Safely navigating showings has become one of the more challenging aspects for real estate professionals. At NorthstarMLS, we hear about these challenges and the need for extra diligence and cooperation among agents to keep everyone safe. While we cannot dictate how agents and sellers manage their showings (except that you have a confirmed appointment to access the property), we offer these hopefully helpful suggestions from your fellow agents:

  • Per the Code of Ethics, follow the guidelines set by the seller and their agent. If requested, wear a mask, use sanitizer, wear shoe covers, touch as little as possible (wear gloves), etc. Consider whether leaving a business card may make the seller feel uncomfortable. You may want to take these and other precautions regardless of whether asked.
  • Do not run over your allotted appointment time. Aside from a possible Code of Ethics complaint (and potentially fineable), if you stay past your scheduled time, you are affecting the next appointment who likely needs to wait outside until you are finished (or the ability of the owner and their family to return).
  • The default setting in ShowingTime is to not allow overlapping showings. Though not recommended, if you override this setting to allow overlap, please inform your showing agents.
  • If you are the List Agent and have guidelines, communicate them clearly to all showing agents. Set the home ahead of time to facilitate, for example interior doors open and lights on (to minimize need to touch), provide sanitizer at key locations, etc.
  • Notify the List Agent (or click “Done Showing” in the ShowingTime app) if you leave significantly earlier than your scheduled finish time.
  • Consider the optimal time for your showing appointments. As List Agent, what should you set as the maximum appointment time given the current high demand? We hear that a lot of appointments allow up to an hour, causing available appointments to fill very quickly and limiting the pool of buyers. Also, some showing agents schedule for only 15 minutes and then run into overlapping with the next appointment because they did not allow enough time.
  • Review this Open Houses Guide with tips from Minnesota Realtors Association
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Gearing up for the spring market? That likely means more showings and open houses. The video below offers showing etiquette tips that we’ve received from agents, along with some plain common sense, to help ensure a pleasant house hunting experience. Give it a view if you have two minutes – you might get a chuckle! Don’t forget to use ShowingTime to manage your showings & open houses. It’s a NorthstarMLS core service and part of your MLS subscription. Questions? Our rules & regs staff is here to help! Contact us at help@northstarmls.com or 651-251-3210.
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It’s a nice hot summer Saturday afternoon, but you’re hard at it – a full day showing your clients home to potential buyers. But 3PM has passed, and you’ve just had another scheduled showing bail on you with no warning. Annoying and unprofessional, right?

Last month, we posted this infographic that illustrates some showing etiquette tips. Home showings and open house etiquette is for the most part common sense. Having respect for sellers and the real estate agents involved in the process will go a long way to helping ensure an enjoyable house hunting experience for everyone involved.

The situations below were recently reported to the NorthstarMLS Rules and Regs Department:

  • Early is good in some cases – like showing up to a job interview. But early is not always good for home showings. While a lot of homes are vacant during the selling process, it’s not always the case. Many sellers still live in the home they are selling, so arriving to the showing at the time scheduled is very important. An early arrival at a showing could make for an uncomfortable situation for everyone.
  • The home smelled like gas, but it wasn’t reported to the home owner/seller’s agent until the next day. Always report suspicious smells like gas or any other activity that might seem out of the ordinary.
  • Five showings in one day were canceled and the showing agent did not receive any cancellation message from the buyer’s agent. Always contact the showing agent/listing agent if you can’t make the scheduled appointment! Things come up. Even if you need to cancel last minute, a phone call, text message or email is common courtesy and won’t leave your colleagues wasting valuable time.

Questions? Our rules & regs staff is here to help! Contact us at help@northstarmls.com or 651-251-3210.

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Rules Roundup — Showing Etiquette Infographic

Gearing up for a busy summer? Monday marked the official first day of Summer 2016 and it’s shaping up to be a good one for the housing market. More than 85 percent of buyers who said they plan to buy a home this year say it will be in the spring or summer of 2016. That could mean lots of showings and open houses this summer!

