Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

Is there open house etiquette for buyers?

Corporate - Home Page
01 April 2022
Save Article

Do’s and don’ts for your property inspection journey.

Is there open house etiquette for buyers?

Open houses or home inspections are an integral part of finding the right property for you. But did you know there is etiquette when inspecting?

When house hunting, we want to make sure we are being thorough in our assessment, so a certain amount of hands-on investigation is only to be expected. But how much is too much?

We have compiled a list of do’s and don’ts for your property inspection journey.

What can and should you do at an open house?

Ask questions

The agent is there to sell the property and is very familiar with it, so if queries pop up during the inspection, be open and ask freely.

A good agent will call you after the inspection to see what you thought about the house, so If you have additional questions, you can ask them then..

Some common questions might include:

  • Has the property been renovated? If yes, when and what were the renovations?
  • Why are the owners selling?
  • How long has the property been on the market?
  • Have you received any offers for the property?
  • Will the owners accept a contract subject to conditions (e.g. finance, sale of your property etc.)
  • Are you aware of any big developments or infrastructure planned nearby?
  • Are there any known issues with the property, the land or the neighbouring properties?

Check if anything is broken, sticks or squeaks

It is fine to open kitchen cupboard doors to see if the storage is suitable, check the pressure on a tap and how easily they turn on or off, or see if any doors stick or squeak. It’s also fine to use a tape measure to check dimensions - but be discreet about it. Tip: most properties have a brochure with a floorplan included - use that to mark up any measurements taken.

Take photos or video, with permission

It’s generally considered acceptable for would-be buyers to take photos or videos at an open house. But make sure you check with the agent before doing so, just to be safe. Avoid taking photos or videos of personal photos.

Imagine you are living there - to a point

When thinking about buying a property, it’s natural to want to know how the space feels. So taking a seat at the kitchen counter or in the lounge is okay, as you think about how your furniture would work, but avoid sprawling out on the bed or having your feet up on the couch. Some common courtesy is expected.

Remove your shoes at the door

Many people don’t want shoes worn inside their homes. Whether that’s for cultural reasons or just because they don’t want dirt and germs tracked into their house, it’s important that you respect this. Be prepared and wear socks or some form of foot covering as bare feet are also unacceptable. Often the agent will have a sign at the door to prompt you to remove your shoes.

What you shouldn’t do at an open house:

Criticise the property out loud

Some people think that criticising a property will put off other potential buyers - but that’s just bad manners. While it’s normal to find flaws in a property when you inspect it, it’s best to discuss it quietly with the agent or talk to the agent after the inspection.

Don’t bring food or drink

Yes, it’s tempting to wander through the house with a coffee in your hand, but accidents do happen. Same with food. Crumbs, greasy fingers, and ice cream drips are just not acceptable.

Don’t use the bathroom.

It should go without saying, but it is never acceptable to use the toilet facilities when attending an open home. Leave and either attend the next open home or contact the agent for a private inspection.


While it’s fine to have a quick look. There’s a difference between taking a quick look at how deep a bathroom cupboard is and being a sticky beak, going through someone’s personal possessions.

While it should go without saying: don’t snoop nor touch personal items.

Corporate - Home Page
01 April 2022
Save Article

Get more from Barry Plant.
Sign up for our newsletter

Sign up now to stay informed about market trends, investment opportunities, and exclusive property listings. Don't miss out on valuable insights - join our community today!