Showing Appointment...It’s Not Always Negotiable

Real Estate Agent with Diamond Partners Inc 00244377

Agents! Did you ever feel like you need to negotiate with a seller BEFORE you even get through the front door with a potential buyer?  Don't we do this all the time when we call to schedule showing appointments?  How often does it happen that a seller tries to finagle a different showing time?  Well, it happened to me twice today. And, I am still fuming.   

Late this afternoon I called to make appointments to show 8 properties tomorrow morning and early afternoon.  I consider this to be ample notice.  I still don't have confirmation on half of the showing appointments, but the extent of my frustration is due to sellers who think I should accommodate their schedule. 

I was expecting the listing offices to call back with confirmation and access information.  Instead, the first call was a request for me to come at noon instead of the 10:30-11:30am time range I had tried to coordinate.  "Let's see" I told the lady at the appointment desk at the listing firm representing the seller, "by noon I plan on being 3 towns away with this buyer."  She was quiet at the other end.  She understood when I told her that I have a relocating buyer who is only in town for one day and I am working geographically to cover as much territory as possible in the small window of time we have together and that all the other appointments were confirmed already and will not be changed (well, at least that was my goal).  Basically, I told her under no uncertain terms that this was a take-it or leave-it showing. I continued with my rant.  Poor lady.  I told her how I understood that everybody likes to sleep in on a Saturday morning and if I had it my way I would too.  However, this is the time my buyer requested to start out - and buyers are like gold these days so we must ALL be accomodating them.  She promised to see what she could do.  She pulled through.  Moments later she called me back to let me know I was all set to go.  Great ...but it doesn't end here.  

This evening I received a call from a listing agent of one of the other properties I am trying to show in the same neighborhood tomorrow morning during the same time range.  Well, there must be something in the water in this neighborhood.  The listing agent explained that the sellers were contacted earlier in the day by her office for a showing appointment, but tomorrow won't work.  She advises me that the wife is moving out tomorrow and there will be chaos.  Huh?  Well, I actually have two issues with what she was telling me.  First, "the wife" is moving out separately from the husband?  Can I assume this is a divorce?  Now, I may be premature in thinking that this is THE house for my buyer, but now I am already planning my own negotiating strategy for this property.  Shouldn't that remain a confidential piece of information between the sellers and their agent?  Now I have useful in possible negotiation.  And, back to not being able to accommodate us.  Is it not possible to show the house anyway as long as everybody promises to stay out of the way?  "Can you try to bring the buyer by next week instead?"  Once again I had to explain that this is a take-it or leave-it showing ...the buyer will be in town for only one day.  By the end of the night I still had not heard back from the listing agent for that property.  I pretty much have written that one off.  

If sellers want to sell their homes they need to make their places available to show when it's convenient to the buyer, sometimes even on a moment's notice.  These were not last minute showing requests.  The listing agreement/contract states that these sellers and their listing agents have agreed to cooperate with other agents to sell these homes and to even pay me if I can get the job done.  But, they are not allowing me to do my job.  In this challenging real estate market, it seems sellers are practically begging their listing agents to find creative ways to increase showings, get offers and get their homes sold.  Yes, sellers are begging.  And, beggars shouldn't be choosy. 

Posted by



Carol Culkin - Licensed Real Estate Salesperson for ReeceNichols Real Estate, is your source for real estate in Overland Park and the bordering cities of Leawood, Olathe, Mission, Miriam, Lenexa and Shawnee, Stillwell and Spring Hill. Carol has been ranked as an award winning agent and offers her clients over 10 years of real estate experience.


Member of National Associations of Realtors®, Member of Kansas Associations of Realtors®, Member of Kansas City Regional Associations of Realtors®, Member of Heartland Multiple Listing Services, Accredited Buyer's Representative (ABR), Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES), Red Cross Volunteer - Greater Kansas City Chapter, Supportor of Cross-Lines Community Outreach.


