House hunting can seem overwhelming, and it’s easy to get emotionally involved in the process. But even if stress starts to creep in, remember one thing: Mind your manners! House hunting has some “unwritten” etiquette rules to follow, which make the process more enjoyable for all involved. Check out our do’s and don’ts for your next home search.
Do: Get pre-approved.
Picture it: You see a listing, you schedule a viewing, you fall in love and go to make an offer … and then you find out you can’t actually afford the home. No one wants to be in that situation!
Have a budget in mind before you start looking for homes. And when you’re ready to start seriously weighing your options, get pre-approved for a home loan to know exactly how much house you can afford. Not only will this help you planning — but it shows buyers you’re motivated and qualified to potentially purchase their home.
Don’t: Show up late.
Having people in and out of your home can be a stressful process for sellers, especially if they have kids and/or pets to shuffle around during showings. Be punctual to your viewing time — and if you absolutely have to be a little late, don’t expect to stay later than your allotted time.
Do: Be thorough.
A house is a big purchase, so make sure you know what you’re getting. Open cabinets, drawers and closets, and take a look inside big appliances that are staying with the home (like the fridge and oven). And ask your agent questions, like the age of the roof, the condition of the HVAC system, any issues/problems you should know about, the average cost of utilities, and even about the neighborhood. If this is your first, next or forever home, you’ll want to know what you’re getting into.
Be thorough — but know which parts of a person’s home are off-limits. Stay out of dresser drawers, nightstands, laundry hampers and other items that will move with the seller. You wouldn’t want someone going through your personal items, would you?
Do: Be considerate.
Treat the home you’re viewing like your own — after all, it might be someday soon! Ask your agent if you should remove your shoes (especially if it’s snowing or raining out), be careful when walking around fragile items, and be respectful of the seller’s time and belongings.
Don’t: Negotiate or be negative in the home.
A house showing is your time to see your potential home and get to know it better – not to park on the sofa and determine how you want to negotiate. Collect your thoughts while you go through the home, then wait until you leave to discuss your findings and opinions. With today’s technology, many people have security cameras inside your home — so you never know if the seller is listening in. (Another note? Don’t comment negatively on their design aesthetic while you’re in someone’s home, either. You don’t want to lose a home by offending the seller!)
Finding your perfect home can take some time, but it shouldn’t be too stressful to handle. That’s where we come in. Talk to us today about how Corbett & Company can help your search.