Etiquette Hell

Etiquette School is in session! => The Ehell Guide to Never Behaving Badly => Topic started by: MamaMootz on March 15, 2010, 05:53:55 PM

Title: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: MamaMootz on March 15, 2010, 05:53:55 PM
I just had this one happen to me today, so I thought I'd start a thread on it.

When there is a home for sale on the market,

Please do not walk up to the picture window in front of the house, lean on the glass with your spouse, put your hands up to your eyes and peer into the house. We still live in the house and are most startled to come downstairs and see you peering into our home, and we don't really care for that.

If you have any questions about the house, ask.

Please leave the home the way the homeowner has it. If you open a closet or a cabinet, don't rifle through the owner's belongings.

Please leave the lights on if they are on when you get there, or off  if they are turned off.
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: MamaMootz on March 15, 2010, 07:04:35 PM
Also, adding to this:

Please don't schedule a showing at an early time on a weekend, then show up for it 2 hours later without a courtesy call.
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: Lisbeth on March 15, 2010, 07:28:14 PM
You are responsible for compensating the homeowners for any damage you or your children cause to a home or contents that you are viewing.
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: MamaMootz on March 15, 2010, 09:46:50 PM
And one more that happened to me also that I just remembered:

When you arrive at the home, please let the homeowner know you are there to look at the home. Do not wander around the house, and all through the yard without telling the homeowner first. The homeowner will be startled to see strange people walking through their yard and property without knowing who you are.
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: ginlyn32 on March 16, 2010, 06:14:45 AM
comment deleted by poster.
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: Hushabye on March 16, 2010, 10:30:26 AM
For realtors:

*When someone schedules a showing for one of your properties, let the tenants know so that the viewing realtor and prospective buyers don't walk into a home on the poor, unprepared tenants!  It's scary for the tenant, embarrassing for everyone else, and NOT a good way to make a sale.  (No, we most definitely did NOT buy that house!  We never even saw past the front door.)
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: Bibliophile on March 16, 2010, 10:33:43 AM
*Please honor the 24hr notice for scheduling viewing appointments. One should not just drive buy and call the realitor and ask to see the house that night...with 20 minutes notice.

I disagree with this...  It's ok to ask.  But don't get upset if the seller isn't able to work it into his/her schedule immediately.  It could very well be that you catch the seller at a good time and they're able to do a viewing...
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: Bibliophile on March 16, 2010, 10:37:27 AM
I'd like to add:

- Clean your shoes before entering the house. 

- If you catch the seller at home, don't make rude comments

- don't try to become buddy-buddy with the seller and tell them how much marriage stinks and that you like to stay home and smoke weed while your husband travels for work.  (you wouldn't think that note would be necessary, but I was surprised....)

- if your car leaks fluids, park on the street, not the driveway

- agents - don't snoop through seller's belongings
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: Snowy Owl on March 16, 2010, 07:43:24 PM
For realtors:

*When someone schedules a showing for one of your properties, let the tenants know so that the viewing realtor and prospective buyers don't walk into a home on the poor, unprepared tenants!  It's scary for the tenant, embarrassing for everyone else, and NOT a good way to make a sale.  (No, we most definitely did NOT buy that house!  We never even saw past the front door.)

Having been in the tenant's shoes I'd pod this.  My then landlord sold the flat I rented a few years ago.  His estate agents were terrible, never gave me notice and seemed to think they could just show up any time to see around.  On one memorable occasion they managed to catch me just out of the bath.  The estate agent did not ring in advance and neither did he ring the doorbell.  He came in with the potential buyers through front door just as I was coming out of the bathroom  (which was at the front of the flat near the front door) wearing only a towel and with dripping wet hair. :-[ 

I laugh now, it wasn't funny at the time. 


Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: kareng57 on March 16, 2010, 07:55:48 PM
*Please honor the 24hr notice for scheduling viewing appointments. One should not just drive buy and call the realitor and ask to see the house that night...with 20 minutes notice.

*If you do schedule the viewing, at least go in and look at the house! Yes this house you are looking at is "way out in the country"...you should have known that when scheduling a viewing. If you are not sure whether or not you'd like to see the house, make a drive-by to see where the house is located.

*If for any reason you cannot attend the viewing YOU scheduled, please call your realitor and re-schedule or cancel the showing.

ginlyn

In my experience, the 24-hour-notice requirement generally means that the property is a rental.  And, in this area anyway, the requirement is there because the landlord must give 24 hours of notice if needing to enter the property unless it's an emergency - even if it's the realtor who will be entering rather than the landlord.

Of course, vendors can put all the conditions that they want on the contract and realtors must honour them.  However, they need to realize that by doing so, they are making their property less accessible to the market.  It's not unusual for people to suddenly have to find a house (maybe they were transferred and the company is paying for one weekend of house-hunting in New Town).  24 hour notice just might not be possible for all the properties that they would like to view.  In a hot market, a 24 hour requirement from the vendor might be fine, but in a slow market it could mean that the house stays on the market for months.

So, if vendors want a reasonably-quick sale, they might have to be agreeable to getting phone calls from realtors "I'm bringing some people over in a half hour, okay?"  Yes, it means keeping the house in near-pristine condition at all time, doing a quick tidy-up and vacating the premises.  Almost all realtors around here seem to request that the residents not be there, if at all possible.  Overall - selling a house is not fun.
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: sparklestar on March 17, 2010, 03:10:45 AM
You are in control of your lawyer therefore it is *your* fault if you lawyers haven't drawn up agreements etc. Please bear in mind deadlines for entry dates etc. may impact on your buyer's ability to purchase. 
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: Lindee on March 17, 2010, 04:04:38 AM
In my case I stepped out of the shower dripping with my hair wrapped in silver foil as I was putting henna through it and came face to face with the agent and a potential buyer for the house I was renting.  I'm not sure who was most shocked!
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: ginlyn32 on March 17, 2010, 07:53:10 AM
comment deleted by poster.
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: Brandydan on March 17, 2010, 12:35:17 PM
*Please honor the 24hr notice for scheduling viewing appointments. One should not just drive buy and call the realitor and ask to see the house that night...with 20 minutes notice.

*If you do schedule the viewing, at least go in and look at the house! Yes this house you are looking at is "way out in the country"...you should have known that when scheduling a viewing. If you are not sure whether or not you'd like to see the house, make a drive-by to see where the house is located.

*If for any reason you cannot attend the viewing YOU scheduled, please call your realitor and re-schedule or cancel the showing.

ginlyn



In my experience, the 24-hour-notice requirement generally means that the property is a rental.  And, in this area anyway, the requirement is there because the landlord must give 24 hours of notice if needing to enter the property unless it's an emergency - even if it's the realtor who will be entering rather than the landlord.

Of course, vendors can put all the conditions that they want on the contract and realtors must honour them.  However, they need to realize that by doing so, they are making their property less accessible to the market.  It's not unusual for people to suddenly have to find a house (maybe they were transferred and the company is paying for one weekend of house-hunting in New Town).  24 hour notice just might not be possible for all the properties that they would like to view.  In a hot market, a 24 hour requirement from the vendor might be fine, but in a slow market it could mean that the house stays on the market for months.

So, if vendors want a reasonably-quick sale, they might have to be agreeable to getting phone calls from realtors "I'm bringing some people over in a half hour, okay?"  Yes, it means keeping the house in near-pristine condition at all time, doing a quick tidy-up and vacating the premises.  Almost all realtors around here seem to request that the residents not be there, if at all possible.  Overall - selling a house is not fun.

This was my parents house. The realtor called while my parents were in the middle of cooking supper. The people who wanted to see the house were waiting outside and my parents had to try to clean up the kitchen and go out for dinner.

I just feel like yes, there are some circumstances where one may need to find housing quickly...but one should also consider the homeowners time as well.

ginlyn
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When we get ready to move back east, we will DEMAND a 24-hour notice for our house. We have pets, so we will need the advance notice to double-clean their crate and litterbox area, and to possibly 'go for a ride' with the pets while the house is being shown, and to get the house picture perfect. While we understand that when your house is on the market, you need to keep it clean, it is still someone's home that is being lived in.

But I already known which realtor I will use (the same patience-of-Job woman that I used to find this home - after looking at 35 other homes in 6 weeks), so depending on the relationship of realtor, seller, and potential buyer, I would be amenable to shorten the time frame, but it would need to be a decent reason. Even with this economy, selling a house and going through all the paperwork, even on a short sale, would still take time, and I find it odd that a potential buyer would quickly dismiss an otherwise good buy simply because s/he couldn't see it within a half hour.

Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: MamaMootz on March 17, 2010, 01:26:08 PM
Sigh. Another one.

When you are showing a home, don't just walk right in. Knock first, please. Or ring the bell. But we do still live here.
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: Snowy Owl on March 17, 2010, 03:33:55 PM
Sigh. Another one.

When you are showing a home, don't just walk right in. Knock first, please. Or ring the bell. But we do still live here.

Agreed.  I think I'd say the main thing for the agent is to try and give as much notice as possible of a visit, for the owner / tenant to realise that this may on occasion need to be less than would be preferred, and for the agent never to turn up and let themselves in with no notice and no knocking / doorbell. 
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: veryfluffy on March 17, 2010, 04:05:09 PM
1. When viewing a property, do not assume that your dog is also welcome to come in with you. I understand that your dog will need to like the home you are buying and might have an opinion, but maybe you know him well enough by now to figure out his preference. Or take photos and show them to him later. Take a picture of my cats, while you are at it, so you can explain why he couldn't come in.

