Unspoken rules of common courtesy when showing a house

Showing a home to prospective buyers can be exciting for you and your client. This might be the one that checks all the boxes on the client’s wish list, and you may be on your way to earning a commission. While you may be concerned about highlighting the selling points and answering the client’s questions, there are several points of courtesy you should not neglect. 

Real estate agents have a code of ethics, especially those who are members of the National Association of Realtors. Above this, there are some aspects of professionalism that have evolved into unwritten rules. It is easy to forget that the home you are showing belongs to someone, and it is important that you and your clients treat the property and the residents with respect. 

Showing respect for the homeowner 

One of the biggest complaints homeowners have when it comes to showings is that agents fail to contact them when the showing is cancelled or the agent is running late. Life happens, and appointments are not always easy to keep. However, always consider the effort and energy the residents may have expended to prepare the home for your client, gather their children, crate their pets and other steps, only to have no one show up or bother to call. This can be very disheartening for a seller. 

Showing up and being on time are important acts of courtesy, but the following are also ways you can show professionalism and respect as a real estate agent: 

  • Always knock and announce yourself before entering, just in case someone is home when you arrive. 
  • Avoid tracking dirt in on your feet. 
  • Take care to prevent uncrated cats or dogs from escaping. 
  • Discourage clients from handling the owners’ personal belongings, including opening drawers or looking in the fridge. 
  • Don’t adjust the heat or air conditioning. 
  • Make sure your clients keep their children close by instead of allowing them to roam or run through the house. 

Because it is someone else’s home, you will not want to make yourselves at home or linger over small talk. Once the clients have seen the house, escort them out and lock the doors, but not before making sure all the lights are out and everything inside is exactly as you found it. Remember to leave your business card on the counter and replace the key in the lockbox. Following these and other rules of common courtesy, you can build a reputation as a real estate agent with high standards. 

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