Showing Restrictions

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs TX Broker 0513551

Showing Restrictions

I was scheduling showings this weekend for a couple of potential buyers. I selected the properties and called the showing service to set up times to show them. In this market, I'm always amazed by the showing restrictions. I was told the seller requires a 48-hour notice and a 30-minute showing window for all appointments and the home is vacant! I passed on showing it.

As a heavy listing agent (75+ per year), I understand there are times when restrictions are necessary due to special circumstances such as a baby, home schooling, elderly or sick occupants, etc.

However, if a seller makes the home too difficult to show, busy agents will pass it up. If you have to have notice, ask your agent to put the restriction and reason in the private remarks section of MLS. Most of us are very understanding and will try to accommodate the need for advance notice.

Try not to reduce the showing window to less than 2 hours. The amount of time a buyer spends in a property varies with their interest. If your home is the fifth showing of the day, it is very difficult to plan on a 30-minute window.

Buyers need to understand that it's not always possible to show a home at the last minute as well. Routes need to be set up and showings scheduled in advance.

A little planning and courtesy can go a long way for both parties!

Posted by


Tom Branch and Gina Branch, The Branch Team with RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs, service the greater North Dallas suburbs including Dallas, Plano, Allen, McKinney, Frisco, Lewisville, and Carrollton.  While Gina concentrates on traditional listings and buyer/tenant representation, Tom specializes in assisting distressed homeowners to avoid foreclosure.  Tom and Gina have published two books (Achieving Rock Star Status and The Field Guide to Short Sales) and are available for speaking engagements in the greater Dallas - Fort Worth Metroplex. Subscribe to The Branch Team Blog.

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Re-Blogged 5 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Maureen McCabe 09/21/2010 02:32 AM
  2. Susan Stevenson 09/21/2010 07:28 AM
  3. David Robinson 09/21/2010 11:19 AM
  4. Michele Reneau 09/22/2010 03:42 AM
  5. Brad Rachielles 09/22/2010 04:59 AM
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Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA
Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate - Wilmington, DE
Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS

Many years ago we had to pick up keys to show some properties, but thankfully, we have the electronic lock boxes now. And I can check, when the owner says there was supposed to be a showing and there is no sign anyone was there, not a business card in sight. I can look online and see that the lockbox was accessed and who it was that was there. Still, that's not an excuse not to leave a card.

Sep 22, 2010 09:57 AM #134
Keith Lutz
Keller Williams Metropolitan - Long Valley, NJ


In Charlotte our MLS uses the CSS service, the first year or two, you bought into it.  But a few years back the MLS Board decided to buy it for everyone.

It is an incredible feature combined with Supra Keys!  Charlotte is very progressive board of REALTORS, and I thank them for that!

Sep 22, 2010 09:58 AM #135
Diane Schubach
Laffey Fine Homes - Port Washington, NY

This is a big problem as far as I'm concerned. As buyer's agent, I'm convinced that sellers are not aware, nor have they ever had a conversation with their listing agent about the importance of making a home easy to show. There is so much inventory in my area that if a buyer can't get in on one weekend, they will rarely ask to see it the following weekend. Newer inventory has already hit the market.

If the agent is purposely making a home difficult to show so that they can get the whole commission, then that's a whole different issue. 

Sep 22, 2010 10:30 AM #136
Jayson Holland - Denver, CO
Jay Holland

Hey guys this is a two-way street. The co in co-op stands for cooperation!

Obviously Buyers brokers cant be restricted to ridiculous requirements (48 hour notice, 30 minute window is EXTREME) but Sellers can expect to receive a little bit of courtesy and some reasonable notice, if they ask for it.

It all comes down to working together and using a little common sense. If the listing broker sets the expectation with their client at the time of the listing to try to accommodate as many showings as possible, buyers mostly understand scheduling requirements if there are reasonable restrictions. 

Key word being reasonable! 

"We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately". ~ Ben Franklin. 


Sep 22, 2010 11:01 AM #137
Francisco Garcia, Jr.
FG Real Estate - Scottsdale, AZ

Good information on this post from both sides

Sep 22, 2010 12:26 PM #138
Ty Lacroix
Envelope Real Estate Brokerage Inc - London, ON

Tom. it amazes me with restrictions and people ask why their home is not selling!


Sep 22, 2010 11:04 PM #139
Lynn M. Bower
John R Wood Realtors - Naples, FL

Grrrrr....... I would opt not to show unless there was something about that property no other listing  had. Our inventory is healthy enough now unfortunately that if one doesn't fit the bill another one will. As far as limited service agreements these people give me ulcers. Why do sellers think this is the best way to go? It's against the Code of Ethics but I would love to shed some light about them to the sellers on the non-service these agencies provide and how it hurts their chances of selling times two. Most of these agencies are on the east coast of FL or out of the area and we are on the west coast....hello? Houston we have a problem. Thanks for your rant.

