graywings123

Etiquette for house buyers during showings

graywings123
10 days ago

A friend of mine is about to list his house for sale, and we were having a conversation about buyer behavior during showings. He felt buyers should not open the refrigerator (will sell with the house), nor kitchen and bath cabinets and drawers. I said I would be opening random cabinet doors and drawers, and probably the refrigerator, too.


He is prepared for the worst and knows about removing drugs, guns, money, documents, and other personal/valuable items. And we agree that opening furniture drawers is unacceptable. But what is your take on items that will convey with the house?

Comments (67)

  • raee_gw zone 5b-6a Ohio
    10 days ago

    Tell your friend to buy a big roll of shrink wrap- like plastic film (it is not expensive) and just wrap a layer around any furniture or appliances that won't convey so that they can't be opened. I would also wrap the toilet seat - the thought of random people using my toilet and sink does set my teeth on edge!


    Other than that, I do agree that a potential buyer needs to be able to assess the size and condition of things like closets, built in cabinets, and appliances. They are an integral point of the buying decision.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    9 days ago
    last modified: 9 days ago

    I haven't sold a home recently but I bought one 2 years ago. Open houses or visits by appointment often asked that booties be used or shoes removed. If so, booties were supplied at the front door, with a chair to sit on. Otherwise, people are free to look at or open whatever is there and not secured with a sign, string or tape. Sometimes the listing agent was present for the visit, sometimes (for unoccupied places with a lock-box) not. Some people visit to take a quick scan and do a quick walk-through and then left. Others may wish a more detailed visit. Owners were NEVER present.

    Homes that have been moved out of are often staged in my area - prop furniture is brought in to show what the place looks like furnished. Empty homes can be hard to sell.

    Practices may vary regionally. I live in a high cost real estate market and other than the odd exception, buyers are usually catered to. This varies from time to time too. Homes often sell for more than the listing price, sometimes much more.

    So, a too long answer for house selling etiquette- if your friend wants to sell his house asap, he needs to suck it up, do what he's told and not impose restrictions. And tolerate what's going to happen in the process. I experienced personally the fact that when potential sellers act odd, word gets around the real estate community and the brokers may avoid showing the property for that reason. I remember in particular one place we saw in the listings that we wanted to visit. Our broker said something like "I will show you any property you want to see but for this one, I'll caution you ahead of time that the owners are strange people and getting a deal done may be difficult". We went and saw the property and what we encountered was so odd that we walked out after a few minutes. What did we see? How about walking in the front door to find an ironing board in the living room with clothing piles on the floor. Dirty dishes on the kitchen counter. For a scheduled in advance showing appointment.

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  • Lars
    9 days ago
    last modified: 9 days ago

    The last house we bought came furnished, but we did not expect the furniture to be left behind. I did not open any furniture drawers, but I did look inside kitchen cabinet to see if they had shelves or drawers. Having shelves in lower cabinets that pull out is a big plus. I also looked in the pantry and the closets, but only very quickly. It's important to see how a walk-in closet arranges the storage. I did not open any bathroom drawers or cabinets. We gutted (except for the toilet) one bathroom anyway, and I was prepared to do the same for the master bathroom, but I did keep the existing vanity, although I was okay with replacing it, if necessary. Instead I decided to save the money, and I can replace it later if I want.

    I did not open the refrigerator, but we did keep it, and I have ended up liking it very much, even though it is a side-by-side. I like it because the ice maker makes tons of ice and never runs out, unlike my ice maker in L.A. The previous owners may have bought it for that reason, as they had a very well-stocked bar and lots of bar glasses. They left the glasses but took their liquor, not surprisingly.

    I thought I was going to replace my bedroom furniture, as it is a sort of Americanized version of French Baroque, or something like that - not at all my taste, but it is very functional, well-made, and it too can wait. We are just now getting around to replacing the living room furniture, a year later.

    I'm really not the nosy type, but I will inspect something if its function is important to me. I consider closets to be a selling feature, and I cannot imagine not looking inside them. I'm not interested in other people's clothes - just the amount of storage that is available.