2. If you are arranging to view a property, please at least take a look at the estate agent's details first. Yes, it only has two bedrooms and one bathroom. Maybe even look at a map to see if the house is in an area you are willing to move to -- yes, this one IS rather close to the railway tracks, which shouldn't have come as a surprise. Price may be negotiable. Size and location are generally pretty well fixed. Please just consider that the homeowner is preparing for each viewing, and if there isn't even the remotest chance that you are going to be interested, it is rude to put them to the trouble.
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: Mopsy428 on September 05, 2010, 08:12:06 PM
You are in control of your lawyer therefore it is *your* fault if you lawyers haven't drawn up agreements etc. Please bear in mind deadlines for entry dates etc. may impact on your buyer's ability to purchase. 
It's not your fault if your lawyer hasn't drawn up agreements unless you completely leave the lawyer in the dark, but please be advised that if your lawyer hasn't done his/her work, it's your lawyer's fault, not the buyer's/seller's.
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: Mopsy428 on September 05, 2010, 08:43:41 PM
For realtors:

*When someone schedules a showing for one of your properties, let the tenants know so that the viewing realtor and prospective buyers don't walk into a home on the poor, unprepared tenants!  It's scary for the tenant, embarrassing for everyone else, and NOT a good way to make a sale.  (No, we most definitely did NOT buy that house!  We never even saw past the front door.)

To add to this, if you do NOT call, do not be surprised if the tenant refuses to let you in until he/she is ready. If it's really late at night, be prepared to have to reschedule or come back at another time.

If you are showing the rental space to a prospective tenant and have someone else showing the place for you, you NEED to let the tenant know WHO that person will be. Otherwise, do not throw a fit if the tenant refuses to let your agent in. For all the tenant knows, these people could be rapists or murderers or burglars attempting to gain access to your house.

(Yes, I speak from personal experience. I had an inside bolt, and I was in the bathroom around 9:30 PM. Someone who was working for the landlord tried to open the door. This person didn't speak English, and let's just say the police were involved, and it made for a very, very long night.)
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: dawnfire on January 02, 2011, 10:30:36 AM
Prospective tenants:
make sure your realtor knows if you or your family have any special needs. We were vacating a townhouse (double story with the bedrooms upstairs and the living areas downstairs)) and a realtor bought a family through with a son in a wheelchair. The poor boy had to be carried into the house just for the parents to inspect it.
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: DangerMouth on January 02, 2011, 10:55:59 AM
Prospective tenants:
make sure your realtor knows if you or your family have any special needs. We were vacating a townhouse (double story with the bedrooms upstairs and the living areas downstairs)) and a realtor bought a family through with a son in a wheelchair. The poor boy had to be carried into the house just for the parents to inspect it.

They must have been expecting that though, and knew they'd have to carry the boy ahead of time. It's not like you could have installed a ramp or elevator even if you had known. Unless this was a case where they had said 'we are only interested in single floor units' and the agent ignored that and brought them to see your place anyway, in which case there was no point of them even getting out of the car.

How old was the boy?
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: geordicat on January 02, 2011, 11:25:25 AM
*Please honor the 24hr notice for scheduling viewing appointments. One should not just drive buy and call the realitor and ask to see the house that night...with 20 minutes notice.

*If you do schedule the viewing, at least go in and look at the house! Yes this house you are looking at is "way out in the country"...you should have known that when scheduling a viewing. If you are not sure whether or not you'd like to see the house, make a drive-by to see where the house is located.

*If for any reason you cannot attend the viewing YOU scheduled, please call your realitor and re-schedule or cancel the showing.

ginlyn

In my experience, the 24-hour-notice requirement generally means that the property is a rental.  And, in this area anyway, the requirement is there because the landlord must give 24 hours of notice if needing to enter the property unless it's an emergency - even if it's the realtor who will be entering rather than the landlord.

Of course, vendors can put all the conditions that they want on the contract and realtors must honour them.  However, they need to realize that by doing so, they are making their property less accessible to the market.  It's not unusual for people to suddenly have to find a house (maybe they were transferred and the company is paying for one weekend of house-hunting in New Town).  24 hour notice just might not be possible for all the properties that they would like to view.  In a hot market, a 24 hour requirement from the vendor might be fine, but in a slow market it could mean that the house stays on the market for months.

So, if vendors want a reasonably-quick sale, they might have to be agreeable to getting phone calls from realtors "I'm bringing some people over in a half hour, okay?"  Yes, it means keeping the house in near-pristine condition at all time, doing a quick tidy-up and vacating the premises.  Almost all realtors around here seem to request that the residents not be there, if at all possible.  Overall - selling a house is not fun.

I understand the 24 hours notice now.   For the past 2 years my landlady has put this house on the market, and told us we'd get 24 hours notice.  Last year I negotiated 48 hours notice with the agents, but they backed out and the neighbors only (this is a duplex) they were changing it to 24 hours.  I was never notified of the change.

I am concerned she will put the house on the market AGAIN this summer, so that means we live on '24 hour standby' that someone can just come by and look around the house that I really had no plans on moving out of.  She keeps putting it on the market as a rental, but sheesh.  She puts it on the market for the summer.

So far nobody has come inside, but we get PLENTY of people poking around the property, which is unsettling to say the least! 
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: Lisbeth on January 02, 2011, 12:00:42 PM
Do not "make yourself comfortable" and stay longer than it takes to see what there is to see.

The home isn't yours until all the paperwork is signed and filed, and until then, it still belongs to the sellers.
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: boxy on January 02, 2011, 01:33:12 PM
Please moderate your use of perfume.  Some homeowners/renters are allergic to any kind of floral chemical smell.  

If you smell bad enough you have to bathe in perfume then perhaps you should wipe whatever that stuff is off your feet, or see a dentist and fix your rotten smelly teeth, or see a physician and fix those nasty sores, or try this new over-the-counter remedy from your local drugstore called deodorant.  

Not trying to be hard nosed, but honestly, most of us out here don't need you to share your eau-de-toilet with us.  
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: DangerMouth on January 03, 2011, 12:40:59 PM
Please moderate your use of perfume.  Some homeowners/renters are allergic to any kind of floral chemical smell.  

If you smell bad enough you have to bathe in perfume then perhaps you should wipe whatever that stuff is off your feet, or see a dentist and fix your rotten smelly teeth, or see a physician and fix those nasty sores, or try this new over-the-counter remedy from your local drugstore called deodorant.  

Not trying to be hard nosed, but honestly, most of us out here don't need you to share your eau-de-toilet with us.  

Was all that snark really necessary?
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: Larrabee on January 03, 2011, 12:48:17 PM
Even if the current decor of the house isn't to your taste and you would probably redecorate immediately, there's no need to comment loudly in front of the current owners about how awful it is. 

If you are selling a house, please try to leave it in a reasonable state when you vacate, arriving to find a fridge with 2 inches of mould on every surface isn't very pleasant.

In the UK, tenants are not obliged to allow any viewings of their rented home at all if they do not wish to.
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: boxy on January 03, 2011, 02:03:59 PM
Snark?  Interesting assumption.  More like personal experience from being overwhelmed by people who want to share their perfume with 100 other people on a cramped commuter-rail car.  Day after day.  Then to be living in a house that is currently on the market and have strangers bring their florals into my house?  I'd really rather they not.  But snarky?  No, not intentionally. 
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: DangerMouth on January 03, 2011, 04:49:20 PM
Snark?  Interesting assumption.  More like personal experience from being overwhelmed by people who want to share their perfume with 100 other people on a cramped commuter-rail car.  Day after day.  Then to be living in a house that is currently on the market and have strangers bring their florals into my house?  I'd really rather they not.  But snarky?  No, not intentionally.  

If you smell bad enough you have to bathe in perfume then perhaps you should wipe whatever that stuff is off your feet, or see a dentist and fix your rotten smelly teeth, or see a physician and fix those nasty sores, or try this new over-the-counter remedy from your local drugstore called deodorant.  

Snark and sarcasm. Sounded pretty intentional to me.

That could easily have been worded as "Remember that some people are allegic/sensitive to scets and perfumes, so it's best not to asphixiate them if there's the slightest chance you'll be doing business with them" without all the graphic desriptions.
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: boxy on January 03, 2011, 08:21:09 PM
I'm snarky?

Returning to the intent of this thread, another etiquette point would be to please make sure the door is firmly shut when you leave so the heater doesn't try to heat the front porch.   ::)
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: kareng57 on January 03, 2011, 09:07:25 PM
I'm snarky?

Returning to the intent of this thread, another etiquette point would be to please make sure the door is firmly shut when you leave so the heater doesn't try to heat the front porch.   ::)


I agree with DangerMouth, your post was terribly inflammatory.  You could have gotten across your concern re odours with much nicer words.

It seems that you haven't been on this forum long -  perhaps you need to sit back and see how most of us communicate.
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: boxy on January 04, 2011, 08:14:08 AM
IT WAS A JOKE!  I meant for it to be funny and/or sarcastic.  Excuse me for misunderstanding that humour is not allowed here.  Geez. 

Now can we please return to the original intent of this thread? 
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: DangerMouth on January 04, 2011, 10:04:14 AM
IT WAS A JOKE!  I meant for it to be funny and/or sarcastic.  Excuse me for misunderstanding that humour is not allowed here.  Geez. 

Now can we please return to the original intent of this thread? 

Well, include a smiley next time! I apologize, it didn't sound like you were joking.
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: Wordgeek on January 04, 2011, 03:27:19 PM
Humour is allowed.  It seems that your post didn't come across as funny.

