Showing occupied homes.

Real Estate Agent with HomeSmart SA541769000

Showing occupied homes requires some additional planning and scheduling on behalf of the agent(s) involved. Despite the fact, the sellers want to make their homes available for easy showing it is not always possible to accommodate showing on short notice or during a busy time.

Agents wishing to schedule showings of occupied homes must provide sellers enough time to make the home available. A little courtesy like scheduling a day or two in advance will go a long way toward making the visit a positive experience for both the buyer and the seller. No one wants to view a home that is messy or smells from last night’s dinner.

With the holidays fast approaching it may become even more difficult for sellers that host out of town guests, host parties or other activities.

If the home is occupied by a tenant it may become even more complex. Landlord/Tenant laws may restrict access to the property without advance notice and the tenant may not be as eager or take the showing as serious as an owner occupant.

Then, of course, showing agents must be aware of the instructions provided by the listing agent with regard to showings. Listing agents may have instructions from the seller such as “no showings before 3:00 pm”, or “do not go in the backyard without owner permission, big dog!”. Failure to heed showing instructions could not only result in a bad experience for the buyer, it could result in an ethics violation for an agent that enters a home without permission.

Occupied homes present other challenges as well because as much as a listing agent encourages the seller to remove or store personal items the potential for damage, theft or another type of loss is always possible. Money, prescription drugs, jewelry and other personal items have a tendency to disappear.

Finally, no one, agent or client wants to be in the midst of showing a home and have an unaware occupant step out of the shower or walk into a room half dressed. We want a showing to be memorable but not because of a bad experience.

Make your showing experiences notable in a good way. Plan ahead, follow directions and guard against harming a seller or tenant. A buyer that leaves a home with a smile on their face will be more likely to want to make an offer than one that has just been unexpectedly introduced to a naked occupant.


Joe Domino is a Realtor® serving the Phoenix & Scottsdale metro area. You can follow Joe's real estate blog at From The Outside Looking In or find more great information by visiting his website at




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