The KCRAR Best Practices task force framed the following list of professional courtesies to help REALTOR® competitors work together cooperatively to provide their clients with excellent service. Courteous behavior by definition cannot easily be reduced to rules. It can’t be forced or policed. But it can be better understood, it can be discussed, and it is encouraged by the Association.
Prepare for Showings
- When inquiring about a property and when talking with another REALTOR®, always identify yourself as a REALTOR® and state your agency status.
- Never be afraid to explain to a buyer that appointments are necessary. Listings have been cancelled because of repeated failures to observe this courtesy.
- Don’t show any property without an appointment. This includes vacant and newly constructed properties.
- Space appointments so that you will have ample time to show each listing and still get to the next appointment on time.
Showing the Property
- Punctuality and courtesy go hand in hand. Call the listing firm or co-op if you are running early or late for an appointment.
- When showing, if your buyer doesn’t want to enter a home, immediately contact the listing firm or co-op to inform them of the buyer’s desire to cancel.
- In bad weather, take off your shoes when inside the property.
- When showing an occupied home, always ring the doorbell and knock before entering. Knock before entering any closed room.
- Be the first to enter the property to make sure that unexpected situations, such as pets or disarming alarm systems are handled appropriately.
- Be responsible for visitors. When showing property to buyers with children, be sure that children are supervised at all times.
- Leave your business cards in each property you show.
- Avoid sarcasm and negative comments about the property and neighborhood while in the property.
- If the seller is home during a showing, ask permission before using the telephone or bathroom.
- When possible, always ask permission before photographing a property.
- Never allow buyers to enter property unaccompanied.
- Never discuss any details of an offer to purchase with the seller. All communication should be through the listing agent.
After the Showing
- If sellers are home, inform them that you are leaving after a showing.
- Make sure that the house is left the way you found it. Ensure that heating and cooling controls are set correctly. Be sure to turn off the lights, shut windows and lock doors.
- Reply to feedback requests in a timely manner. Report to the listing agent/firm any inaccurate listing information and anything that appears wrong with the property.
Presenting the Offer
- The selling agent should deliver an offer to purchase along with buyer qualifications and earnest money deposit to the listing agent in a timely manner.
- The listing agent should present an estimate of “seller’s net proceeds” when presenting all offers and counter-offers.
- The listing agent should explain all details of the terms of the offer to the seller.
- The listing and selling agent should communicate and distribute the results of final documents to all parties as soon as possible.
After the Sale
- It is extremely important for the listing and selling agents to remain as cooperative liaisons between the seller and buyer to ensure a smooth settlement.
- Listing and selling agents should keep each other informed of any problems or complications that develop with contract contingencies in a timely manner.
- Prepare all extensions when necessary, not at the last minute.
- Resolve all conflicts and problems prior to settlement.