my listing agent says they're too busy to attend showings

suz1023February 27, 2013

i'm not happy about that because i don't want people roaming unescorted though my home. and if one half of a couple is stopped to chat with the showing agent that can and does happen.i know because i've done it and realise how easy it is.
can i insist on it?

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Maybe it's just me today, but the time for this question/request was before you listed it.

You need to weigh out the pros/cons of insisting upon this.

Pro--In theory people will not roam the house unescorted.

Cons-A) You will limit showings to when your agent can be there.

B) As an agent, it often made me uncomfortable if the listing agent was around. It ALWAYS made buyers uncomfortable. They rarely spent as much time in the house when the listing agent was there. It was generally a quick walk-thru with no questions or comments. We never stayed in the house to chat about specifics about the house. You want people to ask questions about your house while they are inside. They may have a question that they are not comfortable asking about in front of the listing agent.

There are others.

Showing protocol varies from area to area. What is typical in your area?

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 4:54PM
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When we were looking for homes to buy both agents were at the showing. That was just the norm when we were looking. It didn't make it uncomfortable for us. So no, it does not ALWAYS make the buyers uncomfortable. That is just silly. The listing agents were there to open the house, answer any questions and to lock up and make sure the lights were turned off. If it makes you more comfortable when they are there, tell them that is what you want. You will be paying their commission when the house sells so they will just have to suck it up and do their job. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 7:04PM
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I can't ever remember looking at a house where the listing agent was also there. Maybe it is a regional thing?

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 7:53PM
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I have never insisted on this as a seller. As a buyer the few times the seller agent was present (or, worse, the seller) it made me feel very uncomfortable and I just wanted to leave...

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 7:56PM
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Traditionally, the listing agent does NOT attend showings. That is the selling agent's job. If you want to insist on that, then you will cut down on any potential viewings drastically if they have to wait until the listing agent is available. Do you really want to limit viewings on a property that is already going to be very difficult to sell?

Have a good fact sheet available in an entry table, and let the buyers wander around envisioning themselves making it their home without worrying about what they might say.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 7:56PM
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I think that it's a lot to ask the listing agent to drop what they are doing to attend every showing. If the buyer's agents need to work around your listing agent's schedule you may miss out on some showings. You do not want to do anything that makes your house more difficult to show.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 7:56PM
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It's experience was different. The sign had not even been put up in our yard when someone came by our home asking questions. I knew the parents of the lookers. They had walked through another home in our neighborhood (same plan, but we had some upgrades and a far superior landscaping.) They did not like the neighbor's home, so asked another neighbor if anything else was for sale in the neighborhood. Neighbor knew our home was going up for sale and directed them to us. They came by asking questions, and I said, "I can show you through the house if you want." I walked them through, answered their questions, and knew they wanted it when the wife started crying when she finished looking through the house. She brought her husband over the next day with their realtor and made an offer that day. SOLD!

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 8:26PM
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It would not work for me as a listing agent, as most buyer's agents only give a few hours notice. Even a day's notice has little chance of catching me without something already planned for that time.
If you are that worried about someone stealing from you, then do not have anything valuable sitting around during showings.
And, yes, you should have bought this to the attention of your agent beofre now.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 9:46PM
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I have bought/sold on the east and west coasts and the listing agent has been present 95% of the time. It is usually part of the marketing plan presented by the agents. Sellers in high cost of living areas expect the listing agent to be present for all showings when commissions run in the high five and low six figures.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 10:32PM
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When interviewing realtors we made it clear that we expected our agent to be present at all showings and needed a days notice. Having the listing agent there wasn't the norm in our area but no one questioned our desire.

We had a large house with acreage, barn, pool, garden shed and horses on site. The property lines weren't easily understandable as we had woods along two sides.

Nether of us left for work, we had frequent house guests and evening parties and so we needed notice to be able to clear out with dogs in tow, the house in order and other critters stowed in their stalls etc.

