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5 Reasons Why You And Your Agent Should Leave While Your Home is Shown

5 Reasons Why You And Your Agent Should Leave While Your Home is Shown

In some real estate markets, having the seller or the listing agent present is the norm.  It is not the norm in the Central Coast real estate market, and if the seller or the listing agent is present for a showing it can detract greatly from viewing the home.  This is especially the case in today's real estate market where more than likely your competition is a vacant home that the buyer can linger in freely for as long as they desire.  So, if the buyer has to look at you while they are looking at your house, your home may stand out for the wrong reasons.  The following are 5 reasons why you and your agent should not be present when your home is shown:

1.       There is an art to showing houses.  When working as a buyer's agent, I have my own style of showing houses that is, in part, designed to help clients remember the houses they see.  I know you think no one could forget your house, but trust me after the fourth house most people get a little foggy, especially once we've narrowed down the type of house they like.  We are then usually looking at a bunch of pretty similar houses.  I know where I want to start and where I want to finish so that that particular client can remember the things that are important to them about a home.  But, because you are standing in the family room on the phone, I have to hit the hallway first.  Then, your honey thinks the dumb REALTOR® missed something, calls out loudly, and leads my clients into the garage.  Now, the first memory my client has of your home is the dark, cold, dusty garage.  Chances are if I want to get them to remember your home later on, I now have to bring up the water heater insulation - which is not exactly what you thought they'd remember, right?  You may already suspect, and you are indeed right -- water heater insulation doesn't sell houses. 

2.       You don't know what they like.  It's a very natural inclination to jump in when a question is asked or to point out something about YOUR home that the agent seems to have missed.  That's why you don't need to be there.  You probably won't be able to resist.  And, you can't say or do the wrong thing if you're not there right?  Now it isn't always possible for people to leave for showings, and I know that.  So, you should at a minimum step out the home if possible or contain yourself to one very small pre-determined area, and most important be silent (No helping!).  Why?  Well, you are excitedly pointing out the fresh faux paint in the living room and my client just went on a 10 minute diatribe about the overproliferation of faux painting at the house we saw right before this one.  I can point out things to them that I know they like and make sure they don't miss them.  You are making sure the last thing they notice about your home is something they hate. 

3.       I can handle the basics.  I'd probably be able to discern that the range is electric when my client asks so I don't need you there to answer that question.  And, those heating vents probably mean a forced air furnace - I get that.  It's also in the listing sheet in my hand.  If the buyer does ask a question I can't answer, I am quite capable of writing it down and calling about it later.  And, now with the advent of texting, I can even text your agent and have the answer on the spot before we walk out of the house.  Now, if you don't believe that I am capable of locking up your home, (and you may have good reason if getting in and out is equivalent to solving a Rubik's Cube), you can wait in your car around the corner and when I have taken my best stab at it, I will call you and you can zip around the corner and double check me.   But, for the most part, I've got this covered.

4.       We can't say anything.  Recently, I had an almost terrific showing where the listing agent thought it would be a great idea to pop in unannounced near the end and re-shuffle the brochure box.  I, personally, was more annoyed at her lack of a plausible excuse. (I mean if you are going to be that bold you should think it through - 5 pieces of paper laying on the counter don't need straightening - bring some extra flyers in and at least take a stab at convincing me.)  But, the buyers on the other hand were completely turned off.  Talk about throwing ice water on that fire.  Why did her mere appearance spoil an otherwise great showing?  Well an educated buyer who is working with their own buyer's agent will view your agent as a sort of spy.  No one likes being spied on.  If they feel that they can't speak freely, they may get more caught up in being offended than in the house.

5.       Letting it Sink in - Talking about your home in hushed tones in the driveway is not the same thing as letting it sink in while standing in their favorite room of the house.  Buying a home isn't just about the stats -- square footage, number of bedrooms, and lot size.  Homes also have a feeling to them and I can't create that back at my office.  Now, don't worry we shouldn't need to arrange an overnight stay or anything.  But, I do need to let the clients spend enough time in the home to let the feeling of the home sink in so they can call that feeling back up when it is time to decide which home they want to buy.  Ten or fifteen uninterrupted minutes will typically suffice.  But, if you are there doing a last minute vacuum job in the bedroom (helping?), the vibe may never arrive.  As a buyer's agent, I want to sell your house, but if you turn your home into an obstacle course of distractions, I can only do so much.  I'm a REALTOR®, not a miracle worker. 

