Open House Etiquette


Apparently this is tricky for some so I thought I might help the general population with tips and tricks regarding the attendance at an open house.  This is where a property has been opened by a real estate agent to allow prospective buyers to come and view and see if the house is suitable.

Let’s refer to this as “Open House Etiquette”



Ask if you should remove shoes – and if the home owner has requested, then yes, you do have to.

Yes, that does include your kids, and it includes your stilettos (they are classed as shoes.) I too, am shorter without them.   Chucking a hissy doesn’t make it easier for either one of home etiquette


Or you could be exactly like the snotty buyer who refused because her shoes were new …possibly exactly like the vendors cream coloured carpets, then?  (By the way, She elected to walk the exterior perimeter of the property and look through the windows.   I guess she sure showed me who was boss. Sadly, she had to use her imagination for the upstairs area.)

open house etiquette

When you leave, please be kind enough to take the shoes you arrived in, and no choosing a better pair.

I have had that nightmare of one pair of shoes (well… flip flops t.b.h.) left on the mat when I locked up.  Not completely sure whether etiquette dictates I leave them there for the shoeless Joe now wandering the streets of Terrigal, or whether that would freak out the returning home owner.     I compromised and moved them to the end of the path.


Be reasonable.

No food,  no drink.   That includes your coffee, Sir. And definitely applies to your kebab.  Let’s not be the agent explaining that someone dripped ketchup on to the couch.  How to attend an open home


Parenting 101

Your three kids under five are NOT welcome to jump on the bed, play hide and seek in the master closet, to try on the high heels in said closet, or to eat anything in the pantry.

No, not even from the fruit bowl on the counter. And unless specifically invited to do so, those toys belong to someone else.  And please, please, PLEASE don’t pick up that guitar.   — North Avoca, you know who you are.

dog with glasses

No dogs

And I never thought THIS would have to be in writing but NO, you can’t bring your dog in here. I’m sure it is house trained but the owners cat might feel a little put out.

KitchenCan I open that?

It IS okay to open the linen closet door to check out the size…

It is NOT okay to open the fridge to check out the leftovers.


I’m here because…

If you have no interest in buying the home, please don’t walk through pointing out every single idiosyncrasy of the home in your loudest voice.

I am sure the other buyers have noticed the road noise/ small bedroom/ dated bathroom but we all appreciate you vocalising how depressing you find the ugly light fixtures.

Maybe later we could all come over to your place and offer opinions about your decor?

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Time waits for no (wo)man

Please!!!  Your real estate agent typically has somewhere else to be, generally in 15 minutes and needs to turn off lights and secure this house before negotiating Central Coast traffic to get to the next one.

Don’t arrive just as we are locking the door and then take your time wandering at a glacial pace      (…shoes on, eating a kebab…)

We can always arrange a different inspection time but, you see if we leave this one late, we will be late for the next open house – and naturally the people waiting at the next home will be very gracious and understanding about this…



Neighbours and noseys

And just so you know, your agent is not just opening the door so you can decide if you want to decorate your house like this one.    Someone has hired this agent to help them actually sell their home.

If you are just taking a look as a nosey neighbour, feel free but do let the agent know so they can spend some time and effort on the real potential buyers.

22 - 11 Remembrance


Personally I think its fine to be a sticky beak and I tell home owners to welcome them.

Who knows?

Sticky beakers might have a friend at work who would LOVE a home like this.  And having an extra body or two changes the energy in a house too.  Makes it look more competitive.

If you are going to have nosey neighbours through, might as well make it when the house is all dressed and ready to show.

They will think you always live with nothing on the kitchen counter and plumped up cushions.  (A friend of one of client in Terrigal asked if she had been robbed, the house was so tidy!)checklist-1643781_960_720


Who ARE you!

Consider it a permit to entry. A decent agent is going to secure your name and contact details.

No use claiming ignorance. I am fully aware that you DO know your name.

Without it and a phone number and probably an email address you won’t be allowed in.  You would want the same at your house.  No exceptions.



Come on DOWN!

So there – fairly straightforward really.  Leave your shoes and food at the door, give your name and contact info, be fair to the property and let the working agent know your (constructive) feedback.

And be ready to make an offer!  Call me if you are still looking for direction or a home in Terrigal or North Avoca.  Always happy to discuss real estate (and shoes.)



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