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How to be a Buyer in this Spring Market

24 March 2013

We talked yesterday about how to be a home buyer in the spring, and about how to prepare yourself financially, as well as what to look for in a home. But in addition to just having things like your finances in order, you also need to get yourself in order too. You need to know what’s expected of you and more importantly, what’s expected that you will not do. There is a proper etiquette that goes along with looking at a home and, if you don’t follow it, it could unfortunately cost you the house of your dreams.

Look the part
You want to look professional and respectful, so don’t show up wearing ripped jeans and your old gym t-shirt. Make sure that you look nice, but don’t think you have to go all out either. After all, the sellers want to impress you just as much as you want to impress them. Nice trousers and a nice shirt should do it, but make sure you don’t overdo it. If sellers think you’re dressed “too nicely,” they may hold faster to their asking price than they would have otherwise, thinking that you’re well-off.

Get a babysitter
Young children find it hard to stay still, and infants can often take most of your attention when you’re trying to look at a home. Making sure that you get a babysitter so that you can look at the home on your own will not only let you pay full attention to the home – it will also have you more relaxed, as you won’t have to worry about children spilling things or knocking things over.

Be on time
The best way to make a seller, their agent, or your agent angry, is to show up late for the showing. It’s rude to be late at any time, but it’s especially important not to be when you’re going to look at a home. Home viewings are usually set on a very tight schedule, and you’re lateness could hold up a seller’s entire morning or afternoon. Also, the seller could likely even be out killing time while you’re at the showing, and will need to stay out longer while they wait for you to show up.

Remove your shoes in the home
It’s more of an American custom to wear your shoes inside a home than it is Canadian, but many of us suddenly seem to forget this when we’re out looking at homes. Just because you’re not staying, and just because this might be one of five different homes you’re looking at that day, doesn’t mean that you should feel free to traipse mud and dirt through someone else’s home. It’s never okay and in fact, if some sellers have certain religious beliefs, it could even be very offensive to them.

Be respectful
Of course, all of these tips are designed to help you be more respectful when showing up to a seller’s home. But it’s important to remember to be respectful while you’re actually going through the home. Keep in mind that you are on someone else’s property, and in someone else’s house. You’re going to need to look into and at certain things, such as perhaps peaking inside the kitchen cupboards to see how deep they are, and that they’re functional. But remember that the bedroom dressers probably aren’t staying, so there’s no need to look inside of them. Only look at what you absolutely have to, and when in doubt, ask yourself if you’d like someone peaking at the same thing if they were in your home.

Save your comments for after
No, you’re not going to like every single thing in every single house that you see. But the chances are good that there’s still going to be somebody living in the home while you’re looking at it. And they may even be present while you are. Don’t say things like, “That wallpaper will obviously have to go,” or “Why would you ever set up the living room like that?” You’re going to have to ask the seller or your agent some things about the structure, the utility bills, and other factors that you’ll have to take into consideration when making the decision of whether to buy the home or not. But keep personal comments, especially those that are about things that are easy to change, to yourself.

Do be sure to say something though
Remember that while house-hunting and checking things off your wish list might be exciting for you, but it’s probably a bit of an inconvenience for the seller. They need to make sure their house is in good order and good condition all the time, and they need to make sure that they make themselves scarce during the showing. If they are there, be sure to tell them that they have a lovely home, and to thank them both for opening their home to you, as well as taking the time to let you see the home. It is polite and, going that extra step might make you stand out in the eyes of buyers that are facing multiple offers.

Going to look at home after home and trying to find the perfect match to the vision you have for your dream home is exciting. And yes, it’s even mostly about you. But it’s not all about you. You are going into someone’s home, and you do want to make a good impression. Follow these tips, and be sure to always follow proper buyer’s etiquette.

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