Showing Without An Agent

Real Estate Agent with Las Cruces Homes and Land

This is something that I'm seeing repeatedly now in some of the real estate groups on Facebook..and it's gotten me a little upset. Here's the scenario:

A buyer's agent calls a seller's agent to show a home. The buyer's show up to see the house WITHOUT THE AGENT. The seller usually lets them in to view the house.


How in the world would a buyer's agent think this was remotely an OK thing to do? My head is swirling with what could go wrong - including the "buyers" not being real buyers and only have bad intentions.

SELLERS: Under NO circumstances should you allow a potential buyer into your home without their agent.

1. If you are home when a REALTOR® comes knocking, ask them to retrieve the key from the lockbox. If they say they don't have their Active Key with them, do not let them in. (The Lockbox gives us a record of who has accessed the box and your home in case something happens.) Call your agent and let them know.

2. Do not allow "buyers' into your home without their agent. In one recent scenario, the buyers had their agents cards to show the seller. "Well, if they've got their agent's card, it should be ok." Agents leave their cards all over town as advertising. Anyone can pick those up.

BUYERS: Under no circumstances should you be viewing homes without your agent!!

1. If your agent can't show you a home, ask them to provide you with another agent in their office who can. If your agent repeatedly doesn't have time to show you homes, it's time to find another agent.

2. Do NOT approach sellers who have signs in their yards without an agent. They have an agent for a reason and we have legal protocols to follow. Put yourself in that seller's shoes. Would YOU want a stranger coming to your front door to see your home?

BUYER AGENTS: Why in the world would you send your client out by themselves?? Where is your head? Why would you want to put them in that kind of situation?

SELLER AGENTS: Please please please talk to your clients about letting folks in. When I was selling my personal home, I had 'buyers' show up at 7pm, asking to come in. I told them to come back with their agent another time. I never saw them again.

Have we really gotten to the point where we're just too lazy (or too busy) to take our clients out to view? If you're that busy, then you need to refer out to someone else. If you're that lazy, then you need to find something else to do.


Comments (71)

Richard Iarossi
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Crofton, MD
Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate


I can't imagine any circumstances where I would let one of my buyers preview a property without me in tow. That's not a shortcut I'm willing to take.


Jun 23, 2013 12:45 PM
MichelleCherie Carr Crowe Just Call...408-252-8900
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

I have seen buyers "show up" and expect to be shown in. My sellers are always advised to only show to people who made appointments that are with their agents.

Jun 23, 2013 01:19 PM
Phyllis Lerner call 914.438.7556
Corcoran Legends Realty - Tarrytown, NY
Corcoran Legends Realty

That's just not happening in our neck of the woods... and I would never put anyone (buyer and/or seller) in such a precarious situation...

If I cannot make it for whatever reason and my clients have to see a property when I am not available I'll make sure to ask a capable and trusted colleague of mine to accompany my clients... and to report back to me...



Jun 23, 2013 01:37 PM
John F Muscarella
Broker/Owner, Venice, FL, Florida's Suncoast

Not a good practice to start.  I had a supposed agent call me to see a listing asking me for the lockbox.  I was not in a position to verify he was a licenses agent so told him I'd meet hiim and his clients at the house.  Buyers arrived and told me he was a Realtor but did not offer his card and told me he was a part-time Realtor.  Had I let them in unattended I fear my clients home may have been harmed.  As it was they only did a quick walkthru and were gone in less than 5 minutes.

Jun 23, 2013 08:03 PM
Amanda Christiansen
Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Christiansen Group Realty

Wonderful post here Emmy!  There is NO reason a buyer should view a home without their agent present, and NO reason a seller should ever let them in.  It's that simple.  

Jun 23, 2013 09:28 PM
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

This is one subject i do cover with every new listing i get. Under no circumstance do not let anyone in without an agent and therefore do not let an agent in without an appointment that was verified through me, my office or showing desk. It seems every new listing will bring out the buyers and their agents who think it is iol to just STOP BY. 

Jun 23, 2013 10:14 PM
Michelle Francis
Tim Francis Realty LLC - Atlanta, GA
Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease


Basic common sense is key.  We are always with our buyers.  We have on occassion show homes as the seller's agent to buyers for their agent when they had a vacation conflict.  However, we don't want our sellers showing on their own or buyers visiting on their own.

As a Realtor when showing Buyers - I point out good and bad.  I want to make sure they have the best information they can to make the most informed decision for them!  I cannot do that outside a house.

