Open house do's and dont's

4 min read

You may want to use the loo or snoop
through drawers to check for, you know, space, but refrain. Here, Emily Power from domain.com.au advises on open-for-inspection etiquette...

If you’re the potential buyer

Do

Interrogate the Agent
They’re not standing around in a suit on a Saturday for nothing. Emily suggests asking the following questions...

How long has the property been on the market?
If it is a unit – what are the body corporate fees?
Are there heritage controls that could impact on any future renovations?
Check out www.domain.com.au/property-profile to undertake further research.

Harass the neighbours
“It's acceptable to knock on the neighbours' doors to ask about community values, standard of local schools and quality of the amenities,” reveals Emily.

Delegate
Bring along family or friends who can be objective. Emily also suggests a structural assessment and having a pest inspection done later down the line.

Wear your poker face
Remember other attendees are your competition. Keep any discussions about your budget or buying strategy quiet.

Don’t

Be late
Arrive at the beginning of the showing. You want ample time to do your detective work and develop a feeling for the place.

Be shy
Turn on the taps, scrutinise guttering and roof tiling, linger in the front rooms listening for traffic noise and check that windows and doors close flush. Also check for enough powerpoints – in the right places. And ask what the internet signal is like, too.

Make yourself at home
Traipsing through the house in dirty shoes, sitting on the couch, parking in the driveway, lying on the bed – are all big no-nos, according to Emily,

Make stuff up
If you’re not interested, be honest. An agent is a resource and if this property isn’t right for you, maybe they know of one that is.

When you’re the vendor

Do

Hire professionals 
Consider employing a stylist to come in and get your home looking its best, and a cleaner – your agent should be able to give you good contacts.

Create ambience
Coffee brewing, fresh flowers, candles. Trounce your house up like you’re expecting special guests.

Suss out the competition
Attend other local open homes and establish where your property sits on the market. This is also an opportunity to observe agents and decide which might work best for you.

Check your insurance 
Does your home and contents policy cover you for inspections? Some don’t so make a call and find out.

Don’t…

Spy
Lurking around will make potential buyers and the agent uncomfortable. Go for a coffee and get out of everyone’s hair.

Display personal photographs
You want a potential buyer to form their own attachment to a property - your baby and wedding memorabilia won’t encourage this.

Leave valuables about
“Lock up smaller items or identity paperwork (including mail and passports) that could be easily swindled or copied. Consider hiring off­site storage for larger  items, including artwork, because some thieves will use open houses as a chance to case a property,” warns Emily.

Forget to deadlock windows
Unfortunately, thieves have also been known to unlock windows during an open house, in order to let themselves in later. Deadlock windows, especially those at the back or sides of the property.

Inspiration 17 Mar 2015
Moving house is not cheap and sometimes it makes more sense to stay where you are and efficiently capitalise on your current property.
4 min read
Inspiration 17 Nov 2016
Buying your first home is a time of excitement and, quite often, life lessons. TV renovation experts Barry Du Bois, Cherie Barber and Leah McLeod talk about buying their first home and offer some words of wisdom.
5 min read
Inspiration 16 Jan 2014
Thinking of investing in property? Here are four things about the market you might not know.
4 min read

This information is current as at 18/11/2016.

This article provides an overview or summary only and it should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter or relied upon as such.

This Information may contain material provided directly by third parties and is given in good faith and has been derived from sources believed to be accurate at its issue date. It should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter nor relied upon as such. While such material is published with necessary permission, no company in the Westpac Group accepts responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of, or endorses any such material. Except where contrary to law, we intend by this notice to exclude liability for this material.