If you are thinking of selling your Central Coast home, you need an experienced REALTOR® on your side to help you avoid common seller pitfalls and guide you through the process of getting your home sold quickly and for top dollar.  Creating a showing environment that is welcoming to potential buyers is a big part of that.  When you are ready to list your home, contact me at (805) 878-9879 for a consultation.

Tni LeBlancMint Properties
Broker/Attorney, REALTOR®
CA DRE License # 01871795
(805) 878-9879

Serving  Santa Maria, Orcutt, Nipomo, Los Alamos, Santa Ynez, Los Olivos, Solvang, Buellton, Lompoc, Vandenberg Village, Arroyo Grande, Grover Beach, Pismo Beach, and Avila Beach.

*Nothing in this article is intended to solicit listings currently under contract with another broker.

Copyright © Tni LeBlanc 2011 *5 Reasons Why You And Your Agent Should Leave While Your Home is Shown*


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Tni LeBlanc, Broker
(805) 878-9879 mobile/text

CalBRE #01871795

Comment balloon 87 commentsTni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D. • January 09 2011 12:37PM



Great ideas.  I will remind the sellers of these 5 items again.

Happy selling!

Please keep me in mind for your S. Calif referrals.
Mike Capobianco
Century 21 Beachside

Posted by Fathom Realty Group Inc., Get Paid what your WORTH! (Fathom Realty Group Inc) over 8 years ago

Tni ... not only true ... but you could have written it in all caps .... there would be those that'd say you were screaming!  Maybe so, but there's a whole lot of listing agents who seem a little hard of hearing!  Great job ...

Posted by Jack Mossman - The Nines Team at Keller Williams in Lodi, The Nines Team in Lodi (The Nines Team at Keller Williams in Lodi) over 8 years ago

Those are 5 great reasons for the seller to be gone.

Here's one more: The seller can talk too much and destroy their negotiating position. Some people just can't seem to contain themselves, so blurt out the reason why they really need to sell by a certain date, or other details that give the buyer a distinct advantage. 

When I first started in real estate, seller's agents always accompanied showings. It was simply the way things were done here at that time. You can imagine how much fun it was to arrange showings when each house was listed by a different agent.

Posted by Marte Cliff, Your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) over 8 years ago

Tni, This was a very well written blog! I enjoyed reading it. This has happened to me, and it is even worse when the agent starts chatting up my clients and handing them a business card on our way out the door

Posted by Barbara Le Pine, Your agent for the Central Oregon Coast! (Advantage Real Estate, serving Lincoln County) over 8 years ago

Tni, if I come to a showing as the listing agent, I stand outside with my sellers so they don't say anything to the buyers or the buyer's agent.  All great points.

Posted by Pamela Seley, Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA (West Coast Realty Division) over 8 years ago

PS - I will bet you are going to get a feature on this one! Loved it and suggested it!

Posted by Barbara Le Pine, Your agent for the Central Oregon Coast! (Advantage Real Estate, serving Lincoln County) over 8 years ago

All great points. This post is a keeper to show my sellers.

Posted by Sidney Kutchuk, Property Management & Sales Experts 951-217-6745 (Property Management & Sales at REALTY WORKS TEMECULA, CA 92590 (951) 217-6745) over 8 years ago

Excellent article Tna! I have written about this subject over at my Massachusetts Real Estate Blog.....accompanied showings do not sell homes!