All the best, Michelle

Jun 23, 2013 10:19 PM
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

Hard to believe any agent would let his or her clients go look at anything without them.

Jun 23, 2013 11:13 PM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Yes to this post and discussion. I have had to show the home to buyers when I thought the agent should be involved. However, it wasn't a deal killer. Also Greg (summer cubicle #42) points out that it is a little uncomfortable especially when conversation goes beyond being polite and we enter the business arena...

Jun 24, 2013 12:07 AM
Brian Park
Park Realty Investments - Murray, UT

And other agents ask me why i put the by appointment only rider on my signs. A business card as ID yeah those are hard to get. Caught 3 open house thieves once that were posing as an agent showing a nice couple homes, and they just happen to be passing by the open. I was holding it open for a friend with another company that had an emergency so his signs etc were out, not mine. They guy comes in and hands me one of my own business cards as his ID. They had been hitting open houses for months and could have easily used the same scam at homes with for sale signs.

Jun 24, 2013 12:15 AM
Suzanne Otto
Six Twenty Designs - Lansdale, PA
Your Montgomery County PA home stager

As a seller, I would NEVER trust a "buyer" who didn't have an agent present. They could be casing the house for a later visit...when the seller isn't home!

Jun 24, 2013 12:20 AM
Eve Alexander
Buyers Broker of Florida - Orlando, FL
Exclusively Representing ONLY Orlando Home Buyers

While I have never sent a buyer anywhere without me, there is nothing wrong about the BA asking the LA to show their fact that just may fall under a LA's fiduciary duty to the sellers...(to do all that they can to sell the seller property) 

When I read the above story, the first thing that comes to mind is that this is a "DISCOUNT AGENT" who can't be bothered because they are re-bating commission.

Eve in Orlando

Jun 24, 2013 12:25 AM
Chris and Dick Dovorany
Homes for Sale in Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero, Florida - Naples, FL
Broker/Associate at Premiere Plus Realty

I do see this happen every once in awhile.  It's when the buyer and agent are extremely tight.  The buyer wants to see the house the agent is not available.  Time constraints.  Just give the selling agent your agents card and respect that they have an agent.  If that is not respected here, everyone soon finds out about it and that selling agent is pretty much run out of town.

Jun 24, 2013 12:30 AM
Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group
Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001 - Gaithersburg, MD
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA

You make good valid point at the importance of good representation. ..great post! 

Jun 24, 2013 12:57 AM
Tod Hunt
Hunt For Homes, LLC - Medford, OR
Your real estate advocate

I'm shocked that a buyer's agent would in fact suggest to their buyers to go look on their own. I'm more inclined to believe that every one of these buyers is scamming to get access into a naive seller's home to case the place. I'm not an open house advocate any more either. Even if I'm present during the open house, you can't possibly keep an eye on multiple parties and assure that they are not lifting items from the premises. Good post however and something to be mindful of and to reminder sellers, however tempting, to resist showing their home to anyone who does not have Realtor representation.

Jun 24, 2013 01:24 AM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

95% of our sales are list them, sell them and don't have the worry, problem with a buyer's agent MIA...that lets the home buyer, other real estate listing purchaser wander on their own. Like browsing a store. But then warned get right up to the sign the purchase and sale agreement all hammered out. And then hold up, here's a dime to call me.

Jun 24, 2013 01:38 AM
Rekha Vyas
Keller Williams Realty of Brevard - Melbourne, FL

Great post Emmary. As Realtors we always educate buyers to communicate with us about homes they see on the internet or around town which they may be interested in. Now can you imagine what would happen to the negotiations if a buyers agent sends the buyers off to the listing with the listing agent and the buyers decided to purchase that home? Any smart listing agent would get a lot of information out of the buyers which would compromise negotiations for the buyer.

Jun 24, 2013 03:01 AM
Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner
Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395 - Mission Viejo, CA
Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395

I tell my sellers this all the time, although I don't think an agent has sent buyers. Sometimes they just knock on the door. Scary! 

Jun 24, 2013 03:25 AM
Bryan Robertson
Los Altos, CA

I can't imaging sending a buyer to a home without going along with them.  If it's an open house, that's one thing but going to see a home with the buyer's agent - what's that about?

Jun 24, 2013 04:39 AM
Eric Michael
Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI - Livonia, MI
Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519

Emmy, beautifully explained. There's no reason for this to happen. No way, no how. It doesn't make sense for anyone involved.

Jun 28, 2013 11:45 AM

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