Sep 22, 2010 11:22 PM #140
Bill Fritts
Sibcy Cline Realtors - Blue Ash, OH

When I am listing a home and the sellers ask if they can have a two hour window before any showings, I usually tell them that they can have a 2 week window. However, it is up to how long the buyers will wait to look at the house. If they are out front and want to see it, let them see it. This is why they need to keep the house clutter free until it sells. Thanks

Sep 23, 2010 02:09 AM #141
Jamie King
Hoty Enterprises, Inc. - Huron, OH
Sandusky, OH

People are crazy aren't they?

Let's play "I can top that"! I have a seller of a vacant home that won't let me do an open house unless I ask for driver's license from anyone that comes!!!

Sep 23, 2010 05:19 AM #142
Truett Neathery
T. Neathery Appraisals - Sacramento, CA

Is this place so exclusive there are people lining up to look? What is a "Showing Service"? Are you referring to the showing requirements on the listing? Is your area so hot there is a new trade "Showing Service" ? Can I get one going in Sacramento? I could use the extra income - maybe I could franchise it all over!

Sep 23, 2010 06:04 AM #143
Latonia Parks
Top Bragg Realty, Fayetteville NC, Home of the 82d ABN DIV - Fayetteville, NC
Certified Military Relocation Expert

Amen to that.  I understand this when there is a tenant in the home but I often wonder how motivated the seller is when they have these restrictions.

Sep 23, 2010 09:42 AM #144
Rachel Reardon
RE/MAX Executive - Charlotte, NC
RE/MAX Executive

I couldn't agree with you more.  When showing 5-10-15 homes in a day...I don't have time for someone who has such restrictions unless they have a valid reason (explained) and then I will do my best to accommodate them.  

The ones that amaze me the most are the properties that have been on the market for months and months with those restrictions...easy to see why they're still on the market!

Sep 23, 2010 11:00 PM #145
Raul Rodriguez
Covenant Partners Realty - San Antonio, TX
Looking out for the client's interest and not my p

It does make it difficult to show, and as you say you tend to NOT show...

Sep 24, 2010 01:34 AM #146
Monica Atherton
The Associates Realty Group - Temecula, CA
Your Temecula Real Estate Gal

I agree.  It gets very frustrating when trying to show 5 properties and all of them have crazy showing instructions.  If it gets too complicated, I pass.

Sep 24, 2010 04:01 PM #147
David Robinson
Lloyd Cullen Real Estate - Murrieta, CA
Call Now (877) 828-0710

I think sellers should be more open to showings on short notice, especially if they want their home sold at top dollar.

Sep 25, 2010 03:48 AM #148
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker

Sometimes there is a direct correlation between showing instructions and sellers level of motivation.

Sep 25, 2010 06:33 AM #149
Bruce Gresh
Timber Pines Neighborhood Expert

"If you have to have notice, ask your agent to put the restriction and reason in the private remarks section of MLS. Most of us are very understanding and will try to accommodate the need for advance notice."


Just because an agent has a license, ... does not automatically mean they know how to be a licensed real estate agent.

Sep 25, 2010 12:19 PM #150
Coleen DeGroff
eXp Realty - Gainesville, FL
Haile Plantation Real Estate - Gainesville FL

Tom - This drives me NUTS. YES, sometimes there are exceptions....but for goodness sakes if homes on the market are not going to be made easily available to be shown, then take it off the market.  I've heard sellers complain that 24 hours isn't enough notice....I've had sellers make faces and make nasty comments to me and my buyers when we were  10 minutes late (after seeing 10 houses) to the showing.


I don't mean to be rude, but if I call for an appointment, and I have a qualified buyer, THANK YOU seems like the appropriate response.



Sep 25, 2010 03:58 PM #151
Barbara Hensley
RE/MAX Properties - Rockwall, TX
Homes for Sale in Rockwall County, Texas

I agree!  Too many restrictions do cause busy agents to leave one off the list that is difficult.  There are many homes on the market and making the home easy to show is part of being able to compete in today's market.  There are good reasons to restrict showings, but, a strong listing agent should encourage the seller to not make it too difficult as it will result in a longer time to find the right buyer.

Sep 26, 2010 09:22 AM #153
Barbara Heise
Keller Williams Realty STL - Saint Louis, MO
Search for Homes for Sale in St. Louis

Listing agents really can help their sellers make this work better for themselves and others.  Most agents are understanding of unusual circumstances.  When these are posted in the agents comments, it is easier to work around them.  For example:  there are 1 year old twins in this home.  The mother would prefer notice the day before but please call because she really wants you to see her home and will try to work it out.

Feb 11, 2013 10:51 PM #154
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