Showing with Courtesy

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty Partners ~ 678.462.1191 Georgia Broker 175548

Showing with Courtesy

Anytime a homeowner puts their home on the market, they are normally given a stern warning by the Listing Agent of their home that they need to have their home in Model Home condition at a moment's notice for a potential buyer showing; clean the Kitchen, make the beds, vacuum the carpet, pick up the clothes, etc.   I've actually called many sellers and you can hear the panic in their voices.  I try to give as much notice as I can and most of the time I call the night before the showing to schedule.  Unfortunately, this is not always possible, things change, and you can't always predict when you will be showing a home in advance.  That's just how life works.  

When you have a buyer looking in a couple of different areas, you don't know what time you will arrive at a home for a showing.  Many agent schedule a big block of time when they call the seller to schedule a showing; 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  That's five hours of shopping, sitting in the car, going out to eat, etc.  It use to be that a seller could tell when the house was shown due to the agent leaving their business card to show they had been at the house.  Now, with the lockboxes notifiying the agents that the house has been shown, many agents no longer feel the need to leave a card.

I now have a policy of scheduling a big block of time like the rest of the agents, but I tell the seller that I will call when they are the next home on the list.  This gives the seller the heads up that I should be there within 15 to 20 minutes.  If I'm showing in another part of town, I tell them it will be about 30 minutes before I arrive.   When the seller has a dog or young children, this courtesy to the seller is always appreciated. 


Posted by

Laura Andersen, REALTOR®, Associate Broker / Keller Williams Realty Partners





 Laura Andersen | Associate Broker at KW Realty Partners |




Comments (46)

Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

It can be fun or stressful...We have the pwoer to set it up and command the outcomes

Mar 15, 2014 10:34 PM
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

I do not allow agents to call my sellers. Buyer agents can easily set up showings with my showing service online 24 hours a day or by calling during business hours. All instructions and disclosures are there for them. For occupied homes we set showings in 1 hour blocks, 5 hours is too much time for a seller with kids. 

Mar 15, 2014 10:38 PM
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Laura, I agree! Letting the seller know you are on the way doesn't leave them hanging for five hours.

Mar 15, 2014 10:54 PM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

In our area, we don't contact the sellers direct unless it's a FSBO. All showings go through the system or their listing agents and a 30 minute block if time is not unusual for a first showing

Mar 15, 2014 11:30 PM
Stacey Williams
Alpharetta, GA
Experienced Metro Atlanta Real Estate Agent

Laura, great post and awesome showing etiquette. I try to give the a hour window and call when I am on the way.

Mar 16, 2014 12:15 AM
Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living

Laura, for owner occupied homes, I usually schedule in blocks of  1 hour, vacant homes I give a little more time.  Seems backwards, but I like to mix up occupied and vacant homes and figure with vacant homes I have a little more leeway so that I can easily change the showing order if I run late for an occupied home. 

Mar 16, 2014 12:16 AM
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Hi Laura, yes when I'm ready for the next showing, I always  give a call to the owner to let them know we are on our way. Most of the time, they have already left the house.  I had to do a double take on your profile photos, as the kitchen photo looks like my kitchen!

Mar 16, 2014 12:34 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

When I schedule showings, I schedule them for one hour only -- I make sure to map the route out before hand, then add in travel time and15 minutes average per home for viewing. That seems to work out well.  I dont think it's necessary to tell a seller to leave their home for 6 hours if there's only going to be a 15 minute showing.

Mar 16, 2014 12:43 AM
Jeanne Gregory
RE/MAX Southwest - Sugar Land, TX
The most important home I sell is YOURS!

If I am showing a lot of homes, I usually try to do a two hour window.  If it's just one house, maybe even 30 minutes.  New clients are sometimes a crap shoot as you just don't know how long they are going to linger.  And those who want to spend 25 minutes in a house explaining why they don't want to buy it are prodded to move along.  5 hours is just not acceptable. 