Perhaps next time you could, ah, joke more clearly?
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: Poirot on January 04, 2011, 03:57:23 PM
 :) I think Wordgeek is funny.................my keyboard doesn't  ;)
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: RainhaDoTexugo on January 04, 2011, 04:06:54 PM
Even if the current decor of the house isn't to your taste and you would probably redecorate immediately, there's no need to comment loudly in front of the current owners about how awful it is. 

And the converse of that, if you're selling your home and will be home for the showings, don't tail the prospective buyers so closely that they can't make quiet comments to each other about the things they'd need to change if they buy the house (can you tell I'm coming at this thread as a buyer, not a seller? ;)).
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: Larrabee on January 04, 2011, 04:20:44 PM
Even if the current decor of the house isn't to your taste and you would probably redecorate immediately, there's no need to comment loudly in front of the current owners about how awful it is. 

And the converse of that, if you're selling your home and will be home for the showings, don't tail the prospective buyers so closely that they can't make quiet comments to each other about the things they'd need to change if they buy the house (can you tell I'm coming at this thread as a buyer, not a seller? ;)).

Agreed, I'd say its good etiquette to back off a bit after the initial 'tour' and let your viewers wander around unsupervised for a bit.

I've seen both sides quite a few times, my parents moved a fair bit and I just bought twice within 11 months!  Its great to get both perspectives.  Good luck with buying, I believe its a lot more fun than selling!
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: RainhaDoTexugo on January 04, 2011, 04:27:36 PM
Good luck with buying, I believe its a lot more fun than selling!

Thanks!  We rent now, and I'm hoping to find a place we can grow old in, so I don't have to deal with the selling part.  We lived here when my current landlord bought the building, and it was hellish. 
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: Emmy on January 08, 2011, 08:50:13 PM
Homeowners:

Most of the time people are not home and have keys attached to a locked box on the front door that real estate agents can use to get in the front door, however not all people do this.  If you choose not to have the keys on the front door and make an appointment with a real estate agent, please be home and ready to get the door, especially if you were reminded and reconfirmed the appointment earlier in the day.  It is rude to confirm the appointment with the real estate agent for later the same day and either not be home or not answer the door when we arrive at the appointed time.  We don't appreciate driving to see the home and waiting out in the cold for nothing.

I also think homeowners should either retreat to one room or leave the house when potential buyers come by.  It is awkward to discuss the house with DH if the homeowner is right there.

We are both buying and selling, but haven't experienced any rude buyers because we leave the house when there is an appointment.  I do agree that buyers should keep their appointments, knock before entering, not touch personal property of the homeowners, not peek in the windows of houses with 'for sale' signs, and refrain from rude remarks about the decor when the homeowners are present.

Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: RainhaDoTexugo on January 08, 2011, 09:05:25 PM
One for realtors - when you're arranging with another agent to let some people come view an occupied house, TELL THE PEOPLE THAT LIVE THERE.  It's no fun showing up in the cold and finding out you're totally unexpected, and it probably sucked for the sellers, too.
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: kudeebee on January 09, 2011, 09:57:10 AM
One for realtors - when you're arranging with another agent to let some people come view an occupied house, TELL THE PEOPLE THAT LIVE THERE.  It's no fun showing up in the cold and finding out you're totally unexpected, and it probably sucked for the sellers, too.

In our area, notifying the sellers is the responsibility of the seller's agent.
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: Mopsy428 on January 09, 2011, 09:58:21 AM
Quote
I also think homeowners should either retreat to one room or leave the house when potential buyers come by.  It is awkward to discuss the house with DH if the homeowner is right there.
I don't trust complete strangers in my home. If they're in my home, I'm at least going to be in the same vicinity as they are. The last thing I want is to find things missing after showing them my home.
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: Larrabee on January 09, 2011, 12:16:31 PM
Quote
I also think homeowners should either retreat to one room or leave the house when potential buyers come by.  It is awkward to discuss the house with DH if the homeowner is right there.
I don't trust complete strangers in my home. If they're in my home, I'm at least going to be in the same vicinity as they are. The last thing I want is to find things missing after showing them my home.

In the UK, the showing is normally done by the homeowners, most estate agents will do it for you if you ask but its very rare that they're even present. 

Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: RainhaDoTexugo on January 09, 2011, 12:26:12 PM
One for realtors - when you're arranging with another agent to let some people come view an occupied house, TELL THE PEOPLE THAT LIVE THERE.  It's no fun showing up in the cold and finding out you're totally unexpected, and it probably sucked for the sellers, too.

In our area, notifying the sellers is the responsibility of the seller's agent.

Here, too.  It was the seller's agent that didn't bother to tell the homeowners about the appointment.  Real fun, since it was a single family divided into three units, so that's three families disturbed.
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: kherbert05 on January 09, 2011, 12:46:17 PM
Buyer's Realtor

If you show up 30 min early because traffic wasn't as bad as you expected - don't yell at the poor babysitter who is trying to get the kids out the door. Don't tell her it is disgraceful for her to be such a young mother (sis is 7 years older than the cousins). Then Sis asked if they could tour downstairs for 10 min, while she finished getting the kids dressed, they ignored her and went upstairs and burst in on the boy while he was still putting on his underwear. Sis called cousin's Realtor/Mother apologizing but not knowing what else she could have done.

Buyer's Realtor ended up getting banned from showing houses listed my the Realty company our Aunt worked for because this wasn't the first or last time she showed up way early and was abusive to people especially kids/teenagers in the sellers' homes.
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: Brentwood on January 09, 2011, 03:15:54 PM
Even if the current decor of the house isn't to your taste and you would probably redecorate immediately, there's no need to comment loudly in front of the current owners about how awful it is. 

And the converse of that, if you're selling your home and will be home for the showings, don't tail the prospective buyers so closely that they can't make quiet comments to each other about the things they'd need to change if they buy the house (can you tell I'm coming at this thread as a buyer, not a seller? ;)).

Agreed, I'd say its good etiquette to back off a bit after the initial 'tour' and let your viewers wander around unsupervised for a bit.

I've seen both sides quite a few times, my parents moved a fair bit and I just bought twice within 11 months!  Its great to get both perspectives.  Good luck with buying, I believe its a lot more fun than selling!

I never stuck around for showings when we were selling our house. I would have been very uncomfortable being there for showings. Once, when my parents sold their house in '92 and I was living with them between radio gigs, I had to briefly be home during a showing, and it was weird.
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: Larrabee on January 09, 2011, 03:47:54 PM
Even if the current decor of the house isn't to your taste and you would probably redecorate immediately, there's no need to comment loudly in front of the current owners about how awful it is. 

And the converse of that, if you're selling your home and will be home for the showings, don't tail the prospective buyers so closely that they can't make quiet comments to each other about the things they'd need to change if they buy the house (can you tell I'm coming at this thread as a buyer, not a seller? ;)).

Agreed, I'd say its good etiquette to back off a bit after the initial 'tour' and let your viewers wander around unsupervised for a bit.

I've seen both sides quite a few times, my parents moved a fair bit and I just bought twice within 11 months!  Its great to get both perspectives.  Good luck with buying, I believe its a lot more fun than selling!

I never stuck around for showings when we were selling our house. I would have been very uncomfortable being there for showings. Once, when my parents sold their house in '92 and I was living with them between radio gigs, I had to briefly be home during a showing, and it was weird.

I suppose its what you're used to, as I said before here in the UK its very unusual for an agent to show the house or to even be present unless the property is empty or currently rented to tenants.  Its nearly always the current owners who do the viewings.  Personally I'd be much more uncomfortable leaving my home when strangers were coming round with the express purposes of poking around in it!
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: Brentwood on January 09, 2011, 03:59:25 PM
Even if the current decor of the house isn't to your taste and you would probably redecorate immediately, there's no need to comment loudly in front of the current owners about how awful it is. 

And the converse of that, if you're selling your home and will be home for the showings, don't tail the prospective buyers so closely that they can't make quiet comments to each other about the things they'd need to change if they buy the house (can you tell I'm coming at this thread as a buyer, not a seller? ;)).

Agreed, I'd say its good etiquette to back off a bit after the initial 'tour' and let your viewers wander around unsupervised for a bit.

I've seen both sides quite a few times, my parents moved a fair bit and I just bought twice within 11 months!  Its great to get both perspectives.  Good luck with buying, I believe its a lot more fun than selling!

I never stuck around for showings when we were selling our house. I would have been very uncomfortable being there for showings. Once, when my parents sold their house in '92 and I was living with them between radio gigs, I had to briefly be home during a showing, and it was weird.

I suppose its what you're used to, as I said before here in the UK its very unusual for an agent to show the house or to even be present unless the property is empty or currently rented to tenants.  Its nearly always the current owners who do the viewings.  Personally I'd be much more uncomfortable leaving my home when strangers were coming round with the express purposes of poking around in it!

Well...here, the strangers wouldn't be looking around the house unaccompanied by a real estate agent or Realtor (so it wouldn't just be random strangers poking around my stuff). Unless I were doing a FSBO, I would not want to be around for showings.
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: RainhaDoTexugo on January 09, 2011, 03:59:41 PM
Even if the current decor of the house isn't to your taste and you would probably redecorate immediately, there's no need to comment loudly in front of the current owners about how awful it is.  

And the converse of that, if you're selling your home and will be home for the showings, don't tail the prospective buyers so closely that they can't make quiet comments to each other about the things they'd need to change if they buy the house (can you tell I'm coming at this thread as a buyer, not a seller? ;)).

