Time

When attending an open house, it’s crucial to arrive on time. Sellers often spend a significant amount of time preparing their homes for open house viewings, and arriving late can disrupt their schedule and create a negative impression. Aim to arrive within the first hour of the open house to ensure you have ample time to explore the property and ask any questions you may have.

Arriving on time also allows you to avoid the crowds that may gather later in the day. By being one of the first visitors, you can have a more relaxed and focused experience, without feeling rushed or overwhelmed.

2. Dress Appropriately

While there is no strict dress code for attending an open house, it’s important to dress appropriately. Your appearance can influence the seller’s perception of you as a serious buyer, so it’s best to dress in a neat and presentable manner.

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Avoid wearing overly casual attire, such as sweatpants or flip-flops, as it may give the impression that you are not serious about purchasing the property. Instead, opt for business casual attire, such as slacks or a skirt with a collared shirt or blouse. This shows respect for the seller and the property.

3. Be Respectful of the Property

When attending an open house, it’s essential to treat the property with respect. Remember that you are a guest in someone else’s home, and it’s important to act accordingly.

Avoid touching or moving personal belongings, and be mindful of any instructions or signs provided by the seller. If there are areas of the property that are off-limits, such as locked rooms or private spaces, respect these boundaries and do not attempt to access them.

Additionally, be cautious when using the bathroom facilities. Limit your use to what is necessary and ensure that you leave the bathroom in the same condition as you found it.

4. Ask Permission Before Taking Photos

In today’s digital age, it’s common for buyers to take photos or videos of properties they are interested in. However, it’s important to ask for permission before doing so during an open house.

Some sellers may have personal or privacy concerns and may not want their property photographed. By asking for permission, you show respect for the seller’s wishes and maintain a positive relationship.

If the seller grants permission, be mindful of what you capture in your photos. Avoid including personal items or sensitive information that could compromise the seller’s privacy.

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5. Engage in Polite Conversation

Engaging in polite conversation with the seller or their representative can be a valuable opportunity to gather information about the property and demonstrate your interest as a potential buyer.

Ask relevant questions about the property, such as its history, any recent renovations or repairs, and the neighborhood. This shows that you are genuinely interested and have taken the time to research the property.

However, it’s important to strike a balance between showing interest and respecting the seller’s privacy. Avoid asking personal questions or prying into the seller’s personal life, as this can be seen as intrusive and may create an uncomfortable atmosphere.


Attending an open house as a buyer can be an exciting and informative experience. By following the etiquette guidelines outlined in this article, you can make a positive impression on the seller and increase your chances of securing the property.

Remember to arrive on time, dress appropriately, and be respectful of the property. Ask for permission before taking photos and engage in polite conversation to gather valuable information about the property.

By adhering to these guidelines, you can navigate the open house process with confidence and professionalism, ultimately increasing your chances of finding your dream home.

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