ReeceNichols Real Estate

8001 College Blvd Suiite 100

Overland Park, KS 66210

Office: (913) 451-4415
Cell: (913) 333-8310  



Comments (33)

Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Eighteen Years Experience in Brevard County

Sellers are always wanting it their war...even in a buyer's market. Appease them and they lose sales! Their agent needs to be a bit more take charge!

Nov 13, 2009 11:52 PM
Dan Cronin
Ocala, FL

I appreciate your sentiment and agree that serious Sellers need to be accomodating to prospective buyers. That being said, I'd like to offer another point of view. If I were the listing Realtor and I heard you state that " noon I plan on being 3 towns away with this buyer", I'd be tempted to advise my Sellers that making preparations to show to your Buyer may be a waste of their time. With regards to maintaining certain information "confidential", as a Buyers agent, I wouldn't want the Sellers to know that my buyer hasn't even decided on the area they want to purchase in. Just a thought....

Nov 14, 2009 12:00 AM
Lina Robertson
Century 21 Integrity Group - Springfield, MO
REALTOR® Serving Springfield, Nixa and Ozark, MO

It boggles my mind when a seller tells me I can't show their home at a 12:00, but I can at 1:00.  I don't think they realize how much frustration it causes for us.  Sometimes I think sellers believe their home is the ONLY home I'm showing that day.  I'm surprised at how often my buyers said, "Just skip it."  Or how about when you try and try to reach someone to schedule a showing, receive no response, just skip the home and move on, only to receive a call from the seller or their agent TWO DAYS LATER asking how the showing went.  When you explain that you did not show it because you didn't receive a response, they get mad.  Well....let them.  You snooze, you lose.

Nov 14, 2009 12:09 AM
Robert Savage
Bakersfield Property Solutions - Bakersfield, CA
Bakersfield Short Sales, Property Management, Cash

We have a lot of short sales in our market and the sellers often have no real vested interest in selling their home. it can be a real crazy maker when trying to schedule appointments. On the other hand the majority of the homes we show are vacant so that is obviously much easier.

Nov 14, 2009 12:49 AM
Cheryl Ritchie
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Huntingtown, MD
Southern Maryland 301-980-7566

I think these Sellers are disqualifying  themselves as candidates for your client and that roses could be in order. They have revealed up front that they will be unpleasant to go from contract to close which is when the  real work gets done by agents,

Nov 14, 2009 01:58 AM
Charles Stallions
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pensacola, FL
850-476-4494 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.

Um, either you want to sell or not, here is my times and it really is yes or no. Don't sweat the little things.

Nov 14, 2009 02:27 AM
Satar Naghshineh
Satar - Amiri Property and Financial Services Corp. - Irvine, CA

we're lucky as most agents just put a lockbox and we just contact the sellers directly. I wonder what would happen if I took what we do here and applied it to your area.

Nov 14, 2009 02:51 AM
Virginia Hepp - Mesquite NV REALTOR
Desert Gold Realty - Mesquite NV Homes For Sale - Mesquite, NV
Mesquite NV Homes and Neighborhoods - Search MLS

Losing a showing is the worst thing a seller can do.  We get people in town to golf, sometimes they are here for just a day or two, like it so much that they want a second home.  Many pay cash.

Sellers here must be able to show the house on a moment's notice, I tell them to be ready at all times to walk out the front door when an agent calls and says they are coming over with buyers.

'You just need ONE buyer, make it easy for agents to show your home.'

Great post, Carol.

Nov 14, 2009 02:53 AM
Gerry Michaels
Glasswork Media Arts - Gettysburg, PA
GettysburgGerry Social Meida

Amazing, do they want to sell or not, and why is the other agent giving information that he/she shouldn't be. Sounds like one of those days to me

Nov 14, 2009 02:56 AM
Bob & Carolin Benjamin
Benjamin Realty LLC - Gold Canyon, AZ
East Phoenix Arizona Homes

It is very frustrating when the sellers make it so difficult -- if they want to sell , make it easy!