Agreed, I'd say its good etiquette to back off a bit after the initial 'tour' and let your viewers wander around unsupervised for a bit.

I've seen both sides quite a few times, my parents moved a fair bit and I just bought twice within 11 months!  Its great to get both perspectives.  Good luck with buying, I believe its a lot more fun than selling!

I never stuck around for showings when we were selling our house. I would have been very uncomfortable being there for showings. Once, when my parents sold their house in '92 and I was living with them between radio gigs, I had to briefly be home during a showing, and it was weird.

I suppose its what you're used to, as I said before here in the UK its very unusual for an agent to show the house or to even be present unless the property is empty or currently rented to tenants.  Its nearly always the current owners who do the viewings.  Personally I'd be much more uncomfortable leaving my home when strangers were coming round with the express purposes of poking around in it!

I can see both sides.  When our building was on the market, we had potential buyers coming through our apartment, and ended up insisting that the appointments only happened when we were there.  We had way too many problems with people leaving doors open that needed to be shut, like the front door, and the bedroom door, where the small birds lived.  Did I mention we have four cats?  Signs on the doors didn't work, so we finally told the landlord that we'd only cooperate if he gave us enough notice, and scheduled it for times when we could be home.  I'm not looking forward to potentially dealing with that again, should we end up buying a starter home instead of a permanent home.

On the other hand, it's SO awkward doing showings when the owners are there.  It's gotten to the point where we're pretty much ready to only look at unoccupied houses, unless the house is absolutely spectacular.  It's just too weird having people following us around (although half of that is my mom, who keeps making stupid jokes about how dinner smells good and does it come with the house, and trying to talk to people in her crappy Spanish).

The norm here seems to be that my agent takes us around to see houses, without the seller's agent there.  We've only met a seller's agent once, and that was only on our second visit to the house, and that was only because they'd installed an alarm system since the first visit.
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: Larrabee on January 09, 2011, 04:26:29 PM
Even if the current decor of the house isn't to your taste and you would probably redecorate immediately, there's no need to comment loudly in front of the current owners about how awful it is.  

And the converse of that, if you're selling your home and will be home for the showings, don't tail the prospective buyers so closely that they can't make quiet comments to each other about the things they'd need to change if they buy the house (can you tell I'm coming at this thread as a buyer, not a seller? ;)).

Agreed, I'd say its good etiquette to back off a bit after the initial 'tour' and let your viewers wander around unsupervised for a bit.

I've seen both sides quite a few times, my parents moved a fair bit and I just bought twice within 11 months!  Its great to get both perspectives.  Good luck with buying, I believe its a lot more fun than selling!

I never stuck around for showings when we were selling our house. I would have been very uncomfortable being there for showings. Once, when my parents sold their house in '92 and I was living with them between radio gigs, I had to briefly be home during a showing, and it was weird.

I suppose its what you're used to, as I said before here in the UK its very unusual for an agent to show the house or to even be present unless the property is empty or currently rented to tenants.  Its nearly always the current owners who do the viewings.  Personally I'd be much more uncomfortable leaving my home when strangers were coming round with the express purposes of poking around in it!

I can see both sides.  When our building was on the market, we had potential buyers coming through our apartment, and ended up insisting that the appointments only happened when we were there.  We had way too many problems with people leaving doors open that needed to be shut, like the front door, and the bedroom door, where the small birds lived.  Did I mention we have four cats?  Signs on the doors didn't work, so we finally told the landlord that we'd only cooperate if he gave us enough notice, and scheduled it for times when we could be home.  I'm not looking forward to potentially dealing with that again, should we end up buying a starter home instead of a permanent home.

On the other hand, it's SO awkward doing showings when the owners are there.  It's gotten to the point where we're pretty much ready to only look at unoccupied houses, unless the house is absolutely spectacular.  It's just too weird having people following us around (although half of that is my mom, who keeps making stupid jokes about how dinner smells good and does it come with the house, and trying to talk to people in her crappy Spanish).

The norm here seems to be that my agent takes us around to see houses, without the seller's agent there.  We've only met a seller's agent once, and that was only on our second visit to the house, and that was only because they'd installed an alarm system since the first visit.

So as a buyer you have an agent yourself who takes you to properties for sale?  That's a new concept to me, does the buyer's agent make a commission from the sale?  Is it the same agent you're using to sell? 

Here, an estate agent sells properties, or manages rented ones, they work entirely for sellers or landlords never for buyers or renters.
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: kherbert05 on January 09, 2011, 04:47:54 PM
We were living in a leased home, that was put up for sale. Per the owners the alarm was kept active (they paid the fees). There was an emergency button that looked like a light switch right as you came in the door of the master bedroom. Even if the alarm was not set that switch called the cops.

The Realtors and buyers were confronted more than once by police because they flipped the switch. We tried

1. Having the owners put in the info for the buying Realtor
2. Putting tape over the switch (they pulled it off)
3. Putting a sign over the switch (they pulled it off)
4. Putting a sign on the master bedroom door, and one over the switch. (They ignored the sign on the door and pulled the one off the switch)

When we moved out they were still flipping the emergency button. I'm glad the owners had to pay the fines not us.
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: magicdomino on January 09, 2011, 05:21:33 PM

So as a buyer you have an agent yourself who takes you to properties for sale?  That's a new concept to me, does the buyer's agent make a commission from the sale?  Is it the same agent you're using to sell? 

Here, an estate agent sells properties, or manages rented ones, they work entirely for sellers or landlords never for buyers or renters.

Yes, in the U.S., most buyers would have their own agent.  The agent's job is to sort through the multiple listing service to pick out the best prospects, make appointments for showing, escort the buyers (this may or may not include driving the buyers), then help with buying the home.  For this, the buyer's agent gets between 1% and 3% of the home price as commission.  Some agents specialize in buyers only; others handle both buying and selling.

By law, real estate agents for the seller are required to work in the seller's interests.  If you find the house on your own, for instance by driving by a for-sale sign, you can probably skip having your own agent, but it is still recommended that you have your own real estate attorney or other professional to double check the fine print.
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: RainhaDoTexugo on January 09, 2011, 05:30:24 PM
So as a buyer you have an agent yourself who takes you to properties for sale?  That's a new concept to me, does the buyer's agent make a commission from the sale?  Is it the same agent you're using to sell?  

Here, an estate agent sells properties, or manages rented ones, they work entirely for sellers or landlords never for buyers or renters.

Generally speaking, renting is totally separate from buying or selling here.  There are agencies that will take a fee from the landlord, and then offer a free service to renters who are looking for a place, and drive them around to look at apartments.  I'm not sure if they fee the landlord pays is to list the place with them in the first place, or if the agent just gets a commission when it rents.  A lot of people don't bother with that at all, and just look at apartment rental ads themselves.  I think that some real estate agencies do handle rentals, but it seems like more of a sideline.

The buyer and seller both have the option of not using an agent, it's not required or anything, but it's highly recommended.  So, as a buyer, I have an agent who works strictly for me.  We're renting now, but if we were selling our old home and buying a new one, I could use her for both (though, some agents only do one or the other, I think most do both).  My agent hooks me up with MLS listings, I go through them and figure out what I want to see (Other agents would do more of that initial research, I'm sure, but I like going through every listing and hand picking places), give her a list of interesting houses, we pick a day when we're all free, and she makes all the appointments.  She does that by talking to the seller's agent.  Generally, there's a lockbox on the property somewhere, and the seller's agent gives the buyer's agent the code, and you never even see the seller's agent.  I haven't gotten past that first step, but I'm sure that if I showed a serious interest, I could request that the seller's agent come to a showing and answer questions.

When you find a house you like, and start the buying process, your agent will recommend the necessary (again, highly recommended, not legally necessary) other folks you need, like a real estate attorney to make sure all the paperwork is in order, and an inspector to make sure there are no hidden problems, as well as a few others (you need someone to handle escrow, and I've probably forgotten a couple people).  I haven't gotten this far, but I believe the bank will recommend an appraiser to make sure the home is worth what you're paying.  Many agencies will also have a mortgage guy working for them, who will hunt up different mortgages for you. You have the option as a buyer to get your own attorney and inspector, too, instead of using the agency's recommendations.  

The seller's agent advertises the property, takes photos, makes sure that it's listed on as many real estate sites as possible, and does the fiddly appointment arranging.  If you ask me, it's totally worth every penny of commission to not have to deal with the other agents and make appointments myself.  We tried it a few times before we got our agent, and we were lucky if we got a form letter response and got put on their mailing list ::)  The seller's agent also hosts open houses at some properties (I'm looking in a low price range, and don't see many open houses), and again, recommends a real estate lawyer and escrow agent.  

The two agents work together to do the negotiating.  As a buyer, I'll tell my agent to put in an offer of $X, she'll bring that to the seller's agent, and they'll say yes, or no, or suggest $Y, or possibly something like $X and the seller will pay closing costs (which are usually paid by the buyer).  Buyers agent brings it back to the buyer then.  My agent can't tell me "bid $X," but she'll do some research and find comparables, houses in the area that are similar and sold recently, and get a good idea of what sort of offer will make sense.  I'd assume she could also say "well, you can try that offer, but it'll probably be shot down and not counter-offered" if it was too low, or give specific advice like "there are three other offers on the house, so you need to make a strong offer/offer asking price."  

When a house sells, the two agents split the commission 50/50.  I'm not sure what would happen if only one party had an agent.  If I happened to fall in love with a house that my agent was selling, I could, in theory, go with the dual agency option, in which case the agent would represent me and the seller, but it's really really really not recommended, because there's a huge conflict of interests there, especially since it's in the agent's best interests to get a higher price.  Some agents won't do dual agency at all - generally, if you've been working with an agent from a particular agency, she'll recommend a colleague to represent the buyer.
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: DangerMouth on January 11, 2011, 12:10:00 PM
There's a feeling that it's unethical for one agent to represent both both the buyer and the seller. You can't be looking out for my best interests if you are also looking out for their's, kinda thing.
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: Anyanka on February 27, 2011, 07:06:15 PM


I suppose its what you're used to, as I said before here in the UK its very unusual for an agent to show the house or to even be present unless the property is empty or currently rented to tenants.  Its nearly always the current owners who do the viewings.  Personally I'd be much more uncomfortable leaving my home when strangers were coming round with the express purposes of poking around in it!

When we sold our house in Wilts, the contract I signed was for an agent to be present since I was alone with a small child. Neither I nor the estate agent though it was strange in 2000.

Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: Perfect Circle on February 28, 2011, 03:00:39 AM


I suppose its what you're used to, as I said before here in the UK its very unusual for an agent to show the house or to even be present unless the property is empty or currently rented to tenants.  Its nearly always the current owners who do the viewings.  Personally I'd be much more uncomfortable leaving my home when strangers were coming round with the express purposes of poking around in it!

When we sold our house in Wilts, the contract I signed was for an agent to be present since I was alone with a small child. Neither I nor the estate agent though it was strange in 2000.



We sold our house in Herts in 2009 and we were never present for any showings. I hated viewing any properties where the owner was present as I don't feel like I could be honest about what I was seeing.

Our agent actually advised us to be out if possible, and we made some arrangements with our dogs in advance.

In the end our house actually sold pretty quickly when we were on holiday, so the animals were not an issue. But no, we were never there for any showings.
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: Larrabee on February 28, 2011, 04:37:08 AM


I suppose its what you're used to, as I said before here in the UK its very unusual for an agent to show the house or to even be present unless the property is empty or currently rented to tenants.  Its nearly always the current owners who do the viewings.  Personally I'd be much more uncomfortable leaving my home when strangers were coming round with the express purposes of poking around in it!

When we sold our house in Wilts, the contract I signed was for an agent to be present since I was alone with a small child. Neither I nor the estate agent though it was strange in 2000.



We sold our house in Herts in 2009 and we were never present for any showings. I hated viewing any properties where the owner was present as I don't feel like I could be honest about what I was seeing.

Our agent actually advised us to be out if possible, and we made some arrangements with our dogs in advance.

In the end our house actually sold pretty quickly when we were on holiday, so the animals were not an issue. But no, we were never there for any showings.

Well I am surprised.  Maybe this is regional, but I would always expect the current owners to be in the house I was viewing, unless they didn't actually live there.  I'd want to ask questions that only they'd know the answers to!  I'm in the North West.
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: iridaceae on February 28, 2011, 04:57:01 AM
I have a friend whose parents' house was sold a year or two ago and she said the realtor always asked them to be away from home when it was to be shown. This was in the MIdwest.
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: Snowy Owl on March 02, 2011, 02:29:07 PM
Larrabee - I think this is the North / South divide in action.   :)  I'm from the north of England where people come on their own and are shown around by the owner.  I now live in the south where the estate agent takes people around and the owners try not to be in.  I thought it was slightly weird to start with but it's the way things work in more southern regions.   
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: Mopsy428 on January 05, 2014, 07:53:23 PM
I'm in the market to buy a house. Here are two suggestions that I have for sellers:

1. Please plow your driveway and shovel a path to the door, especially if you've known about this viewing well over 24 hours in advance and the snow has all ready fallen.

2. TURN ON THE HEAT! It's well below 0 Fahrenheit. It should not be as cold IN the house as it is outside. How on earth do you expect to sell the property? How on earth do you expect your pipes not to burst?!

(Both happened this weekend. I really liked the properties where the heat was not turned on, but I couldn't think straight. I'm going to ask my real estate agent if we can go back to one particular property and ask if the seller's agent will 1) turn on the heat and 2) tell the tenant that we're coming so we can see the whole house.)
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: TheWeirdOne on January 05, 2014, 09:08:08 PM
Partner and I have been househunting for about six months now (and I've never heard of the buyer having an agent, but I'm going to try to get one now  :) )

Sellers' Agents: DO NOT LIE TO POTENTIAL BUYERS! I have dealt with two agents now who have said X over the phone, and then carefully worded their emails to heavily imply X when the reality is Y.  >:( Note to other buyers: get everything in writing! It is much easier to pick up on misdirection in an email than over the phone. 

Also, don't try and talk buyers out of getting legal advice before signing anything. We may be young, but we're not stupid, and you have now marked yourself out as someone to be wary of. There's a difference between working in the interests of the sellers and unethical behaviour.

Side note: Partner and I are now so fed up of dealing with this (particularly after the trouble we had with the last place that we put an offer on) that we have called break from it until next month. It's soul sucking. :(
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: jedikaiti on January 05, 2014, 09:39:53 PM
Having recently bought in the US, I would not DREAM of not having a my own buyer's agent. If that agent happened to have a house I liked for sale at the time, and I trusted them to handle the deal responsibly, that's fine. But I would not do a real estate purchase (or sale) without my own agent. If I found a FSBO I liked that wouldn't work with my realtor, well... too bad.
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: GreenEyedHawk on January 05, 2014, 09:40:35 PM
When I helped a friend who was looking at houses, one place he looked at (and ultimately ended up buying) the  current owners stayed while we did the viewing, which was really uncomfortable and awkward feeling.  When my parents sold their place, we always went out when the listing agent called to arrange viewings.  We'd go to a movie or out for ice cream.  It was the agent working for my parents who escorted potential buyers.  As far as I know, this is standard for where I am.

One place I looked at was filled with junk.  It seemed to me that the previous owner had passed away in the house and it was listed for cheap to move it quickly so the family members (or whoever) ended up having to settle these affairs wouldn't have to clean it out.  It made it a lot harder to get a feel for the place, its structural soundness or what needed repair because I could barely get near the walls and could hardly see the floors.  The decor was horrendously outdated and the place had not been properly cleaned in some time.  If you're going to sell a house, for heaven's sake, at least vacuum!  The  place had a horrid creepy vibe to it anyways and I decided I wasn't interested in seeing more after only being there about ten minutes.
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: Morty'sCleaningLady on February 21, 2014, 09:45:53 AM
I sold my last place and relocated, so I'm currently hunting.  I toured a place that I thought had a wonderful floor plan, a great yard, and was in a wonderful subdivision.  The problem -- the house had about 3 of those faux candle air fresheners in each room.  The realtor waxed poetically about the seller being so motivated.

As I toured the place, I realized that renters had trashed it and been evicted.  The range was missing burners.  The jetted tub was missing a panel on the side. The screened back door had been shredded.  The air fresheners were out to mask a smell.  Once my mom ran interference with the agent and I walked (alone) into the master bedroom closet, I realized the air fresheners were covering mold.  The house had been partially flooded.

It was an appropriate price if it was in normal move in condition (i.e. changing paint or replacing bathroom fixures with brushed nickel) but it was significantly over priced for all new flooring and potential wall board and structural integrity challenges.

If the seller is that motivated, instead of putting out her Costco lot of Renuzits (air fresheners), she could have painted the house cream, recarpeted and put burners on the range. 

I added up the work the house definitely needed and was looking at about $15,000 IF the electric or structural integrity wasn't compromised.  It just wasn't worth what the seller wanted it to be worth.
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: Morty'sCleaningLady on February 21, 2014, 09:51:26 AM
One more story!

Between selling and buying condos, I rented a first floor apartment in a 150 year old Victorian for 8 months.  (Odd time, but that was the lease.)  The landlords were a bit clueless, but they had found a phenomenal but pushy real estate rental agent.  In my lease, I had 24 hours notice before a showing.  As a full time worker with a stay at home dog, I needed to take care of Mort when people came through.

Well, the agent was taking to calling me at work to tell me that she was going to have a showing that afternoon.  Eek! 

I never successfully stopped the practice, but I stopped cleaning.  The realtor would do a once over of the apartment and fix whatever was out of place.  So, if she had a showing, she would have to make my bed and wash my breakfast dishes.  She also had to deal with Morty, who liked her, but was not a fan of everyone.  It reduced the lack of notice, but didn't stop the behavior all together.  (When I had my notice, the place was cleaned.)
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: Amoreade on February 21, 2014, 10:16:46 AM
When my parents were trying to sell their condo there was one realtor who was very flaky. She wouldn't call ahead of time or if she did she'd never show up. Her not calling stopped when she let herself into the condo and wandered into the master bedroom where my mom was sleeping absolutely naked.  It was an unfortunate occurrence but she always called after that (my mom thinks it's hilarious now but at the time...)
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: Cz. Burrito on February 21, 2014, 10:49:53 AM
- don't try to become buddy-buddy with the seller and tell them how much marriage stinks and that you like to stay home and smoke weed while your husband travels for work.  (you wouldn't think that note would be necessary, but I was surprised....)

Wow, I think you sold a house to my boyfriend's ex-wife (and that's not all she was doing while he traveled for work).
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: lofty on March 04, 2014, 02:31:30 PM
Now some of the remarks have me worried; we're going to be listing our house for sale very soon but instead of using a listing agent we're giving FSBO a try. Seeing as it's our house and we're the "seller's agent", we will be showing it ourselves and running open houses.

