Are Accompanied Showings Hurting Your Home Sale?

Real Estate Agent with EXIT Realty- Massachusetts Short Sales & Residential Sales

For the better part of my career I have used a third party showing service to schedule showings on my listings.

The pro's of the service are creating an easy seamless way for agents to easily schedule showings and for home owners to easily confirm showings.  A showing can be confirmed as easily as texting Y to the texted request.  It's fast, it's simple and helps secure showings.

Scheduling Accompanied Showings Can Be A Problem

I recently brought around a new client, that had traveled some distance to view homes for two days.  We had identified 13 properties to view over two days.

Out of the thirteen showings, 5 were accompanied by the listing agent, the other 8 were handled by the ShowingTime.  I mapped everything out in ShowingTime and requested showings for 8 properties by the puch of a button.  Immediately 5 of the 8 were scheduled and within 4 hours all 8 sheduled thru showing time were scheduled.

I then proceeded to call the 5 agents accompanying their showings.  I left meassages for four of them, got in touch with the 5th.  The fifth one could not accommodate either request on either day.

So we skipped that one.

Over the next 48 hours with multiple phone calls, emails and text I finally reached all but one agent and was only successful in securing one out of five accompanied appointments.  All the others could not accommodate my request to show.

Scheduling the accompanied showing took a massive amount of time as opposed to ShowingTime, where in most cases they almost scheduled themselves.

Multiple phone calls, emails and text before some of the agents even responded. Add trying to accommodate your agents schedule and you will have missed showings.

This begs some questions, is your listing agent calling you and saying a buyer called wanting to see your home but I couldn't accommodate them?  How many other showings have they missed?  Or in the case of one agent.... I couldn't be bothered to respond to a request to view your home.

Alternately, ShowingTime is transparent.  You will know about every inquiry, showing or even missed showing.

Why are you requesting accompanied showings? or is your agent suggesting accompanied showings? 

While there is a time and place for accompanied showings it is rare. 

I can find a basement, I know what a walk in closet looks like, I can find the kitchen, I even know what stainless steel looks like, etc... but more importantly I know my clients and I know how to show a house in a way that caters to their specific needs.   If there is special information about your home it can be pointed out in marketing materials or in a phone call by your agent.  And, if a question arises, believe me I'll call your listing agent.  I want to find my clients a home sooner rather than later and it might as well be yours.are accompanied showings hurting the sale of your home

The important thing is to get buyer's into your home.  A saleable home stands on it's own merits and your listing agent isn't going to "sell" your home to my clients.

In the scenario layed out above my client missed 4 possible homes.  They had a limited schedule to view homes and the listing agents couldn't accommodate them. My requests were not crazy either they were for roughly around noon time on a Thursday or Wednesday.

Showings = Offers

This begs some questions, is your listing agent calling you and saying a buyer called wanting to see your home but I couldn't accommodate them?  How many other showings have they missed?

My Clients Aren't Comfortable With Your Agent

The one accompanied showing we did have was awkward.  The listing agent wanted to control the showing and felt they needed to open every door saying this is the pantry.... duh!!  The listing agent also proceeded to ask personal questions of my clients that were not pertinent to the showing.  All my clients wanted to do was get out of there!!

First words out their mouth was "that was awkward!"

Secondly, we did not have time to discuss the home as we viewed it together.  As their buyer's agent, I know what areas of the home are most important to them.  And because we couldn't speak we were not able to discuss the rooms as we went thru them.  The listing agent had her agenda which did not match ours.

My clients just rushed thru your home not paying full attention and were put off by the listing agent.  Not a great lasting impression.

Accompanied Showings Can Hurt The Sale Of Your Home

  • Scheduling-  Scheduling accompanied showings can be a challenge in some cases.  A good agent can't pick up every phone call as they come in.  Not all agents respond immediately to requests causing buyers and agents to give up seeing a home.  Lastly, your agent needs to be available to meet the request.
  • Ease of Showing- As an agent I don't want to have to chase down showing appointments.  If I have plenty of homes to show and I know your agent doesn't get back in a timely manner, I will skip it or not make it a priority to show.
  • Buyers may have limited time. You must realize everyone has different schedules. I have clients who works nights, I have clients coming in to see homes from far away, I have clients who can onl see homes on weekends, etc... they all should be accommodated.
  • Accompanied showing adds an additional person that buyers may not be comfortable with.  Most of my clients I have built a relationship with.  I understand their needs after multiple conversations.  I have earned their trust.  We walk thru a home taking our time discussing the merits of each room and how it suits their needs.  A chatty third person controlling the showing hinders us from doing showings in a manner my buyers are used to.  Often buyers walk away feeling uncomfortable during an accompannied showing and will comment that it made them uncomfortable.  Do you want them to remember how great your house was or how uncomfortable they felt?