  • arcy_gw
    9 days ago
    last modified: 9 days ago

    I have house shopped three times in my life. I NEVER opened drawers, looked in closets. I was never present when potential buyers were present in homes I sold (2). I am told of course you look in EVERY cupboard/closet..open drawers flush toilets, see how water flows..you are BUYING it--its a commodity. I don't see how one can argue with that. I certainly do all that to a car I am buying. Furniture that is not 'for sale' I would say is no one's business to open. Of course this discussion doesn't matter a hill of beans to your friend. If he wants to sell he will be as accommodating as possible so as not to anger and thus lose a potential buyer. Those parade of homes things are a TOTALLY different affair. They are a show case not real buyers they have a right to protect from damage from all the looky loos that trapes through.

  • Nick
    9 days ago

    Don't worry Sherry, I know that 'drugs' can be used to refer to lagal medication. The words 'guns and drugs' conjured up a different image.
    I do think a buyer is entitled to inspect anything being sold with the house. Cabinets and built in closets, sure. Refrigerator just seems nosey, unless the sellers leaving it.

  • hallngarden
    9 days ago

    Just when I thought I had seen it all. We had Mothers home on the market for sale. It was quite a distant from our home now. We decided to move in for a few weeks as the realtor told us she knew it would be a quick sale because of the demand in her town and the great condition of her home. We pulled back in late one afternoon. Noticed all the storm doors were locked. We had keys for the doors and went inside. Put our groceries away. Had not gone in living room, thought I heard a child’s voice. Walked in living room and noticed the sofa was out from wall a bit. There was a couple with three children hiding behind the sofa. It was such a shock , the lady started explaining they had looked at the house earlier in the day and the realtor gave them the number for the locked box for entrance. At this point I didn’t know ,should I call police. Doorbell rang ,it was neighbor behind us . Intruders left their car on a dirt road behind his house and he had seen them head toward our house. Neighbor was an off duty police officer and he got them outside. This episode was so scary as we are older and I thought of the what if’s. I called the realtor to ask what in world she was thinking giving them code to enter. Thankfully my neighbor was watching. I let him handle situation as it startled us. Needless to say,after police talked to realtor, we voided her contract. We sought out a new realtor and sold the house in next two days. Did not sell to family hiding in house , and first realtor signed off that she made an error in judgement and would not receive any commission from sale with new realtor. What a mess!!!!

  • Denita
    9 days ago
    last modified: 9 days ago

    ^Actually, that Realtor that gave a non-licensed person the lockbox code should have her license revoked. It is a violation of the Code of Ethics and a violation of the MLS and Realtor board. I'm glad you replaced that Realtor immediately. My personal opinion is that using the combo lockboxes is not safe anyway not even on a vacant house. The SUPRA electronic lockboxes prevent that sort of violation as they are individually opened by a licensed Realtor in good standing only so the listing Realtor can trace who opened it should something happen during/after a showing. If the Realtor doesn't have a supra key - then they can't show it and why would you want them to show it? They clearly aren't in the business if they don't have a supra "key" (it's installed on our smart phones and can be instantly deactivated if the Realtor violates any rule/regulation).

  • dedtired
    9 days ago

    Halngarden that is quite a story! Was realtor going to let them stay there? That could have had a horrible ending. I guess when I sell a house I’ll be putting up cameras.

  • jupidupi
    9 days ago

    When my boyfriend, now husband, decided to sell his apartment, I saw how easy it was to get a real estate license and decided to do so and handle the sale myself. By then, I'd been spending most of my nights there, but since the apartment didn't belong to me, I wasn't required to disclose how familiar I was with the place. I realized that if someone DIDN'T open closets and check bathrooms carefully, they weren't really interested. "My" closet was tiny and thus crammed full. I'll never forget how one lady opened it and exclaimed, "What a slob!" Another person looked at the beautiful Scott Jordon cherry furniture with hand rubbed finish and proclaimed it "cheap." (That same furniture is now in our current apartment, still beautiful.)

  • hallngarden
    9 days ago

    I know it was not a good thing for them to be hiding when they heard us come in, and the fact they had parked car on deserted road and walked to our home. You know I will have eyes wide open if we ever put another house on market. At our age don’t think we will be selling a home again. We were very happy to leave that town, after the second realtor sold in two days, we were at closing table in two more days. The couple that bought had financing already in place and gave us full asking price. Prior to putting house on market we had home inspection and certification any repairs were made. We called habitat and gave them all the furniture. Neighbor, that came to our rescue ; said the realtor that caused this suddenly left town.

