When an agent books a showing to see a house, it’s a good rule of thumb to give a little thought to the seller’s perspective. The seller-buyer relationship should boil down to ‘do unto others,’ and other good stuff you (should have) learned in kindergarten. Put yourself in the seller’s shoes. We have no idea what’s going on in the seller’s life. Maybe there’s been a death in the family, maybe someone is sick, got fired, got a new job, is getting divorced, moving to another province. You know what they say about assume – it makes an ‘ass’ out of ‘u’ and ‘me.’
Good Buyer Traits
When we ask for a showing on short notice, we’re asking the family to put their lives on hold for a period of time. Sure, they want to sell their house. But they have to pick up kids’ toys, clean up the breakfast dishes, pack up kids and pets, and go somewhere. It’s just good manners to ask your agent to set up a showing 24 hours ahead or, at the very least if it can’t be helped, the night before. Be willing to flex a bit if you’d like a short notice showing.
Go ahead, open closets and cupboards to look at space, but never look in people’s furniture, dressers, desk drawers, or the medicine cabinet; never touch personal items or papers. Don’t be creepy.
Like Aretha says, R E S P E C T
As a buyer, you want to treat the seller and the house with respect. Try to be on time. I normally book an hour for a showing; some agents do a half hour. No matter what, take your shoes off (if you don’t want to go barefoot, bring slippers or ask your agent for booties…I’ve got a carload!). Don’t eat or drink as you walk through.
The Royal Flush
Follow the call of nature at home. Or ask you agent for a pit stop at a public washroom. If you absolutely have to use the washroom at the showing, leave the bathroom the way you found it. And if you must, put the lid down. And flush. Seriously.
I get it that it’s really important for your children to be part of the search for a new home. If you bring kids along and you have too many to handle, bring an extra person to manage them. I’m pretty good at wrangling kids to keep them from jumping on beds and furniture, but it’s better to keep the focus on the house.
House Shopping in our “New Normal”
In Saskatchewan, we are really lucky that our Covid-19 numbers are really low but that doesn’t mean we recklessly move forward. Each individual and each family will be navigating their way through in ways that are safe and comfortable to them and we as Realtors ® have a number of guidelines to follow.
-be prepared to fill out a COVID-19 waiver. This is held on file by your agent and your information is not shared with other agents.
-wear masks and gloves if the sellers ask (again, we don’t know the seller’s circumstances, they may have elderly or immune-compromised family members)
-don’t touch light switches or door-handles…if you want to see in a closet, ask your agent to open the door
-use hand santizer
Simply do what’s asked of you to keep the seller comfortable and safe! I’ll help you with any supplies you need (gloves, booties, hand sanitizer, etc!)
Feel free to ask questions; I’m here to answer as many as I can, and the seller’s agent will filter those that might be too personal. Asking why they’re selling is one thing; digging into the reason for the divorce is a little much. I try very hard not to get offended on behalf of someone; I get offended enough on behalf of myself (just kidding, sort of)! But if we all try to keep it about the property, the more useful information we can share.