Posted by Bill Gassett, Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate (RE/MAX Executive Realty) over 8 years ago

Hi Tni, excellent post! I was actually at a showing for one of my listings by mistake. I got there one hour before the buyer's agent were to come. My homeowner and I were going over his buying needs. Then, the agent was there at 10 instead of 11. So, they went through the home on their own. Afterwards, they buyers and agent asked questions and my homeowner did a good job. I stayed in the background until the buyer's agent started to talk to me. Overall, it was a nice showing. I didn't know the agent and I like to be there for showings when I do not know them. Sometimes, inappropriate questions are asked to the homeowner. I make sure my homeowners are well-versed. Be honest though.

Posted by Jackie Connelly-Fornuff, "Moving at The Speed of YOU!" (Douglas Elliman Real Estate in Babylon NY) over 8 years ago

Thank Mike and good luck!

Jack - Yeah, writing in all caps tends to get that reaction!  But these are important points.

Marte - Yes, a lockbox can be a good thing.  I've never shown a home with a seller present that they didn't say something they shouldn't have.  Just don't be there.

Barbara - Ouch - that's not too nice!  Thanks for the suggest!

Pamela - That's a great way to handle it.

Sidney - Glad you like it!

Bill - I see we are on the same page!  I will check out your article.

Jackie - Glad that one worked out well!  Mix ups do happen.

Posted by Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D., Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879 (Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795) over 8 years ago

Oh man!  You're are my HERO today!!!  This is a great post!  Wish I hadn't already posted 2 blogs because I want to re-blog this to share and don't want to overwhelm my readers/followers on FB!  LOL  

Thanks for sharing this!  Maybe I'll bookmark to re-blog tonight.  :)

Posted by Kathleen Cooper, Sposato Realty Group - Broker Owner (Kathleen Cooper, Sposato Realty Group) over 8 years ago

This is a great post Tni...

And just enough of a dose of sarcasm to make the education fun. :-)

I couldn't agree more....

Posted by Joe Yates (eXp Realty) over 8 years ago

Hi Tni - I agree sellers should be scarce(if there at all) MOST of the time as you very well-written(as usual) post states.  Sometimes and just sometimesit is helpful for a seller to be there to answer questions(maybe at the end of the showing) and it can be handled like this...."Hi, I am Michael Jacobs and I'm here with my clients Mr & Mrs Jones to see your home.  Would you mind if I show them your home and come see you in the front yard(wherever) after we are finished so if there are any questions, we may ask them at that time?".   You state that you can get most of the facts from the multiple listing -- this is unfortunately not always the case -- it truly depends on the listing agent.  As far as listing agents accompanying the showing --- for some of our higher end properties or those with security issues(whether they be security systems or Rover the dog) the owners have requested we be in attendance.  If that is the case, I introduce myself ask the agent if he/she knows the home or would they like me to take them through it.  If that is the case, I always follow the buyers' and their agent and fall back if a discussion is about to occur.   Great post!  Sorry for the long comment.

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393 over 8 years ago

I thinks this has happened to all of us at least once while working as a buyer's agent.  It makes everyone uncomfortable having the listing agent show up and doesn't help to sell the home.  The buyers are either going to like it or they won't.

Posted by Chris Lefebvre, Methuen MA Real Estate Pro (eXp Realty) over 8 years ago
Tni This is yet another great post from you it made a lot of sense to Me, I really liked your comment you can't say the wrong thing if you are not there.........Brad
Posted by Brad Hornshaw, Realtor, Listing Agent, Buyers Agent, Investments (Brad Hornshaw Realtor Lynnwood, Bothell, Everett) over 8 years ago

Tni: What a great post well informed for the seller who is not sure what to do. I had one of my owner who decided to stay home while we had the open house. It would have been nice to have your points there for her to view but I'm glad I talked her out of staying and decided to leave in the end.

Posted by Donna Paul, Long Island Home Specialist,All About Real Estate (Keller Williams Realty Gold Coast) over 8 years ago

You nailed the whole thing with the phrase, "Homes also have a feeling to them and I can't create that back at my office."

Featured in the group: BARTENDER, MAKE IT A DOUBLE.

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) over 8 years ago

Great post on a difficult subject people hate it when the Home Owner is just hanging out while you look at the home.  It puts everyone on edge.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Tni- Very good points.  I just provided a consultation for a lovely seller /former Realtor who said that she will be there when the house shows because who knows it better.  I'm afraid whomever she chooses as her Realtor will have to overcome this.

