Salisbury Press

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Respectfully Yours: Forever home

Thursday, September 6, 2018 by JACQUELYN YOUST Special to The Press in Focus

Dear Jacquelyn,

My husband and I are beginning our search for our forever home. We have started going to open houses and I have some questions about some of the dos and don’ts of open-house courtesy. Can I take photos? Is it OK to look in the closets? Should we take our shoes off? Can you please help us avoid the awkward faux pas of house hunting?

Dear Reader,

Open houses can be a fun way to identify what you want in a home, and there are certainly some things you should try to avoid doing when attending an open house.

I don’t think it is rude to open closets. You need to see how much space you are working with. Minimal storage is a deal-breaker. An important part of your home-buying decision lies in the amount of storage space you will need. It is acceptable to peek inside cabinets, pantries, closets and attics. Nightstands, medicine cabinets, and dressers are off-limits. Never touch personal items in the home.

Remember, you are visiting someone’s home. Wipe your feet on the doormat. Taking your shoes off varies from house-to-house. If you are asked to remove your shoes, please do so. Some sellers will offer paper booties to protect the floor. This is common in new homes. Most sellers won’t ask you to remove your shoes. However, be prepared to do so. When in doubt, place your shoes at the door. I believe asking permission before taking photos at someone’s house is basic courtesy and good manners. Taking photos or videos for personal reference and to remember the details of a home is usually acceptable. Please ask permission from the Realtor. And remember that it’s never OK to post your photographs online. Be courteous and act like you would want someone to act if they were attending an open house in your home. Best of luck as you begin the search for your forever home.

Respectfully Yours, Jacquelyn

Have a question? Email: Jacquelyn Youst is owner of the Pennsylvania Academy of Protocol, specializing in etiquette training. She is on the board of directors of the National Civility Foundation. All Rights Reserved © 2018 Jacquelyn Youst