Showing Our Own Listings

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX United Real Estate

In this post by Pat Kennedy, she expounds on why it's important to sit down with Buyers prior to showing homes and generally running around.  Her reasons are sound and thoughtful and, best of all, they make sense.

Here's my question, though.  What about you're own listings?

Let's say you have a nice listing or ten and you're doing you're marketing and have the yard sign up and the house all over the Internet. Some potential buyer calls up and, after a few questions about the house, asks you to show it to him/her/them.  Of course, the first words out of my mouth are that they should make the appointment with their own Realtor but what if they say they don't have one? 

Now, we all know it's in the best interest of the Seller to expose the house to as many potential Buyers as possible so what's the next step?

a) Make the appointment to meet at the house at such and such a time?
b) Insist they meet you at the office for a consultation?
c) Insist that they really need proper buyer representation and ask them to contact another Realtor?
d) does the price of the house matter? (I know it shouldn't but....does it?)
e) some other variation?

Whenever anyone asks me to show them a listing my mind starts to whirrrrr.  Is it safe?  Are they legit?  Is it convenient to me (i.e., the listing is really not out of my way to show)? Do I use the showing appointment to begin the process of getting to know the potential Buyer the same way I might get to know a Buyer at an Open House?

I'm constantly amazed at how many people (Realtors and potential buyers) call and expect to see a house within the next 5 minutes.  I never do that kind of stuff.  But I wonder about meeting someone, say, at 11:00 tomorrow or some other such time.

You know? Just meet people at the house, show it and see if they may want to purchase it?


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Steve Hirschler
Keller Williams Big Bear - Big Bear Lake, CA
Big Bear Real Estate


I show my own listings whenever I can. I have worked in a dual agency capacity for numerous sales in the past. It can be tricky, but sticking to the contract and disclosing all available information to both parties can make the situation more comfortable. I often show houses on a sign call in 5 minutes or less if they are vacant homes, which most in our area are due to the second home market. Buyer's have less patients than ever, and want instant response to phone and or Internet contact.


Jun 08, 2008 07:28 AM #1
Chuck Carstensen
RE/MAX Results - Elk River, MN
Minnesota Real Estate Expert

I like showing my own listings.  I think people are pretty flexible with times.  I will meet them at the house most of the time.

Jun 08, 2008 07:34 AM #2

I am always willing to meet a buyer the first time out without a lot of hoopla.  I know most people here disagree from reading similar posts. 

Want to see my listing tomorrow at 11:00? Let me confirm that it will work with the seller (or if vacant that there are not any conflicting showings) and I'll call you back.  I always want to call back so I have a numer, even if I know darn well no one is showing the home. 

It is also as common as dirt in my area for agents to act as dual agents, another thing I know from reading blogs isn't agreed with by many.  When in Rome do as the Romans do and its doing fine for everyone so far, if that changes I will reevaluate. 

I am not limiting this first time meeting to just my listings either, I just closed on a home from  picking up the office phone after hours and a man wanted to see a house the next morning, I said fine, ran a search for him to see if there might be any others to add and the one I added, he bought.  That happens enough to keep me willing to make that first effort without a pre-meeting and pre-written contract, when we meet, then we talk and decide if we will be working together.

Jun 08, 2008 07:34 AM #3
Valerie Osterhoudt
Johnson Real Estate, Inc. - Cromwell, CT
ABR, Cromwell, CT Real Estate ~ 860.883.8889

Ken.. Whether it be a listing with another agency or mine, I will show it to qualified buyers.  It is STRICKLY business, and to best represent the buyer you show them what they qualify for.  I touched upon this in my blog "A Closing we all dream of" .  I will not show property to anyone if they aren't already prequalified, or preapproved.  Why put the horse before the cart?

Jun 08, 2008 07:43 AM #4
Patrick Lambert
ALLY Real Estate - Waikoloa, HI
Hawaii Real Estate Expert

If they call, I come a runnin'. Any chance I get to show one of my listings, or any listing at this point I'll take. I will use the showing as a way to get to know the buyer and what they can buy. Though I hope they are qualified to buy the house they are calling on, that is not always the case, however, I need to make a showing whenever I can.

Jun 08, 2008 07:55 AM #5
Ken Montville
RE/MAX United Real Estate - College Park, MD
The MD Suburbs of DC

Steve / Chuck -- I don't have a problem working with both sides as long as the disclosures are made and everyone is on board. I guess I'm more concerned with whether or not meeting someone I don't know at a house.

Valerie --  I guess I would like to lean in that direction. My ecperience, though, is that they don't meet you at the office.  They "just want to see the house."

Patrick -- I might come to meet them, if the house is not out of the way, but recently I've been getting calls on a house that's about a 30-40 drive (one way).  I did it this morning and the guy took 15 minutes to walk through it, we chatted a little and he was gone.  I'll try to keep in touch but this guy likes dealing with listing agents .... can you guess why?

Jun 08, 2008 08:46 AM #6
Dr. Stacey-Ann Baugh
Century 21 New Millennium - Upper Marlboro, MD
A doctor who makes house calls.

I have made appointments to show my own listings (even though I would not be comfortable working both sides).  In a best case scenario they love the house and want to buy it I could refer them and at least get the referral fee.  The other fabulous scenario has happened to me twice on the same listing where they don't like it but they like me and we've gone on to purchase other property together.  I will usually meet them at the house the first time.  I won't go out a second time with a buyer who isn't qualified.

Jun 08, 2008 11:31 AM #7
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Ken, I'll show a listing with almost no fanfare, especially if they don't have an agent yet.  If they like it, I'll explain the agency thing clearly enough that they know I represent the seller, and if they want to get their own representation, I'll refer them to a trusted colleague.  But I think it's important to make it as easy as possible for propspective buyers to see my lisitngs.  If they can't afford it, and if they are not yeat represented, I can find them sonething they love that they can afford.  So I don't see it as a bad use of my time.

Jun 08, 2008 11:50 AM #8
Ken Montville
RE/MAX United Real Estate - College Park, MD
The MD Suburbs of DC

Stacey-Ann -- What a great success story.Two sides but different houses.    I usually don't mind working both sides as long as everyone is disclosed. Many times a savvy buyer will knowingly approach me as the Listing Agent knowing that the commission is something negotiated between the Seller and the Listing Agent. I think they believe that I might work with the commission to make the deal work.

Jun 08, 2008 11:53 AM #9
Lori Franks
Real Estate Consultant - Brookings, OR
Brookings, Oregon

Ken- what is a plus in my office is that it is just my principal broker and myself. We both trust each other and so we pass the customer. Pre-Qual is the key! Also my feelings on disclosed limited agency are if something goes wrong, you are not going to be right on one side or the other. I think it should be all about risk management.

Jun 08, 2008 12:03 PM #10
Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group
Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001 - Gaithersburg, MD
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA

at $4 per gallon. .I'm qualifying first

Jun 11, 2008 02:52 AM #11
Michael Wayne Jackson
Coldwell Banker - Novato, CA
Realtor - Senior Real Estate Specialist

It really depends on the work load for that day or week and I will show if they don't have an agent.

Jun 24, 2008 09:15 AM #12
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Ken Montville

The MD Suburbs of DC
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