So why do you are your agent want accompanied showings?

You need to ask yourself why you or your agent is requiring accompannied showings?

Do you feel your agent must "sell" the house?  Well it could very well backfire as a matter of fact it can be a turn off.  As I stated before a home will stand on it's own merits.  Have you ever gone to a car dealership and have that hovering salesperson pester you?  That's how buyers feel many times when a listing agent accompanies home showings.  Let the buyer view your home and at their pace and liesure.  Allow them to take ownership on their terms.

I hate to tell you this but your house isn't so special we can't figure it out in most cases.  I there are some special features that may not be obvious there are other ways to handle it.  A quick phone call from the listing agent or an agent cheat sheet highlighting a homes features emailed prior to the showing can point out those features to the showing agent.

Is security a factor? Well you should discuss with your agent how to best secure your homes for showings. Valuables should be removed prior to listing your home.  A buyer's agent showing your home will generally know who they have been working with and keep an eye on your home as well.

Before you or your agent insist on accompanied showings, realize accompanied showing can hurt the sale of your home.  You want to get a buyer into your home while they are interested and excited.  One missed showing they may come back, tow missed showings they are most likely gone.

What Are The Alternatives To Accompanied Showings?

Most showings occur in my area with a lockbox being secured to the home and the code given only to licensed real estate agents to access your home for showings.  This eliminates the need to have to accommodate another person's schedule.

Not only are most showings done with a lock box, many agents use a third party scheduling service to expedite and manage the showings of your home.  It makes it quick and simple for both the showing agent and the home seller. 

Still insist on accompanied showings?  Maybe allow your agent to put a lockbox on for those times they cannot make a showing.  All it takes is one buyer to get your house sold.  Maybe that one buyer you turned away was the buyer for your home!


Other Resources:

Bill Gassett Bad Real Estate Advice

Kyle Hiscock Preparing For Showings

Michelle Gibson  Should Sellers Leave For Showings?


This article was written by Kevin Vitali a Massachusetts Real Estate Agent covering Essex and Northern Middlesex Counties.







Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Fred Griffin presently on Leave of Absence 10/03/2018 06:53 PM
  2. Margaret Goss 10/09/2018 12:48 PM
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The Isaacs Team llc
Washington, DC

We had a client last year who refused to see that it was their high price that was hampering their sale. They wanted us to accompany buyers and agents for every showing. We declined and let the listing go to another agent. Funnily enough, when they were the buyers, they protested accompanied showings and also said how awkward they were after leaving. Their home took a long time to sell and sold for less. We agree 100% with Kevin. This is a bad idea all round. Thanks for posting it!

Oct 05, 2018 03:47 PM #12
Mike Cooper, GRI
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Kevin, that would be a nightmare. I appreciate my colleagues that us a showing service. It makes life easier. 

Oct 05, 2018 04:02 PM #13
Rob D. Shepherd
Windermere/lane county - Florence, OR
Principal Broker GRI, SRES

If there are enough simlar homes to showI pass on the "listing agent must be present". When they tell me that is the kitchen sink. My respose is. Thank god you told me, I thought it was a urinal and was about to use it".

Oct 05, 2018 04:04 PM #14
Elyse Berman, PA
Best Connections Realty, Inc. - Boca Raton, FL
Boca Raton FL (561) 716-7824 CRS, ABR, GRI,ePR

Kevin Vitali I like when I can schedule them all through Showing Time.  Schedule online and I usually have an answer within minutes.  The only exception to this, and one I can understand, is when elderly sellers are involved.  We have a lot of 55+ communities here.  These sellers may not leave the house due to illness and prefer to have their agent there.  Other than that, scedule online or call a third-party is what I want to see too.  

