Overlapping Showings – Proper Etiquette?

Real Estate Agent with Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado CRE# 40005863


This morning I was out showing homes.  Our first home to view was one that just went on the market and was open for showings beginning at 10:00am.  It is in a popular part of town and priced to sell so we jumped on it.  We knew that there were other showings scheduled at the same time, but showed up at 10:00 sharp to get a peek.


When we arrived, the front door was locked and the key was removed from the lockbox.  I rang the bell and an agent came to the door and said she was there first and we would just have to wait until she was done.  OK…….


As we waited outside in the cold, ten more people showed up to view the home.  They all asked why they couldn’t get inside and I shared the information with them.  After 15 minutes, they were becoming agitated and rang the bell again.  The Realtor came to the door and said they were not finished yet.  One male Realtor told her she had two minutes and then he was getting inside.  She told him she had the key and they weren’t going to hurry on his account. 


The Realtor and her client finally exited the home and the twelve of us crammed in to the 1,100 square foot home.  I just held one of the walls up as my client breezed through.  It was a three ring circus.  She quickly joined me and we made our escape. 


As I left, I wondered who put the first Realtor in charge.  Did she think she had “dibs” because she got there 5 minutes before the allowed showing time?  She was rude and condescending to us all.  Of course, she did not leave a card on the table because I was searching for it to find out just who she was. 


I understand that it can difficult to view a home with others in the home at the same time, but sometimes, these situations cannot be avoided and we should all be courteous to others. 


Luckily my client did not care for the home because I was notified that it went under contract within two hours.  Hmmmmmm, wonder if the listing agent should have waited until the end of the day to view all the incoming offers. 



Comments (65)

Joni Bailey
101 Main St. Realty - Huntsville, TX
Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR®

I stay in my car and wait for the one before me to finish.  In 11 years, I've never had a crowd show up, but this is a VERY small east Texas town, not Colorado or California! :)

Jan 09, 2015 04:31 AM
Belinda Spillman
Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado - Aurora, CO
Colorado Living!

Hey guys.  Just got back from another round of showings today.  One new listing had all of the showings for today show up at noon.  It was just plain silly.  We were all crowding into a small ranch style home trying to see the house through the distraction of others.  Baffles my mind.

Jan 09, 2015 05:58 AM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

That's a tough one, and I don't let anyone in under my key.  I have no idea who really is an agent, and who's not.  Listing agent should have had better control of the showings IMHO.

Jan 09, 2015 06:21 AM
Kristin Walter
Mountain Dream Real Estate, LLC - Breckenridge, CO

Sometimes the showing service will tell me if other agents are showing at the same time. Depending on the client, I agree with a lot of the previous comments, just move on to the next house. But in a hot market, if your client wants to see it...I do think there is courtesy to be extended especially during inclement weather. 

Jan 09, 2015 06:45 AM
Richard Arnold
Keller Williams Realty East Valley - Tempe, AZ
Realtor - Tempe, Chandler, Mesa, Gilbert, Phoenix

I saw this 2 years ago during summer in Phoenix.  People roasting in cars waiting their turn, and also people roasting indoors when 20 or more people are all crawing through a house at once.

At first I thought it was rude to lock other teams out - but I agree that since the agent with the rey is RESPONSIBLE for the condition of the house, that agent is justified in taking precautions by locking the doors.  Too many times, I've gone to preview a listing, and some neighbor or other agent walked in unannounced.  I certainly don't like holding the key while some other team takes their time examining the food in the pantry.

NO MORE.  I always lock the door when showing.

I'm sorry that sometimes there's a lot of traffic.  Explain it to your Buyer, and either wait it out, or come back later.  Cold?  Bring blankets.  Hot?  Bring water.

You want to be the key holder?  Show up first.  I have no problem explaining the situation to my Buyer.

Jan 09, 2015 07:12 AM
Ed (Edward) Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

I have never locked anyone out, but if I encountered someone there, I would take my people to anther part of the house and keep moving around until we saw it all.

Jan 09, 2015 08:17 AM
Jeanne Gregory
RE/MAX Southwest - Sugar Land, TX
The most important home I sell is YOURS!

At least your buyer knows they have to act fast if they find something they like.

Jan 09, 2015 09:13 AM
Shanna Day Team Leader AZ & UT - Call 480-415-7616
Keller Williams Realty EV (AZ) & Keller Williams SLC (UT) - Mesa, AZ
Top 0.33 of 1% of 79,000 AZ Realtors

Thoughts flooded my mind as I read this post.   Back a few years ago this was the case in AZ when we would get 36-40 offers all within hours of putting something on the market.   Crazy times.   My thoughts about that agent... (1) She will weed herself out because no one will want to do business with her (2)  What goes around comes around.  She won't like agents shunning her when she wants to put in an offer or get answers on their listings.     As a listing agent, I love booking showings back to back so that the agents know but that there is plenty of time for each to be courteous to each other.   I love back to back to back showings because it creates urgency and hence OFFERS.   :)   

Jan 09, 2015 09:24 AM
Susan Jacobsen
The Alliance Group Realty - Hilton Head Island, SC
20 Years Providing WOW Real Estate Service

Belinda - that situation is sooo rude and is the same as a recent listing here; list date was 12/15; private remarks said 'no showings until 12/22"- low and behold I noticed on 12/22 that it was pending; the listing agent put it under contract 12/17......just adding her to my list of people I hope my buyers don't want to buy the listing from.

