4 Tips On Basic Showing Etiquette For Sellers

Real Estate Agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices

Ready to sell your Salt Lake City luxury home, Draper 2story, Sandy rambler, Herriman ranch, South Jordan townhome, Holladay luxury estate? Putting your house on the market will most definitely invite a disruption and inconvenience for your life and that of your family, as well as a multitude of varying opinions, including criticism.

You will have Realtors and their buyers show up at the wrong time. They will ask you questions you were not prepared to answer. Buyers or their children will accidentally knock over a plant or something of more value. The Realtor will accidentally let your cat out or lock the garage door that you don't have a key for.

I can attest that these things happen because my clients and I have done all of these things and other agents and their buyers have done these things and more to my listings. Although not intentional, it happens.  This can be aggravating, it WILL be aggravating.  Expect it. Plan for it. But, whatever you do... DO NOT get angry at the buyers and their agents. It just might be those buyers, with their Realtor help, that will write an offer on your home.  And, especially in this market, you can't afford to burn bridges.


Here are some basic tips for showing etiquette that will help you survive the selling process:

1) A Realtor and their buyers are late for a scheduled appointment:

THIS IS GOING TO HAPPEN! Unless the agent is several hours late without notice, or you have some kind of emergency, just grin and bear it. Agents do their best to schedule showings and sometimes we'll be early and sometimes we will be late for a multitude of reasons. For your own sanity, leave the house a half hour before the showing and plan not to come back for a half hour after the showing. Whatever you do, don't cop an attitude with the agent or buyers. You never know, they could have been caught behind a traffic accident or simply had a difficult time getting into the last home, both of which are out of their control.

2) A Realtor or their client cause damage to your property:

Accidents happen. So, if you have something of value that you don't want to risk damage to - remove it from your home and place it in storage to protect it.  Otherwise, know anything in the home is at risk. Unless the agent or buyer was grossly negligent and it caused significant damage, just let it go.

In regards to pets, it’s best to keep them in a secure location, like a crate. Assume buyers are going to want to see every room of the house before they buy it, including closets. Doors will get opened and will get left opened. So, keep your pets locked up or remove them from the house altogether.

3) A Realtor and their buyers show up without an appointment:

This doesn't happen often but, occasionally, you will have a Realtor and their buyer show up with having made a previous appointment.  Maybe the Realtor was showing in the neighborhood and drove by your home (they didn't make an appointment at your home because it didn't match certain specifications that the buyer had requested) and the buyer LOVED the looks of your home and really wanted to see it.  In this market, you can't afford to miss a potential showing to a ready and eager buyer.  Even though, it's extremely difficult, have your home ready at a moments notice at all times, if possible.

Ask the Realtor for a business card so your Realtor can get feedback from them later.  If possible, have the Realtor use your lockbox so their information is stored.  If you absolutely cannot accommodate the showing, be courteous and ask them to please, please reschedule.

4) You insist on being present during all showing:

It is always best to leave your home for a showing.  This allows the buyer to feel comfortable in really looking at every aspect of your home and it will be difficult for them to visualize themselves living in the home if you are present. 

However, if you insist on being present or you simply can't leave for a particular showing, it’s best to only speak when spoken to. If you are asked questions, be direct with your answers and certainly be courteous.  If you have nothing to say that will help sell the house, say nothing. Don't follow a buyer around your home, allow the Realtor to take them through.  A buyer needs to feel like they can speak candidly about your home.  Don't be offended if you hear something negative... remember how many homes you saw prior to finding the right one.

Bottom line... it is not easy opening your doors and letting people into your home but, if you can prepare yourself ahead of time with these tips, it will make it a bit less painful.





Comments (3)

Bryan Cerny
Rose & Womble Realty - Chesapeake, VA

Nice reminders!!!  And very well put...like the good logic and common sense.  Will have to share with my sphere.



Mar 16, 2011 04:41 AM
Leigh Ann Holman
Leigh Ann Holman - Century 21 Glover Town & Country - Clarksville, AR
REALTOR - Century 21, River Valley, Arkansas (479)774-5166

Well Spoken!!

Expect it. Plan for it.   Nothing is going to go without flaw!  Very good tips, Linda!

Mar 16, 2011 04:49 AM
Linda Secrist
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Holladay, UT

Reminders that, I believe, every seller needs to be offered. Thank you for the responses.

Mar 16, 2011 04:53 AM