  • kudzu9
    9 days ago

    It doesn't matter what proper etiquette is. If you can imagine it happening, it will.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    9 days ago

    That's true!

  • ratherbesewing
    9 days ago

    I sold my parents home after their death. My siblings and I had a estate sale prior to the house going on the market so it was empty. I would check on the house frequently and re-vacuum etc just to keep it looking fresh. Imagine my surprise when I found dog pee on the carpet in one of the bedrooms! My parents lived in the house for 50 years and never owned a dog. Of course, I called MY realtor so he could attempt to figure out who toured with their dog?? People have no boundaries.

  • Michele
    9 days ago

    I would never open any private drawer or door on furniture. That’s just plain wrong.

    Kitchen or bathroom cabinets absolutely. If the appliances are staying, then yes I’d open them as well.

  • PRO
    Jeffrey R. Grenz, General Contractor
    9 days ago

    They're buying the whole house, including closets. If you've included the refrigerator expect that also. Inspectors will also want complete access.

  • chisue
    9 days ago

    Sellers often fail to realize that their HOME is just a HOUSE when it's for sale. It's one option among however many other properties are available for sale.

    Buyers often fail to realize that they are buying a structure -- not the furnishings, nor the immaculate, impersonal and apparently carefree home a savvy seller presents for inspection.

    A showing is not a social event. Most buyers will have already 'seen' many aspects of a property online. When they visit, they will be interested in details.

  • Nick
    9 days ago

    @chisue, that is so true. Even three years after selling their last house, my mother in law still complains about some of the things the new owners have done to it. She still thinks of it as her home, not a house that has long since become someone else's home.

  • Lars
    7 days ago
    last modified: 7 days ago

    <Buyers often fail to realize that they are buying a structure -- not the furnishings,>

    When we bought our house in Cathedral City, I expected it to be empty when we got it, but instead it was full of furniture and furnishing left behind - including everything on the walls and in the kitchen. I was already set to buy new furniture, to my own taste, but I decided to use what was left for a while before replacing it. We just recently replaced the wide screen TV with one that has a similar screen size but not the bulk. It took me a while to get rid of all the fake plants in the house, which had collected quite a large amount of dust.

    We were not told until after the sale that the owner would be abandoning the furniture, and we agreed that that would be okay. Many times buyer will offer to buy existing furniture, but I do not know of any who expect it to be left behind.

    It's a bit different in a resort city like Palm Springs, where people live only part of the year, and so they are more likely to leave furniture with the house there. We've only donated what was left behind and have not bothered to try to sell any of it. I do plan to keep the coffee table and side tables in the living room and refinish them. I also reupholstered the bar stools in the patio. The previous owners still own four other houses.

  • loonlakelaborcamp
    7 days ago

    Be prepared for anything not nailed down to be taken. We lost small silver picture frames, decorative kitchen towels, and fancy bath soaps. TP rolls kept disappearing too (apparently some sellers remove them).

    We had parents in the backyard talking to the realtor with kids tearing around the house, jumping on beds, going through drawers.

    We had all electronics locked up, with all keys and meds locked in a car.

    So glad it sold fairly quickly!

  • kudzu9
    7 days ago

    And we returned after various showings to find windows wide open, muddy footprints inside, exterior doors and sliders left unlocked, a faucet running, and a toilet that had been used...which we knew because it wasn’t flushed.

  • Raye Smith
    7 days ago

    Yikes, Kudzu. I know my listing agent kept records on every selling agent that went into the house. They'd had heard back from my agent and been barred to viewing any of her listings.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    7 days ago
    last modified: 7 days ago

    "been barred to viewing any of her listings."

    Your agent may have said that but I think that's a fib, or in plainer language, not the truth. I believe it's illegal to do that if the sale notice is posted in the industry system (called MLS, multiple listing service, in my area). People working in real estate aren't known to have high levels of truth-telling or integrity.

    A listing agent can insist that potential buyers be adequately supervised during the visit but agents can't be barred, to my understanding, nor can a potential buyer be denied the right to see a home that's listed for sale.

    Check again and push into the answer, you may find a different story results. Do you really want your agent to deny the opportunity for potential buyers to visit? I wouldn't think so.

