Remember when your mother used to say things like: "Take your shoes off in the house!" or "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all!"? Well this post is kind of like that.
#1 Make sure that you are actually available to view homes when you tell your REALTOR to make appointments. Viewing homes when trying to find your next home is central to the process and as a REALTOR, I understand that I will likely be working around your work schedule in order for you to view homes. Your REALTOR (me hopefully) has taken the time to set up appointments for you to view homes that fit your criteria and your price point. We have called other REALTORs who have called their clients and let them know to have the home ready for viewing at a specific time. People have lives, they have kids, they have pets, they work shift work. Very few people have the luxury of staging their home for viewings and then walking away for 2 months while their REALTOR sells it. They need the time to prepare the home and it is frustrating to work like crazy and then have the showing cancelled. There is nothing worse than booking 10 homes for Saturday starting at 10 am and then calling to cancel everything at 9 am.
#2 Come prepared and if you can, leave the kids at home. We are going to see a lot of homes in a short period of time. We usually make appointments 15 to 20 minutes apart because most people know within 5 minutes whether or not a home is on the "maybe" list. That makes for a lot of buckling and unbuckling child seats, dealing with shoes and jackets and let's not talk about the temptation of toys. Okay, let's talk about it. Some houses have some very cool toys (some for kids but increasingly more for adults) and collectibles. It is not fair to ask your children to resist temptation for so long. It makes for a long, frustrating day for both them and you, and frankly, you need to be concentrating on the homes you are seeing. We can always bring them to the second showings if you wish to include them in the decision making process. Oh and before I forget: easy on shoes, because yes, we are taking them off in every home.
#3 If you can't say anything nice... Don't get me wrong! I want your honest feedback, but we need to be respectful. With today's upswing in Smart Home Technology you would be amazed how many homes have cameras and security systems that are recording what is being said. You may not like dusty blue walls with cabbage rose wallpaper borders and that is fine, not everyone has the same style or taste. Just say "It needs some updating." rather than "Good Lord there isn't enough primer in NATO to cover those walls!". Once we are back in the car you can tell me how you truly feel!
#4 Only ask to see homes you are actually interested in and capable of purchasing. Sellers list their homes in order to sell their homes, they are not an interactive Pintrest. They are expecting that when a REALTOR asks to show the home they have bonafide buyers who are interested in purchasing it. Please do not ask to see a home just because you have always wanted to see inside or you have always wondered what the current owners have done to your friend's old house.
When we view a home consider it a special invitation. They have gone out of their way to tidy, bake cookies and may have suspended a planned family activity so that we can be there. Someone is sharing a glimpse into their private haven, let's do them the honor of being respectful of their home.