I was actually previewing a home this week, another agent with whom I have a great relationship, pulled into the driveway and said he'd wait - I did a quick FaceTime with my out of town people and then explained that someone else was there to view the home. Friendly competition no matter the market is appropriate I feel badly that you had that experience.

Jan 09, 2015 09:31 AM
Raul Rodriguez
Covenant Partners Realty - San Antonio, TX
Looking out for the client's interest and not my p

Things people do to make a buck. Sorry, but I am from a generation of respecting others feelings.

Jan 09, 2015 10:07 AM
Ranee Bray
TCP Real Estate - Cedar Park, TX
North of Austin Homes

What a mess!  

I am torn.  I have always locked the door & taken the key.  So far I haven't made anyone mad & everyone else seem's to do the same thing.  Here's the reason - if I unlocked the door my MLS key is recorded, not the other 12 guys.  If my client is ready to leave I am not going to trust the other 12 guys with the house.  Each showing should be properly recorded in the lockbox.  If someone steals something, or breaks something, I don't want to be the only one "recorded" as being there. 

In a situation like this I think the listing agent should have either been on site so that no lockbox was needed.  Or, schedule appointments.  If I have a listing that I can anticipate that much interest on day 1 that's what I do.  

Jan 09, 2015 10:11 AM
Claude Labbe
RLAH / @properties - Washington, DC
Realty for Your Busy Life

It's rude.  Agents do this so they can view & tour & talk in private.

It's rude.  Happened to us today in DC, where it was a balmy few degrees below freezing.  It was maybe 5 minutes, but when the agent came out, I pratically ripped her fingers off as I snatched the key from her.  I'd fully expected she was going to return the key to the lockbox and close it so that I'd have to register, though I did snarl that I'd already registered my card so shc could save herself the trouble. 

The home was a disaster, just a complete mess.  Evidently they didn't want us to hear the creative vision they were spinning.

It's not nice to wish ill on others, but I hope when they got to their 10:30 showing, then she got to wait in the cold....

Jan 09, 2015 11:09 AM
Sybil Campbell
Fernandina Beach, FL
Referral Agent Amelia Island Florida

Belinda, I had a similar experience once with a rude REALTOR.  I never had a transaction with her thank goodness.

Jan 09, 2015 12:04 PM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Belinda Spillman surprised why the first agent took so long to come out of the house! And you are right, who gave her the right to stop others whereas the listing agent - even if it was not right - gave permission to all other agents to show the home to their clients? Not professional for sure!

Jan 09, 2015 03:02 PM
Marnie Matarese
Showing you the best of Sarasota!

Tough one.  I do not let others in under my key ID # unless I am willing to wait until they exit the home and I secure it.  Too risky.  Listing agent seems to have been the one most at fault.  Should have either been there or staggered appts.

Jan 09, 2015 08:44 PM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

I think the fact that it was freezing and the agent was rude was wrong in this particular case.  That being said, if someone is showing the house already when I show up for my scheduled appointment on time, I will knock on the door and let the agent know I am there and then we will wait.  If we have another appointment right after that one that we also need to get to, I may indicate we do have a time constraint, but they were there first, so they can finish up. 

The other day it was freezing out and my clients and I got to a house only to find another agent inside.  I knocked to let her know we were waiting and she was quite gracious and told us to come on in; that they were already done with the downstairs and we should feel free to look around while they went upstairs since she didn't want us to freeze.  Now that's the way to do it.

Jan 09, 2015 09:44 PM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

If this agent was able to hold lions at bay with her tactics, bravo to her. On the flip side however, wheres the love? The Real Estate trenches teach much..yes?

Jan 09, 2015 11:23 PM
Belinda Spillman
Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado - Aurora, CO
Colorado Living!

Hey Guys.  Out here in the wild west we seldom see electronic lockboxes.  We still use the combo or numeric lockboxes so there is no record electronically who opened the house up.  

Jan 10, 2015 12:37 AM
Jim Paulson
Progressive Realty (Boise Idaho) www.Progressive-Realty.info - Boise, ID

Great reading the differences of opinion on this.

Belinda, I highly suggest stepping up and getting the electronic keyboxes.  

Jan 10, 2015 03:44 PM
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

If there are several agents intending to show at the same time, the time slots need to be tighter and one at a time.  Also the listing agent needs to be there to verify that it is agents and their buyers, not just someone off the street.  Otherwise, how would you know who was in the house! Scary thought!

Jan 11, 2015 09:35 AM