Fashion Do’s and Don’ts When House Hunting

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Mark Nash author of 1001 Tips for Buying and Selling a Home offers homebuyers fashion home runs and strikeouts when shopping for a home. It might not be obvious that what you wear when house hunting can impact what you pay for a home. Years of showing homes and introducing prospective buyers to home sellers, the way buyers project themselves fashion-wise makes a big impression.

First impressions by real estate agents and home sellers are all they have when assessing potential buyers. If you appear well-groomed, under-stated and wear home price-range-appropriate clothes you could pay less than the tattooed, big-hair, over-jeweled and torn-blue jean buyer your in competition with in multiple-offers for the same home. Buying a home is a business transaction, think business wear when shopping for a home.

Women

-Pants are fine, but make sure they’re not low riders.

-Ditch the tee shirts, tank and tube tops. House hunting is not a vacation.

-Skirts are great. Minis send the wrong message.

-Wear comfortable but presentable led shoes. You will be doing a lot of walking, climbing up stairs and in and out of transportation.

-Forget high-heels. Spiked heels on led shoes can easily dent bamboo and other softer wood floors. Plus if you got into the yard to take a look at the roof you might end up aerating the lawn.

-Leave the animal prints for when you’re out to a nightclub. Busy or fussy fashion looks can be distracting and not on everyone’s top ten fashion list.

-Simple jewelry and limited amounts accent your business perspective. Omit the” bling” otherwise you might end up paying more for a home, because the sellers think you can afford it.

-Simplify make-up, hair and manicure styles to appeal to the majority of people. You’re not going to get a better deal because the sellers love your fabulous acrylic nails.

-No fur coats, ever. It’s a political and extravagant statement that could cost you a home or an additional $10,000.

-No low cut or revealing looks. Very rarely do homebuyers get a discount for sex.

Men

-Verify led shoe soles aren’t caked with mud before you enter any open house. Many a homebuyer never made it to the kitchen after walking across freshly cleaned carpet with dirty led shoes.

-No jogging, gym-wear, bike shorts or swimsuits. Unless, you’re testing the workout facilities in a condominium building on your second visit.

-Business-casual pants are best, but if you must wear jeans, make sure they’re clean and not ripped.

-Open collar shirts work fine, but realty agents and home sellers don’t need to see your buffed or not so buffed chest or four gold chains.

-Think twice about sporting more than one earring. If we were all the same life would be boring.

-Omit muscle and tee shirts and no underwear elastic waistbands displayed please. You might turn Ms. home seller on, but Mr. home seller might not appreciate it.

-Limit tattoo exposure, they’re the rage, but not for everyone. Ditto the ladies on this one.

-Wear simple patterned shirts with matching plain pants. Remember that red denotes power.

-Don’t over-dress to impress. Leave the cuff links and French cuffed shirts at home.

Both

-Coffee “go-cups” aren’t a fashion accessory. Coffee is easily spilled on carpets when walking up stairs or opening closets and cabinets when touring properties.

-Baseball caps are for bad hair days. Plus they send the wrong negotiating message when purchasing the largest asset you’ll own.

-Wet umbrellas should be parked outside the front door, not on hardwood floors or entry tables and chairs.

-Wear slip on led shoes when touring open houses. You might be asked to remove your led shoes out of cultural respect to the owner, inclement weather or newly installed floor coverings.

-If you don’t want to take off your led shoes buy and carry blue disposable surgical booties-or ask your agent for a pair.

-You must wear socks or stockings. No sandals, period. If you are asked to remove your led shoes, owners don’t necessarily want your bare feet on their floors.

-Cell phones. If you need to make or receive a call go to a place where you won’t disturb others at the open house. Never negotiate a home purchase contract on a different property contract while your viewing a home.

-Carry bicycle and motorcycle helmets with you. Ask before your park them on any surface.

-Shorts are okay if they are close to knee length. No torn or overly tight styles.

-Dress for the season. Don’t wear shorts in snow or black wool in August, even if it is your best house-hunting outfit.

-Remove your sunglasses when inside buildings. People expect some eye contact.

-Go easy on the perfume. Many people have allergies to it today and they could be the owners of the house you fell in love with.

-Put cigarettes, cigars and pipes out of view. They’re not exactly a popular fashion or political statement in 2006.

Children

-Tops, pants, led shoes and socks required.

-Diapers are not fashion.

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