So, to those who have experienced this before (from either side, buyer or seller), what should we try to avoid? I'm already schooling my DH on not waxing poetic about the house and I'm in the midst of de-cluttering and scrubbing everything twice. I know there's one room I'm going to be apologizing for non-stop; my craft room. Sorry, but I still have a small business to run out of there, so it's not going to be perfect.
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: TootsNYC on March 04, 2014, 02:51:23 PM
Now some of the remarks have me worried; we're going to be listing our house for sale very soon but instead of using a listing agent we're giving FSBO a try. Seeing as it's our house and we're the "seller's agent", we will be showing it ourselves and running open houses.

So, to those who have experienced this before (from either side, buyer or seller), what should we try to avoid? I'm already schooling my DH on not waxing poetic about the house and I'm in the midst of de-cluttering and scrubbing everything twice. I know there's one room I'm going to be apologizing for non-stop; my craft room. Sorry, but I still have a small business to run out of there, so it's not going to be perfect.

Don't do that. Don't apologize for it. That will only draw people's attention to it.

Straighten it as best you can, and arrange things so that the room looks as big as it can. Maybe you need several matching storage containers that everything can go inside tidily during open houses.

Don't talk, period. Be as quiet as you can, and let people look. Be far enough away that they can talk about re-wallpapering, and the view, etc., without feeling that you're eavesdropping.
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: TeamBhakta on March 04, 2014, 02:55:28 PM
I sold my last place and relocated, so I'm currently hunting.  I toured a place that I thought had a wonderful floor plan, a great yard, and was in a wonderful subdivision.  The problem -- the house had about 3 of those faux candle air fresheners in each room.  The realtor waxed poetically about the seller being so motivated.
....If the seller is that motivated, instead of putting out her Costco lot of Renuzits (air fresheners), she could have painted the house cream, recarpeted and put burners on the range. 

Shades of Kate Middleton there:
http://hollywoodlife.com/2011/07/20/kate-middleton-air-fresheners/
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: VorFemme on March 04, 2014, 03:18:20 PM
We did a FSBO in 2005 through 2006, hired a real estate agent, fired her (first open house was the weekend that I traveled back to fire her), and finally sold it when the next door neighbor and our adult daughter living in the area got involved with getting it shown.

It took a while to get the minor repairs here & there done (before hiring the real estate agent) as there as a huge building boom in the area in 2005-2006 - contractors were much more interested in working for a contractor on several houses being built than a home owner of ONE house with a repair).

One open house that I had, I'd just unboxed a brand new printer, set it up to use, printed six flyers for the open house, gave them out, and went to print more...to find someone in the one family that showed up had taken the ink cartridges out of the printer...as the ONLY other people in the house for the last 24 hours, I was sure that it wasn't anyone else!

During one
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: kareng57 on March 04, 2014, 11:51:21 PM
I sold my last place and relocated, so I'm currently hunting.  I toured a place that I thought had a wonderful floor plan, a great yard, and was in a wonderful subdivision.  The problem -- the house had about 3 of those faux candle air fresheners in each room.  The realtor waxed poetically about the seller being so motivated.
....If the seller is that motivated, instead of putting out her Costco lot of Renuzits (air fresheners), she could have painted the house cream, recarpeted and put burners on the range. 

Shades of Kate Middleton there:
http://hollywoodlife.com/2011/07/20/kate-middleton-air-fresheners/


I think that "appealing scents" is something that could quickly backfire.  Scents are really subliminal.  For example, perhaps the seller loves lavender and uses it liberally throughout the house.  Potential Buyer #1 is allergic to it - her eyes start watering and they leave quickly.  Potential Buyer #2 isn't allergic, but finds that something just bothers her about the house - and it turns out that the scent of lavender reminds her of visits to her childhood Great Aunt who she really disliked.  Years ago (at least in my neck of the woods) it was recommended to have a roast cooking in the oven - it would be a "comfort" scent.  That would hardly be the case with vegetarians...
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: jedikaiti on March 05, 2014, 01:23:32 PM
I've also heard of baking cookies for that reason.
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: VorFemme on March 05, 2014, 08:56:37 PM
I was heavily into counted cross stitch when we were trying to sell a house in 1998.  I set up a chair by a lamp & left my embroidery set up by it...as if I'd left the master bedroom room for just a few minutes between stitches.  The real estate agent LOVED it...and I got some stitching done every night after getting the kids to bed!

As to cooking smells - I was told plain vanilla cookies or bread were more universally appealing scents than other foods or flowers. 
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: Mopsy428 on March 21, 2014, 09:24:11 PM
If you are not planning on moving, don't put your house on the market...or at least let the buyer's agent know that you are not taking offers.

My fiance and I put an offer on a house on Sunday. It turns out that the man who was selling the house refused to sign the contract because he didn't want to move.  Thank you, sir, for wasting my time, my fiance's time, my agent's time, your agent's time, and your wife's time. It's nice that you are retired, but some of us still work and would rather not spend our weekends looking at and making offers on houses that the owners have no intention of selling.

 >:(
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: kareng57 on March 22, 2014, 12:31:26 AM
If you are not planning on moving, don't put your house on the market...or at least let the buyer's agent know that you are not taking offers.

My fiance and I put an offer on a house on Sunday. It turns out that the man who was selling the house refused to sign the contract because he didn't want to move.  Thank you, sir, for wasting my time, my fiance's time, my agent's time, your agent's time, and your wife's time. It's nice that you are retired, but some of us still work and would rather not spend our weekends looking at and making offers on houses that the owners have no intention of selling.

 >:(


They might not want to move, but sometimes they have to.  Did the owner realize that he had to move but figured that the offer was not high enough?

The first house that Dh bought (before we were married) had had really weird selling-conditions.  The wife and her husband had separated/divorced years earlier but she was still living in it with three kids - older teens through early 20s.  Apparently the separation agreement stated that she could stay in the house till the youngest kid reached age 19 - that's the age-of-majority here - or, moved out.  Then the house would have to be sold.

What ended up happening was that the youngest kid, at 18, was ready to move out.  Then, the mother was stuck having to move herself and the two older kids out.  To put it mildly, she had absolutely no motivation in encouraging a sale.  The carpets were absolutely filthy, the house had many places where painting had been started and suddenly stopped - etc. - you get the idea.  Never mind the shoddy maintenance and sometimes scary DIY repairs - even I could see the absolutely dangerous electrical "repairs" the previous owner had done.

Not wanting to get into legal issues here, but is it possible that it's an "ordered sale" and the owner just doesn't want to face it?  Or perhaps he's figuring that his home is worth way more $$$  than the evaluated value and is insisting on more?
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: bridalviolet on March 22, 2014, 05:06:05 PM
We just sold our house. We had a number of showings and one thing I did every single time was to put out fresh-baked cookies and fresh-perked coffee on the counter with a note saying "Please help yourself." They always did, of course!  :) Our agent loved it, the prospective buyers loved it, and one agent who came through said, "In fourteen years selling homes this is the first time I've ever been offered treats!" We got a ton of positive feedback and our house sold in about three months (starting in the winter, the worst time for showings!).
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: lofty on March 28, 2014, 12:19:24 PM
It may have been mentioned before, but it bears repeating; buyers, when you schedule a showing, please show up. If you cannot show up, please call. If you cannot call that moment because something horrible has happened, please at least respond to the message we sent asking if you were still coming so we know we didn't dream the entire appointment!

Grrrrr... >:(
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: MrTango on March 29, 2014, 07:38:41 PM
It may have been mentioned before, but it bears repeating; buyers, when you schedule a showing, please show up. If you cannot show up, please call. If you cannot call that moment because something horrible has happened, please at least respond to the message we sent asking if you were still coming so we know we didn't dream the entire appointment!

Grrrrr... >:(

Same thing goes for Realtors.

We had a showing scheduled for a house, and apparently the seller accepted an offer the evening before our showing was to happen.  I never got a phone call from the Realtor that was supposed to show me the house.

We waited around for 15 minutes after our showing was to happen, and then I went and checked my email.  10 minutes after the appointment time, he sent me an email letting me know the situation and that since an offer had been accepted, he couldn't show us the house.
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: shortstuff on March 30, 2014, 08:40:34 AM
If you are not planning on moving, don't put your house on the market...or at least let the buyer's agent know that you are not taking offers.

My fiance and I put an offer on a house on Sunday. It turns out that the man who was selling the house refused to sign the contract because he didn't want to move.  Thank you, sir, for wasting my time, my fiance's time, my agent's time, your agent's time, and your wife's time. It's nice that you are retired, but some of us still work and would rather not spend our weekends looking at and making offers on houses that the owners have no intention of selling.

 >:(


They might not want to move, but sometimes they have to.  Did the owner realize that he had to move but figured that the offer was not high enough?

The first house that Dh bought (before we were married) had had really weird selling-conditions.  The wife and her husband had separated/divorced years earlier but she was still living in it with three kids - older teens through early 20s.  Apparently the separation agreement stated that she could stay in the house till the youngest kid reached age 19 - that's the age-of-majority here - or, moved out.  Then the house would have to be sold.

What ended up happening was that the youngest kid, at 18, was ready to move out.  Then, the mother was stuck having to move herself and the two older kids out.  To put it mildly, she had absolutely no motivation in encouraging a sale.  The carpets were absolutely filthy, the house had many places where painting had been started and suddenly stopped - etc. - you get the idea.  Never mind the shoddy maintenance and sometimes scary DIY repairs - even I could see the absolutely dangerous electrical "repairs" the previous owner had done.

