These times of multiple offers, preceded by back-to-back showings on the same property, call for agents to be professional, courteous, mindful of the security of the property, and protective of their client’s right to view the property without feeling pressure from the next agent who wants in.
Some agents, having been told by the showing center that multiple showings are scheduled, will lock the front door behind them so that their clients can see the property in peace without pressure of other lookers coming into the house behind them.
Locking the door is also a security consideration, as passersby who have seen people going into the house may just decide to wander in also. At some properties, these days, it is like a three ring circus with people wandering around.
Putting the key back in the lockbox, rather than just handing it to the next agent, helps alleviate liability, as the next agent has to use their card to retrieve the key from the lockbox. If the box shows your card as the last entering agent, and something is damaged in the house during their showing, who do you think will be held accountable? This is a time to follow the rules, not to be a people-pleaser.
If you get to the house during your allotted appointment time and there are other people inside, step inside the house and find out who the agents are, and who has the key. Assess the situation so that your buyers feel like you will take care of them in these crazy buying times. There have been times when NOBODY knew who had the key. It was still in the door.
On the other hand, we have schedules with our buyers, and waiting at one home when we have an appointment may make us late the whole day. Flexibility is sometimes called for. You may be comfortable asking an agent who is in the house with buyers which part of the home they have seen, and ask 'if is it OK if we start where you have already been.’
The main point is to be courteous, professional, and give the buyers a sense that you can take care of them in this slightly chaotic market.