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President Cunningham: Navigating Spring Courtesies — Etiquette in Real Estate Showings

February 15, 2024 in Guest Columns

By Cindy Cunningham, 2024 KCRAR President

With the recent warmer temperatures and an uptick in real estate activity, it seems the spring market has already arrived. However, amidst the excitement of showcasing or viewing homes, it’s important to maintain a sense of etiquette and respect for both the properties and individuals involved. So, I would like to dive into essential spring courtesies when showing real estate, emphasizing the importance of professionalism, mindfulness and courtesy.

Springtime often means longer days with extended sunlight hours. While this can be advantageous for scheduling showings, it is essential to be mindful of timing. Respect both buyers and sellers by scheduling appointments as far ahead as you can. It may not always be possible to give sellers ample notice, but it’s important to be punctual and arrive prepared. If, for some reason you can’t make a scheduled showing, please be considerate and either reschedule or cancel using the BrokerBay app.

Providing feedback is an important part of the showing equation. It is helpful for both the listing agent as well as the seller. While it’s vital to give honest feedback, there is a fine line between critical and constructive feedback. Remember, in most instances, the seller is going to view the feedback prior to any editing by the listing agent.

Should this spring follow the example of the last couple of springs, if you have a newly listed property, please treat all parties fairly. As a listing agent, it may be difficult to answer your phone if you have multiple showings but do your best and return phone calls as promptly as possible. In the event of any offer deadlines, make sure all agents are made aware of any deadlines, even if they have not yet given you feedback.  Please notify all agents who submit an offer, that an offer has been accepted prior to inputting it as “pending” in MLS. There’s nothing worse than calling your buyer to tell them they did not get the property only to have them inform you they already knew because they saw the status was changed to pending.

Spring weather can be unpredictable (as can Midwest weather, in general) with the potential for rain or muddy conditions. Encourage clients to dress appropriately for the weather and advise them to remove their shoes or wear the “booties” provided by a thoughtful listing agent. To further help maintain the cleanliness of the home, suggest the seller put a rug in front of both front and back doors. A great listing agent will put rugs in the same places in a vacant listing.  And remember to carry an umbrella or two in your vehicle.

Showing instructions in MLS and BrokerBay are extremely important as well. Unless there are specific comments, I usually try to leave the property as I found it. That may not be the right thing to do, especially if a lot of agents are showing the property at the same time or on the same day, but it may be your best choice. The exception to leaving the property as I found it is the door locks. I always make sure all exterior doors are locked. And speaking of showing instructions, I once knew an agent who never put information about pets in the instructions. Their reasoning was they didn’t want potential buyers to know there was a pet in the house ahead of time. Guess what? Buyers are going to find out about pets when they tour the home. And, I have personally chased and grabbed many a cat who darted out of the front door when it was opened. Not good for someone who is allergic to cats — yours truly. 

Finally, it’s important to remember that we are all professionals and should dress the part. Be practical in your choices though. If you feel you are in danger and must make a run for it, stiletto heels are probably not the best choice for showing property. If you are showing rural property, dress so you are prepared to walk the property should your buyer wish to do so.

Navigating the spring real estate market requires more than just knowledge of the property; it demands a commitment to professionalism, mindfulness and courtesy. By honoring these spring courtesies when showing real estate, agents can create memorable experiences for their clients while building relationships built on trust and respect. Happy spring!

Jennifer Justus • February 23, 2024 at 7:47 pm

Thank you Cindy for the thoughtful guidance! Hopefully we have a fantastic spring market with lots of courteous agents! And no cats for you!

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Michele Dupont • February 16, 2024 at 4:07 pm

Always great reminders!

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Lin Van Meter • February 16, 2024 at 3:29 pm

Agree. Dress the part for the showings and your clients. Leave feedback.

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Diana Welsh • February 16, 2024 at 2:52 pm

Very well said. Thanks for reminding all of us how important our professionalism is.

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Julia Palmer Deng Palmer • February 15, 2024 at 5:53 pm

To All,
Welcoming the prosperous Spring 2024 real estate market with opened arms!

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