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) over 8 years ago

Kathleen - Thanks in advance for the re-blog!  Glad you liked it.

Thanks Joe!

Michael- You're right not everything is in the MLS I guess that goes back to the quality of the agent you hire too.  Of course, I can't tell you how many times well meaning sellers interject from the next room when my client asks a question that I can clearly handle.  Thanks for reminding us that you were listening the whole time!

Chris - So true and if there is a lot of inventory on the market, I think it hurts you because they can just go on to the next house. 

Valerie - Very true.  If they can't leave they can't leave but a lot folks choose to be there and they should know that it is almost always a mistake.

Glad you liked it Brad.

Donna - I'm glad they decided to leave as well, that is doubly hard on buyers.  The listing agent, the seller and many times their agent is not there for an open house.

Chris Ann - Thanks for the feature! Even well meaning sellers have a knack for killing a mood.

Gene - Yes, it's so true.  People have feelings about your presence there as the seller.  I am sympathetic I have sold a number of homes myself, but I also know when I want to sell a house I get out and let that agent do their thing with their client.  After all, the goal is for the house to NOT be my home anymore.

Posted by Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D., Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879 (Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795) over 8 years ago

Kathy,  I'm shocked that a former real estate agent would make that kind of mistake.  I wonder how many homes she sold that way?  Knowing the details of the home and its history is useful for disclosures, that's where she should say what she knows.  She doesn't know what the buyer wants so she doesn't know what the home has to offer THEM.  If the buyers in her market are not used to meeting the seller, she is putting herself at a disadvantage because the showing will feel very forced to them.  Tni

Posted by Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D., Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879 (Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795) over 8 years ago

It's just good etiquette to leave because what you want to happen is for the buyer to be able to feel comfortable looking around and picture themselves in the home and with you breathing down their neck or giving commentary that's all but impossible.

Posted by Victor Zuniga (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services California Properties) over 8 years ago

Victor - I agree.  They think they are helping but I just want to tell them -- please don't help!   They are also restricting my ability as the buyer's agent to "sell" their home too.  If the seller is right there I don't even want them to know how I feel about the house either.

Posted by Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D., Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879 (Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795) over 8 years ago

Tni, you consistantly write the best posts.  You probably didnt know it, but your post is also a good instructional post on the proper way to show a home.  Looking forward to your next post.

Much respect, Curt

Posted by Curt Baumgarth, CDPE Realtor Serving the Valley of the Sun. 480 26 (Century 21 All Stars) over 8 years ago

Terrific points - I love the graphics too. Sellers are deal killers all the time.

Posted by Ruthmarie Hicks (Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605) over 8 years ago

You got it again Tni!  reminds me of a post I wrote 2 years ago, my first feature in fact.. http://activerain.com/blogsview/900138/a-newbie-contest-it-s-even-better-than-american-idol-would-you-try-on-that-swimsuit-if-the-clerk-had-to-accompany-you-into-the-dressing-room-

Posted by Pat Tasker, Your Milwaukee Metro Area Agent (WI) (Shorewest Realtors) over 8 years ago

Tni, this is absolutely wonderful! I hit the suggest button. Every single point you made is spot on!

Posted by Liz Lockhart, GRI, Cape Girardeau Real Estate (Riverbend Realty, Cape Girardeau, MO) over 8 years ago


First of all I have to say, you always have the greatest posts!  I love your blog!!  Second, this post states it exactly right!  Thank you so much!!




Posted by Wendy Rich-Soto, Realtor Strategize, Stage, Sell, Owner of SellingLASouthBay.com @ the WRichTeam (Keller Williams Realty, LA Harbor) over 8 years ago

so true!!! i agree with you on that.  great post!

Posted by Brandon & Grace Yee, Lake Tahoe Real Estate (Chase International) over 8 years ago

Tni, Great post.  Having the agent or seller there generally rushes the buyers.