Not wanting to get into legal issues here, but is it possible that it's an "ordered sale" and the owner just doesn't want to face it?  Or perhaps he's figuring that his home is worth way more $$$  than the evaluated value and is insisting on more?

I encountered something similar when trying to view a house for sale.  The owner was upside down on his mortgage (owed more to the bank than the house could sell for) and was somehow forced by the bank negotiations to have the house for sale.  But when we tried to view it, he stayed home during the appointment and dead-bolted the inside door, so even with our buyer's agent having the key from the lock box, we couldn't get in. 

When our agent caller the seller's agent to complain, the seller's agent was very confused and tried to tell us we had the wrong time.  After some Realtor back and forth snark, they told us that, yes, we had an appointment, but no, the owner didn't want to sell so wasn't going to let us in.  It was such a waste of a day.  I felt bad for the poor owner, he obviously wanted to keep his home, but don't take it out on us.
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: Mopsy428 on April 10, 2014, 09:05:34 PM
If you are not planning on moving, don't put your house on the market...or at least let the buyer's agent know that you are not taking offers.

My fiance and I put an offer on a house on Sunday. It turns out that the man who was selling the house refused to sign the contract because he didn't want to move.  Thank you, sir, for wasting my time, my fiance's time, my agent's time, your agent's time, and your wife's time. It's nice that you are retired, but some of us still work and would rather not spend our weekends looking at and making offers on houses that the owners have no intention of selling.

 >:(


They might not want to move, but sometimes they have to.  Did the owner realize that he had to move but figured that the offer was not high enough?

The first house that Dh bought (before we were married) had had really weird selling-conditions.  The wife and her husband had separated/divorced years earlier but she was still living in it with three kids - older teens through early 20s.  Apparently the separation agreement stated that she could stay in the house till the youngest kid reached age 19 - that's the age-of-majority here - or, moved out.  Then the house would have to be sold.

What ended up happening was that the youngest kid, at 18, was ready to move out.  Then, the mother was stuck having to move herself and the two older kids out.  To put it mildly, she had absolutely no motivation in encouraging a sale.  The carpets were absolutely filthy, the house had many places where painting had been started and suddenly stopped - etc. - you get the idea.  Never mind the shoddy maintenance and sometimes scary DIY repairs - even I could see the absolutely dangerous electrical "repairs" the previous owner had done.

Not wanting to get into legal issues here, but is it possible that it's an "ordered sale" and the owner just doesn't want to face it?  Or perhaps he's figuring that his home is worth way more $$$  than the evaluated value and is insisting on more?
No. The comps were right within what they were asking for, and we offered full asking price plus a few thousand in closing costs. The male owner was 89 years old, and refused to move. His 83 year old wife was his caretaker, and she wanted to sell the house and move into something smaller. (Neither can go upstairs.)

The seller's agent was "assisting" in showing another house we looked at a few days ago and mentioned that the man had previously signed a contract, but then he backed out of it because he "wanted to die in that house". I wanted to say, "OK. After that fiasco, why did they put it back on the market? I'm sure the almost-homeowners were as pleased as punch with this guy's antics."
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: katycoo on April 10, 2014, 09:42:11 PM

So as a buyer you have an agent yourself who takes you to properties for sale?  That's a new concept to me, does the buyer's agent make a commission from the sale?  Is it the same agent you're using to sell? 

Here, an estate agent sells properties, or manages rented ones, they work entirely for sellers or landlords never for buyers or renters.

Yes, in the U.S., most buyers would have their own agent.  The agent's job is to sort through the multiple listing service to pick out the best prospects, make appointments for showing, escort the buyers (this may or may not include driving the buyers), then help with buying the home.  For this, the buyer's agent gets between 1% and 3% of the home price as commission.  Some agents specialize in buyers only; others handle both buying and selling.

By law, real estate agents for the seller are required to work in the seller's interests.  If you find the house on your own, for instance by driving by a for-sale sign, you can probably skip having your own agent, but it is still recommended that you have your own real estate attorney or other professional to double check the fine print.

There's a feeling that it's unethical for one agent to represent both both the buyer and the seller. You can't be looking out for my best interests if you are also looking out for their's, kinda thing.

Its definitely unethical for a conveyancer or lawyer to act for both parties, but not agents.  I suspect Larrabee is Australian too.  We do our own research (there are 2 major housing sales/rental websites pretty much everyone use) and when you find a place you like you can contact the seller's agent about it.  Public open homes are the norm, so you just turn up at the advertised time if you want to see the house.  Private inspections can be arranged if you cannot make the open home.
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: DoubleTrouble on June 01, 2014, 06:31:41 PM
Selling our house right now, it's been fairly smooth with the showings (our agent uses an app called ShowingTime to schedule appts, love that app!) but we had one last week that rubbed me the wrong way.

- Scheduled an appt for 6-6:30 which is right during dinner for us but OK I can deal.

- Loaded the car up with two 5 yr olds & a dog & went to McD's drive through as it was raining. We ate in the car & managed to kill a 1/2 hour that way.

- Came back at 6:40 ish & found that the people were just going into the house :o  Fine I can wait. Find a spot on the street where I can watch the front door. Remember 2 kids, one dog & it's getting near bedtime.

- Wait for the next 30 minutes for the people to get through the house & then they decided to take a walk through the neighborhood. Which would have been fine except they were parked in the driveway & I couldn't get into the garage.

By this time they actually left, the boys were climbing all over the car like ants (remember it was raining, can't go to the park!) & the dog was getting really irritated & barking at every one that walked by. I was *thisclose* to getting out of the car to ask them to move their car but I really need this house to sell so I sucked it up as much as I could.

So please be on time & if you are late, try to make it quick especially if you can tell someone is still living there with small children!
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: Morty'sCleaningLady on June 03, 2014, 10:02:57 AM
Selling our house right now, it's been fairly smooth with the showings (our agent uses an app called ShowingTime to schedule appts, love that app!) but we had one last week that rubbed me the wrong way.

So please be on time & if you are late, try to make it quick especially if you can tell someone is still living there with small children!

My sister had something similar.  She's got a 3 1/2 year old and a 1 year old.  The house was under agreement and the buyers wanted to check on a small furnace repair and measure the rooms.  So, Sis budgeted an hour at 6 PM.  She returned home after about 60 minutes to find them still there.  The buyers were there for over 3 hours!  The buyers brought a handy man who took his time going up in the attic, doing stuff in the basement, etc.  This wasn't measuring for furniture layout and paint purchase estimates.  It was a second home inspection!  (The first inspection had lasted 8 hours, which is pretty intense.)  The 1 year old was in a full on tizzy, since it was after his bedtime.
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: GreenEyedHawk on June 03, 2014, 10:57:28 AM
I had the reverse problem...when I bought my home. we emphasised to all involved that this was time-sensitive.  I was living in a house owned by my room-mate, who was unexpectedly given custody of his ten-year-old daughter, so I had to be out of the house before she moved in.  We had to make it happen within a month.

Everyone was great except the listing agent for the house I bought, who hardly EVER returned our calls...it usually took several calls over two or three days to get hold of him.  My theory is because the house was a foreclosure and he was a listing agent for the bank that we were not his highest priority.

The second person who dragged his feet was the lawyer i used...my parents' laywer...who put us off, rescheduled on us and just generally jerked us around until my mother and I showed up and his office first thing in the morning and she very politely but firmly told him that he would indeed be seeing us today.  The entire thing took probably less than an hour, I have no idea what the holdup was.
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: chocolatemoose on January 04, 2015, 07:28:00 AM
I am very sensitive to a brand of popular bar soap that a lot of women use. I get a whiff of it and my throat starts to close up. I was unable to look at about a dozen homes when I was looking for a house because of the soap. I know it's my problem, and this is something rare, but sellers please keep in mind artificial scents can be very irritating.
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: catgal on January 25, 2015, 07:25:47 PM
Well, this should be common sense, but....

Friends are selling their apartment.  They had an open home last Saturday.  They left when the real estate agent arrived and planned to return as soon as the home open finished.  When they returned, they found the real estate agent, one of their neighbours and a couple that had come to the open home sitting at their dining table drinking coffee.  My friends were taken aback because someone would have had to open all of their cupboards to find the coffee, cups, kettle etc.  The neighbour is one that they try to avoid as she is little strange so they were not impressed to find her at the table.  No-one rushed to leave, they just continued chatting (not even about the apartment, neighbourhood or anything related to the property) while my friends stood there. They didn't want to rush the couple out the door in case their were serious about buying the apartment, but they certainly spoke to the agent about their unhappiness when everyone else (eventually ) left.  Seriously, who does that?
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: Syfygeek on January 26, 2015, 11:07:28 AM
Just starting the looking process for a new house.

Went yesterday to look at what might be perfect. It's a short sale, so I understand the previous owners may have been under a deadline to vacate. If I was the listing agent, I would probably have removed the DVD's left in the house. When you open a closet and find a box set of 5 horror movies, it's creepy. When you go into the den and find a stack of horror movies almost 2 feet tall, it's way past creepy.

Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: Margo on January 26, 2015, 12:22:16 PM
Quote
I also think homeowners should either retreat to one room or leave the house when potential buyers come by.  It is awkward to discuss the house with DH if the homeowner is right there.
I don't trust complete strangers in my home. If they're in my home, I'm at least going to be in the same vicinity as they are. The last thing I want is to find things missing after showing them my home.

In the UK, the showing is normally done by the homeowners, most estate agents will do it for you if you ask but its very rare that they're even present.