Mar 16, 2014 02:44 AM
Laura Andersen
Keller Williams Realty Partners ~ 678.462.1191 - Woodstock, GA
A HomeSOLD Name (678)462-1191 Woodstock, Georgia

Please keep in mind that the Atlanta area has one of the highest concentrations of corporate relocations in the country.  When you have a buyer that is being relocated, they sometimes have just a weekend to search for both an area to live in and a home.  It can easily take 45 mintues to get to a different section of Atlanta, not including any traffic.  You also have to factor in stopping to get something to eat.  Based on this situation, a five hour timeframe is not unusual. 

If you have a buyer that already knows what area they want to be in, it is a completely different set of circumstances for scheduling showings. 


Mar 16, 2014 03:11 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Last minute requests for showing are a discourtesy by agents who don't make their appointments in advance. I almost never go out with a serious buyer on a whim and I typically know at least one day in advance  if I'll be out with a client. I think that we do this to home sellers is shameful.

Mar 16, 2014 03:26 AM
Laura Andersen
Keller Williams Realty Partners ~ 678.462.1191 - Woodstock, GA
A HomeSOLD Name (678)462-1191 Woodstock, Georgia

HELP!  I'm getting a bit of a backlash here.  As stated in this article by Money Magazine, Atlanta has been the #1 relocation city in the country for the last four years.  Based on a buyer coming in from out of state not being familiar with any areas of Atlanta, it's understandable they want to see several sections in the short time they are here to help with their comfort level.  They may be able to see homes on the internet, but you can't tell from this photo what the area looks like.


Mar 16, 2014 03:27 AM
Greg Mona
eXp Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Professional Real Estate Representation for YOU!
Laura - I agree that you should be able to narrow your desired showing window to one half hour, and maybe an hour if you are viewing multiple homes before hand. Anything beyond that is unreasonable, yes we get 2 and 3 hour time window requests fairly often. Go figure!
Mar 16, 2014 05:37 AM
Stefan Winter
Real Estate in IL & NV | Owner of Real Estate Web Tech | Daily Vlogger - Las Vegas, NV
Owner - Winter Group & Real Estate Web Tech

With all the forclosures the last few years, a lot of homes have been unoccupied and showing were not a problem. Now with the market coming back appointments are more common place again. I don't think I would ever give someone a 5-6 hour window, 2 hours max for me and if they will be home, give them a 30 minuet warning.

I do still leave a business card on the kitchen counter, just so the owners know who showed the house. 

Mar 16, 2014 06:37 AM
Sonsie Conroy
I serve buyers and sellers everywhere in San Luis Obispo County - San Luis Obispo, CA
Energetic, Enthusiastic, Knowledgeable Realtor

We're lucky that a lot of sellers in this area are happy with one hour's notice. Of course, I do my best to call ahead by at least a day, but sometimes that doesn't work out.

I've been on the "receiving end" several times when we've had our house on the market, and I hated having to skulk around either leaving home altogether or pretending to not be there so the buyers could have some privacy. I certainly understand that need, but having my "skulk time" reduced to just an hour or so would be very nice!

Mar 16, 2014 08:34 AM
Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living

Hi Laura, I came back to check on some of the other comments and just saw your response about the time it takes to drive between some of the homes.  That of course makes a huge difference.  You don't want to be too early nor do you want to be late, so it's definitely better to plan for some extra time. I guess those of us in more rural settings who don't have to deal with either long distances or traffic jams did not realize this.

Mar 16, 2014 10:11 AM
Barbara Altieri
Better Homes and Gardens RE Shore and Country Properties - Shelton, CT
REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale

Laura -- Showing courtesy is always welcomed. I have some agents call when they are running late  which is much appreciated...... but then there are those who don't show at all and never call after I have had the family and dogs vacate the house.


Mar 16, 2014 10:39 AM
John Jonas
ReplaceMyself - Virtual Assistants - Highland, UT
John Jonas

Great insight Laura. And surely everybody appreciates some courtesy...

Mar 16, 2014 04:38 PM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Rising to the occasion to complete the mission is expected...Lets all do our parts

Mar 16, 2014 11:51 PM
Donna Foerster
HomeSmart Realty Group - Parker, CO
Metro Denver Real Estate Assistant

Laura~ Selling a house always works best when everyone is playing by the same rules. Unfortunately, that doesn't always happen. It's our job as the listing agent to set the expectations for our sellers.

Mar 17, 2014 04:09 AM