Please remove your shoes?

zanesmomJuly 4, 2006

Okay, I've seen this topic within other threads here, but didn't find one devoted to it. I've beautiful new light-colored carpeting on my main level. Since I've gone on the market, when friends and family visit, they remove their shoes. After my first few showings, I noticed dirt in various places of the carpeting - spread out and dug in enough that I pulled out the carpet shampooer and spent an entire afternoon cleaning the rug. I have now placed a sign in the foyer asking people to please remove their shoes before entering the LR. I don't think it's too much to ask since I'm doing my best to keep the carpeting nice for the next owner. I don't want to spend what little spare time I have continually spot-cleaning/shampooing and I do have a decent mat at the front door. So do I keep the sign, or take it down?

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Oops, I meant to add in my post that I read in the forums that someone refused to view a house when they realized they had to remove their shoes. I'm appalled, say it ain't so!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 9:47AM
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I've seen signs like that in houses for sale. I don't think it's unreasonable. OTOH, because it's so easily soiled, light-colored carpet can be a pain and I would not want it in my house.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 10:12AM
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I have personally never seen this in a house I was looking at. If someone wanted it, I wouldn't mind ... if they provided "booties" for me to put on my feet. On weekends I often don't wear socks with shoes and would feel odd taking off shoes and being totally barefooted in someone's house.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 10:29AM
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NO! Not the SHOE question again! :)

Personally, I don't mind, but I believe you'll find the responses 50/50.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 10:53AM
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I would provide little paper booties versus asking strangers to take their shoes off. Feet, bare or in socks, are gross. Yuck.

I work for a podiatrist. Shoes on, thanks.

Here we go again...

    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 11:19AM
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I'm the flip-flop queen. When I'm not the flip-flop queen, I'm the barefoot queen. As long as you don't mind my bare feet, I don't mind.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 11:38AM
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No freakin way!
That's what I'd say as I do a 180 and get back in the car.

Instead use this roll of clear adhesive-back masking to make a path. That way it looks brand new and people can keep their shoes on.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 11:44AM
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When we had our HVAC replaced, they used that adhesive-back stuff on my wood floor to protect it from the workers. When they pulled it up they also pulled up the finish as well. Got a free floor refinishing out of the deal!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 11:58AM
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I don't like taking my shoes off in someone's else's house, but as when I started house-hunting, I did encounter a few houses with signs up to take your shoes off. So I did. Untill the house with the kitchen floor that looked clean, but which had some mysterious sticky substance on it. My socks, and the agent's socks, stuck to the floor. Whatever it was permentently stained my socks.

So I've decided that if a house has a floor surfaced in something that can be damaged by an ordinary pair of shoes, I'm not interested in it, whether the surface be a light colored carpet or something else. The house would really, really, really need to match all my needs for me to venture in, and I would be taking the cost of replacing the fragile flooring into account when making an offer.

That said, I was taught to wipe my shoes off before entering a house, so I probably wouldn't be tracking in lots of dirt, anyway.

If you want to go this route, I would suggest the booties. It's summer and lots of people are wearing sandals or slides. I would be very uncomfortable going barefoot in a stranger's house. (Just thinking of that kitchen floor and what would have happened if I'd been barefoot.)

    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 2:33PM
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I'd leave. As a diabetic, I'm not taking any chances on stepping on anything that may be on your floors. I don't even walk around my OWN home with shoes off. Besides, I wouldn't want to buy a carpeted home where strangers and others with stinky socks/feet and possible fungal "issues" had been walking. Maybe that's another reason I DON'T have carpet, nor want any......

    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 2:35PM
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Personally, I wouldn't care if people asked me to take my shoes off before entering their house. I don't ask people to do it at my house.

I just want to point out that for the people feeling queasy about possible foot fungus, etc... the stuff that is tracked in on the bottom of shoes is a lot nastier than athlete's foot. Most people wash their feet every day. People spit, urinate, vomit on sidewalks, dogs urinate and deficate on walkways and people walk through this. And even if you can't see it, the germs are still there after the dog doo has been scooped up.

But a few germs aren't going to kill you, even if Johnson & Johnson want you to disinfect every moment of your life.


    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 2:47PM
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...just another reason for me to keep my shoes on....

And I probably wouldn't look at the house either considering I probably couldn't bear the cost of replacing fragile flooring along with buying the place. The dog can't remove her feet.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 2:50PM
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Around here, it's usually at houses where they've just laid new carpet. I don't like the booties or take-off the shoes request. If you've laid that new carpet, do what quirky said and lay that plastic film.

I can see asking to remove shoes if you're in a rainy, snowy, muddy area. But people please, we're in sunny California (I know, I know quirky, why the heck do we live here, LOL). So we're not walking around with dirty shoes. Just put out a big welcome mat and ask folks to wipe before they enter.

Awhile back at an open house, the agent admonished an older gentleman about taking his shoes off. It was offensive. The gentleman just left.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 2:50PM
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    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 4:56PM
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I lived in Hawaii for 4 years where it was the custom to remove shoes before going into your own or someone's home, for sale or otherwise. I don't mind it at all.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 7:03PM
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Me too, but 5 years. I would go so far as to say that not only was it custom, but to NOT take your shoes off was considered quite rude.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 7:37PM
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I say keep the sign! It's obvious that you would want it with the light colored carpet and I think it's pretty customary to remove shoes when viewing homes anyway. We looked at probably 15 homes before buying our current home and my hubby and me and our three kids always removed our shoes. I know how hard the sellers work to get the house looking great and with light colored carpet, it's kind of a no brainer. And what realtor would bring potential sellers in to view and NOT ask them to removed them after seeing the carpet? I hung a Please remove shoes sign when I had my realtor's tour/walk-through. Probably 20 realtors came through my home that day. I left it up for a couple weeks afterwards.
I have heard of people hanging signs trying to soften the request like: Please remove your shoes. This could be your home!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 8:10PM
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Isn't this a cultural thing in Japan too?

Well you know sometimes workmen and delivery folk come here and take off their shoes at the door without me asking to do it. I think they're nuts.

When my last house was on the market, it had white carpet and I vaccuumed every day. Luckily it was only on the market for 2 days because that was a pain. But I'd rather welcome the showees and have them see carpet that is ever so slightly dirty since the rest of the place was spotless and without any clutter, furniture or anything objectionable.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 9:02PM
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We live in Maine (snow and mud). We also have a crushed stone driveway (common here). People are welcome to keep their shoes on as long as they don't plan to leave the tiled mudroom. We have hardwood throughout. Our floors would be ruined in no time from grit tracked in if people wore shoes. I also don't like stepping on the grit in my bare feet after someone else has tracked it in.

If the future owner doesn't care, then they can wear shoes when they own the house. But while it is mine, they will take them off.

Potential buyers are being asked to remove their shoes for just a short period of time. I would think that is a mild inconvenience when balanced with the knowledge that you bought your "new" house from someone that took care of it.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 9:32PM
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Instead of saying "Please remove shoes", you can do what a PP poster said and put out a welcome mat. You can then put up a sign saying "Please wipe your feet before entering." That *might* take care of the dirt problem if its not raining or muddy.

I remove shoes at my friends and families homes but would hate doing it at a strangers home, esp when I'm wearing sandals and have bare feet.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 10:18PM
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I don't like being asked to take my shoes off either. If I'm not comfortable looking around a home I might want to buy, then I'm not going to give much thought to buying it.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 11:08PM
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quirkyq, yes it is a custom in Japan as well - which is how it got to Hawaii.

You would not believe how much cleaner your house stays inside when the shoe dirt stays outside. You can wear white socks in the house and they will stay clean. When you're used to this custom, not taking your shoes off seems kind of rude and crude.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2006 at 9:53AM
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I'd change the carpet to something people can walk on. Otherwise, maybe the majority of our potential buyers will back off because your beautiful carpeting can't hold up to ordinary traffic.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2006 at 10:41AM
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I personally don't wear shoes in my home, but the question is about no shoes for an open house. I think that's different because you have to balance cleanliness for potential buyers' inconvenience. "Take off your shoes" is a barrier of entry. In sales terms you want to remove as many such barriers as possible.

If some folks don't like to remove their shoes, you've already inconvenienced them and perhaps put them in a negative mood, at a time you want them in a very POSitive frame of mind.

Buy the plastic.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2006 at 3:37PM
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Are you planning on offering a discount to replace the easily soiled carpet?

    Bookmark   July 5, 2006 at 9:36PM
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Stumpyouch--right on! Around here, men (they'd call themselves gentlemen) spit everywhere, all the time--even while they're mid-conversation. (I wonder if it's regional-we're in Texas) add that to all the other things Stumpy listed--we ARE walking through that muck--and it seems reasonable to want shoes off in any home. I'd rather put up w/stinky, bare feet! :P

    Bookmark   July 5, 2006 at 9:43PM
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Use the booties. Make sure that you have a place where people can sit to put them on. I have been at the Parade of Homes, and it is unnerving to have to do that while standing up.

I think that Stumpyouch got it right. Add to that pesticides/herbicides and other pollutants dragged in. If I bought the house, and knew that shoes were left on, I would write in the contract a professional carpet cleaning. (One reason not to have carpet, IMHO.)

    Bookmark   July 5, 2006 at 11:39PM
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I have several Chinese friends. Normal custom is to remove
shoes when entering such a house. I believe it's a great idea, and have adopted it myself.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2006 at 9:45AM
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Maybe you'll find a buyer that adopts Eastern customs and is accustomed to removing shoes when entering. That would be great.

To market it to the other 98% of interested buyers, considering replacing the beautiful carpet with something that can stand everyday foot traffic.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2006 at 10:21AM
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I agree with Gina W- it can put people in a negative frame of mind. I know lots of people who take their shoes off before entering their homes, and it probably wouldn't bother them- heck, they might even appreciate it enough to buy the house.

For me, it weirded me out to have people ask us to do that. I almost felt like I was being treated like a little kid when given a command/request like that. It made me feel rushed and like I wasn't really welcome there- being asked to leave my comfort zone. It definitely put me in a different frame of mind. I remember walking sock-footed through one house and thinking more about being cautious in the museum than trying to picture myself living there. I appreciate their want to keep the carpet clean, but it just feels wrong to me. Again, just me.

But I'm one of those people who lives with my carpet and will replace it when it gets worn out. I keep it clean, but it's here to serve me, not vise versa. Besides I have a houseful of old pets who aren't good about where they place their hairballs- yuck. But again, I'm not trying to sell my house either and would probably feel much differently if that were the case. For those of us who generally wear shoes in the house, it feels creepy to take them off at someone elses place.


    Bookmark   July 6, 2006 at 3:44PM
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I too think that Gina said it best: "Take off your shoes" is a barrier of entry. In sales terms you want to remove as many such barriers as possible. Ditto on her comment to "buy the plastic"! :-)

    Bookmark   July 6, 2006 at 4:04PM
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I put up that sign when I was selling my house a year ago, didn't even think twice about it. I took off my shoes without being asked when I was house hunting. Some of you call it inconvenience, I call it being considerate. Until the house key changes hands you are still considered 'visiting' someone else's house and it's just plain courtesy to leave it as clean as you enter it.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2006 at 4:38PM
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Personally, I think that there are enough "no way" answers on this thread to answer anybody's question. I'm guessing, what, about 40% of the people said they didn't like it or flat out wouldn't (just a guess, mind you....LOL), but that would be enough information for me as a seller to not ask people to do it. There's no way I could afford to turn off even 25% of my potential buyers.

Maybe you're in a hotter market where that's not a problem, but it would be a huge hindrance here.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2006 at 6:53PM
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My feet are so bad that my podiatrist told me that I wasn't to go barefoot even from my bed to my bathroom. I don't even visit people who have a no shoes rule. I guess if I was sufficiently interested I might take my shoes off to view a house - but it would have to be one with lots of curb appeal so that I was really motivated.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2006 at 7:13PM
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When selling, you need to make your home available to as many buyers as possible. You could try a little note saying something like, "Freshly cleaned carpets - we appreciate your consideration" and leave it at that. Those who are comfortable or in the habit of taking off their shoes entirely may do so, those who prefer not to will perhaps take a little extra precaution with walking through. They're just carpets, after all! We sold our home with new carpeting and placed remnant runners (of the same brand new carpet) throughout the rooms -- even with runners placed here and there, we still found snowy/muddy prints (it was March in the Midwest) and just took it in stride. In my home, I'm almost always without shoes, but when I go to others' homes, particularly for a special occasion, I'd rather stay dressed and that includes my shoes. If there were a sign demanding (even politely, lol) that my shoes should come off, I would comply but admittedly I'd feel quite awkward. However, when people come to my house, they can wear their shoes, not wear their shoes, it doesn't matter a bit and I wouldn't presume to make that choice for any of my visitors, whether they be friends, family or (perhaps one day) potential home buyers.

As always, YMMV.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2006 at 8:33PM
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As one poster mentioned, people with diabetes are sometimes told by their doctors that they should not walk around barefoot. (Which has resulted in my 80 year old father buying his first pair of Tevas.) There are also people with serious orthopedic problems who wear special shoes and for whom gong barefoot for more than a few minutes is very painful.

But I re-read the original post and realized that the no-shoes rule was just for the living room, which sounds reasonable to me, even though I like to keep my shoes on. The potential buyer could either take the shoes off or view the room from the hallway--I'm guessing that you could get a feel for whether or not you liked the house in that way.

I'm wondering if the dirt is coming from people who have been out in the yard, checking it out. I don't often walk in actual dirt unless I'm out hiking and I don't go house-hunting in my hiking boots. Usually, I'm on pavement, a driveway or in a car. None of these should put more dirt on a pair of shoes than can be easily brushed off on a door mat. Maybe putting extra mats both inside and outside of every door would help?

And I just have to add, based on all the comments here, that I'm waiting for someone to post about a house that isn't selling. "We're at 180 DOM. We've reduced the price twice, had 6 open houses and we're evening letting people in to look at the place with their shoes on! What more can we do?"

    Bookmark   July 6, 2006 at 10:21PM
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Just re-read all posts--something silly made me wonder: Why are so many folks adverse to being shoe-less? (diabetes thing notwithstanding)--I mean, what is so awful about walking around inside without shoes? I mean no offense, it just seems so foreign to me. I take shoes off upon entering someone's (even dirty) home as a sign of respect/consideration--I'm not shy, I guess, and have no foot fungus issues......

    Bookmark   July 6, 2006 at 10:57PM
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leelee, I can tell you that for me it just feels like I'm not completely dressed. My parents were raised before the days of antibiotics and shoes protected the feet. I was told constantly to put my shoes on my feet. Don't need protection in the house? How many of us have broken toes on furniture legs? I have a pretty large gash on the top of my foot from not having my shoes on a couple of months ago. I wish I had kept them on and swept up a bit of extra dirt, rather than having to go through this pain and letting it heal.

Taking off shoes is not a sign of respect where I was raised, and requesting someone to remove them would certainly be a sign of rudeness. I never saw it before moving to Alaska. Sure, I understand the mess if I'm wearing snowboots, but most homes here, unless they are new with radiant floor heating, are just plain drafty and my feet freeze.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2006 at 12:49AM
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It isn't just the dirt itself getting on the carpets and making them look soiled, that would be a minor annoyance to me as a seller. It's the dirt, mud, grass, oil, animal feces, body fluids, and most of all the GERMS being tracked through the entire house that is unacceptable. You can wipe your feet all you want and 99% of those germs and that "gunk" will still be there, seen or unseen. Asking people not to spread all that mess through your home isn't rude, it's simple hygiene.

The paper booties solve the problem. People can either pull them on over their shoes or remove their shoes at the door and slip the booties on over their bare/sock/stocking feet.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2006 at 1:20AM
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Booties???? Yeah, right! My husband wears a size 16 EEEEE shoe. Even socks are special order items!!! (Played tackle for Notre Dame!)

    Bookmark   July 7, 2006 at 1:48AM
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Leelee, Why? Because I don't want to pick up someone's household germs and then put my feet back into my shoes. Use the bathroom shoeless and pick up who knows what from the floor. Dead skin cells that have been walked on by others with fungal problems, plantars warts and possibly poor foot hygiene.

Unless you eat and sleep on the floor as in parts of Asia it is not's self centered rudeness to expect folks to remove their shoes.

Floors are meant to be walked on and in this country we wear shoes. Try entering a business establishment without shoes. Our culture is to keep our shoes on.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2006 at 3:42AM
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We live on a farm in Canada. In this part of the country, people expect to remove their shoes, or boots. Most bring indoor shoes to put on when they go somewhere, but going around in socks is also acceptable. I go barefoot in my own house a lot of the time.

However, when I accompanied my daughter to an open house that we saw as we were driving by, it was really uncomfortable to be asked to drop my sandals at the door and walk around barefoot to protect the new hardwood. It did however, convince me that I didn't want microbeveled hardwood floors. They feel really wierd to bare feet.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2006 at 6:06AM
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Okay, the votes are in. I appreciate /all/ the input from you. I've decided to do away with the sign for now & deal with the dirt - in this market I truly can't take the chance on a buyer being offended by the request. And, the carpet can take traffic, I was trying to avoid slobs & the resulting additional effort to keep the place show ready :P

I think perhaps removing shoes is somewhat a part of agent etiquette? My current buying agent (different agents since I'm selling/buying in different states) rather surprised me when we first went house-hunting by asking me to remove my shoes in nearly all of the homes (I wasn't offended) and there were no signs asking us to do so. However, a few years previously when I was searching for my current home, that agent never suggested it.

I think some agents are inconsiderate, hence the excessive dirt :) I had a showing last week and the dining room chairs were pulled out (I guess sitting at my table is a good thing, but they didn't write an offer ;), all of the upstairs lights were left on, all of the closet doors were open, they failed to replace the security bar or even lock the back sliding doors. My current agent is so super-courteous when we house hunt that she does a final walk-through to make sure everything's as it was - even to the point that if we've used the bathroom, she'll wait to make sure it's stopped running. That's the kind of agent I want showing my home!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2006 at 7:05AM
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I'm posting after most of you have commented. You would be surprised how sensitive your bare feet are to irregularities in the floor when compared to feet in shoes. You can feel sloping floors, joists that aren't quite level, etc. that you miss with your shoes on because they are camouflaged by carpet. I'm talking about things that may not indicate a serious problem, but things that can be an indication of one and make you look at other parts of the house in more detail than you or your inspector might do otherwise.

I'm a shoes off inside person especially when looking at houses.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2006 at 11:02AM
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Being a bit of a klutz I never go bare footed if I can help it. I'm currently wearing a large boot on my right foot since I stubbed my toes(middle of night) and broke 2 of them. Get booties. That wouldn't turn me off but no way would I take off my shoes. And right now I can't walk without them.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2006 at 12:52PM
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Not sure if this helps anyone, but when I was househunting these past few years I kept a pair of bedroom slippers with me to put on if I was asked to take my street shoes off to view a house. The slippers were clean and soft soled so they didn't track dirt or scuff up floors and were warm (great in the winter) and covered up my ugly feet.


PS, not sure why, but every single shoes on/shoes off thread gets really heated. Last one I saw ended with people doing some vicious name calling. I do find it interesting, though.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2006 at 1:24PM
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I think they get heated because the "shoes off" people are fundamentally challenging the housekeeping standards of the "shoes on" people. And the "shoes on" don't like that, and furthermore think the "shoes off" people are a bunch of unwelcoming fuss-budgets.

Unwelcoming fuss-budget :)

p.s. I have a BIL who is a carpenter, and he brings his own booties when he works on a house. Customers (me included) love him.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2006 at 4:33PM
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OMG--that IS it, Sue 36!! Do you have a psych. degree? I think you hit the nail on the head-well done!

Sign me-MAYbe a fuss-budget! No I'm not, no I'm not! LOL

    Bookmark   July 7, 2006 at 11:33PM
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Germs brought into the house by feet or shoes are inconsequential compared to the filth brought in by my dogs. Once I found a dead bird under a pillow on the couch!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2006 at 10:48AM
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I am surprised more people haven't mentioned the "booties" that are slipped on right over the shoes! We had a basket of them at the entryway and a bench to sit on. That way, nobody has to remove shoes and I made sure I washed the booties daily so they didn't look dirty.

Some people seem to make easy things so difficult!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2006 at 7:06PM
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Asking potential buyers to remove their shoes is a very common practice that not only protects your floors, but also reflects a very high pride of ownership which any potential buyer should welcome.

What appalls me is the number of people who won't enter a home with such a requirement or who look down upon this practice. You are obviously dirty people. Removing shoes when entering someone else's home is a standard practice in the rest of the world, even in third world countries. It is a sign of respect and also common sense to not want to track in the massive amounts of germs and bacteria that have collected on the bottoms of someone's shoes.

My home is my temple, and what's good for the Taj Mahal is good enough for me. No shoe removal = no sale. No exceptions. Those of you who can't do this one simple task out of respect and cleanliness would be better served buying another home from a seller who more accurately reflects the buyer's lack of cleanliness and respect towards others.

To those sellers who wish to maximize exposure: provide booties. You can buy these at Home Depot in the flooring department, they are quite inexpensive, and work wonders for those arrogant few who refuse to remove their filthy shoes before entering a clean home.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2006 at 4:32PM
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"Removing shoes when entering someone else's home is a standard practice in the rest of the world, even in third world countries."

Key phrase: "rest of the world" It is not customary here.

....and nope, not dirty people at all, thanks. Like I said, when I can find a way for the dog to remove her feet, I'll start removing my shoes. Oh be real, Viv, you would NOT....LOL

Pharoah, where's Pharoah? LOL He'll agree with you.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2006 at 5:31PM
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"What appalls me is the number of people who won't enter a home with such a requirement or who look down upon this practice. You are obviously dirty people."

And you sound just a little judgemental.
It is not a common practice in the US.
I do not care what goes on in the rest of the world.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2006 at 7:59PM
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Whether something is not "common practice" for others is not a determining factor of how I choose to live or how I expect others to behave when they come to MY home. The key here is MY home -- not yours, but MINE. When you are a guest in my home, you act respectfully and abide by my customs and practices.

Because removal of shoes is not a common practice in the US, does that mean you will not remove your shoes when invited to dinner at someone's home who practices this custom? Will you get on your "this is not customary in the US" high horse and get back in your car and go home? Do you really have such a limited view of the world?

Don't expect other people to cater to your sensibilities. When you enter someone's home, no matter what the circumstances, you respect the practices of the person who lives there. Period. End of story.

If you are not willing to do such a simple thing as remove your shoes in my home as a prospective buyer -- this is something I ask of EVERYONE who comes to my house -- then good riddance. It's really that simple.

And by the way, I've sold two homes in the last 5 years and not one person had an issue removing their shoes -- one home was in northern California, another in Seattle. Perhaps people in those areas are more aware of the practices of other cultures and try not to impose their limited view onto others.

And yes, I am very judgmental in this regard -- nothing wrong with that. If you wear the same shoes in your home that you do outside, you are a dirty person. I was raised in a very clean, Eurasian family, and am proud of my upbringing and adhering to basic habits of cleanliness and respect towards others.

To those who don't agree, have fun tracking ketchup and french fries onto the same carpet your children play on. You are no doubt a great example to future generations.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2006 at 8:20PM
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"Germs brought into the house by feet or shoes are inconsequential compared to the filth brought in by my dogs. Once I found a dead bird under a pillow on the couch!"

Exactly! I live with 4 cats who love to puke up stuff, and a big ol' hairy man who doesn't quite see "clean" in a home the same way I do. Big deal. "Germs" are everywhere, yet we're somehow not dead yet!

These threads are always humorous. It's just freakin' shoes, for goodness sake. You're not likely to be tracking the Black Death from room to room. Sheesh.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2006 at 8:47PM
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These threads are always humorous.

I am never sure if I am amused or horrified by these threads. The sanctimonious responses have me wishing for the days of Spike and his delete key.

It always comes down to one thing, and one thing only...
Do you wish to put up barriers for potential home buyers?

    Bookmark   July 9, 2006 at 10:00PM
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Interesting......... My pastor is going on vacation and I have to deliver a sermon on cultural differences. and why we can't "just get along". I could just print this off and read it.

sshrivastava has a very different view of hospitality than I think most of us do. "My house, my way" is not how we usually present ourselves to our guests. I am so touched by the number of people who invite me to dinner and ask me about my special dietary needs - even those who don't know that I am diabetic and glucose intolerant. They do this because my comfort is their primary concern. I think a good host and a good guest have a mutual obligation to be as considerate of each other as they can. I don't try to force my vegetarian friends to eat meat. I choose a meatless entree when they are expected for dinner. My friends who go without shoes in their home tell me that they wouldn't hear of my removing my shoes if it will add an iota of discomfort to me.

I used to teach a class in cultural awareness to junior high school girls. I would start by asking them how many ear piercings a person could have and still be considered normal. That would start a lively conversation. Then I would ask them if nose rings were okay. Usually they would say no. Then I asked if it was okay if the person was east Indian and they would change their answer. Pretty soon they were able to more objectively view these really unimportant differences.

I don't think though that cultural awareness means that you give up any firm standards of behavior. Infanticide may be respectable in some countries, but would never be so to me and to insult people and call them dirty is never acceptable either.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2006 at 10:32PM
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There is growing evidence that our hyper-clean modern homes are actually causing more allergies and preventing children's immune systems from developing.

Here is a link that might be useful: NY Times atrticle on cleanliness and asthma

    Bookmark   July 9, 2006 at 10:34PM
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terriks, THANK GOODNESS you found this link to post, because it's been the exact same thought going through my mind while I read these posts... I mean, SHEESH-- some people talk about germs as if they're something that can be avoided. Sorry, folks-- unless you plan to live your life in a bubble, you are going to encounter germs. Get over it already!!

The shoe argument appears to be primarily regional (germophobes and clean-freaks notwithstanding, LOL), because in my part of the country (northeast U.S.), most people wouldn't DREAM of asking guests to take their shoes off. Personally, I only take off my shoes in homes of close family and friends; to go shoeless is akin to wearing paint-covered sweatpants and a ratty T-shirt. It's a stage of undress, and it just feels ICKY unless in close company!

Besides, how horrible an imposition is it on someone who has a foot problem (as some above posters noted), or just plain stinky feet? (Not to sound gross, but sometimes smelly feet just happen, you know?) I would HATE to make a guest feel uncomfortable for any reason, but ESPECIALLY for a foot reason... that, to me, seems unbelievably rude.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2006 at 11:00PM
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Hmmmmm....dogs were mentioned--I bet there are a few who wipe dog's/rinse dog's feet off before they come in! I do! LOL-it's a pain. I have to--we're on acreage--dog's feet get muddy.

I personally like shoes on because I love SHOES, the extra height/makes clothes look better (vanity) BUT, shoes are OFF to reduce dirt (can't omit/can reduce).

    Bookmark   July 10, 2006 at 12:06AM
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"When you are a guest in my home, you act respectfully and abide by my customs and practices."

I am not a guest in your home if I am looking to purchase it. I am a customer.
If you want to irritate potential buyers, feel free.
one of them might be willing to pay the asking price.

It is a business transaction. Not a dinner party.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2006 at 9:03AM
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Yup Leelee, I remember the paw washing station from the kitchen forum years ago. It IS a great idea if you have dogs out in the dirt or mud. I'm not advocating tracking much through the house--although on more than 1 occasion, it has happened....LOL

I'm just thinking that basically my floors do not have to be clean enough to eat off of. I have tables and breakfast bars for that, and frankly, nobody in our house really even sits on the floor--except for the dog. We don't have babies around that crawl. Nobody's licking the carpet. Shoot, we even had the dog shaved this summer to cut down on the shedding (which has worked out VERY WELL, by the way...). If I'm selling this place, you can darn well bet that I'm going to do everything in my power to get people in to see it.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2006 at 9:37AM
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"When you are a guest in my home, you act respectfully and abide by my customs and practices"

A good host makes their guests feel comfortable.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2006 at 11:07AM
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I'm in the northeast. Here 99% of kids will automatically remove their shoes when they go into a house. 100% in the winter when wearing boots. Most adult friends will remove if wearing boots in winter and ask at other times. Adults don't remove sandals in warm weather.

If I am going to a party and pick a nice pair of heels to go with the outfit I will not take them off ... and have never been asked to. In winter or rainy weather I will wear boots to a party and change into my heels at the front door.

I would guess that 20% of homes for sale might have a shoes off sign. You might see a higher percentage during a fall/winter open house.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2006 at 11:40AM
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Shoes-off is the only requirement I ask of guests. It is a cultural and personal belief of mine that I expect friends and family to honor when it is requested of them -- fortunately, however, I have never had to ask anyone to remove their shoes because they offer it automatically. It is a matter of courtesy and politeness, and everywhere that I have lived people do this freely and willingly. I come from a European cultural background where hosts spoil their guests, but guests show deference and respect to their hosts when it comes to things like shoes. When I am invited to someone's home, it is an honor for me, and the least I can do is show the host respect and politeness regarding their traditions. I certainly do not impose my will upon them or feel that I am somehow above them because I am a guest -- in Europe, the attitude is quite the opposite. Being a guest in someone's home is different than being a guest in a bed-and-breakfast.

I am quite surprised with the number of negative responses here. I have never had an experience when someone hasn't, before entering my home, offered to remove their shoes. I've grown accustomed to this as a polite, respectful thing to do upon entering someone's home. Perhaps it is a regional thing, and people in the northeast are just less considerate of others?

And yes, I consider potential buyers as visitors to my home, and as such expect them to remove their shoes or put on the booties. I have no obligation to let every Tom, Dick, and Harry galavant through my home with dirty shoes on my pristine carpet simply because I put the house up for sale. I think the issue of shoe removal is more important to those of us with light colored, clean carpets than those with tile, wood, or vinyl floors.

I think if a prospective customer will pass up a good home simply because they can't take off their shoes, it's very clearly their loss for not being able to do one simple thing that takes a total of 30 seconds. Perhaps this is also a reflection of the type of home being sold -- I have rarely entered a sale property in my price range (over $500,000) where shoes-off was not a requirement, or where booties weren't provided. This kind of thing is a given for a seller with any pride of ownership and with the type and quality of flooring upscale buyers look for.

I've never been, and never will be, in a situation where I have to sell my home to just anyone. I don't compromise my beliefs, or the integrity of my home, for a quick buck.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2006 at 1:47PM
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Actually, the shoe issue is important with hardwood floors. The high heels that are dime size or smaller make dents in the floor. It might work to have carpet strips on the floor, but what if someone steps off of them? Or would you tell them ahead of time: Please stay on the carpet runner so you don't dent the floor?

If you have just spent thousands of dollars to have your floors sanded and refinished, you are not going to want people with teeny tiny stones lodged in the bottoms of their shoes to walk on the floors, either.

If women (or men, I suppose!) come in with tiny heels, it shouldn't be that difficult to slip them off and put on booties. If she hasn't lived with hardwood floors, she might not realize that they make dents!

We had company on the weekend who are considering installing hardwood floors. They asked me about water spills, and I said to just wipe it up ASAP. And then I told them that dragging in grit was worse! Something that hadn't even occurred to them!

I think that this is perfectly reasonable:

1) put booties on over shoes OR over bare feet - their choice.

2) women remove small heeled shoes and wear booties.

3) have some small booties for kids, because they will walk out of adult size booties. (And you would be surprised at how those booties can stretch over large shoes!)

As a seller, consider this: do you want to have to refinish wood floors because people insist on wear shoes that can dent or scratch the floors?

If you don't want to ask people to remove their shoes, then don't refinish the floors before hand, or be prepared for possibly doing it twice.

Be aware that beautiful, gleaming hardwood floors will certainly attract more offers than ones that are scratched, dented and dull.

Do you, as the buyer, then want the hassle of redoing the floors if they are really dented and scratched? (Those dents and scratches look really bad on an otherwise pristine floor.)

In Minnesota, removing shoes is usually not an issue (except for people who are moving in from a place where shoes are always worn, no matter what). A lot of us take our shoes off in someone else's home in the summer, just from habit.

If I were selling my home and the looker refused to comply with the request (I like the signs) I would take it that they could very well be a PITA on every other aspect of buying, too.

Realtors need to be pro-active and let their clients know AHEAD of time that they may be asked to remove their shoes, so that they can plan accordingly and not be surprised.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2006 at 2:41PM
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...people in the northeast are just less considerate of others?

Now, why was that necessary? Obviously, you have your own idea of what constitutes "consideration". That doesn't make you "right" and others "wrong", though.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2006 at 2:59PM
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" my part of the country (northeast U.S.), most people wouldn't DREAM of asking guests to take their shoes off"

Really now, people. Stop generalizing. Many people in the Northeast DO dream (and often act on those dreams) of asking guests to remove shoes. I doubt that poster is qualified to comment on "most people" in a portion of the country that the poster barely resides in (many maps and atlases do not classify PA is in the Northeast). As someone who is solidly in the NE, I assure you that shoes removal is not a freak phenomenon in this portion of the country.

"Perhaps it is a regional thing, and people in the northeast are just less considerate of others?"

I'd say you are more rude than many people in whatever part of the country you are from. Nice way to take a comment from one poster and turn it into an insult of millions of people.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2006 at 3:46PM
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the pomposity in sshrivastava's posts is overwhelming!

Seriously sshrivastava, what would you do if say an elderly lady was your guest and for health concerns she couldn't take her orthopedic shoes off?

    Bookmark   July 10, 2006 at 4:22PM
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I, like sue36, live in Maine. I've noticed that despite the fact that we have no sign, most people just remove their shoes without even asking. This might have something to do with the fact that the vast majority of the year we have mud, snow, slush and sand from the beach....

    Bookmark   July 10, 2006 at 4:34PM
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sshrivastava is planning to open up shop as a real estate agent in Arizona. With such a talent for winning the hearts and minds of others, success is a given.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2006 at 5:36PM
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Once I am dressed, my shoes are on for the whole day, including always on in my house. If I don't take them off in my house, I'd laugh my butt off if you ask me to take them off for your pearly mansion. Might be a different story if it were muddy and snowy outside, but this is Florida.

I would also be willing to bet that 99% of the time my house is cleaner than yours. My floors are steam cleaned daily, yes steamed. I have 9 cats in the house, I clean like a fanatic - so please don't tell me I don't give a crap about cleaniness because I refuse to take off my shoes.

As for the seller, I think what you are asking is a negative to your selling. Only because it instantly points out to people what a pain in the neck light colored carpet is to live with.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2006 at 7:43PM
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You have managed to single-handedly take a discussion in which everyone was expressing their beliefs (which they are entitled to) and changed it into a condescending, name calling, over-generalizing and just plain insulting thread. The audacity of your posts are disgraceful. We are all adults with different views and opinions. No matter how strongly you feel about something, it isn't going to change what someone else feels. It's ok to post what you think as this is what these forums are for and for the most part, people are respectful. However, statements such as "You are obviously dirty people" and "people in the northeast are just less considerate of others" are not OK. You talk about being polite and respectful in your thread - maybe you should walk the walk instead of just talk the talk. It's posts like yours that really dishearten me. Luckily, I can choose not to read them. To OP and the rest of you polite posters - sorry to take the thread in this direction but I just had to call this out. Peace out.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2006 at 9:05PM
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The fact is, theres no STRONG reason to keep your shoes on! It seems many posters are misguided about how much dirt a single pair of "clean" shoes can bring into a house. ItÂs been said that half the dry weight of a carpet is dirt  where do you think this dirt comes from? And people are so vain to think THEYÂRE shoes "arenÂt dirty"! LOL. Some carpets are, in fact, more risiliant to wear and tear. But when you have a house for sale, this exceeds "normal" foot traffic. Add to this the fact that you want the carpets to be in "new" condition for all visitors, it's really a no brainer, as someone said, to just take off the damn shoes. It's not like you're being asked to walk on hot coals. In fact, the luxurious quality of some carpets can't be appreciated while wearing shoes, so that's just one more reason to take off the shoes! This idea of being uncomfortable at the request is absurd - I can't imagine a serious homebuyer turning away at such a simple request, considering it may be their "dream" home! Really, people are so ridiculous. And the adhesive plastic sheets don't work for me because then the visitor doesn't feel free to walk about casually. In fact, asking a visitor to "stay on the plastic path" is, in my opinion, more imposing than asking them to take off their shoes! And I donÂt want to be walking around on plastic sheets during the time the house is on the market either, which could be months! IÂve always asked people to take off their shoes at the door, and everyone complies  one particular serviceman had booties with him already. So I think the poster who estimated a 50/50 split was wrong, itÂs probably more like 95/5 in favor of taking off shoes. It does show that the owner takes good care of their property, right up to the moment they move out. How can you not appreciate that?

    Bookmark   March 14, 2007 at 7:18PM
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ACK!!! Run for your lives....! It's back!

I'm pleading the 5th. LOL

    Bookmark   March 14, 2007 at 7:56PM
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I saw the thread and just had to look.
Yes, its just like a wreck, oh wait, it is a wreck!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2007 at 8:22PM
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EEEEK! Not the shoe in the house debate!
------------> Running for the hills!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2007 at 8:34PM
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I know it's an old thread, but I'll pipe in.

DH and I looked at a house that had this sign. I wanted to walk away thought being "anal owners" so they are probably the same way if we had to actual have a contract with them. Maybe not a fair assessment, but it's the truth as to what we thought.

I will say, it gave us such a distaste that we ended up scrutnizing EVERYTHING more closely. We found they kept dogs in cages for breeding in their garage. Although not really having anything to do with the house, it compounded our distaste and we walked out without a second thought as to how the house was. We were so annoyed over the shoe and dog thing, we didn't even really consider the house or remember what it looked like.

Like I said, maybe not a fair assessment, but it's the truth.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2007 at 9:15PM
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I'm one of those people who wears shoes all the time, even in the middle of the night on the way to the bathroom, because of foot problems. Fortunately, I don't have any friends who ask people to take off their shoes, though we all have sense enough to take them off when the weather is a mess outside. (I just bring another pair of shoes.) A couple I knew used to have a little sign asking people to take off their shoes, and I did it when there was no way to avoid going to their house, but I tried to avoid going there and to make sure we got together at my house or went out.

If I saw a sign asking people to remove their shoes in a home I was considering buying, it would give me a bad feeling about the house and about the owners, I'm sure of it. And it would alert me to flooring that needed to be replaced (because it couldn't take shoes), and I'd mentally reduce my offering price. I wouldn't ignore the sign, but unless I was already pretty much in love with the house, I would leave.

And if I *were* already in love with the house, I'd take off my shoes and limp around, as I do when I'm barefoot. And I'd have to chuckle to think that the sellers, in trying to avoid a little of what I consider to be ordinary dirt, ended up with a house smelling of the stinkiest feet in the world - mine, about an hour after I wash them!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2007 at 1:10AM
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In most parts of Canada, it is normal practice to remove your shoes upon entering another person's home. It's habit. When I moved to the US, I found out some people were offended that I automatically removed my shoes because I was making myself too comfortable and exposing my stocking feet.

The reason Canadians remove shoes is because of the weather. There is alot of snow, salt, gravel and mud out there and it would be rude not to remove your shoes. In those conditions, wiping is not enough.

Summertime is different for a BBQ type of party where everyone wears sandals or runners and it is dry outside. I wouldn't mind if someone walked inside to use the restroom without removing their shoes. In the dead of winter, I'd be horrified if someone walked into my home with their shoes or boots on.

Now that I live in AZ, wet shoes are not a problem. It took me a long time to get over the shoes thing, although I make my husband take his off when he goes into any of the bedrooms as they have brand new carpet. Tile everywhere else, so it's easy to sweep and wash.

Just to say that it is not rudeness on the part of the owner to ask that shoes be removed. In Canada, signs aren't even necessary when selling a home because people will automatically remove their shoes 99% of the time.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2007 at 1:11AM
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Nothing like a resurrected old thread to break up the boredom......I've had this discussion with my mom before. She lives in Chicago and when selling her home she insisted on a sign telling everyone to remove their shoes. I told her I thought it was a bit anal and picky. She insisted that she didn't want her carpet messed up by inconsiderate people dragging in all kinds of muck and dirt.

I've seen signs like this in homes we were viewing and it instantly put into my mind the thought of the sellers being anal, and perhaps difficult to deal with. When I've entered homes that had plastic runners protecting new carpet I didn't get that impression, I just got the impression they were protecting new flooring. It's amazing how different people percieve the same action.

When selling a home, I've never requested buyers to remove shoes and have never found any problems with buyers tromping excessive dirt through the house.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2007 at 11:11AM
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This is very common in my area.....
when you look at homes, they will have a sign at the front door, asking people to remove their shoes before entering. I personally don't have a problem with this, just because I understand they just want to keep the dirt out, and can you imagine having the carpet clean everytime someone comes in with their shoes to look at home. Its double the work...

    Bookmark   March 15, 2007 at 11:41AM
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Asking people to remove shoes is CHEAP. People find a lot of excuses to justify that, but the only reason is they value their cheap carpet over their guest's comfort.
If you cannot afford to get your carpet cleaned/replaced. don't invite people to your house.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2007 at 12:03PM
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I guess 99% of Canadians are cheap then. Carpets would have to be cleaned almost daily in the dead of winter because of all the mud, gravel, snow and salt tracked in. Have you ever lived in winter environment? Are all Japanese and Koreans cheap? It is part of their culture to remove shoes because they sit, sleep and eat on the floor (well, the sit on the floor at a very low table to eat).

    Bookmark   March 15, 2007 at 1:06PM
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I disagree with Kabir. I don't think it's cheap to ask people to remove their shoes when entering the house. It's a cultural thing and cleanliness thing. You don't know what the buyers' shoes stepped on prior to coming to your house, or where they came from. My rule of thumb is, outside is dirtier than the inside of my home. (Note that I said "outside is dirtier," my house is not always clean:)

And the original poster was asking about home-selling, so they are buyers, not guests.

I've been to model homes when we were living in Wisconsin where there were signs to remove your shoes and put on booties before going in.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2007 at 2:53PM
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As a Canadian now residing in the USA, that is one difference I noticed--the taking off of the shoes. On a Cdn Forum we al actually get a big kick out of this, lol When I visit peoples house, always take off my shoes, or ask, shoes on or off!! here, people just walk in with their shoes on, lol Why do I want ur dirty outside shoes on my clean flooring, lol Who knows what is on the bottom of them, not everyone picks up after there dogs (don't get me started on that subject,lol) We had just purchased our new home, flooring was spotless, and in walks the relatives with their shoes on!! Yes, I politely asked them to remove their shoes. And yes I'm a clean freak.
When it comes to viewing open houese, I take my shoes off 99.9% of the time. A few times the flooring/house was in such a bad condition, I probably should have had on a full protection suit!! I would have no qualms either with a seller having a sign asking for the removal of shoes, as that shows they (appear) to care for their house.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2007 at 3:22PM
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I don't think its "CHEAP" just a matter of wanting to take care of their home and keeping it clean. If you end of dirty it, GUESS WHo will have to clean up your MESS?

    Bookmark   March 15, 2007 at 4:44PM
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As a buyer I would think it was weird except if the floors had just been redone (as in within the last week) and were still not fully cured. Otherwise I would assume the flooring was fragile and not practical for my needs.

For the record, I am in the Northeast. I actually prefer taking my shoes off but most people other than close friends would be offended if I did that in THEIR house or asked them to do it in mine. The only exception is a friend whose ds has asthma and she is fanatical about this. She does note there is a lot less dirt since she started insisting on this.

If necessary booties make more sense, as others pointed out you never know what foot conditions, holes in socks or fungus people have

My DH never takes his shoes off and feels uncomfortable in our house without his shoes. There is nothing wrong with his feet. I have tried buying him slippers and he hates that too. He actully hates that the children and I walk around without shoes in our own house. MIL was in an accident many years ago and cannot walk without the support of shoes. I do not recall ever seeing her barefoot in 10 years. So people do have many reasons to be on both sides of this issue

I would never ask buyers to do this but in my area it is not part of our culture. Personally I do not entertain enough that it really matters

    Bookmark   March 15, 2007 at 7:18PM
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It's barbaric to wear the shoes in your own home. Is your home not clean enough that you need extra protection on your feet even in your home? And imagine your toddlers sucking on all the stuff your shoes tracked in. yuck.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2007 at 9:46AM
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Nope, my floors aren't sterile--and no toddlers, thanks. Just two teenagers and one lazy diabetic Labrador.

....and frankly it's not my feet or my husband's or kids' feet that I object to. It's OTHER feet. Feet I don't know. I've worked in a podiatric surgery office for 15 years. I KNOW what happens to feet. I know about fungus and infection and wounds, etc. You don't even WANT to know.... I've seen it all. No thanks.

At my house, keep your shoes on. We don't have to eat off the floor...

    Bookmark   March 17, 2007 at 11:35AM
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Yeah but moltenlava, that's a great concept and I hear it works great in Japan but you mean to tell me that if you need something repaired in your home or something delivered or installed and you can get them to take their shoes off? And all your guests to take their shoes off?

    Bookmark   March 17, 2007 at 12:32PM
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The last time we had a repairman in the house, he put on little paper booties over his shoes. I thought that was nice of him, but certainly not required. We have hardwoods which in my opinion are much easier to sweep and keep clean on a daily basis. I would never ask guests in my home to remove their shoes, so I'd never ask someone viewing my home when I'm selling it to remove their shoes. But I grew up in a home where we weren't allowed to wear shoes in the house !!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2007 at 12:58PM
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Just thought I would add this to the thread. Recently at an open house within 15 mins. I saw 2 different couples walk away when they realized it was a "shoe's off". It is obvious by this thread some wouldn't care but others might. Also this is in the NE, no snow or mud at the time.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2007 at 1:02PM
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Here's something interesting that just happened in our home. I'm from Canada, but live in the US. The whole shoe thing was new to me and it took me awhile to adjust to people walking into my home with shoes on. In fact, I still cringe when people do it.

We recently tiled the entire home, but put carpet in the bedrooms. Nice, good quality carpet. DH and I don't wear shoes in our bedroom or our office and the other is a guest room.

We recently had a bout with three different guests staying in our home. Two from Canada - my best friend for a long weekend and my cousin for 10 days. Both automatically removed their shoes in the house and didn't wear any on the new carpet. The carpet in the guest room was fine. MIL visited for a week - she's from the east coast. AFter MIL left, I went into the room to strip the bed and was horrified to see dirty spots with footprints in the brand new carpet. There are no dirty spots in our bedroom or office because we don't wear shoes in either room. MIL wore shoes from being out in the backyard into her bedroom and as a result, we now have to get the brand new carpet cleaned as we will be listing our home very soon.

So, sometimes it IS very important to keep the floors clean - as in getting ready to sell. When looking at homes, I always noticed if the carpets were clean or dirty. Dirt makes new carpets look not so new anymore.

We have also decided that if we have future houseguests prior to selling, they will be told they are welcome to wear shoes on the tile, but it is an absolute shoes off rule in the bedroom. If they're offended, well then they won't have to take advantage of our hospitality again because we spent alot of money in anticipation of selling. The whole interior of the house is new and we want to keep it looking that way.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2007 at 2:46PM
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Besides booties, there are other products to protect different types of flooring.
If you were buying in Hawaii, you'd be taking your shoes off most of the time to see homes.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2007 at 6:55PM
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Haven't even walked barefoot in my own home in years. Nobody to clean the floors but me, what goes up must come down, long haired dogs roll in yuck, bring dirt inside,or step in sh..edding hair. I'd just as soon keep that out of my bed thank you very much. I clean the floors once a week and they stay clean about 10 minutes so that's why I wear shoes or flip flops and that's why all my guests are welcome to wear shoes and anybody else I want to feel comfortable can wear shoes if they want.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2007 at 8:01PM
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We live in the NE and we don't wear shoes in the house. That said, I don't ask other adults to remove their shoes (although my close friends do, as they know we prefer it). I do ask all the kids to take off their shoes, though.
At our previous house, when we pulled out the carpet in the living room soon after moving in, I was horrified to find over 1 inch of dirt underneath the pad, it was truly disgusting.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2007 at 3:40AM
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"AFter MIL left, I went into the room to strip the bed and was horrified to see dirty spots with footprints in the brand new carpet."

Horrors! somebody actually used your stuff when they were a guest....

That neither reflects hospitality nor graciousness as a host, IMHO.

But hey, whatever. The good news is that good quality carpet cleans much better than lower quality carpet. Although maybe it IS an argument for lower quality carpet because changing it out wouldn't be such a big hit $$-wise.

I have a friend with a house full of beautiful rugs from all different parts of the world. Some true collectors' items--works of art. I always make sure my feet are wiped as clean as possible before entering his house, but I have never, not once, been asked to take my shoes off in his home. When I asked him about it, he laughed and said "They're RUGS for heaven's sake!" I guess I feel that same way about my mother's collection of depression glass, or grandma's cookie jar. I use them every day for regular meals. The kids open and close that cookie jar 20 times a day. It's absolutely irreplaceable--just like my kids. Sure, they've learned to respect it, and certainly there are one or two chigger bites on the rim of the lid that weren't there before, but it's a part of my family history. My mother took cookies from it as a child, I did too, now my kids...and hopefully some day my grandkids.

I guess that what I'm trying to say is that nothing remains new forever. Stuff is here for us to use, to make us comfortable, to improve our lives. If it doesn't do that, it's just debris or clutter, and that just gets in the way of living.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2007 at 6:52AM
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Anyone have a link for the booties? I'd like to consider getting some.

Where I live, we don't have "dirt" we have sugar sand, which goes right through carpet. The vac doesn't pick it all up.

My son used to work for fast food. Even though the bottoms of his boots appeared clean, they weren't. Where ever he stepped there would be a grease mark.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2007 at 7:55AM
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I found this when I did a search for disposable shoe covers

    Bookmark   March 18, 2007 at 8:21AM
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Thank you :)

    Bookmark   March 18, 2007 at 8:51AM
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"Horrors! somebody actually used your stuff when they were a guest....

That neither reflects hospitality nor graciousness as a host, IMHO. "

And tracking mud and dirt all over your host's carpet to the point that it needs a professional cleaning reflects graciousness as a guest?

    Bookmark   March 18, 2007 at 11:00AM
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When I was selling my house I didn't want to lose a sale over a "shoe" issue so I kept a fully loaded carpet cleaner in the closet. I must have cleaned the carpet over 40 times and the shampooer recovery tank always looked like it was filled with chocolate milk.

I got sick and tired of my own shoes tracking in dirt so for the first time in my life I walked around the house in my white cotton socks. One day I had an interesting experience walking down to my finished basement as I suddenly became a "human bowling ball" bouncing down a flight of stairs. (no injuries)

Finished wood floors, wood stairs and socks are a dangerous combination. Make sure your homeowner's insurance is adequate to cover hip replacement and possible litigation.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2007 at 1:13PM
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Today we attended 6 or 7 open houses in our area. We haven't listed our own house yet, but are in the research pahse and are checking around to see what sorts of things are common here.

The open houses were all well attended and *everyone* removed their footwear without any signs or anyone asking. We're about an hour outside Toronto, Canada and things are wet, snowy, and muddy.

I did however notice the "effects" of the customary (for our area) shoe removal policy. A couple houses we walked into the first smell to assault your nose was *feet*! Not necessarily a good first impression.

It does however really give you a good idea of how big entry ways are, for when guests come over... with all the shoes and people coming and going, many entry ways are just too small!

    Bookmark   March 18, 2007 at 3:11PM
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I can understand wanting people to take off their shoes when the weather outside is messy. What I can't understand is someone mentioning shoe heels denting the wooden flooring. What kind of wood is used that can dent with high heels? I have solid oak floors and have dropped a hammer without any dent. Are we talking about this 1/4" laminated flooring?
I guess I can also understand the idea of dirtying up light colored carpets. What do you do it someone takes their shoes off and their socks are just crummy? I guess to me, floors are made to be walked on. I had a neighbor who wouldn't let his kids walk on the lawn because it was too perfect. To me a lawn is a place for kids to romp. I just need a house that can be lived in.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2007 at 4:46PM
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Vivian wrote:
Horrors! somebody actually used your stuff when they were a guest....

That neither reflects hospitality nor graciousness as a host, IMHO.

Considering the carpet is brand new and we had two other separate guests that did not dirty the carpet in their visit, yes, I have the right to feel mortified. The carpet has only been in for one month and we replaced it in order to help sell our home. I don't know where you get off saying I am an ungracious host or lacked hospitality. I did not say anything to MIL and I certainly did not ask her to remove her shoes. I thought she'd have a bit of decorum to realize the carpet was new and that we were getting ready to sell, so that she could have been a bit more careful.

I'm with chiefneil. If the carpet wasn't new and installed specifically in anticipation of selling, then it wouldn't be such a big deal. We have worked very hard to get our house ready to sell and having to clean one-month old carpet is a job we did not anticipate. The fact that it is new and now has to be professionally cleaned does show a lack of respect for our home, especially when two other guests (who were from Canada and did not wear shoes inside) did not dirty the carpet whatsoever.

The other two rooms with carpet are still clean because we don't wear shoes in those rooms.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2007 at 5:01PM
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Two existing homes where I had to remove my shoes, one because, I guess just because, and the other because the lady claimed she had just had the carpets cleaned that morning (they weren't damp) - neither owner provided a clean, safe place for me to sit and remove and put on my shoes. (I had sneakers on that tied). That fact colored my impression of the property and really put me off. They could have been perfect houses, but I couldn't see past the fact that I had to lean against a wall outside on the stoop to get my shoes off or sit on the dirty steps and then I had to tip toe through the dirt to the car to put my shoes on, or I could sit on the dirty steps.

It's just a floor. How would you feel if someone fell down your wood stairs or slipped on your lovely scratch free shiney wood or tile floors. How much in medical expenses, lost wages and incidentals is that worth to you?

Would you ask a handicapped person to leave his/her crutches or walker or cane or wheelchair outside?

If it's nasty and muddy and wet and icey or snowy, sure, take your shoes off buyer, but seller be sure to provide a safe clean place for someone to sit down so they can safely and comfortably take off and put on their shoes.

As for the paper booties, most people can't put them on standing up and they have a high slip factor too.

Concentrate on selling your house, not inconveniencing buyers or getting to know the attorney for your insurance company. If you created the hazard by the way, like requiring people to put on slippery paper booties, your insurance company is not going to cover you. it's a floor, clean it, or you could be worrying about bigber things, like a lawsuit.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2007 at 11:31PM
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I would think buyers are very short-sighted if they would dismiss a house because they have to remove their shoes. Maybe you view those sellers as anal. But you aren't becoming friends with them, you are buying the house. You are free to dirty-up the floors after you move in, after all. I would rather buy a house from someone that takes care of their property (whether it is to protect the floors or to prevent filth from being tracked in) than someone who doesn't.

This is what I wrote above, and I still think it hits the nail on the head:

"[These threads] get heated because the "shoes off" people are fundamentally challenging the housekeeping standards of the "shoes on" people. And the "shoes on" don't like that, and furthermore think the "shoes off" people are a bunch of unwelcoming fuss-budgets."

    Bookmark   March 20, 2007 at 10:07AM
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Ok now the disposable shoe covers I would do.
I'd feel like a nutter asking someone else to use them but if asked I would play along.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2007 at 11:51AM
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If you are worried about your carpet, please buy some runners or washable throw rugs. I would not want to take the chance of sending all of the earlier posters right back to their car without even seeing my house!

    Bookmark   March 20, 2007 at 12:38PM
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mmelko - I am an avid "shoes off in the house" person, but I do have to admit, you make a valid point about having an adequate place to sit to take off/put on the shoes.

Where I come from, most people are used to standing or leaning on a wall when they put on their shoes. When in an area where it's not common to remove them, I think it's perfectly reasonable to provide a place where one can sit and remain clean in order to put them back on.

As for lawsuits, I'm sure it's happened, but I don't think it is a normal occurrence in Canada where people slip in a person's home because shoes are off and then they sue. But that could be because Canada is not as litigant happy as the US.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2007 at 6:38PM
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Sue36 - You're right - it *is* short-sighted to avoid a house because the owners ask for shoes off. Nonetheless, I know that's how I'd feel, because it leaves such a bad taste in my mouth.

I think you're right on target about why these discussions get so heated, but that also feeds into why I would be unlikely to look at a shoes-off house. I'd be thinking that I was in pain just to please some cranky fuss-budget - not a particularly receptive frame of mind, eh?

    Bookmark   March 20, 2007 at 10:38PM
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Vioxx is off the market not because a majority of people died, but because there was an unacceptable side affect that killed or severely injured and a few people and the company that made Vioxx knew there was this risk that far outweighed the benefit of the medicine. Would you feel differently about it if it were one of your family members who died as a result of taking Vioxx or some other medication? What if that happened to your wife, you didn't have medical insurance or what you had didn't cover what she needed, or she lost her job because she couldn't work anymore and you couldn't get any redress from the company? Most people sue not because they want to make money, but because they want to hold the company responsible and warn others about the danger. Money will never replace your child, or your mother or your husband.

We don't put small children in the front seat of a car because a few children were injured or killed as a result of the airbags inflating - and aren't you glad you know not to put your small child in the front seat of your car? It infuriates me when someone throws out the "litigation happy" line.

How many lives do you think are saved as a result of the first lawsuit against a car maker who failed to warn parents that the air bags in the front seats of vehicles could kill or injure your children? Don't you just know that parent who found out the hard way, would have appreciated knowing that?

Litigation serves a number of purposes way beyond making some plaintiff or lawyer money, it also raises awareness of a hazard that may kill or injure one of your friends or family members. Corporattions aren't always "good" citizens and they have been known to put out products with a defect that they know in advance could cause great harm to someone using their product.

Brushing it off to "Americans are litigious" is an response rising from ignorance. It isn't lawsuit abuse if it's your lawsuit, somehow that is different. So you wouldn't sue if your wife slipped on a floor, hit her head, suffered a severe concussion and died, because she was wearing paper booties the owner of the house required buyers to wear when they entered their home?

Isn't it worth it to you to know that someone could be injured on your property and sue you, because you insisted on slippery socks and booties? All it takes is one old lady falling and breaking her hip or a father and husband slipping down a staircase (which is exactly what happened to my husband by the way at one house - thankfully he wasn't seriously hurt) and becoming severely disabled and your home owners insurance doesn't cover all of his or her medical expenses? Suddenly the sale of your house is the last thing you need to worry about.

This isn't about Americans being sue happy - dear Canadians - my daughter is a paralegal who just returned from working in Canada - people sue in every country - I know you have Plaintiffs Lawyers in Canada too. It's about thinking about two things, the safety of the people you invite into your home and your duty to provide a safe place for people to enter and view your home for possible purchase.

So your friends may take off their shoes and you haven't had a problem, yet, or your friends are young enough that they can stand and balance on one leg to put on or take of shoes or booties, I'm 54 and I can't balance like that anymore, and some younger people have balance problems or other conditions which make it hard to do, these are strangers you invited into your house for a commercial purpose - and you can't hope that everyone who enters your home is going to be like your friends, some people have disabilities.

If you notice, in all the Househunting shows in Hawaii, the folks are in sandals and are usually wandering around the house in bare feet. Something that most of you "pro no shoes" people found even more disgusting. At least they aren't forced to put on something that could cause them to slip and fall.

Sometimes, in certain situations, a polite custom has to be abandoned. I guess it's a matter of whether or not you are willing to play the odds and assume the risk for the sake of your convenience. I am not saying that it can't be a pain to come home and find black shoe marks on your travertine tile, or your newly cleaned carpet, but better to clean that up, than have to deal with an injury that would not have happened but for....

Oh yeah, and put me in that class of buyers who would not consider buying a home where I was forced to put on booties or take off my shoes for no apparent reason like snow, ice, mud, etc.

After my two experiences, I told my realtor, unless it is new construction and the builder has provided a safe place for me to remove my shoes and walk in the home, don't show it to me. Most new homes though have paper or vinyl runners down anyway, probably because builder's understand and appreciate the liability of people slipping in thier houses.

Of course once again, your bread may always land butter side up .... lucky you.

Off my soapbox now. :P

    Bookmark   March 21, 2007 at 12:08AM
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mmelko - that certainly was a soapbox, quite frankly. And to be honest, no Canadians are not as sue happy as Americans because payouts are not as big there, not even close.

You do make some valid points, but at the same time, how many frivolous lawsuits have there been? Suing McD's because the person was negligent by putting a hot cup of coffee between their legs and opening the lid and then blaming McD's because they were burned?

There's two sides to lawsuit stories and the person filing the suit could be equally or more negligent.

I know of few people who have slipped and fallen because they weren't wearing shoes in the house. It's just as easy to trip wearing heels into view a home. Does that mean the potential buyer is going to sue over that too because they didn't remove their shoes and the seller should have told them to?

I really think you're grasping at straws and gave a particularly nasty post considering I agreed with you in your previous one. I do agree that people have to take responsibility when they're negligent, but then again, there are alot of ridiculous lawsuits because people are greedy.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2007 at 12:27AM
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So you wouldn't sue if your wife slipped on a floor, hit her head, suffered a severe concussion and died, because she was wearing paper booties the owner of the house required buyers to wear when they entered their home?

There is no way that I would sue in that situation. It's called personal responsibility. I've walked around in socks before and know that it can be slippery, so it is my fault if I fall. Nobody forced me into a situation where I was uncomfortable. I could have walked away if I was that concerned about my safety. I chose to take my chances, and if something happens, then it is my fault.

The other situations you mentioned (air bags, etc) are cases where the person would not have any idea that what they are doing is hazardous, and the manufacturer should have known and warned the user. Suing in those cases is fine, and benefits society.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2007 at 8:54AM
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Here's an experiment. Turn on a local broadcast TV channel around 4pm and see how many commercials you see for slip and fall ambulance chasers and the poster in canada can do the same. The person with a higher count loses. Then you can go on judge judy and sue each other for miscounting the results.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2007 at 9:53AM
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"Suing McD's because the person was negligent by putting a hot cup of coffee between their legs and opening the lid and then blaming McD's because they were burned?"

Actually, that case was completely justified is you know the whole story.

McDonald's coffee is heated between 180 and 190 degrees Fahrenheit, while coffee made at home is between 130 and 140 degrees.
Over the past ten years McDonald's received 700 reports of patrons burning themselves with its super-heated coffee.
The woman, 81-year-old Stella Liebeck of Albuquerque, New Mexico, was hospitalized for eight days and underwent skin graft operations for third-degree burns.
The jury awarded Liebeck $200,000 in compensatory damages, which was reduced to $160,000 because the jury found Liebeck 20 percent at fault in the spill.
The jury also awarded Liebeck $2.7 million in punitive damages.
$2.7 million equals about two days of McDonald's coffee sales.
The trial court subsequently reduced the punitive award to $480,000 - or three times compensatory damages - even though the judge called McDonald's conduct reckless, callous and willful.
We shall never know if a judge would have further reduced or even reversed the plaintiff's award on appeal because McDonald's elected to settle privately with Ms. Liebeck.
Post-verdict investigation found that the temperature of coffee at the local Albuquerque McDonald's had dropped to 158 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, after the McDonald's award, Wendy's voluntarily suspended selling hot chocolate - which it sold mostly to children and heated to a scalding 180 degrees - until it could lower the temperature.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2007 at 10:33AM
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Then you can go on judge judy and sue each other for miscounting the results.

Great idea quirky, except the Canadian wouldn't bother suing the American, because we are not a litigious society. :)

    Bookmark   March 21, 2007 at 10:39AM
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Ugh, as if the discussion of shoes wasn't contentious enough , now we have moved on to our litigious society and McD's.
Who knew a Buying and Selling forum could be so imformative?

    Bookmark   March 21, 2007 at 10:40AM
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sue36, yes I was aware of how the case turned out. However, my point was (and it was quoted in your post) that the person who was burned was found to be partially negligent. Really, what reasonable person would put a hot cup of coffee between their legs, with the lid removed, in a moving vehicle?

I also know that Mcd's was found negligent b/c their coffee was too hot, but this is a case where both parties were at fault.

I also agree that this thread has taken a different turn from shoes in the house, so I will refrain from posting more about legalities and litigation.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2007 at 2:46PM
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I had no idea the shoe thing was such a big deal! This has been an interesting thread. I grew up in a house where we took off our shoes, and now that I have my own house, we don't wear our shoes in the house. And when guests come over, I just automatically ask them to take their shoes off. It never even crossed my mind that some people might not want to take their shoes off! Next time we have people over, I'll probably offer slippers, just in case people are uncomfortable taking their shoes off.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2007 at 3:03PM
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"Next time we have people over, I'll probably offer slippers, just in case people are uncomfortable taking their shoes off."

Eeew, I don't want to wear your slippers, call me in advance, I'll bring my own.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2007 at 3:33PM
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Exactly what I was thinking, cmarlin.

I've said it before--the dog can't take her feet off when she comes in... Might as well walk on the floors.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2007 at 4:25PM
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Thanks for the tip--I didn't realize offering slippers was another faux pas! I've been to friends' houses where they've offered me slippers, and I was happy to put them on. Different strokes, I guess.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2007 at 4:57PM
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In view of all the above discussions, it would stand to reason that if you had a party or a gathering of any sort, you should warn people that you are a shoe-off house, don't spring it on people at the door.
Of course, people who know you and visit you often , would know your policy.

I personally will not put on provided slippers or walk barefeet at a dinner or gathering; I always bring shoes ( I live in Canada so we wear boots when it's bad, if it's dry, we don't)

    Bookmark   March 21, 2007 at 5:23PM
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Call me strange, but something about bare feet at a dinner table makes me cringe. I've attended dinner functions in some very exclusive and expensive homes and wouldn't even think about removing my shoes upon entering the home. I actually think it's kinda tacky and if you're a "shoes off person" it should be reserved for a family only kinda gathering. I'm sure many on here will disagree.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2007 at 5:52PM
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Now that we have agreed on the idea that shoes can track in germs, how are we going to be sure that the guests wash their hands before leaving the bathroom? Wow, can you imagine the germs there! I probably will never touch the bathroom doorknob in my house again. And I just remembered, one of my guests had her hands on the arms of the living room chair. Huh, I wonder if she washed them when she left the ladies room? I'm not sure I'll be able to sleep tonight.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2007 at 7:26PM
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I'm a new user here and have been searching many of the forums. I was actually looking for comments on carpet shampooers, but somehow stumbled onto a subject about taking your shoes off; It's amazing how these threads can go so far off course so quickly! Well, I would just like to add my 2 cents, no offense to anyone:

I was personally raised in a home where you did not have to take off your shoes. My parents were, in my opinion, more worried about their kids (all 8 of them) than whether or not their floors were clean. Not to say our house was dirty, but it wasn't spotless and guess what? 7 of us are still here and healthy, and the 8th didn't die from our house being dirty (car accident... whole other story). Anyway, all I'm saying is that cleanliness can sometimes go overboard, to the point of being rude or just plain stupid. I'm also not saying that you can't raise kids & still have a clean house, you can, but too many ppl now put there house cleaning above their kids. And, honestly, I would much rather go into a house that wasn't spotless as opposed to spotless simply b/c I do not feel comfortable doing anything. Anybody agree? I know some of you have had to be in a house @ one time or another where you were afraid to move b/c you might accidentally knock something over or move something 1 cm out of place or put a water ring on something. I would much rather go into a house where I can walk in and leave my shoes on if I so choose, plop down on the couch and have a drink w/ whoever I'm visiting and relax and have fun, rather than having to be so conscience of every move I'm making every second I'm there! Again, I do not intend to offend anyone by my comments & I'm also not accusing anyone of anything, these are just my views. I just feel like ppl today are far more worried about what other ppl think and how they are portrayed to someone else that they forget about the important things in life. My grandma cross stitched a picture for me when I was born that says: Cleaning & scrubbing can wait 'til tomorrow, for babies grow up we've learned to our sorrow. So quiet down cobwebs & dust go to sleep, I'm rocking my baby & babies don't keep. I think that is a wonderful motto to live by.

I also agree w/ whoever wrote about disinfecting everything. This has gone a little overboard too. There have been many reports stating that it isn't a good thing to disinfect so much, this is actually making ppl sicker and weakening ammune systems. For all of you that are talking about all of the germs being brought in on shoes, do you personally eat off of your floor or what?! Who cares what germs are on your floor! Do you realize how many germs are in/around your kitchen sink? Or on your tooth brushes? On money? On tons of different surfaces you touch each and every day w/o thinking about germs? Do any of you bite your finger nails, and if so, do you make it a habit of washing your hands beforehand? Think of the germs you're picking up there! I'm not trying to imply that I think disinfecting is a bad thing, or that germs are good, but come on, you can't get rid of all of the germs that you may come in contact w/ and you shouldn't want to. Ask any dr. and they will tell you that disinfecting every single thing can actually do more harm than good.

Sorry for rambling on, I just don't understand ppl sometimes! I agree w/ a comment I heard the other day: "Common sense isn't common anymore." Enough said.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2007 at 7:28PM
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What has happened to respect? Like the OP, i've invested in new carpeting also, and have a little note on the door, but I noticed the *one* couple that came on Sunday didn't abide by my request. This to me, is flagrantly rude behavior, and for an adult, unexceptable. I wouldn't sell my home to that couple if they offered me top price.

Here's reality, folks. You go to the movie theater, buy a box of popcorn, and i'm sure you've sat down and grabbed the handle on the seat BEFORE reaching into that box of popcorn. And what about those lovely shopping carts? How many many of you have opened a box of cookies or chips to eat on the way home? Now let's go to the pet store and grab that scooper to scopop litter into our little pail. Gee, I wonder where the last 'scooper' had his hands? Why don't we go to chruch while were at it? There's good 'ol Henry(gives good hardy handshake), and you're stopping at I HOP for breakfast?? Sure, you always have your disposal package of sanitized cleaners handy, right?

Need I say more? Germs on the hands are picked up....... EVERYWHERE! Besides, you can get a real feeling for a dirty house versus a clean house as soon as you open the door, and your gut instinct will tell you to keep your shoes on/off. If it were so dirty that I couldn't take my shoes off, I would certainly walk. My floors are so clean you could eat off of them. I have cats that use a litter pan, but lets not talk about all the stuff you probably track into your own home every, single day.

It's my opinion that the meaning of respect for other people's wishes has been shunned~"nobody is going to tell me what to do". Seems to be the American attiture these days. It's no wonder kids are not the same as kids of twenty years ago. We were raised TO respect, and it's still alive and well in my home and family.

Off my soapbox now.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2007 at 8:01PM
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Anyway, all I'm saying is that cleanliness can sometimes go overboard, to the point of being rude or just plain stupid. .....snipped.......... Again, I do not intend to offend anyone by my comments & I'm also not accusing anyone of anything, these are just my views.

Pretty hard not to be offensive when you refer to people who prefer shoes off as rude and stupid.

If you read the thread, then you will see that it is regional. Where I come from, shoes come off. Period. It is disrespectful to the host and their home if you do not. It may not be kosher to remove shoes in your area, but it is expected and accepted in others.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2007 at 8:11PM
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What if the sign read:

The carpet is new and the house smells like paint,
removing your shoes will make you a saint.
The floors will stay clean, new owners will smile,
all will be happy, which makes it worthwhile.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2007 at 10:10PM
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Sparksals: I don't believe that I ever once in my comment said, "people who prefer shoes off are rude and stupid."

Patty_Cakes: "I wouldn't sell my home to that couple if they offered me top price."

This is just cutting off your nose to spite your face as far as I'm concerned, however, I agree completely w/ your germ statement.

"It's no wonder kids are not the same as kids of twenty years ago."

I'm gonna step on some toes w/ this one: Possibly the reason kids aren't the same as they were 20 yrs. ago is b/c ppl are more worried about keeping a spotless house so that rare unexpected guest can see how neat & tidy you are instead of paying attention to their kids and knowing what's going on w/ them. Has anyone ever thought that maybe when 'mom' is in the living room consumed by trying to get that stubborn spot up off the carpet that little 'Billy' might be in his room loading a shot gun to take to school w/ him the next day, or perhaps, 'Susie' is writing a suicide letter, or maybe even 'Bobby' is sitting there smoking a joint? 20 years ago, not nearly as much of this stuff happened as it does now.

I also never said in my comments that ppl shouldn't take off their shoes if it is the request of the homeowner. The point I was trying to make is that A) a clean house is not everything, there are more important things, B) the OP is trying to sell this house & yes, as annoying as it may be to vacuum everyday or clean the carpet weekly, that is just the price you have to pay, the potential buyers need to be kept as happy as possible, or like another poster said, they may be deterred from buying the house before they ever see it.

Now, on the flip-side, if it's rude for ppl not to take their shoes off in a house that has requested it, why is it not rude for the owner of your house to request it? Yes, I know, "This is my house, I make the rules." But, what if your visitor truly does have a phobia about not wearing shoes, or has a foot problem, whatever the case may be, isn't that the same thing? What if someone comes to your house barefoot? Are you going to insist that they scrub their feet before they come in? Or, perhaps, make them take their feet off? :) Again, if this is a regional custom, ok, great, if this is your house rules, ok, fine, but everyone needs to realize that not everyone goes by these rules and in the special case of selling the house, keep the customer happy as much as possible.

I honestly don't have a problem w/ the whole shoes off policy. I personally don't live by that, but that's my choice and if anyone comes to visit they have the choice to leave their shoes on or take them off, whichever they prefer. I also have a St. Bernard & a Choc. Lab that live w/ me and it is quite difficult to get their feet 100% free of dirt/mud when they come in so I don't think it would be fair to ask visitors to take off their shoes. On the other hand, I do take my shoes off if asked when visiting someone, I have no problem going sock/bare footed. I just think this thread got a little off course and I think there are too many ppl worried about germs. If you want to worry, fine, but there's no point, there will be germs, ppl will get sick, that's just how the world is.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2007 at 11:12PM
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"sshrivastava has a very different view of hospitality than I think most of us do. "My house, my way" is not how we usually present ourselves to our guests."

I totally agree, and this was put much more politely than my reaction to stark inhospitability on sstrivastava's part.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2008 at 6:14PM
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I was surprised by the number of negative response for removing the shoes.

Me and my husband always fight over this. We do not wear shores inside the house; when someone comes, I request them to remove the shoes and most open minded or educated people quickly recognize it as a sign of respect and also a common courtesy.
I have had couple of people ask me why? I say to them "... besides being part of my culture, it is not all that hygienic to walk inside the house because your shoes might have lot of bacteria. In fact one of the guy said that he had similar request in a Japanese home. He went on to tell me that he would like to practice that in his house and especially teach this to his children.

My husband on the other hand does not like to ask people to remove the shoes, he does not even attempt to make that request. I get goose bumps when I see people walking inside with the shoes worn outside. Now we are building a house,he has agreed that I can put a sign outside, if I keep few rubber flipflops inside the house.

There are published papers in medical journals that support the claims that going barefoot is healthy. According to the scientific study, I have just picked up few excerpts showing wearing shoes at all times is not always the best option.

