page top
Home / Blog / Gateway HomeHub / First Home Buyer / What to do at an open home

Back to HomeHub

Open home do's and don'ts

Attention: open in a new window. Print

Open house etiquette for home buyers

Proper open inspection etiquette to improve your buying chances. 

Manners matter at house inspections, so it’s important that you know how to behave when looking for your next home.

We’ve answered common questions on the do’s and don’ts at open homes so you don’t find yourself making an embarrassing faux pas.

1. Is it okay to be early?
Absolutely, you should arrive slightly early to endear yourself to the agent.

2. Where do I park?
Anywhere but the driveway.

3. Should I talk to the real estate agent?
Yes, it would be rude not to. Never monopolise the agent’s time but a good rapport with the agent gives you an edge over other buyers – read our questions to ask your real estate agent for tips.

4. Do I need to sign in?
It’s polite to sign-in, even if you don’t leave your contact details.

5. Do I need to say if I already have a buyer’s agent?
Yes, make it known so the hosting agent doesn’t waste time trying to solicit you.

6. Is it okay to bring coffee into a home inspection?
Coffee is generally accepted, but if you make a mess, it’s your job to clean it. Babyccinos can be frowned upon in case of accidental spills.

Can I take food and drink to an open home?

7. What about a snack?
No, it’s considered inappropriate to bring food into someone else’s home. Not only do you risk trailing crumbs through the house, but the smell isn’t always welcome.

8. Should I ring the doorbell for an open home?
Unless it’s a secure apartment block, there is no need to knock.

9. Do I remove my shoes?
If it’s easy enough for you to do so, take off your shoes. It shows you respect the home.

10. Am I allowed to open the cupboards?
Yes, if you’re a genuine buyer then you need to check out all the storage. Don’t be a stickybeak or disturb the owner’s belongings though – medicine cabinets and bedside drawers are not yours to riffle through.

11. Can I bring a measuring tape?
Absolutely, but don’t get in the way of other potential buyers.

Can I bring a measuring tape to an open home?

12. Is it all right to take photos at open houses?
Yes, it’s a good idea to document the property if you’re interested in it, but always ask the agent first as a courtesy.

13. Can I bring children with me?
Yes, you can bring children with you if you supervise them carefully. Letting them climb on the furniture or play with the owner’s things is a huge no-no.

14. Can I bring a friend?
You should bring someone for a second opinion, but avoid bringing a whole entourage as open homes tend to be crowded enough as it is.

15. Am I allowed to go to my neighbour’s open home?
Yes, you’re allowed to go to an open home even if you’re not actively looking to buy and don’t have to be embarrassed about it. Just tell the agent you aren’t a prospective buyer before you start looking around.

16. Can I use the toilet at an open home?
Only in emergencies, and you should ask the agent first. Sometimes if the house isn’t occupied the water will be turned off which could be an awkward situation for you. You should always accompany children and ensure that you clean up as required.

Remember to always follow the golden rule: if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. No one needs to hear your negative feelings about the house and who knows who might hear you – the agent, a neighbour, a friend? Save your feedback for when you leave.

Why you should consider pre-approval Learn more about the home loan process

Stay in the know

Subscribe to the Gateway HomeHub

Make a quick enquiry about home loans.