Touring homes can be one of the better parts of the home buying process. For a brief moment you can envision your life in what might be your new home! Still, stepping into someone else’s home, especially during an open house, can be intimidating. Here’s what you can expect:

1. To be asked to sign in.
The agent will ask you to sign in with your contact information so he or she can follow up. Of course you are free to decline.

2. To remove your shoes.
After all, the homeowners has worked hard to make the place sparkle. Tracking dirt onto the carpet or hardwood destroys their effort.

3. (Not) to meet the seller.
Sellers working with an agent usually leave during open houses. This provides you the opportunity to explore free from the distraction of a hovering owner.

4. To scope out the competition.
The number of other people touring the home (and the amount of traffic throughout the day, which you can track on the sign-in sheet if you visit on the late side) can give you a good indication of the level of interest in the property.

5. To wait your turn.
If there are several groups during your visit, wait for them to leave a room before you enter. It’s a great chance to eavesdrop as they may ask the Realtor questions you hadn’t thought of, or comment on features you might not notice yourself.

6. To meet the neighbors.
Chances are, they’ll stop by for a peek. Ask them about the neighborhood. They’re the experts, after all.

7. To hold your tongue.
The Realtor will most likely ask you questions about your home search. Be savvy about what you reveal. Don’t give away any information that could compromise your bargaining power.

Not all homes on the market hold an open house. To expand your touring options, consider working with a buyer’s agent. You can find one here: