Showing Your College Residence to a Prospective Roommate

Some college students seeking housing for the next academic year have in mind a place to live but have not yet selected roommates. Therefore, it is necessary to select a roommate as close to the housing deadline as possible and to show them the apartment, dorm room or house that might be their home next year.

Here are some things you should do before and while you’re showing your residence to a prospective roommate.

Before the person even shows up at your front door, you should let your current roommates know that someone is coming to look at the residence. This is just common courtesy that you are expecting a visitor, even if your roommates won’t be present when the person stops by. This will also give them ample time to tidy up the space.

When cleaning up your space, make sure the following is completed. This may vary depending on what kind of living area you have:

Wash all dishes in the sink

Clean any bedrooms that the prospective occupant will be able to see

Vacuum any carpeted areas

Clean the bathroom (if you are in an apartment)

Dust any furniture that requires it

Empty any full garbage cans

When it is time for your visitor to stop by, make sure you are home in plenty of time to do any last minute straightening up and prepare to let them in. Many on campus housing buildings have access systems that only allow residents in with their student identification or other special key card. Don’t leave your visitor waiting for too long if this is the case.

Show them the following aspects of your residence:

The layout of any and all rooms in your living space

Where everything is located and how much space they can expect to have

Introduce them to your current roommates, especially if any of them will be living in the same place next year.

You should also be able to answer questions regarding:

Your lifestyle (such as how much partying you do or whether or not you smoke)

Whether you are a neat freak or can be a little disorganized at times

The breakdown of chores among all roommates

Where laundry facilities are located

Any questions your visitor may have regarding similarities and differences between a prospective residence and where they are living now

If this is not the only visitor you are expecting, make sure a prospective roommate also understands this. Tell him or her that you are expecting other people (even if it’s not in the same day) and try to set up a timeline as to when you will let each other know if you’d like to be roommates. Make sure you obtain their e-mail, phone number, and Instant Messenger screen name to stay in touch with them throughout the selection process.

Roommate selection can be a long and difficult process but hopefully, an in person visit is one of the ways that will help you narrow down your choices faster and easier. With a little bit of common courtesy and willingness to tidy up, you could meet the person you will end up living with for the next nine months.

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