  • S Carr
    7 days ago

    Denita is correct. The agent's license should have been revoked.

  • seagrass_gw
    7 days ago

    We live in a "resort" area with a lot of second vacation homes that quite often are listed for sale "fully furnished". We bought a property for my husband's parents to live in close to us with the stipulation that all of the furnishings be removed - it was all old second-hand junk and we were not about to haul it away ourselves. The sellers eventually agreed, otherwise we would have just walked away from it.

  • maifleur03
    7 days ago

    There is a difference between what Denita is saying since her comment was about the agent allowing a non agent the code and an agent who may be with the client not watching what the client is doing. The client may be two people so how is the agent to watch both of them.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    7 days ago
    last modified: 7 days ago

    By accompanying them on their visit and circulating between them during "free time". Presumably the showing agent has spoken to the listing agent to get highlights to point out (if the first time in the place) and so should be conducting them on a "tour". Dumb or inappropriate things are less likely to happen if the potential buyers feel they're being supervised.

    Too often, that doesn't happen. The showing agent may not be doing his or her job and might even be outside during the visit, that provides an opportunity for problems.

  • chicagoans
    7 days ago

    How do you all feel about people using restrooms during a showing or open house? Since we're in a pandemic, I HATE IT. My house isn't a public restroom. I put paper guest towels and hand sanitizer in every bathroom. I fold over the top squares of toilet paper so I can tell if it was used. A few times I can tell someone has used a restroom, either because the TP is used or the lid is left open. (Ugh - I ALWAYS close the lids because who wants to look into a toilet? I don't care if it's pristine; I don't want to look in it and I don't want anyone else to.) Now for every showing or open house I have to clean all the bathrooms (5) not just before but after, too.

  • Nick
    7 days ago

    who wants to look into a toilet?

    I probably would if I were serious about a house. Being cynical by nature, I assume that people try to hide problems and have learned to take a look at what's underneath lids and rugs or behind closed doors. We moved into a house where the previous owners left behind a runner in the kitchen. First thing we did was throw it out. What we found underneath was a large patch of severely damaged floor.

    But as for actually using the restrooms, absolutely no way. Pandemic or not, that crosses too many boundaries for me.

  • Julie X.
    7 days ago

    Elmer, I'm not sure about other places, but here in NYC, a seller can request that potential buyers complete the Real Estate Board of New York Financial Disclosure form and give it to their agent BEFORE being allowed to tour the home. It cuts down on the number of showings, but also eliminates opening up your home to people who are less serious or can't afford it. By law, buyers can't be steered away from certain neighborhoods, or denied access due to race, religion, disability, family structure, etc. But they can absolutely be denied access due to finances.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    7 days ago
    last modified: 7 days ago

    I'll stick with what I said, the conduct of visitors is the responsibility of their agent. In cases and in homes where there's owner concern or sensitivity (whether justified or not doesn't matter) concerning what may happen with visitors, showings should be "By Appointment Only" and the listing agent should be there to present the property and help supervise the visit.

    I have seen notices about "showings for qualified buyers only" for very expensive homes and I never thought much about what that meant. Perhaps it's something similar to what you're describing is done in NY.

  • Raye Smith
    6 days ago

    My realtor used a digital lock box that recorded when the box was opened and what code was used so she could pinpoint what, when and who was entering and exiting the house. It was a big advantage when a floor was damaged, she told the agent that she could pay for the damages or be reported to the state board. That agent choose to pay for the repairs.

  • kudzu9
    6 days ago
    last modified: 6 days ago

    Unfortunately, the misadventures I reported on above were all with qualified buyers for an expensive home. I don’t know if they felt entitled or what, but the lack of respect was disturbing. And I forgot to mention that the pre-sale showing exclusively for a group of agents ended up with a prescription bottle of painkillers disappearing from a medicine cabinet. (We had removed valuables, but didn’t expect an agent to be a junkie. The police finally caught the agent doing this as she was going into houses with digital lock boxes and there were many such thefts that they could associate with the times when only she had accessed a home.)

  • maddielee
    6 days ago

    Yes, one was to be qualified financially to have access to some homes. For instance, a house just went on the market here. If you can’t afford over $25,000,000.00 chances are your realtor isn’t going to take you on a tour.