Posted by Carla Freund, Raleigh - Cary Triangle Real Estate 919-602-8489 (Keller Williams Preferred Realty) over 8 years ago


You are correct, most buyers think they are just being helpful and informative to the potential buyers.  They want to be able to answer any of their questions so they feel they walked out with all the information.  As we both know they can do more harm then good.  Great post.

Posted by Nicholas Caron (Caron's Gateway Real Estate) over 8 years ago

I surely prefer to show homes without the owners or agent present.  My buyers and I have discussed their likes and needs and, while I keep an open mind about homes we see, buyers are looking for a "feeling" of comfort in the house. 

With privacy between the buyer and the agent, we can slowly tour the property, discuss it, comment about it and the buyer will decide whether or not the home suits their needs. 

With an owner or agent present, we are severely limited. 

Sellers who believe that only they can show their home to the best advantage are thinking of what they like about their home, not what the buyer may be seeking in a home.

If a buyer really likes a home, we may spend an hour really looking hard, making notes, etc.  With the seller or agent present, the buyer is going to take a quick walk-through and out. 

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 8 years ago

So true! I also feel having the owner there creates a feeling of uneasiness. Like your invading their home not shopping for one.

Posted by Scott Fogleman, New Home Team (New Home Team 804-573-9592) over 8 years ago

#2 is huge. Sellers don't know the buyers. So what if they know the house. If it feels like home we'll ask questions. If it doesn't there is nothing the seller can say to change that. And it won't feel like home with the current owner imposing themselves. 

Posted by J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner (J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY) over 8 years ago

I love the AND YOUR AGENT...we have one agent in town who without exception always comes to replenish brochures...check the...straighten the....every time you are showing a listing...grrrrrr

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 8 years ago

.6  Your listing agent should have told you about the perils of #1-5.

Posted by Charita Cadenhead, Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama) (Keller Williams Realty) over 8 years ago

I can't stand it when people do that, it makes people very uncomfortable and does no good to have the sellers present. After all you are looking at their stuff, you don't want them hearing what you say about it, good or bad.

Posted by David O'Doherty, Clayton NC Homes, Raleigh, NC (Raleigh Realty Inc) over 8 years ago

6.  "The buyer may not like the seller".  As a result, the buyer may dislike the home.

My position has always been that the buyer and seller should never meet until closing.

Posted by Glen Fisher (National Property Inspections of Southern New Jersey, LLC) over 8 years ago

Glen said:   "My position has always been that the buyer and seller should never meet until closing."

Lenn said:  "BINGO!"

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 8 years ago


I think we're pretty lucky in the Austin market because most sellers seem to already expect to leave the home when it's being shown.  It may have something to do with ... the weather!  It's always warmer here than the rest of the country.  As a seller in an area with harsh winters, I might feel much differently about leaving the house a few times on a busy showing weekend!

Posted by Bradley Pounds, (512) 736-3353 (Watters International Realty, Broker Lic #606049) over 8 years ago

Great points and all true. Thanks for sharing. Have a great day!

Posted by K.C. McLaughlin, Realtor, e-PRO, Homes for Sale - Cary, Raleigh NC (RE/MAX United) over 8 years ago


First off, I love your name.  is it your given name or a nick name? This is a very good post.  This gives us good verbage to use in these situations.  I have a homeowner right now that will not leave during showings.  Thanks  Cindy

Posted by Cindy Edwards, CRS, GRI, PMN - Northeast Tennessee - 423-677-6677 (RE/MAX Checkmate) over 8 years ago

Tni: Excellent points and hope some agents I know pay attention to this post.

Posted by Surprise Arizona Realtor Jim Braun Sun City Grand Active Adult Communities, Surprise AZ real estate Phoenix West Valley (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Jim Braun Sun City Grand Az ) over 8 years ago

It's not common in my market either.  But the few times I have experienced it, it has been so very awkward for everyone.  The one thing I do see from time to time in our area is builders being present at a showing.  They really should consider your list too!