I think this varies a lot. I'm in the UK -  I moved house last year. My estate agents did all the viewings, I didn't meet any of the people who viewed my house. I viewed 2 houses where the homeowners were present and the agents weren't, but the vast majority the estate agents did the viewing. This was my experience the last twice I moved house, too. (buying and selling in Manchester, then moving to the South West)

I'd have said that this was the norm, and that homeowners doing viewings was the exception!

Maybe it's very regional?
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: Margo on January 26, 2015, 12:38:15 PM
on an etiquette front - if you know there are people coming to view the house, check your teenagers rooms.

I looked round one house, and most of it was nice enough - neat tidy, clean,... then there was one bedroom which very, very clearly belonged to a teenage boy. It was smelly, the bed was unmade, there were dirty clothes and used paper tissues all over the floor. I can understand that if you work, your teen might be leaving after you so may forget to make the bed, but this was clearly far more than one day's accumulation of old clothes etc!
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: Klein Bottle on September 23, 2015, 11:08:17 PM
I just read this entire thread with great interest, as I have decided to (probably) sell my house at the end of winter. I've been here only two years, and I do love the house, but, it's become evident to me that making all the changes needed for it to be my dream home are costly, and probably wouldn't pay off. My kid starts college next fall, and I need to free up some cash, so downsizing, here we come! Thankfully, I have five or six months to get this place in proper shape for a realtor and potential buyers to look into nooks and crannies, and to figure out what to do with my little indoor kitty, who likes to escape and also jump on people.

Etiquette question: would it be rude or off-putting to leave a note cautioning about Kitty? I don't plan to be here when it's being shown, so, I want to make certain she doesn't take off when that door opens. I'm thinking I might just enlist my BFF to keep them in their crates at her house when I leave for showings...
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: Mel the Redcap on September 23, 2015, 11:55:42 PM
Best to board your cat elsewhere or take her to your friend's place during showings, yes. You have no idea who'll be coming through your house, they may be careless or even actively dislike cats, or just too slow to stop your cat from running out the door... safest to have her somewhere else entirely.
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: Klein Bottle on September 24, 2015, 04:49:59 PM
Best to board your cat elsewhere or take her to your friend's place during showings, yes. You have no idea who'll be coming through your house, they may be careless or even actively dislike cats, or just too slow to stop your cat from running out the door... safest to have her somewhere else entirely.

Thank you! I am probably going to let my BFF keep them while the house is on the market, unless I already have the tiny house I'm looking for. (I looked at a one bedroom in the city a couple weeks ago. It's darling, and the price is certainly right, but it has issues such as the one bathroom being located in the basement. Thus, it's a cash only deal, as no bank will issue a mortgage with that condition. And, I don't have the time or expertise to fix or remodel things, at least, not beyond the cosmetic. I hope another small cute one is waiting for me next Spring!)
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: crazycatlady331 on May 07, 2016, 07:04:54 PM
Old thread but this takes me back to my childhood (when I was dragged to open houses almost every weekend between about 7-10).   I hated it then (my parents had no intention of moving or buying another house, they just went to open houses for fun) and honestly I don't see myself ever buying a home.  I had enough with the home stuff in childhood to be happy in an apartment for the rest of my life.

Until you are a serious buyer of a particular home (follow-up visit, etc) consider making alternative arrangements for your children as it is not the most age-appropriate activity (babysitter, playdates, grandma time, etc).  This is a benefit for you, the children, and the seller (they won't run wild). 
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: Kate on July 09, 2016, 07:31:10 PM
My elderly friend with early stage dementia had sold her home,and asked me to come over to be with her when the home inspection was being done as she did not want to be alone in the house with a strange man.. I figured this would take maybe an hour, but no, the buyers came with him AND the real state agent as well...why she was there I do not know.
He proceeded to show and explain in minute detail everything he was inspecting, to the new owners, and then stood in the house and chatted with the real estate agent for about an hour afterward. I was so annoyed at being tied up for so long and if it had been my house I would have asked them to finish their conversation outside. Very rude IMO.
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: Alicia on July 09, 2016, 08:05:10 PM
My elderly friend with early stage dementia had sold her home,and asked me to come over to be with her when the home inspection was being done as she did not want to be alone in the house with a strange man.. I figured this would take maybe an hour, but no, the buyers came with him AND the real state agent as well...why she was there I do not know.
He proceeded to show and explain in minute detail everything he was inspecting, to the new owners, and then stood in the house and chatted with the real estate agent for about an hour afterward. I was so annoyed at being tied up for so long and if it had been my house I would have asked them to finish their conversation outside. Very rude IMO.
Home inspections often take 3 or 4 hours that is typical. It is suggested in general and very very advisable for the buyers to attend and usually their real estate agent will attend as the real estate agent is often required to be there. The current selling home owner usually does not attend. The new home owner needs to learn where everything is located as well an overview of the state of the home. The error was your friends in making you expect 1 hour and for that matter not leaving the house..
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: Kate on July 11, 2016, 08:04:20 AM
My elderly friend with early stage dementia had sold her home,and asked me to come over to be with her when the home inspection was being done as she did not want to be alone in the house with a strange man.. I figured this would take maybe an hour, but no, the buyers came with him AND the real state agent as well...why she was there I do not know.
He proceeded to show and explain in minute detail everything he was inspecting, to the new owners, and then stood in the house and chatted with the real estate agent for about an hour afterward. I was so annoyed at being tied up for so long and if it had been my house I would have asked them to finish their conversation outside. Very rude IMO.
Home inspections often take 3 or 4 hours that is typical. It is suggested in general and very very advisable for the buyers to attend and usually their real estate agent will attend as the real estate agent is often required to be there. The current selling home owner usually does not attend. The new home owner needs to learn where everything is located as well an overview of the state of the home. The error was your friends in making you expect 1 hour and for that matter not leaving the house..
I have not heard of the buyers being present for the home inspection, I don't think that is normally done around here. My friend did not want to leave the house as she had nowhere to take her dog and she would not leave it alone. I could not have the dog at my place because my dog is not socialized with other dogs. One day they had an open house and she drove around all day with the dog in her car .
People with dementia do not handle normal life things as other people, and often are not open to helpful suggestions. Her son should have moved her before putting the house up for sale.
All the upheaval was very hard on her
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: Outdoor Girl on July 11, 2016, 10:01:36 AM
In my area, the buyers are present for the home inspection, as is their agent.  The sellers usually absent themselves and their agent is usually not present.  I've been present for two of three inspections; I was too far away to make the third.  The homeowner was home for one of them but not for the other two.  I left during the home inspection on my place that just sold at the beginning of the year, though we just arrived home as they arrived, grabbed the dogs and left.

If you have bought a home and are using one of your prearranged visits to the home before closing?  Don't bring your entire family and all your friends with you.  After having 15 people in my house that I wasn't expecting, I will be very specific the next time I sell a home:  visits are limited to the buyers, their real estate agent and two additional people.

And if you are scheduling one of the said visits, don't schedule it for Mother's Day at dinner time.

(The inspection was inconvenient; we were out of town and had to cut our visit with my Dad short to get back in time to take the dogs out.  The first visit with the 15 people was on Valentines day.  And the second visit, they asked for Mother's Day.  Finally put my foot down on that one.  And asked how many people would be there.  Though for the second visit, I wouldn't have minded if they brought everyone and their brother because I'd mostly moved out by that point.)

Kate, when my Dad was ready to sell his place, we did exactly that.  We got him moved to his apartment and he still had enough furniture to stage the house for sale.  So much easier!  And he's is probably also in the early stages of dementia and never does well with change even without that so it was good we did it that way.
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: shortstuff on July 11, 2016, 03:10:20 PM
Our area is similar to what Outdoor Girl wrote, but if the sellers are still in the house they are sometimes present.  And in those cases, their agent is present too, which I like, because it provides a bit of buffer. 

Before our house process got nasty, the seller was present at the septic inspection with my husband, and explained a bit about the surrounding area, the trees on the property and which one the bees like to nest in, history of some repairs, etc.  It was nice to have extra information.

In our area, which is rural, there are many tests that are done, so I wouldn't expect the sellers to vacate their house every time.  We have septic inspection, home inspection, sometimes a follow up to inspect any repairs, a radon gas test (dropping off then picking up the tester), and a well water test, although the sellers typically handle that one, so buyers only get results mailed.  There's also an appraisal, and sometimes even a land survey - no buyers present for those, though. 
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: Outdoor Girl on July 11, 2016, 03:24:36 PM
^ As a buyer, I would never trust the seller's water test.  I work in the industry and we've heard so many stories about agents taking samples at their homes in town on municipal water, submitting that sample as the seller's home.  And you can shock a well with bleach then take a sample, which virtually guarantees a good water sample.  I would take my own sample on one of the visits, without informing the sellers, so they can't do anything to artificially improve the well water quality ahead of time.
Title: Re: Home Buying Etiquette
Post by: Sophia on July 11, 2016, 06:13:32 PM
Now some of the remarks have me worried; we're going to be listing our house for sale very soon but instead of using a listing agent we're giving FSBO a try. Seeing as it's our house and we're the "seller's agent", we will be showing it ourselves and running open houses.

So, to those who have experienced this before (from either side, buyer or seller), what should we try to avoid? I'm already schooling my DH on not waxing poetic about the house and I'm in the midst of de-cluttering and scrubbing everything twice. I know there's one room I'm going to be apologizing for non-stop; my craft room. Sorry, but I still have a small business to run out of there, so it's not going to be perfect.

I don't know about in your area, but where I live real estate is HOT.  Since selling isn't actually required right now, I think you are smart to skip the real estate agent.