  • chicagoans
    6 days ago

    @Nick who wants to look into a toilet?

    I probably would if I were serious about a house.

    Yes, I see your point. But it would be nice if those people put the lid back down again! (Leave it how you found it please. There are no issues with the toilets and I leave them sparkling, so whoever left it up isn't trying to warn anyone else off. I think they were just lazy or inconsiderate or clueless.)

  • Elmer J Fudd
    6 days ago
    last modified: 6 days ago

    I'd reserve toilet lid expectations, if you like to make a big deal out of it, for family members, not strangers

  • Erica Wright
    6 days ago

    I can't imagine walking into people! When my grandparents were downsizing their home, they assumed people would look and open things. so valubale and personals were removed and put so others wouldn't get into them. With their realtor, they had it worked out so that the only people coming inside to look were serious home buyers, and were vetted that they could actually had the financial ability to afford the home. So no one who wanted a look-see or couldn't afford it were allowed inside.

  • homechef59
    6 days ago

    Let's talk about toilets for a minute. Yes, I would lift the lid. As a buyer, I want to see if the toilet bowl is stained from the water supply. I would also take the lid off the tank to see the condition of the working parts. Why? Because I bought a house that had a water supply that would stain and the owner used chlorine tablets in the tank to try to deal with it. The chlorine ate all of the rubber seals up. The tanks were leaking. All the toilets had to be rebuilt. That costs money and needed to be reflected in my offer.


    Yes, I will use your toilet if I am viewing your house. Your home may be one of six that I am viewing that day. If I've got got go, I'll use it. I will flush it and return it to the position where it started. Don't be grossed out. I'll wash my hands in your sink, too. If you have paper towels, I'll use them. Otherwise, I'll probably wipe my hands on my pants. I suggest you clean your toilets before every showing. People notice and they make judgments.


    Expect your agent, their agent, your real estate appraiser, your inspector, your repair person, your packers and your movers to use your facilities. Hopefully, they will use the guest facilities, if they are available.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    5 days ago
    last modified: 5 days ago

    As regards toilets, in my most recent purchase not quite two years ago,

    It was an open house, first day on the market. Yes, I lifted the seat lid of each toilet and flushed. What I found was original (20 year old) cheap builders' grade toilets that flushed poorly and were tired. Not stained, not dirty, just tired. One of them ran incessantly after being flushed, it had apparently been manually stopped before the open house. I put them on my mental list of "things to replace asap" as I walked around.

    We put in an offer later that day, ours was the second one submitted but was the best and cleanest (no contingencies). It took us a few months after closing on this second home to choose and replace the toilets. In the interim, we had several overflows and numerous "need to flush twice" experiences because the flushing action in all of them was poor. New toilets were badly needed and the replacements of better quality work very well and as one would expect.

  • always1stepbehind
    5 days ago
    last modified: 5 days ago

    run water, flush toilets, open cabinets doors...closet doors...look under the sink cabinets for leaks etc...but there wouldn't be a need to open a dresser or nightstand drawer or the fridge unless it was coming with the house.

  • lmmcnitt
    5 days ago

    Everyone has brought up some good points here. I have had my house on the market for better than a year; I live in an area with excessive hoa fees and amenities so traffic is light and the listing times are long. That said, a buyer/looker uses the toilet about 30% of the time. With COVID pandemic taking place, I feel this is not acceptable. Any repair person or guest that comes into the home would usually ask to use the restroom and i would of course say yes. A realtor granting this permission is not ok by me. I would like to pose a few additional questions: is it normal for a listing agent to NOT be at the property along with the buyer and his/her agent? Second-is it acceptable for a buyer to come to view a home twice within the same week and then when asked for feedback say, oh we have houses to sell and are not in a hurry to buy?

  • Elmer J Fudd
    5 days ago
    last modified: 5 days ago

    "Everyone has brought up some good points here. I have had my house on
    the market for better than a year; I live in an area with excessive hoa
    fees and amenities"

    This suggests the price is too high. Have other homes with similar circumstances sold in your very immediate area during this time?

    " is it normal for a listing agent to NOT be at the property along with the buyer and his/her agent?"

    You're the customer. If you want them present, you should say so and state in the public listing info that a showing is by appointment only. If the agent is not willing to do so, change agents when the listing agreement expires. It's always a good idea to not run too long a period of time with a listing agreement, a few months at the most.