Oct 05, 2018 05:00 PM #15
Diane Lipps
DA Rock of Homes - Broker/Owner/REALTOR (469-879-1301) - Rockwall, TX
Broker "Lake Ray Hubbard Real Estate"

That is sure a dis-service to the seller as they most likely are not aware of the showing request. The listing agent could be trying to secure their own buyer. 

Oct 05, 2018 05:14 PM #16
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Kevin

I understand that high end homes typically require the agent accompany but otherwise it often is a major inconvenience, and so often there is a lack of flexibility on the part of the listing agent - there are exceptions, of course. And even worse is being accompanied when the agent wants to hover!


Oct 05, 2018 08:45 PM #17
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

They might in my experience but ultimately it’s up to the individual situation to clarify things

Oct 05, 2018 11:19 PM #19
Jamie King
Hoty Enterprises, Inc. - Huron, OH
Sandusky, OH

I'm soooo with you on this! I don't think buyers give a home a really good look when another party is in the house, whether it be homeowner or agent. The inconvenience in setting the appointment is a deterrent to showing the home at all. I've actually come across listings stating "agent must accompany" only to have the agent say "go ahead, here's the lockbox code". They were only appeasing the seller and not really being present for showings. That's deception!

Oct 06, 2018 05:18 AM #20
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

Very well said, and one of my pet peeves! I HATE IT!!! I think most of the time I see this is from paranoid sellers who think something might be stolen! I know one company that insists on accompanied showings on everything! I told the owners (after one showing where the agent had to give us the grand tour) that I would not show anymore of their homes,without an agreement that their agent would open the doors and stay outside! 

Oct 06, 2018 05:56 AM #21
Corinne Guest
Corinne Guest, REALTOR® | Barrington Realty Company - Barrington, IL
Barrington Lifestyles

Pick the right agent, I am available for 95% of requests within an hour on my accompanied showings. We are not all the same!

Oct 06, 2018 06:49 AM #22
Anne Corbin
Long and Foster - Lake Anna - Spotsylvania, VA
Serving Lake Anna & Central Virginia

I TOTALLY agree with your assessment. I also get frustrated by agents who don't use a showing service. I think it should be mandatory LOL.


We are all busy trying to help clients and it is so easy to make a quick Y or N for a showing request. I know the agent on the other side wants to get their schedule firmed up, especially when showing a list to the same client.


Your post ROCKS

Oct 06, 2018 08:14 AM #23
Jon Quist
Tucson's BUYERS ONLY Realtor since 1996

Wow. Obviously all parts of the country are different. My buyers hired ME to find them houses and show the houses to them, as part of the entire buying process. I would never dream of letting a listing agent near one of my buyers. High end homes sometimes don't have a lockbox, and the listing agent is needed to let us in. Always the toughest appointments to work.

Oct 06, 2018 08:16 AM #24
Jerry Murphy, CRS, SRES
Long Realty West Valley - Anthem, AZ
Anthem, Phoenix, and Scottsdale AZ Real Estate

I've never understood the accompanied showing.  If a buyer is viewing the home with a licensed agent why does the listing agent have to be there? I've only had one listing client request this of me.  Thankfully the home sold pretty quickly so there were no issues.  But when sellers ask if I will be present at showings I educate them on the fact that buyers will be with licensed agents and that I can track their coming and going.  I also tell them most buyers feel uneasy about having the listing agent and/or home owners in the house when viewing it.  99% of the time the sellers understand.  Best wishes to you Keving.

Oct 06, 2018 12:35 PM #25
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

Sellers never know about this - and as you said, would any listing agent ever call and fess up that they were not available and didn't have a backup?

I know there are agents that routinely tell sellers that they accompany all showings - as if to prove how hard they are working! The best ones have teams that can fill in if they can't make it - but there is still the problem of that "awkward showing."



Oct 06, 2018 02:17 PM #26
Bruce Kunz
C21 Solid Gold Realty, Brick, NJ, 732-920-2100 - Howell, NJ
REALTOR®, Brick & Howell NJ Homes for Sale

Well written and on point, Kevin Vitali. I chuckled visualizing the seller's agent telling them they couldn't accommodate a showing!

Most in our area use electric lock-boxes and ShowingTime as well. The easier it is to show, the more likely it will happen!

