If you’re viewing homes this weekend, flush the toilet – but don’t use it

Even though you are viewing a home to buy, respect the homeowner’s privacy. Picture: Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels

Even though you are viewing a home to buy, respect the homeowner’s privacy. Picture: Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels

Published Jul 14, 2023


The weekend is upon us and if you have planned to attend a few show days as you search for your dream home, do not be rude – or shy.

Too many buyers walk away from home viewings without having asked the right questions or checked the right features, so to avoid needing to go back, know what you need to look at.

Sometimes, people feel shy when viewing homes and think they just need to walk around and smile, viewing only with their eyes, but this is not the case; if you are seriously looking to buy the property, you have a right to be fully aware of its condition.

Of course, the home still belongs to someone else and those who live within it deserve a certain level of privacy, so there is a limit to what is acceptable.

To help you carry out your home viewings as politely as possible, here is a list of dos and don’ts that estate agents say you should follow. It is just etiquette.

What you should do:

  • Ask relevant questions about the home and neighbourhood
  • Be on time for the viewing
  • Turn the taps on to check the water flow and pressure
  • Flush the toilet to check the water flow and pressure
  • Be open to taking your shoes off if the homeowner’s culture requires it
  • Open wardrobes
  • Open kitchen cabinets
  • Open bedroom doors
  • Open bathroom doors
  • Open grocery cupboards
  • Open linen cupboards
  • Open dishwasher doors (if it is staying with the house)
  • Open fridge and freezer doors (If they are staying with the house)
  • Washing machine and tumble drier doors, if they are staying with the house

What you should not do:

  • Do not open dressing table drawers
  • Do not open bedside table drawers and cupboards
  • Do not open medicine cabinets
  • Do not lie on the beds or sit on the couches
  • Bring an entourage of people – keep it to a small group of 2 or 3
  • Do not make negative comments about the house, in case the homeowner hears
  • Do not use the toilet, unless it is an emergency (but even then, try not to)
  • Do not bring food into the house
  • Do not bring pets with
  • Do not bring your children, unless it is the final viewing
  • Do not cancel at the last minute
  • Do not stay too long, a good time is 30 minutes
  • Do not pretend you are ready to buy a home if you are not