Posted by Kristyn Grewell, Edmond, OK Homes, Oklahoma Relocation Services (CENTURY 21 Goodyear Green Edmond, OK) over 8 years ago

I do not understand this concept at all. Leave the home and let me show the home. I have never sold a home while the seller was present. Hmmm-what does that tell us? Let's leave it up to the listing agent and seller.

Posted by Harry F. D'Elia, Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR (RentVest) over 8 years ago


On a couple luxury listings where the sellers insisted I be present at showings, I opened up the home, turned on lights and then sat outside - in my car if cold or rainy.  I completely agree with you about total privacy for the buyers and their agents inside the home!  No exceptions.

Posted by Irene Kennedy Realtor® in Northwestern NJ (Weichert) over 8 years ago

Tni, often times sellers think they are helping potential buyers when jumping in to answer a question. This post is a must read for all sellers. Thanks.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA over 8 years ago

I once showed a home when the seller gave us a "guided" tour of the property.  When we got to the back yard of this waterfront property, she told us that a "lovely" little alligator climbed out of the lake periodically to sun itself in her backyard.  Apparently she didn't see the client's 8 month old daughter and 2 year old son.   When we got in the car, the buyer said "I really love my kids. Don't think the alligator was a selling point"

Posted by Jeanne Gregory, RE/MAX SW over 8 years ago

Tni, this will be a repost today for me as well.  I just have one reason for the sellers not to be home........I'm thee agent that you hired to sell your home and I need you not to be here.  Simple

Posted by Joe Kenny, Better Than Your Average Joe (Realty Executive Midwest) over 8 years ago

In our market most listing agents require they are present during the showing. I dislike this practice for all the reasons you enumerated above. And additionally I think sometimes the listing agents over step their bounds and get way too friendly with the buyer. In my opinion, it does NOT help the sale, but hamper it because the buyers and I cannot have a candid conversation with the sellers agent breathing down our necks. I really hate when they show us through the house..."and here's the kitchen" like we are morons that don't know a kitchen when we stand in one....puhleeez!!


Kelly in the KEYS

Posted by Kelly Willey, Florida Keys Luxury Sales, Marathon, Key Colony (Coco Plum Real Estate, Kelly Willey, FLORIDA KEYS) over 8 years ago

Tni - ALL your points are excellent.  Sellers should NOT be present.  I have rarely had a buyer who felt comfortable with the seller there. They felt like they were imposing and were definitely inclined to leave the property quickly instead of lingering and taking a better look.  I know sellers like to be helpful, but sometimes that helpfulness opens up discussion and concern about something that was actually a non-issue  but developed into something big just by drawing attention to it. 

Posted by Barbara Altieri, REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale (Kinard Realty Group - RealtyQuest Team, Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Hahaha great post!  Going to Re-Blog it because I think others should see this.

Posted by Jimmy Gilley, (269) 362-4841 - Search Niles MI Home For Sale (Gold Star Realty) over 8 years ago


These are all good points. It interferes with the process, and encourages people to leave quickly, which is the exact opposite of what the vendor really wants to do.


Posted by Brian Madigan, LL.B., Broker (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto)) over 8 years ago

As always, wonderful information written in that entertaining and memorable "Tni Style".  Love your posts!

Posted by Rhonda Abbott, Wadsworth & Greater Akron, OH (Howard Hanna) over 8 years ago

The owner and listing agent should be no where around cause the buyer is looking at a product not an emotionally invested over time home. Listing agents should be well aware of this.

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) over 8 years ago

There is nothing more uncomfortable for Buyers than having the seller present at the showing.  When I have been showing homes and the seller insists on being there, the buyers fly through that home and then always later comment how "weird it was that the sellers were there".

Posted by Christine McInerney, The McInerney Team, Knoxville TN Homes For Sale (Great Life RE) over 8 years ago
All key points and great post.
Posted by Terri Stephens, REALTOR, Calgary & Airdrie 403-827-4663 (CIR REALTY ) over 8 years ago
All key points and great post.
Posted by Terri Stephens, REALTOR, Calgary & Airdrie 403-827-4663 (CIR REALTY ) over 8 years ago
All key points and great post.
Posted by Terri Stephens, REALTOR, Calgary & Airdrie 403-827-4663 (CIR REALTY ) over 8 years ago

Tni - an excellent read and something that many LAs and their clients should read as well. There are some agents here that usually accompany and it is common in the high end homes (well into the millions).


