Looking at Homes: Open Houses & Showings

The right way to examine a home in person

Two Ways To View A Home

When you spot a listing that interests you, either through the daily MLS listings that Jamie sends you or by some other means, the listing will contain some basic property information and pictures.  But as a Realtor®, Jamie has the full scoop on the property – so it’s best to call or email him right away saying you are interested in a home, so Jamie can find out more details for you – like how long it’s been on the market, what the previous selling price was, and whether there’s an open house.

Showings by Dana Moos
Showings by Dana Moos

If you want to see the house or condo in person, a private showing (a.k.a. viewing) can be arranged where you tour the home with Jamie.  Properties often have set times when they can be viewed, as per the seller’s instructions.  Appointments are typically booked for ½-hour or 1-hour periods, though the actual time spent in the home may be less than that.  Most homes request some notice prior to showing.

Here are some things to be aware of when you go on showings:

  • If you have to work during the day, you’ll probably be going on showings in the evening. Be sure to eat ahead of time.
  • Try and avoid bringing smaller children if possible; they don’t have the attention span and will take your focus away from the home.
  • Many home owners request you to remove your shoes prior to viewing the home.  Remember to wear socks, and loafers or shoes that are easy to take on and off.
  • Leave the house as you find it!  Lock up any doors or windows, close the blinds, turn off the taps and lights, close cupboard doors, avoid touching any breakables, and put the toilet seat down if you have to use the washroom during the visit.
  • There may be other purchasers viewing the house at the same time.  We may wait to give them privacy by looking around the back yard, or in another area of the house.
  • The owners and/or their Realtor® may also be there.  Please be polite, and refrain from commenting on the house in front of them. If you have questions, please pull me aside to ask me so we can talk discreetly.

Open Houses

Often, a home for sale will have a public open house so people can come in ‘off the street’ as it were, and view the house.  Usually, open houses in Toronto are held either Saturday or Sunday or both, typically from 2-4 p.m. – although there is a trend, especially in condos, toward weekday evening open houses as well.

Keep in mind that while open houses are a great way to see more homes and get a feel for different interiors, there may be some things to look out for:

  • The seller’s Realtor® will be present, and they will likely ask you to sign a register so they can call you later to see if you’re interested in the house.
  • The sellers themselves might be present, trying to ‘sell’ you on the house
  • Many other people from the neighbourhood may be present as curious onlookers, impeding your ability to really examine the house
  • If you are interested in the house, be sure to let me know so I can get more information from the listing agent, and we can follow up your visit with a private showing.  Above all, don’t agree to anything with the seller’s Realtor® or you could be on the hook for commissions!

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