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Going on Showings

Now for the fun part — viewing property! Showings & open houses are your opportunity to tour properties & eventually find The One.

A showing will generally last about 15 minutes, depending on the size of the home. During the showing, you’ll want to see if the space fits you & your goals, but you’ll also want to take a closer look at the property itself to ensure you are making a good investment.

Make sure to scroll to the bottom of this page to find our Showing Dos & Don’ts!

Questions to Ask

You can ask these questions on the showing, & your agent will also check to see if answers to these questions are available on the MLS.

  • Age of mechanicals?
  • Age of appliances/laundry?
  • Age of roof?
  • Age of windows?
  • When was the building/house last sealed or tuckpointed?
  • Has the home had any water intrusion?
  • Has the current owner made any updates?
  • Why is the owner selling?
  • How much does the HOA have in reserves? (if a condo or townhome)
  • Are there any upcoming special assessments? Any recent ones? (if a condo or townhome)
  • What are the rental restrictions? (if a condo or townhome)
  • How many units are rented? (if a condo or townhome)
  • & anything else you want to know!

In addition, your agent is also looking for anything that may affect your decision to move forward and negotiate: upgradesbuilding materialsappliances, and signs of damage.

Our resources for Interiors & Exteriors & Homeowner’s Associations will be helpful reads before to attending a showing.

Showings vs. Open Houses

A showing is a scheduled private tour of the property with your agent and the listing broker (unless your agent is accessing the property via lockbox). An open house is when the home is open to the public for 1-2 hours on a Saturday or Sunday.

If you attend an open house, let your agent know that you are attending so they can be prepared to write an offer if you fall in love.

Garages & Parking

If the property appears to have a tight garage, we advise our buyers to practice pulling their cars into the parking spot/garage at inspection. 

If the unit has deeded parking, note the assessment and tax amount for the parking spot in addition to the unit. Sometimes, listing agents do not put the total on the MLS to make the fees look lower. 

Neighborhoods & Safety

We cannot comment on the safety or demographics of a neighborhood per the Fair Housing Act and Code of Ethics — more on that here. Instead, we can point you to helpful resources and encourage you to spend as much time in the neighborhood as possible before falling in love with a home there 🙂


If you have (or plan to have!) kids, you’re probably interested in your neighborhood’s schools.

CPS uses five performance ratings to measure a school’s rating: Levels 1+, 1, and 2+ (Good Standing), Level 2 (Provisional Support), and Level 3 (Intensive Support). CPS also has magnet schools, meaning you can test into them.

Showing Dos & Don’ts

DO let your agent know whenever you see a property you want to check out in person, whether via our MLS emails, TAN e-blasts, Redfin, Zillow, Trulia, etc. We will schedule it for you and handle everything

DO provide your upcoming availability when requesting a showing. We will do our best to work with your schedule, but there are times when a seller restricts showings to certain window/date, an agent isn’t available, or there are other scheduling hiccups. 

DO let us know how you plan to get from property to property. You can drive your car, ride with us, or use Ubers/Lyfts to get around. This helps us know how much time to buffer between showings.

DO try to be on time! We are coordinating with the sellers to leave the property and for the listing agent to be there. (If you’re running late, we get it! Life happens! We might run late occasionally, too. Just give us a heads up if you can.) If you’re running more than 10-15 minutes late for a Tour Day showing, we may ask you to go directly to the next showing, and we will provide a video tour of the first property.

DO wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off! Many listing brokers will ask you to remove shoes before entering a home.

DO assume that the sellers can see & hear you in their home via security cameras. We don’t want to say anything, good or bad, which shows our cards on a showing. Poker faces, everyone!

DON’T call a for-sale sign phone number or request to see a showing online with the listing broker. If we are representing you, we need to be the ones to book!

DON’T worry! Your first showings – especially on your Tour Day – are supposed to be no-pressure and informative. This is not your one chance to find your dream home. You may LOVE something on your Tour Day; if so, we’ll help you with the next steps. Overall, this is more of a chance for you to get your feet wet, understand the flow of a showing, & see your favorite existing inventory.

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