Touring a Property in Shifts . . . Is That What You're Saying?!?

Industry Observer with RETIRED / State License is Inactive Inactive License Oregon

There's nothing that surprises me in real estate anymore.  This evening was no exception.  After receiving a call from a buyer on a property they want to tour, I contacted the listing agent via email.  

Keep in mind, there is a tenant in one of the units (it's a duplex) and one unit is vacant.  There are ABSOLUTELY NO SHOWING INSTRUCTIONS ON THE LISTING SHEET.

This is what I received after I emailed the listing agent about showing the property:

"You can show the main floor unit using the RMLS lock box. The lower unit is occupied and shown by appointment if there is interest after viewing the main floor.  I hope this works for you.  Let me know if there are questions and the date you will show."

So I write email back:

"I'd prefer not have to go back twice, and without talking to the buyers, I suppose they would like to see both units at the same time as well. I realize the tenant is less inconvenienced by lookie-loo's that way. But, on the other hand, wouldn't you like to "convenience" a potential buyer as opposed to inconvenience a tenant!? "

REMEMBER, I don't have showing instructions on the listing sheet, only instruction to call LA.  I have no idea about showing the property other than the above-communication thus far.  He did write:  "I hope this works for you.  Let me know if there are questions . . . "


This is what I got back:

"Sorry, thats the arrangement we have with the remaining tenant during these last few days of his tenancy. He will be out on the 23rd."


Why the cloak and dagger crap about "If you like the main floor unit , , , click your heels twice, blow the thistles off a dandelion, bow to Mecca, burn three candles to the Virgin Mary . . . and then you can see the lower unit."

Posted by



Carla Muss-Jacobs has RETIRED effective May 1, 2018

Representing Buyers in the Portland Metro Real Estate Market | Clackamas Multnomah and Washington Counties | Since 1999

Carla Muss-Jacobs, REALTOR®, ABR, CEBA, ePro
Principal Broker/Owner ~~ INACTIVE

Carla Muss-Jacobs' retirement became effective May 1, 2018

Direct: 503-810-7192 


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use your mouth words to commnicate fully and effectively
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John Souerbry
Cordon Real Estate - Fairfield, CA
Homes, Land & Investments

I would have replied with invisible ink that would decoded with lemon juice and decoded with a top secret pinky ring.

Feb 13, 2012 04:54 PM #1
Marie Graham
Owner, The Refreshed Home White Plains NY - White Plains, NY
Westchester County Interior Decorator, Home Stager

WHAT, isn't scavenger-hunting a CE requirement??

Feb 13, 2012 04:58 PM #2
Elite Home Sales Team
Elite Home Sales Team OC - Corona del Mar, CA
A Tenacious and Skilled Real Estate Team

There are some important times to show and miss those and the property may sit for a long time.

Feb 13, 2012 04:59 PM #3
Iris Stuart
none - Santa Rosa, CA

What a lousy communication style.  If it weren't for the fact that your clients want to see the property, you'd probably just walk away and ignore this property.

The timing of your blog coordinates with my frustrating search for a condo recently for a client.  I've come to the conclusion that many purported sellers really don't want to sell.  Or their agents don't.  Impossible viewing schedules, appointments required for vacant & empty properties, no pictures or poor photos... the list goes on. Its very frustrating to see a listing on the MLS with over 200 DOM, 1 photo of the front, conflicting viewing instructions (go direct/no lock box), and the agent doesn't return emails, text messages or phone calls.  At that point there isn't anything to do but move on to the next home.

Feb 13, 2012 06:24 PM #5
Allison Stewart
St.Cloud Homes - Saint Cloud, FL
St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904

Ah Carla-they know not, with whom they are messing.  Sprinkle the email with fairy dust, call the agents Broker, and tell him you will be showing BOTH units and gave notice yesterday of your desire to do so.  Then see if the magic happens!

If not, you can always resort to using pins and dolls!  LOL

Good Luck.

Feb 13, 2012 10:45 PM #6
Charita Cadenhead
Keller Williams Realty - Birmingham, AL
Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama)

Seems to me if it's not available to show then it shouldn't be in the MLS.  Kinda of like Paula's Hataway's house.  Listed but not available.

Feb 13, 2012 10:57 PM #7
Brenda Mullen
RE/MAX Access - Schertz, TX
Your San Antonio TX Real Estate Agent!!

Obviously he likes to do everything in pieces...showings and giving instructions.  Each time you ask, you get a piece of the a, NOT!

Feb 14, 2012 12:02 AM #8
Peter Michelbach
International, IT
i Sell Real Estate

Carla, that is meschugge from that other agent, I believe...karma will prove. Take care. Have a happy V day....romance, joy ...just be happy


Feb 14, 2012 12:06 AM #9
Michelle Gibson
Hansen Real Estate Group Inc. - Wellington, FL

Carla - Not sure why so many agents make things so complicated.

Feb 14, 2012 01:44 AM #10
Marge Piwowarski
Phoenix AZ Horse Property - Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix AZ Horse Property, LLC

Tenants are blocking short sales and even a few lender owned sales all over our region.  I have given up trying to show them.  If there are homes to show that are roughly equivalent, I skip all the tenanted ones. 

Feb 14, 2012 08:03 AM #11
Juli Vosmik
Dominion Fine Properties - Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale/Cave Creek, AZ real estate 480-710-0739

Carla - I literally UGH'ed out loud on this one.  As you said, one simple, at this time we are....However after the 23rd........  Is there a full moon out?  I've have a few moments like that the last couple of days.

Feb 14, 2012 01:52 PM #12
Connie Harvey
Pilkerton Realtors - Brentwood, TN
Realtor - Nashville TN Real Estate

Carla, some agents just don't get it. Then they wonder why the property doesn't sell.

Feb 15, 2012 06:58 AM #13
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

Oh, Carla~How you make me laugh!  Those darned humans. For years I've wanted to put that on a bumper sticker. Your last few lines really cracked me up. You could do real estate standup!

Feb 16, 2012 04:45 AM #14
Dawn A Fabiszak
Private Label Realty ( Denver metro area, Colorado - Aurora, CO
The Dawn of a New Real Estate Experience!

Carla ~ I'm a little confused....are you frustrated with this agent?  (wink, wink) lol  I love your rant!!  Agents like that live in their own little world.  But I have to give you kudos for your comment.  wouldn't you like to "convenience" a potential buyer as opposed to inconvenience a tenant!?  You think he would have gotten a clue then.

Feb 17, 2012 09:19 AM #15
Kasey & John Boles
Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - - Boise, ID
Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties

It's pretty common here with investment properties to make an offer "subject to viewing the property" so that only serious buyers will want to look and to not bug the tenants.  Sometimes it works, sometimes I think it is a big detriment to the seller.  Tenants are a tough situation, they often dont' have any motivation to show.....I also like your comment that Dawn reiterated as well. So did you show it and sell it? -Kasey

Feb 17, 2012 12:57 PM #16
Nevin Williams
Sierra Pacific Mortgage Raleigh - Raleigh, NC
Raleigh Mortgage Pro

Carla - good grief!  Do they want to sell the thing or not?!  It would be nice if the listing agent could take a moment to leave a few notes.  Geez...

Feb 17, 2012 02:27 PM #17
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

wonder how the seller likes this "arrangement" the agent has with the tenants.   I talked to one of my sellers today.... told him tenants are pigs and must go.  we're taking it off the market until they are gone and repairs can be made. 

Feb 18, 2012 07:03 AM #18
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