Guidance for Showings in Today's Hot Market

 

The Columbus real estate market is hot!  According to the recent TenX study of “healthy markets”, which is based on population and job growth, unemployment, wage growth, inventory and construction activity, Columbus ranks third behind only Tampa and Dallas.  Yes, our market is so “healthy” that we’re experiencing a lot of concurrent showings, where two, three or even more REALTORS® may be showing buyers through the same property at the same time.  

There is guidance!  Our National Association of REALTORS®, in conjunction with the REALTOR® Code of Ethics, publishes professional courtesies, or rules of the road that are a must in any market.  Some of these courtesies, specific to the activity of showing property, are components that separate true professionals from those who are not.

When showing property, always - 
  • Show courtesy and respect to all parties.
  • Schedule appointments for showings as far in advance as possible, and call if you are delayed or must cancel.
  • Always ring the doorbell and knock before opening the door – even if a vacant property. If something illegal is happening inside, for everyone’s safety you may WANT them to escape through some other door.
  • Enter property ONLY with authorization, even if you have a lockbox key.
  • Announce yourself before entering any closed room.
  • Identify your REALTOR® professional status in any contact with others.
  • Be responsible for everyone that you have allowed to enter the property.
  • Never allow buyers to enter a listed property unaccompanied, without permission.
  • Keep all members of your group together.
  • Never critique property in front of occupants.
  • Encourage any buyers with other REALTORS® to direct their questions to their REALTOR®.
  • If there are concurrent or overlapping showings, never restrict, lock out or prohibit other REALTORS® from showing the property to their clients.
  • During concurrent showings, always verify and make note of the identity of other REALTORS®.
  • Carefully replace keys in the lockbox after showings, as YOU are responsible for seeing that doors to the property and the key box are securely locked upon exit.

And some important added advice for your consideration -

  • Be careful what you say when in the property, always remember there just may be “a nanny cam!”
  • Be aware that the Supra Key Box system is designed to keep a log of those entering the property. For your protection and to comply with our key system rules, never turn the key YOU removed from the lock box over to someone else and expect them to put it back, REPLACE THE KEY YOURSELF and keep that security log intact.
  • And FOR LISTING AGENTS – if you and your sellers are allowing concurrent showings, you or a team member might CONSIDER BEING THERE.  Otherwise, the result may comparable to an unattended open house.  Consider the safety and liability risks allowing so many parties through the property at the same time when someone with the sellers’ best interest is not present.  
  • Finally, and particularly in today’s hot market, know that the professional courtesy and respect we show our fellow REALTORS® and their clients will be remembered.

Related links:
Additional NAR guidance for REALTORS® in a multiple offer situation

Escalation Clause guidance from attorney Lori Garland, OAR Legal Hotline