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Accompanied vs. Unaccompanied Showings

When listing a property, I speak with my sellers about whether all showings will be accompanied by myself or not (as listing agent). The buyers always come with their agent, but is it always necessary for the listing agent to be present?

I feel that, in some cases, no, and in other cases, yes...I don't feel it's always in the seller's best interest if their listing agent is one who hovers over the buyers at a showing. I've received comments from buyers that they would prefer to view a house without the listing agent around, that it's more comfortable and they can relax as they look.  Oftentimes there is nothing a listing agent can do or say to make a buyer want to buy a property, and at times, there are things the listing agent shares that they can actually be liable for, such as the comment that the basement is dry... If a buyer takes their word for it, buys the house and the basement ends up moist or wet the next season, who's liable?

I think requiring accompanied showings can sometimes be a detriment to the seller, though not it all cases, and so take this as a general statement. Most of my showings are unaccompanied. I don't want my schedule to hold up a potential buyer's ability to view a property, and what about when agents have several listings, he or she may not be able to attend all showings at once.

Are accompanied showings common practice in other areas of the country, and what is your experience with them? As a seller, what do you see as benefits and detriments to this arrangement? At least there is one fact, homes have been selling either way.

Comment balloon 5 commentsStephanie Jacques • October 01 2008 08:42AM

Comments

Over here in the Capital District market, we typically see "Listing Agent to Accompany" on high-end homes; starting around $600,000.

Posted by Lewis Beynon, Triangle Real Estate 411 (Norris Team of Century 21 Triangle Group) about 9 years ago

I believe a listing agent may want to be present if it's a unique property.  It does help the showing agent if the listing agent is present to answer specific questions.  An alternative would be for the listing agent to thoroughly prep the showing agent on the property's unique features prior to the showing.  It also may be as simple as leaving a written explanation of the features at the property.

Usually, however, I think it would be a scheduling nightmare and not really necessary.  I sometimes show 20 houses in one day and have to skip vacant houses and come back to them as the schedule allows. 

Posted by Cindy Leiterman, Green Bay, WI (Resource One Realty, LLC) about 9 years ago

We agree the listing agent should not be there, we showed a buyer to one house and the listing agent was present, she followed us everywhere, like white on rice, had to tell us everything about the house and kept asking the buyers all types of personal questions.  We and the buyers were getting very annoyed about it.  We think there is a point where you can be too agressive to sell the house. 

We did have a potential seller request us to be at every showing because of security reasons, we said that we would when possible, it may be difficult at times because of a conflict in schedules.  I guess that is why we did not get the listing.

Posted by Angela Lawrence, Broker/Owner (North Carolina Homes Realty) about 9 years ago

I agree that the listing agent should not be at the home during a buyer-agent showing, UNLESS:

  • The seller requests it
  • It's a higher end home (over a million dollars)

If, as the sellers agent, you are required to be at the home, I would suggest that the you speak only with the buyers agent (unless spoken to by the buyer). and that you keep a comfortable distance (but close enough to answer any questions. 

Posted by Scott Owens, REALTOR (Scott Owens Limited) about 9 years ago

Like the last comment.i beleive rhe Seller Agent should be there as the owners wishes.And yes,only answer to the buyer if question.Otherwise stay inthe house in case some questions arises

Posted by Jean-Noel jacques about 9 years ago

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