4 steadfast rules for open house-hopping from real estate expert Sandra Rinomato.
1. Sign (in) on the dotted line.
For security reasons, sellers rightfully want to know who's entering their home. In fact, some agents won't even let you in the door without showing ID. If you're worried about the seller's agent harassing you, add "do not call" next to your name, or sign your agent's name on the sheet instead. It's also to your advantage to provide contact information in case of a bully offer: If another potential buyer comes in with a high bid in advance of the offer date, you could miss out if the selling agent can't contact you.
2. Honesty is the best policy.
Most agents are fine with nosy neighbours coming in to take a peek, but be up front about your motives so the agent doesn't neglect a real potential buyer while entertaining you.
3. Use common sense and be polite.
Pretend you're going to your grandmother's house and act accordingly. Be on your best behaviour: Take off your shoes, keep your kids in check (e.g. no running), don't use the bathroom, talk at a reasonable volume and turn off your cell phone.
4. There's one question you should never ask.
"Is there any flexibility on the price?" Remember: The agent is representing the seller, not you. The price is the price. To reveal everything they know (good and bad) about the property or the seller's flexibility would be acting against their client's (and their) best interest.
Casting call! After years of helping first-time homebuyers lose their property virginity, real estate expert Sandra Rinomato has set her sights on a new breed of buyer: Women doing it on their own. The new show, Buy Herself, is currently seeking motivated, independent female buyers in the Greater Toronto Area, who are jumping into the market by themselves. If you feel overwhelmed with all the options and need some expert advice, Sandra's here to lend a hand. Click here to apply!