Showing Etiquette

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage 9025089

There is little that infuriates sellers as much as a buyer's agent who makes an appointment to show their home, and then never comes, having made no effort to cancel, either by contacting an automated showing service or by calling or texting the listing agent to let her know that for whatever reason, she and her clients won't be able to make it.

This happened to my sellers during the Labor Day weekend.  They had returned from their weekend getaway early to make sure the grass was newly trimmed and the house was in perfect shape for a Sunday afternoon appointment, which had been requested weeks before.  They packed up their springer spaniel and turned on the lights for what they hoped would be a successful showing.  When they got back to the house, however, they noticed that nothing was out of place, none of the lights had been turned off, and there was no indication that anyone had entered.   They wondered whether the buyers had ever been there.

It wasn't until this morning--two days after the scheduled appointment--that the buyer's agent finally admitted, "We didn't make it to the showing," with nary a word of apology.  She simply said she wanted to reschedule for a later date, and left it at that.

Understandably, the sellers are miffed.  I don't blame them.  There can be many legitimate reasons for a missed showing appointment: the buyers have changed their minds about seeing the home; their car broke down; their child is sick; they're too tired, after having seen several other properties that day, to drive to one more; or their plans have simply changed.  I get it.

What I don't get is the lack of courtesy on their agent's part.  There's no excuse for that.

Posted by

Maureen Harmonay

Specialist in Massachusetts Country Homes,

Antique Homes, and Horse Properties



Comments (6)

Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

I have had clients find a property in mid showings and insist that they do not want to continue and have to ask them to continue as it was their request and a courtesy to finish the run. On a few occasions they found something better by continuing. I will also leave a card with a thanks on it to let the sellers know we were there.

Sep 02, 2014 12:25 AM
Maureen Harmonay
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Bolton, MA
Your Country Property Specialist, Bolton MA

Ed, those are good practices, and I'm sure they are appreciated by the respective sellers!

Sep 02, 2014 12:31 AM
Norm Padula, JD, GRI
Florida Realty Investments - Sarasota, FL
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Maureen:  I guess last minute cancellations are a fact in our industry, but any agent with a showing scheduled owes the listing agent a courtesy call if the appointment cannot be kept. It would be no surprise to me if the sellers of the listing, after having been stood up once, refuse to allow this agent to show their home in the future.

Sep 02, 2014 01:46 AM
Maureen Harmonay
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Bolton, MA
Your Country Property Specialist, Bolton MA

Yes, Sandy and Norm, all we want is a courtesy call.  It's not too much to expect, and you're right:  I'm not sure the seller will accede to this agent's next request.

Sep 02, 2014 02:28 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


I agree with you.  Courtesy is a hallmark of a good agent.  When somebody is discourteous it is a clue for me.  I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt once or twice, but after that it is over.  Here is an example that blew my mind:  Ron and I were looking at a home to purchase, and the agent at the open house, said to us, "Are you a looky loo or are you serious?" prior to entering the home.  We turned around and walked out!

I would have loved the sellers to have heard that one.  I have seen looky loos refer someone to a home...and yes, I just cannot give this person the benefit of the doubt,  A

Sep 02, 2014 03:02 AM
Maureen Harmonay
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Bolton, MA
Your Country Property Specialist, Bolton MA

Good point, Alexandra! It's hard to keep trusting someone who has already violated your trust.

Sep 02, 2014 04:08 AM