It was nerve wracking enough hoping that our realtor remembered what to lock and turn off, which switches not to fool with, gates to close etc and I'd never have felt secure letting an uninformed realtor muddle through it all
As far as limiting showings, this wasn't an issue for us, the number of lookers at that price level were scarce. After the initial wave, we averaged a showing request every 2 weeks. Not exactly too much for anyone to handle.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 11:46PM
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gbsim... your property is unique. Understandable. I don't think this is the situation being asked about here.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 6:58AM
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i did ask about this before we signed and was told they do their best, and with 24 hour notice it should be easier.

now they say it's not possible or necessary--
though truth be told my property is much more like gbsims than not.
my horses are not here atm but gates, property lines, etc are all similar issues to theirs.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 7:32AM
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Your question is "can I insist" that the listing agent be there. No, you can't insist, but you should be able to cancel the listing with that agency based on the disagreement on how to handle the showings.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 8:16AM
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I think it's a regional thing. In Alabama, it's very unusual for the listing agent to be present. The Buyer's agent handles the whole showing. The exception could possibly be the upper bracket homes where the showing isn't even allowed unless there is some sort of a prequalification for the potential buyer. They want to keep the looki-lous out.

As Graywings said, you can always list with another agent who says he/she will always be present at a showing. But then you're dealing with one other person when scheduling a showing. Many times showings are on short notice. If your listing agent is across town, in a closing, showing another house, at the dentist, etc., she simply can't drop everything to be at a quick showing for you. So you miss out on that showing for a buyer who might already be in the neighborhood looking at houses similar to yours.

Maybe there is a real estate "team" in your area that could be closer to what you want (though still no guarantee). A husband-wife-daughter type of thing where they all work together on the same listings.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 10:42AM
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It has got to be a regional thing. We've never had a listing agent present when looking at a home unless it was an open house. Even then the agent does not follow you around.

You need to emotionally separate yourself. The building is no longer your home. It is a house for sale and going to be someone else's home. If you have valuables pack them up and/or lock them up. If you have private things you don't want anyone to see do the same. People will be opening your cabinets and closets. If there is anything that you are emotionally attached to that is causing you to worry about strangers being present do the same. Probably no one will steal from you, I've never heard of it but put your mind at ease and remove anything you are worried about.

Good luck with the sale. Your home is lovely.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 8:07PM
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from the buyer side of this issue....I would not want the listing agent at the showing, and neither would my own agent.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 8:59PM
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I think it is a regional thing. When we lived in Michigan, the seller's agent was never there. Here is New England, every house we have ever looked at had the seller's agent there. Sometimes it can be a good thing for the seller's because their agent knows more about the house but sometimes it can be bad for the seller's. We looked at a house that had a nice 1/2 acre side yard to it. As we were sizing that up (in our minds) she blurted out that the neighbor on the other side of this 1/2 acre had something to do with the town approving things (can't remember what title she said but some planning commission type job) and he didn't want anything to go in this nice green space so he saw to it that nothing got approved. I don't normally like the listing agents there, but in this instance she did us a favor! I think if you want your listing agent there, she should be there. None of this "too busy" nonsense.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 11:24PM
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Having both bought and sold in the past few years, I can say that the listing agent was not present at any individual showings for either house. He was, of course, at the open houses we held.

I didn't consider it a problem. We removed or locked up anything of value as a precaution, and we trusted the agents who brought their clients through to be responsible. We had no problems.

It's not really customary around here for both agents to be at a showing.

However, if that was something you wanted, I agree with the person above who suggests that you should have discussed it before listing, and made sure it was in the contract.

In our case, we felt selling the house in a timely manner was the goal, and more important than making a lot of extra demands.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 8:29AM
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When we listed our house in NY, our listing agent was always present at showings. We had 24 hr notice and she always made the arrangements. We had a lot of showings, and I think her being present helped sell the house.

She was able to answer questions the buyers agent didn't know. She was in charge of all showings and no one entered our home without her letting them in.


    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 12:49AM
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Why not just ask all buyers to present a pre qualification letter instead of asking that your listing agent be present. This will stop any lookie - loos from being able to set up an appointment, you will be assured that the motive for the showing is to show the home to real buyers, as to people with alternative motives.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 6:49AM
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