The infographic below illustrates some showing etiquette tips that we’ve received from agents, along with some plain common sense, to help ensure a pleasant house hunting experience for everyone involved. Don’t forget to use ShowingTime and/or the ShowingTime Mobile App to manage all of your showings — it’s a NorthstarMLS core service and part of your MLS subscription.

 

(Click here to view it in new browser window or click here if you want a printable version)


Submit Your Own Rules Roundup Question or Topic! Do you have a question or topic that you would like to see featured as a Rules Roundup article? We’ll supply the answers. Just send your idea to tips@northstarmls.com. We will use one submission each month and the winner will receive a $30 Caribou Coffee gift card!


Rules Roundup On Demand Want to check out older Rules Roundup topics? Click here to view an archive of previous Rules Roundup entries.

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Have a showing recently? Did you and your buyer client submit feedback following the showing? Hopefully you answered “yes” to both of those (if you’re a buyer’s agent). In 2015, NorthstarMLS users have a 75% feedback rate (YTD), but there is always room for improvement.

Leaving feedback on a listing may seem like a small thing, but it is not. Buyer feedback is essential. Listing agents/home sellers rely on the feedback of other professional realtors and their clients to position their listing(s) for a successful sale. Without it, home sellers won’t know what they are doing right and what could be improved upon.

Showing feedback doesn’t have to be a painful experience. If you’re using BookAShowing, a NorthstarMLS core service, for showing appointments/feedback, you can easily fill out one of the integrated feedback forms.


Showing Etiquette This infographic illustrates some showing etiquette tips that we’ve received from agents, along with some plain common sense to help ensure a pleasant house hunting experience for everyone involved.


Questions? Our rules & regs staff is here to help! If you have questions about NorthstarMLS rules and regs, contact us at help@northstarmls.com or call 651-251-3210.

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Rules Roundup
Showing Etiquette Infographic

After a seemingly endless winter, the spring market is here and warmer weather is finally here to stay — hopefully giving way to more showings for your listings. While this is not an official or complete list — the infographic below illustrates some showing etiquette tips that we’ve received from agents, along with some plain common sense, to help ensure a pleasant house hunting experience for everyone involved.

(Click on the infographic above to view a larger version)


Submit Your Own Rules Roundup Question or Topic! Do you have a question or topic that you would like to see featured as a Rules Roundup article? We’ll supply the answers. Just send your idea to tips@northstarmls.com. We will use one submission each month and the winner will receive a $30 Caribou Coffee gift card!


Rules Roundup On Demand Want to check out older Rules Roundup topics? Click here to view an archive of previous Rules Roundup entries.

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Showing Etiquette


You’ve searched homes for your client on the MLS, now it’s time to schedule some showings. Already fraught with tension for the seller, and anticipation for the potential buyer, open houses can turn into a disaster or flop on the smallest incident. Here is some showing etiquette to follow — along with some plain common sense, to help ensure a pleasant house hunting experience for everyone involved.

  • Leave your business card in the house after the showing as a courtesy to the seller
  • Make sure you’ve confirmed the showing so you or your clients are not waiting or turned away
  • If the showing gets canceled or postponed, let the listing office know immediately so the seller can be contacted
  • Be on time
  • Use your own lockbox or e-key to open the property for a showing
  • Take your shoes off before you start the showing — a good sign of respect to the current homeowner
  • View the home together with your potential buyer — avoid letting them roam the home by themselves
  • Never allow buyers to enter a property unaccompanied
  • Honor the listing agent’s relationship with the seller and encourage the seller to direct all questions to his or her agent
  • Have a listing sheet ready with all the info of the property for buyers to easily refer back to
  • Respect you client by limiting your use of cell phones or computers to the business a hand
  • Don’t allow anyone to eat, drink, smoke, dispose of trash or bring pets into the property
  • Double check that all doors & windows are locked before you leave the property
  • Report any problems with the property to the Listing Agent
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