Are Buyers Agents Required To Follow "ALL" The Showing Instructions?

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP 0524642

Before showing a buyer a home I have to "schedule an appointment" and write down the showing instructions. I also have certain obligations as a Reatlor (per our Code of Ethics). to be honest, I do my best to be considerate and polite when entering someones home. Sometimes we Realtors get so busy we forget that the listing isn't just a product, but a place where people come "home to."

Ordinary showing instructions include requests to turn off all the lights, lock all the doors and other similar statements. Every once in a while I get a request that makes me wonder about practicality. Yesterday when showing I was given instructions to 'text the listing agent' when done showing the property. This is a very unusual request and to be honest, I forgot to do it. When you're showing homes you're thinking of directions, clients, setting alarms, locking doors, discussing prices and so much more.

The purpose of the request was so that the seller would know when the showing had concluded. Maybe in this particular situation it was important to the seller, but realistically, it's micromanaging and unnecessary.

A showing can last 5 minutes, or it can last 20 minutes. It's simple, drive back in 15 or 20 minutes and if no one is home, it's fine to return. Expecting every agent to "text" as they are leaving isn't practical and it shouldn't be a "demand."

Are buyer's agents required to "text the listing agent?" My answer is a resounding no. Requesting is one thing, demanding is ridiculous. What next? An exit interview with the seller?

In this situation the listing agent called me an hour later upset because his seller thought we were still in the home. The misunderstanding could have been avoided had the seller simply left and come back in 10-20 minutes. Many Realtors can have hundreds if not thousands of showings on their listings throughout the course of the year. It isn't feasible to nail down every piece of feedback from every showing agent and it is especially ridiculous to expect a text after every showing.

Posted by


Greg Nino
, Houston area Realtor®.
Helping residential buyers, sellers and tenants 7 days a week.
Available @ 832-298-8555 

RE/MAX Compass (Formerly RE/MAX WHP)




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Dan Hopper
Keller Williams Realty Downtown LLC - Denver, CO
Denver Realtor / Author / Advocate/Short Sale

WE all do our best to follow the showing instructions.  Not so sure this texting is much to worry about.  Sellers had a showing take place.... be happy!

Aug 19, 2015 08:18 AM #1
Susan Emo
Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage - Kingston, ON
Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area

I have several Sellers who need to be texted when it is safe to return home.  Some are dealing with cancer, some have infants and others work from home.  There are many reasons they need to get back home asap so it is standard practice here.

Aug 19, 2015 08:20 AM #2
John Meussner
Mason-McDuffie Mortgage, Conventional Loans, Jumbo Loans, FHA, 203(k), USDA, VA, - Walnut Creek, CA
#MortgageMadeEasy Walnut Creek, CA 484-680-4852

Ive seen that request and dont find it unreasonable, but like you say, it's also a request - if someone forgot I wouldn't get upset over it, either....that phone call was definitely unwarranted - if your buyers wanted the home, it would've started off the relationship in the wrong way.

Aug 19, 2015 08:41 AM #3
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Greg, we are seeing this same instruction on occasion, and there are many times we leave and just plain forget.  Like you say --- directions, talking to our clients about the home they like, etc.

Aug 19, 2015 08:44 AM #4
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

It's pretty standard in my market for occupied homes.  I just put a reminder on my phone, and get it done. I generally do it just before we walk out the door.

Aug 19, 2015 01:47 PM #5
David Gibson CNE, 719-304-4684 ~ Colorado Springs Relocation
Colorado Real Estate Advisers LLC - Colorado Springs, CO
Relocation, Luxury & Lifestyle residential



Is it another hassle? Yes. But what if your buyer had their heart set on that listing and your failure to text caused the seller to react negatively to your offer? Request to text is not uncommon in Colorado. 

Aug 19, 2015 01:48 PM #6
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
Good Company Real Estate - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

Greg - On occasion I will see this request, and really I don't have a problem adhering to it. I can understand that we may be interrupting the seller who may work from home, or some other reason, and needs to be notified when we leave.

I also don't think if I was the seller that I would have waited an hour. I would have probably waited 30 minutes and then gone back home if I had not heard anything.

Aug 19, 2015 02:29 PM #7
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

I can understand the request however I would oppose having to text somebody I prefer to just call them.

Aug 19, 2015 02:43 PM #8
Greg Nino
RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP - Houston, TX
Houston, Texas

Valid points guys. Each area is different. Our MLS has over 28k members and the metro area has over 5 million people. I can see how each individual mkt has different expectations, esepcially if it were retirment community and so on. Thanks for the comments.

Aug 20, 2015 03:12 AM #9
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

I get the "text 15 minutes before" . . . and sometimes the showing instructions will have "call/text when done."  When touring 10-12 properties per outing (which is quite typical for me) I have my system for remembering what to do when and where.  Part of the job.  Suck it up Greg!  LOL

Aug 22, 2015 04:38 AM #10
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Speaking from someone who has had her own home on the market several times, I can understand the request. When we were showing, I never knew when to return.  Once, after waiting 45 minutes, I walked in and did not see the agent's card to show someone had been there.   Sure enough 30 minutes later there's a knock on the door and it's the agent and the buyers.  Another time someone showed up a couple of hours later than the appointment time.  

But,  I wouldn't get all over you for not texting because no one's perfect.

Aug 22, 2015 06:24 AM #11
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Greg Nino - considering that, we request buyers agent to provide the feedback! How many of them do it?

Though most of the time, we should follow the showing instructions, some of the requests are trivial and the listing agent can avoid asking for it.

Aug 22, 2015 03:27 PM #12
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