Real Estate Etiquette 101. By Dan Polimino.

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty DTC

If you are going to buy real estate, sell real estate, invest or act as an agent, there really is some etiquette that goes along with the territory. I get emails and letters from buyers, agents and sellers all asking me to write about this topic. By no means am I an expert in the field of any etiquette, but some of what I am going to suggest here sounds like common sense. 


1) Even if you pull up to the house and you hate the neighborhood, please go in and see the house. I know a lot of people say, “Why would I go in when I already know that I would not live in that neighborhood?” Because the people living there have probably taken considerable time to make the home presentable, not to mention that they’ve left for a few hours just so you could see it. It’s not easy having your home show ready particularly if you have kids or other challenges. I try to show everyone that I respect them and even if the buyer will not go in the home, I as the Realtor do and leave my card.


1) Buyers change their mind, your schedule gets undone, and things happen. If this is the case, please call into the showing desk and cancel the showing. Even if it’s an hour before the scheduled showing, a cancellation call really help the seller. Better yet, when you cancel, give them a reason. This lets the seller know that there was no showing and why.

2) Leave a card. This has been a long time practice of Realtors, but I am still amazed at how many don’t do it. We all know that when we leave a card, the seller can come home and have some peace of mind that all of their hard work was not in vain.

3) Feedback is a must. I have written about this before, but I think the industry would be amazed at how many more homes all of us would sell if we just submitted feedback on every showing. It’s the only tool we have to make adjustments to what the market is telling us.


1) The home must be show ready. Let’s be honest: if you think it’s ok to leave your home looking like a tornado hit it, then you are better off declining the showing. A house that looks like a disaster has little chance to sell.

2) Don’t be home for the showing, if at all possible. Being home is uncomfortable for the buyer and it takes away from the showing. 

Dan Polimino is a Realtor with Keller Williams DTC Realty. He can be reached at  and 

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Raymond E. Camp
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ontario, NY
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester

I agree with everything you have said; I have a 3x5 card now that I leave for owners and send the Realtor the same information.



Jan 23, 2012 11:34 PM #1
Charlie Dresen
Steamboat Sotheby's International Realty - Steamboat Springs, CO
Steamboat Springs, CO e-Pro

Even when you think these things should be a given, they are not. Thanks for the reminders that everyone should take a moment to read, and re-read weekly, monthly or however frequently necessary to commit these simple, but respectful actions to memory and then action!

Jan 23, 2012 11:34 PM #2
Captain Wayne - Rowlett Real Estate School
REcampus Fully Accredited Florida ONLINE & Classroom Training in Destin, Pensacola Florida - Panama City Beach, FL
Rowlett Real Estate School / Owner and Instructor

Good Morning Daniel, thank you for the etiquette tips for buyers, sellers and agents.

Jan 23, 2012 11:34 PM #3
Lisa Von Domek
Lisa Von Domek Team - Dallas, TX
....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless!

Good morning Daniel,

Wonderful list.  I would add (regarding feedback) to leave useful/descriptive feedback, not just "buyer didn't care for the home".

Jan 23, 2012 11:38 PM #4
Carol Zingone
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Florida Network Realty - Jacksonville Beach, FL
Global Realtor in Jax Beach, FL - ABR, CRS, CIPS

Don, I agree; however, I had, on occasion, yielded to a buyer's request not to view a home. Why? If they don't like the outside, they are not going to fall in love with the interior enough to overcome the original objection.

Jan 23, 2012 11:43 PM #5
Annette Bates

When my buyers don't want to go in I, at least, open the door and leave my card.  If we're in a hurry I have on occasion stuck my card in the door so they know someone came by.  I hate when my seller calls to tell me no one showed up for a showing and didn't cancel.

Jan 24, 2012 02:50 AM #6
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