Nov 14, 2009 03:00 AM
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Carol, I think that word accessibility is missing from some Sellers and listing agent's dictionaries. Amazing, but true. Move on to the next house.

Nov 14, 2009 03:06 AM
Carol Pease
JP & Associates Realtors - Bastrop, TX
CRS, Broker-Associate 512-721-6320

When sellers are difficult on showings it is often  an indication that they will be unrealistic when an offer materializes. 

Nov 14, 2009 03:11 AM
Jamie Daws
Town & Country Realty, L.L.C. - Brown City, MI

I have been on both sides of the fence.  It is SO frustrating when you have the buyer, but it is also extremely frustrating when it's your Seller.  These are the Sellers that usually bounce from listing office to listing office because their house didn't get enough showings/offers. 

Nov 14, 2009 03:38 AM
Alexander Harb
Knights Investing - Mesquite, TX
Dallas, Texas Real Estate Investing

When owners of real estate sign a listing agreement, it says they will allow the home to be shown in reasonable times and days of the week., NOT at all hours of the day and every single day of the week.

On the other side of the coin, we must WORK with the owners and buyers of real estate....

If the seller does NOT want to show the house, then it MIGHT not end up being sold in the long run, because they were so hard to deal with.

It is a balancing act............. and some owners and some buyers just wobble the balance beam too much.......

It ends up being THEIR LOSS.....


Nov 14, 2009 04:10 AM
Donna Harris
Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - - Austin, TX
Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator

In Dallas, this was easy.  You go through the showing service, end of story. If someone wanted to change the appt, oops, didn't get the message...

In Austin, we have to call the sellers of each property.  If I have to leave a message, I don't really give them a chance to say no.  If they answer, I give the time and wait.  Many have said no, and my response is, "Do you want to sell your house? My buyers are buying a house, not looking, and if your house isn't on our list, you're not getting even a possibility of an offer."  I've also just shown up like, oops I forgot you said no.

Nov 14, 2009 04:26 AM
Jennifer Fivelsdal
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 - Rhinebeck, NY
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection

Carol some sellers still don't get it;  their property sell only with good access.  This is still a buyer's market.

Nov 14, 2009 07:49 AM
John Gray
Windermere Real Estate - McKenzie Bridge, OR
McKenzie Valley Realtor

It's a buyers market!  These sellers have apparently been poorly educated by their listing agent.  It sure says something about the motivation of the sellers - and could also be an indicator of future difficulty with them.  Hope you found your out of town buyer the perfect home and acommodating sellers!

Nov 14, 2009 03:58 PM
Michelle Gibson
Hansen Real Estate Group Inc. - Wellington, FL

Carol - I've dealt with this a lot over the past two years and it is very frustrating.

Nov 15, 2009 09:18 AM
Peggy Chirico
Prudential CT Realty - Manchester, CT
REALTOR® 860-748-8900, Hartford & Tolland County Real Estate

That's why "log and go" is always music to my ears!

Nov 15, 2009 09:55 AM
Andi Grant
310-508-4354 | - Los Angeles, CA
Helping 1st time buyers and home sellers in LA!

Right now the homes that have easy access i.e. lockbox or Supra key access are the ones with over 10 multiple offers coming in within 2-3 days.  The ones that have "Appointment only" are the ones that are sitting. The listing agents who are not following up are definitely part of the problem and not the solution and its getting worse.

I called one listing agent, then text and emailed her.  I did everything but shine the bat signal in the sky to get her to call me back to schedule an appointment.  Agent remarks said "Appointment only" and "Dog that bites - do not show unless appointment."  Its been two weeks, still shows ACTIVE and no call (not that we haven't already made another offer and are in escrow anyway). It's so frustrating!! 

Los Angeles is still catching on to the showing services idea.  We need it with everything being spread out so far. 

Nov 16, 2009 08:30 AM