Open House Etiquette for the Calgary Home Buyer


Last Updated on February 15, 2024 by Saira Farman

Visiting open houses Calgary is a great way to look at some homes you’ve been eyeing as potential purchases. However, going into someone else’s home, especially when they could still live there, can feel like uncharted territory. Knowing the open house etiquette for guests can help you feel much more comfortable and let you focus on the actual house viewing. If you’re wondering what to do at an open house, just follow our guide and you’ll be a model guest!

Be Polite but Brief with the Host

When you arrive at an open house, be sure to greet the host before you start wandering around the home. It’s also okay to have some chitchat and ask a few questions before you start looking around on your own. However, if the host is dealing with plenty of visitors, try not to take up too much of their time, especially with off-topic small talk.

Ask Before Taking Photos and Videos

Before taking out your camera or your phone, remember that this is someone else’s home you’re in. Although they’re letting you tour their house, they may not be comfortable with you taking photos or videos inside. Ask the host before you do so and respect their answer if they ask you not to. Also, keep in mind that these photos and videos are for personal use only and should not be posted online for everyone to see.

Watch Where You Sit

Even if this is your fifth open house of the day and you’re getting tired, you really shouldn’t sit on any of the furniture unless you’re expressly invited to. Not only can it be considered rude to use someone else’s furniture, but many open houses are staged with fake furniture, which would break if you tried to use them.

Wait Your Turn

Keep in mind that you’re not the only one touring an open house. If you can see people in a room ahead of you, wait for them to leave before entering and crowding the space. In that same vein, don’t spend too long in a single room. Look around, but don’t linger, so you’re not holding up other people.

Ask Before Opening Doors

Even though you’ve been invited to tour a home, that doesn’t mean you can necessarily go anywhere you want. Some homeowners will purposefully leave some doors closed if they don’t want visitors exploring those areas. If you see a closed door, just ask the host before you open it. You also want to make sure that when you are looking in places like people’s closets, you’re getting a good idea of the space without rummaging through their things.

Watch What You Say

Almost any home you see will have aspects of it that you like and don’t like. However, it would be best if you kept these to yourself until you’ve left the premises. You never know who could be listening to what you’re saying, as the host could be a homeowner, and there could be friends and neighbours touring the home. Sharing criticisms in the house could offend someone, which can hurt your chances if you choose to put in an offer for the home.

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When in Doubt, Be Polite

If you’ve found yourself in a scenario where you’re not sure what the best etiquette is, err on the side of being polite. Don’t be afraid to ask the host any questions, or if it’s okay for you to do something or see something. They’re there to sell the home, so they want to ensure you have a good experience with your viewing.

If you are house hunting the Calgary real estate market, consider hiring an experienced real estate professional from Calgary to help you out. They’ll listen to what you want and need from a new home and pick out the perfect houses for you to visit. Make your house search easier and less stressful with a REALTOR® today!