Thanks for sharing,


Oct 07, 2018 02:32 PM #27
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

As long as it is the sellers’ preference, as a buyers agent, I treat it the same way as I would a FSBO. I try once to schedule the showing, if we cannot see it we will move on. Only if we have seen all other options and none of them worked out would we come back to it. Most of the time, the buyers find another home that they love and forget all about he “one that got away.” If it Is the agent insisting on the accompanied showing, they need to move mountains to make every showing work, perhaps a showing assistant can do it I feel the listing agent is unavailable. Great topic 

Oct 07, 2018 07:28 PM #28
Richard Bazinet /MBA, CRS, ABR
West USA Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Phoenix Scottsdale. Sellers, Buyers & Relocations

Very good article Kevin. It represents today's reality in real estate. Love ShowingTime, I use it a lot.

But by the same token, we are losing that touch point to 'talk' to the listing agent as a buyer agent prior to a showing and learn about a few important features. Speed and ease vs quality information.

Maybe I'm old school.

Listing agents at a showing to your buyer is nothing new, that's been going on for ever, mostly in the luxury home market. And I admit being one of doing this often as a listing agent. Why?

Some or should I say many luxury homes need to be presented, explained and demonstrated to the potential buyer because the property's unique features which in many cases are impossible for the buyer agent and for the buyer to know and do. And in many cases, the buyer agent does not know, or neither has enough experience of knowledge not only of the property, but of luxury properties in general, and especially of the area as well to do justice to the property offered for sale.

Often, they can't even answer the questions by the potential buyer while on site. A knowledgeable, prepared and experienced listing agent can answer those questions on the spot and offer an interactive professional conversation about the property - now is the time while at the property. 

We are not talking about hovering or ghosting over a buyer. Some listing agents are very smooth and professional, and others.... well... not so much - and they become a friggin nuisance.

When I prepare to show luxury properties in the multi-million market, you better bet your boots that I'll ask for the listing agent to be present. I'll train my client beforehand.  I'll ask you to present the property and explain. I'll ask questions and put you on the spot - I'll make you talk and make disclosures about the property and we'll make notes - you will be held accountable. I'll make you demonstrate what you say. You and the property may also be judged on your presentation skills, the way you are dressed and the way you interact and the questions you answer. I'll give you lots of rope.

Better shine your shoes, my client and I are coming to one of your listings near you. LOL.

Keep in mind that at some listings, there might be a sophisticated security system - that's not for the buyer to know at that point in time. Secret or special features. Art that cannot be photographed by a buyer. All this at the request of the seller. And sometimes, there might be suspicious buyers..... The listing agent has the obligation AND the responsibility to vet the buyer.

On the other hand, as a buyer-agent, I have asked the listing agents to step aside and not interfere with me or my client during a showing - and to make oneself disappear. At one time, I had this young listing agent dressed to kill who challenged us back when I told her to vamoose and become invisible... she replied very forcefully, "Hell no!.. I'm here to sell your client this house and darn it, that's what I'm going to do" . Client and I politely laughed, and we did let her proceed (she did not sell my client her listing but she tried real hard, congrats to her anyways for trying, she was very professional).

Oct 08, 2018 07:22 AM #29
Jeanne Gregory
RE/MAX Southwest - Sugar Land, TX
The most important home I sell is YOURS!

The worst one I ever experienced was a young "assistant" who came to "accompany" us.  My client had come from yoga class and was still in her yoga gear. The agent took one look at my client and thrust her nose in the air.  After viewing the home my buyer said "I wouldn't buy it if it was the only house in Houston, just because of her snotty attitude". 

Oct 08, 2018 09:20 AM #30
John Dotson
Preferred Properties of Highlands, Inc. - Highlands, NC - Highlands, NC
The experience to get you to the other side!

Accompanied showings are the bane of real estate in my area.  Any agent that suggests to the owner he/she be in the house when showing should go back to "sales school"  A quick psychology class wouldn't hurt either!

Only if requested by the showing agent should the listing agent or their rep be in the house when showing.

Oct 08, 2018 02:17 PM #31
Kevin Mackessy
Blue Olive Properties, LLC - Highlands Ranch, CO
Dedicated. Qualified. Local.

You raise a great point.  If the listing mandates that it should be accompanied by listing agent then they have every obligation to make it convenient to potential buyer.  That is an insane amount of friction caused by that listing agent. 

Oct 19, 2018 12:28 PM #37
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