    "Second-is it acceptable for a buyer to come to view a home twice within the same week"

    Sure. Someone who saw the house for a first time and wants to come back may be preparing to submit an offer. Or could be someone looking for something to do to kill time. Do you want to guess it's the second, make it difficult for them to come back, and be wrong?

  • mrykbee
    5 days ago

    @elmer j fudd What are the good toilets? Mine are tired.

  • chessey35
    5 days ago
    last modified: 5 days ago

    Frankly I rather think that it's necessary to open cabinets, closets, refrigerator, kitchen and bath drawers, (nothing that will be going with the seller) but everything else is fair. Plus run water in sinks and bath fixtures and flush toilets, These are all things that you are going to live with if you buy the house and you want to be aware of the condition of those things that convey with the house.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    5 days ago
    last modified: 5 days ago

    mrykbee -

    The background is that 3 builder grade toilets in the place were cheapos and of very poor quality, probably so when new. 20 years of life in a hard water area didn't improve anything. All in-tank parts can be replaced of course and they had been at least once but the basic design and flush power were inferior.

    We did a major remodel of our main home not quite 20 years ago and put in 5 Totos . They've been great.

    I spoke to two plumbers - one in my home area and one in the second home area we'd used. I went into Ferguson and spoke to a person in the toilet department. Their recommendations were all the same - Toto and American Standard were the best choices. I bought two of one and one of the other, all one piece models with an elogated bowl. Two were high seat models (but not necessarily ADA) at the suggestion of the person in Ferguson. We like those more than we thought we would. We were indifferent to style.

    We like all three very well. California has a lower water use standard than other places - 1.28 gpf, even less than the old Totos we have. The new ones flush very well. There's nothing more annoying than the experience we had a few times, returning to a second home after a month's absence to find that the toilet we thought we'd stopped running before we left had been running while we were gone. And the valve was frozen and couldn't be turned off. Problems are now fixed, new toilets and new supply/shutoff valves.

  • bpath
    5 days ago

    I was showing our rental to a couple with a young-adult son. At one point, the son was in one room while I was with the parents in the other. Apparently he looked through the tenant’s photos that she had on a desk. He realized that he knew her and recognized her workplace in the photos, stopped by where she worked (a public place) and said hi. She called me up very, and rightfully, upset. I had told her it was going to be shown, but I should not have allowed any of the potential tenants to be without me. In the end, they did take the unit, and were very good tenants. But I always felt bad about that.

  • mrykbee
    4 days ago

    Elmer J Fudd thank you for the recommendation. I have two Kohler I have grown to hate. I don’t think they were builder grade but they have not aged well.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    3 days ago
    last modified: 3 days ago

    On that point specifically, the Ferguson person told me that Toto's advantage for years had been that it was first to realize the benefit of using a larger diameter waste passage for more complete flushing and for avoiding clogs. And that that alone had been its advantage over others.

    She said that others, notably American Standard, have since changed their specs to the larger size and its products now offer the same performance. I've found that to be true. As a minor plus, Toto was also one of the first to offer a flush boost from water pressure to start the siphon action to empty the bowl, rather than just relying on a gravity flush. The American Standard works that way too, there's a noticeable sucking sound when flushed, as my old and new Totos do.

  • mxk3
    3 days ago

    What is the likelihood of getting COVID from the toilet? C'mon really -- if you're allowing people into your house you're opening it up to potential exposure to that and who knows what the heck else even with the toilet out of the equation. So yea, I'd use the toilet (and have) when being shown a house. The only time I felt weird about it was during an open house but hey nature was loudly calling.

  • CA Kate z9
    3 days ago

    I am on my 14th house. (Corporate Nomads) The first time I would go thru' a house it would be more cursory, but the second, or possible third, time I (we) would tour a house I (we ) would go thru' every thing - except the bedroom drawers. As for selling my own house: lock away or take away anything you don't want looked at or taken.


    As to using bathrooms... really!? I have used the toilet when needed.


    As to the original question: always be respectful of someone else's property. And, no pets, no kids.

  • Lyndee Lee
    3 days ago

    No kids is not always an option. Ideally parents would have childcare available but that doesn't always work. No parents takes their children househunting because it is such great fun