In the middle of the fifth house inspection one Saturday afternoon, the call of nature sounds and you make a beeline for the bathroom.
It is not your home, but it could be soon, so surely using the toilet is OK right?
Using the toilet when you, a prospective buyer, are inspecting someone else’s home is just one of many open-home etiquette no-nos.
First National Epping Central principal Alison Mifsud said her agency had a sign asking prospective buyers not to use the toilet. “Sometimes people don’t take into account that it’s a private home,” she said.
“Also, because it is an open home, the bathroom is supposed to be available for viewing and this can’t happen if someone has the door locked.” Ms Mifsud said keeping an eye on children was a must for parents at open homes.
“Don’t let them run around the house,” she said. When it comes to entering the property Ms Mifsud said buyers should be prepared to take their shoes off. She said this could be to protect floors but may also be for cultural reasons.
Buyers should also be ready to provide their name and phone number in order to enter the property. “Some people don’t want to give their names and numbers but we like to track who is going through the property and if they don’t give their name and number we don’t let them in,” Ms Mifsud said.
“It’s the owner’s private home so it’s about security as well.”
If you’re wondering if it is OK to take a peek inside the pantry or built-in wardrobe, Ms Mifsud said inspecting items that came with the property was fine but personal items or furniture, such as chests of drawers, should not be touched or opened. She also urged people not to bring pets to open homes and to save building inspections and bringing out the measuring tape for private inspections.
“We don’t allow building or pest inspections at an open home,” Ms Mifsud said.
“Some buyers have turned up with ladders in the past expecting to be able to look in the roof cavity.”
Agents and buyers should be on time for inspections, both agents said. Ms Mifsud said agents should allow buyers to freely look through the home but be readily available to answer any questions.
Buyers should use an open home to assess the general condition of the property, the flow of the home, its aspect in terms of natural light, whether it was on the high or low side of the street and, if land was the drawcard, whether or not the block was level.
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