"People who have never worn shoes acquire very few foot defects, most of which are painless and non-debilitating. The range of their foot motions are remarkably great, allowing for full foot activity."

" Shoes are not necessary for healthy feet and children should not be encouraged to walk prematurely and should not wear any footwear until absolutely necessary."

"In cultures where they go barefoot inside their home do not develop PRONATION or SUPINATION. The best lateral stability can be observed in the barefoot condition. No instances among the barefoot feet were found of: Onychrocryptosis, Hyperidrosis, Bromidrosis, Hallux Valgus, Hallux Varus, Bursitis at the first or fifth metatarso-phalangeal articulations."

You know it is ok to learn and teach your children something that has value. Why is it bad to adopt something good from a different culture?

I am waiting for the onslaught.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2008 at 8:38PM
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" a clean house is not everything ", but good health is. "Health is Wealth"

If ppl have empathy, it is not rude for the owner of a house to request "please remove the shoes"

mc_hudd, it is always good to understand and respect other cultures. In my culture "Please" and "thank you" are rarely uttered. It is tone of voice that indicates "please" and it is the "facial expression" that reveals "thanks". People perceived me as "rude", but I quickly changed and I had to learn by making very conscious effort to say "please" and "thank you". Now that I have adopted, it has become part of my own culture. It enriches us to adopt part of a different culture when it has value. If you read my previous reply, you will note that going barefoot is healthy not just for germs but for your foot also.

The customs of old civilization has its own essence. For example, greeting people with joining your hands in lotus position instead of shaking hand has its own meaning. Cleaning the tongue after brushing the teeth has its own benefit.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2008 at 9:44PM
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How wonderful that you took the time to register just so you could dig up a dead thread and throw some more fuel on the fire. It's also wonderful that you insinuate that people who don't agree with you are not open minded or educated. It's nice to know you're prepared for the onslaught you hope to create.
Just charming. Really.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2008 at 9:07AM
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Remember the person whose family was addicted to slippers?

    Bookmark   September 7, 2008 at 11:27PM
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Why does this thread never die???
I must be too narrow minded and uneducated to understand why.


    Bookmark   September 8, 2008 at 12:04AM
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I see this argument from both sides of the fence. I live in Maine where it is pretty much the custom to remove one's shoes when you enter a home. It stems from a very practical stand point. The weather here is extreme for most of the year. By removing one's shoes, you avoid tracking in dirt, road sand and salt, beach sand, snow, slush and everything else involved with the lifestyle here. I can tell how many of my kids' friends are here by counting the pairs of footwear in the hall. We are, for the most part, a shoes off house. On the other hand, I suffer from a genetic defect that makes walking without good footwear very painful. My podiatrist told me flat out that walking without proper support is the worst thing I can do. Walking with or without proper footwear can mean the difference between extreme pain or no pain. As much as I dislike it, I usually wear shoes in my home. And as far as bacteria goes, it is omnipresent, no matter how clean your home. You live with it constantly like it or not. It's part of life.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2008 at 11:14AM
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And now that most regional housing markets are deep in a slump forecasted to last for at least another year if not longer, how much of the general attitude of "this is my house, I wouldn't sell to those dirt-bearing, inside-shoe-wearers" has remained?

BTW, I was struck by the March 2007 comment "I know of few people who have slipped and fallen because they weren't wearing shoes in the house." Earlier this year, I told my 80-yr old MIL to NOT take her shoes off any longer when we visit my nephew's home, after I discovered she had tripped on the sunken living room stairs after trying to walk around in the felt slippers they offered. They have tiled floors, as opposed to our many Oriental rugs covering HW flooring - so even though she is accustomed to wearing slippers inside the house, she was unprepared for how much more slippery the tile floors were in my nephew's house. Since we live in CA where there's more lawyers than the entire nation of Japan, the litigation risk is pretty high.

Me, I don't take my shoes off because my feet are in agony if I walk around barefoot for more than 10 minutes. I have problems in my yoga class specifically because of the standing postures. I'll take my shoes off for an open house if it's insisted on, but like some have expressed, it puts me in a negative state of mind.

In a buyer's market that is scheduled to remain one for quite some time, unless you are in a region where it's a common imperative to remove your shoes for either cultural or weather-related reasons, I'd think twice about insisting upon such a requirement from prospective buyers.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2008 at 12:20PM
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Ahhhh, not this subject brought back again! They must have a weird foot fetish,lol.
I live in Maine, even with all the bad weather we have it is not customary to remove your shoes. People wear boots take them off and put their shoes on in the house. I would never ask guests to remove any article of clothing they have on. I care more about my family and friends then I do things. I'm not that lazy that I can't get out my cleaning supplies, broom or vac. and clean as needed. I would especially not have this policy if I were selling my home. As a buyer I would see this request as anal and think if we were to put in an offer that the sellers would be a pain in the @ss to deal with. I would serious think twice about making an offer. It's been 2 years but hopefully the OP took down the sign and purchased clear liners to go over the rugs. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   September 8, 2008 at 12:42PM
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We recently went to view a house for sale where the owners requested that shoes be removed. The house was empty and we looked inside to see all brand new laminate flooring. My real estate agent laughed and said she wasn't taking her shoes off for laminate floors, so we followed suit. We weren't really happy with the prospect of having to remove our shoes to look at a house.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2008 at 3:22PM
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Me and my husband did not agree on removing the shoes, I wanted to look up on the internet to see how others felt. This was meant to be a healthy discussion, but I didnt realize it is a touchy subject.

As for "open mindedness" is to the fact that it is not rude to request some one to remove the shoes, only if they can be open minded to understand other cultures in this global economy.

I expected people to discuss substance than emotions. I live in a warmer climate and really wasnt thinking of Maine/cold weather and for that I apologize.

What I really wanted to share was the medical aspect of shoes in general; not for those already suffering from problems. I have a close friend who has vein problems and she once told me if she could ware the shoes and explained the situation. From that day, I never asked her to remove the shoes.

The medical aspect:
"In cultures where they go barefoot inside their home do not develop PRONATION or SUPINATION. The best lateral stability can be observed in the barefoot condition. No instances among the barefoot feet were found of: Onychrocryptosis, Hyperidrosis, Bromidrosis, Hallux Valgus, Hallux Varus, Bursitis at the first or fifth metatarso-phalangeal articulations."

" Shoes are not necessary for healthy feet and children should not be encouraged to walk prematurely and should not wear any footwear until absolutely necessary." This prevents or I should say allows for healthy development of their feet.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 10:32PM
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As for "open mindedness" is to the fact that it is not rude to request some one to remove the shoes,

Can you be "open" to the idea that many people consider it rude to be asked to remove their shoes?

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 11:55PM
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Wow, I can't believe I've resisted posting to this thread for soooo long! lol

I'm pretty convinced after reading thru the entire thread that it must be regional (?).

I've got an incredibly high arch & when I was a kid oxford shoes were popular for play & casual wear (think Buster Brown kind of shoes). Nobody could stuff my foot into those shoes! For school, I wore fancy black patent leather shoes & Dad punched extra holes in the straps so they would fit over my arch. Well, those shoes were expensive so Mom/Dad had me play at home barefoot to keep my shoes lasting longer. I still have trouble finding comfortable shoes...5" spike heels are the most comfortable shoe in the world when you've got an arch like mine! lol But, even today I'm almost always barefoot even in a New England winter (hey, I'm not that tough...I wear socks).

Then, fast forward 20 years & my son was born. He walked the week before he turned 8 months. Whew, what a PITA that was but that's another story. His doctor said NOT to put shoes on him until he was at least 2 years old or his little feet would be ruined. So, my DS learned to also love being barefoot.

Neither of us wear shoes in the house.

My DH, OTOH, has foot problems & finds being barefoot very uncomfortable.

I've always had a "No Shoes In The House" policy...sorta. I bend to individual situations. DH wears sneakers that don't go outside & I don't request elderly people or those I know who have foot problems to remove their shoes. For those who are physically able though I expect them to take off the dirty shoes before coming inside.

I live in CT & prior to that NH...both firmly in the northeast. I don't have to have a sign on the door because people just automatically take off their shoes. Even repairmen bring those blue booties to wear inside. They take the booties on/off every time they go out to their truck & come back inside. Guess I thought repairmen did that everywhere??? Sounds from this thread like I'm wrong...not every repairman wear booties.

It's common here to have booties available at Open Houses. Not at all Open Houses but enough that it shouldn't surprise anybody.

Also, we are boat owners & most of our friends are boat owners. You do NOT go onboard someone's boat with your shoes without asking permission. That's just a "no no"...period...same as saying, "Permission to board?" before just hopping on the boat. It's part of boating ettiquette. Boaters spend an inordinate amount of time swabbing decks & having a guest walk across the clean white deck with either mud or grass stuck to their shoes is reason to "walk the plank"!! I'm joking, of course! Anyway, it's habit to remove our shoes so we do it in each other's homes as well, I guess.

I find it a bit amusing how worked up people get over the topic. For those of you who don't like the germ you have pets, do you hose your kids off outside before allowing them in the house after a good game of touch football on a rainy Sunday afternoon, & for the you put your purse on the floor & then plop it down on your kitchen counter/table? For those of you who don't want to remove your shoes...I have a question.

My Dad would never remove his shoes when he came inside my home. I finally had a little father/daughter spat with him over the issue. He told me, "Patsy (his nickname for me), when I take off my shoes I feel less in charge, more vunerable, & less in stature & I don't like it!" I never asked Dad to take off his shoes again.

Do any of you feel that way?


    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 2:45PM
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Shoes on is fine at my house but I try to be sensitive to friends who prefer shoes off. That said, those friends need to be equally sympatico. I once met several girlfriends out for a swank lunch. One of the four insisted (on the way) that we stop at her new home for a tour. I hadn't planned on this and wore heels with long slacks. When she requested shoes off and we complied, my slacks dragged on the ground and I felt very sloppy. I was embarrassed and have politely refused invitations to her house since then.
If you are shoes off only, please make sure that all guests have advance notice to avoid similar embarrassment.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 11:32PM
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You were embarrassed because your slacks dragged the floor? Why not just hold them up or roll them up or just laugh about it? You are amongst friends, why would something like that be embarrassing?

And you are willing to give up on a friendship because of this??? Repeatedly refusing invitations is a quick way to lose a friend. Wow, they must not be people you are very comfortable with much less friends.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2008 at 10:18AM
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well... a few more posts and this maxes out and can die....

(150 is the limit, right?)

    Bookmark   September 11, 2008 at 11:08AM
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And yes, I am very judgmental in this regard -- nothing wrong with that. If you wear the same shoes in your home that you do outside, you are a dirty person.

LOL! Well, I do feel like I want to wash my soul after reading some of these responses!

    Bookmark   September 11, 2008 at 11:11AM
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Yup, just another post and this thread should be DEAD!

    Bookmark   September 11, 2008 at 8:40PM
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