Are These Open House Questions Rude?

It’s open house day and buyers are flocking to your property. What happens when touring guests need to use the bathroom? Will they ask you or will they wander off and accidentally use your property’s detached toilet? For the touring guests who are too embarrassed to ask, HouseLogic writer Stacey Freed contacted real estate pros for input on the top hidden questions buyers have about open house etiquette.

Can I use the bathroom?

A client with a full bladder needs a place to go, but how would they know if the home’s toilets are functioning? “[Guests should] ask permission,” says Pat Vredevoogd Combs, former NAR president. Combs works in Grand Rapids, Mich., and deals with many vacant homes without running water, especially during the winter. If no one asks, inform guests about bathroom use early on during the open house and be sure no one’s using an unusable toilet.

Is it OK to bring in my coffee?

“Many first-time home buyers are millennials, and I almost never see them without a cup of Starbucks in their hand,” Combs says. “I had one guy spill his coffee on white carpeting and we had to get down on our hands and knees to clean it up.” Buyers need to take caution when bringing outside drinks to open houses, and food is a no-no unless the seller is offering snacks. Guests should eat only in the kitchen, preferably over a napkin.

Can I look in the closets?

“Absolutely,” says Tg Glazer, 2016 president of the New Jersey Association of REALTORS®. Whoever is touring the property is welcome to look inside closet spaces, Glazer says, but agents should not allow guests to ransack through what’s already in the home. “Buying a home is probably the biggest purchase [buyers are] ever going to make, and [they] need to check out everything.”

Can I sit on the furniture?

“Feeling comfortable enough to want to sit on the furniture might be a good intent to buy, but it isn’t your furniture and you’re not buying it,” Combs says. Some open houses use staged furniture, so make sure touring guests know not to plop down on an empty cardboard box in disguise. Buyers may ask to sit if they need to for health reasons, of course. The bottom line for furniture at open houses? “Do unto others’ homes as you’d have them do unto yours,” Freed writes.

Source: “Is It OK to Use the Bathroom When You’re Touring a House?” HouseLogic

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