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (Solutions Real Estate ) over 8 years ago

Yes, Yes and YES! Points brought up were humorous yet so true. Love that one about the hushed conversations in the driveway and how I dread those as they break the good flow from a good showing. Thanks!

Posted by Stephanie Jacques over 8 years ago

Tni - Excellent post.... Have you thought of putting your blogs intoa handbook to hand out to your clients new and old?  Tn i -you write well LOL Gay

Posted by Gay E. Rosen, As Real as Real Estate Gets! (Julia B. Fee Sotheby's International Realty) over 8 years ago

I am so glad you wrote this! Excellent points and coming from a market where the listing agent or seller is usually present I very much appreciate this thinking!

Posted by Susan Hamblen, Making the world a happier place...one client, one (Exit Realty Achieve) over 8 years ago

Many people are guarded when meeting strangers. Of course when they are guarded and closed down, even a little, they are closed to your home too. Additionally when you the seller are there they are only seeing your home not one that is potentially their home. Tni as always your post is important, cogent and well put together. Must be the lawyer in you.

Posted by Maya Swamy, Ph.D. Long Beach, CA - fundsavailable.com (Funds Available) over 8 years ago

Tni, so right on - I walk my sellers out of the house when buyers show up. It's just the only way to allow someone to really look at the house. 

Posted by Terkel Sørensen, Realtor, 951.805.0773 , Bank owned and Short Sales (Real Estate Places) over 8 years ago

Tni, Buyers do not want to feel uncomfortable in a house they are looking at. Who wants to open closet doors with the seller looming over your shoulder?

Posted by Ellie McIntire, Luxury service in Howard County & Catonsville (Ellicott City Clarksville Howard County Maryland Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Great points, Tni. There is no reason for the other agent to be cramping your space, when you're trying to make the sale happen!

Posted by Aaron Seekford, Ranked Top 1% Nationwide 703-836-6116 (Arlington Realty, Inc.) over 8 years ago

Once in a while, it's unavoidable. For instance, when there is a baby in the household, and your buyer can't come when it's convenient for the seller.  But as a general rule, I'd much rather the seller's weren't there. Today for instance, I'm taking a buyer for a walk-through and the mom and the kids will be there.  Don't really have a choice with the buyer's schedule, so off we go. We close on Friday, so we're already through the tough stuff.

Posted by Karen Crowson, Your Agent for Change (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 8 years ago

Tni, nothing is more of a turn-off than having the seller present. Unfortunately, sellers think that no one can sell their house like they can...isn't that called FSBO. How does that usually work out? Not so well.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) over 8 years ago

Excellent points.

The buyers agent is the ONE person who understands the buyer and their desires and wants.  Sometimes the seller actually says the wrong thing to the buyer (imagine that).

Posted by Faye Y. Taylor, Homes for Sale Floresville, La Vernia & San Antoni (StepStone Realty, LLC ) over 8 years ago

I agree!  A relaxed atmosphere where the Buyer can linger is opening the best possibility to sell.  I can't stress enough the appeal the entry makes.  Remember, the Buyer makes their decision in the first 15 seconds.  That quiet Ahhh.... feeling is priceless!

Posted by Barb Merrill, GRI, Associate Broker (Cactus Mountain Properties, LLC) over 8 years ago

It's not the norm in Utah either. However, sometimes it can't be helped, and we must do the best we can. I've often mentioned to agents that they are potentially hurting their clients when they "pop" in. Mostly, they are young and trying too hard. I don't see many experienced agents making these mistakes. Most agents also advise their clients to bail during a showing for the same reason. Thanks for the great info!

Posted by Chris and Berna Sloan, Tooele UT (Group 1 Real Estate) over 8 years ago
Hi Tni, terrific coverage of this topic. As a matter of courtesy I suggest to sellers that it is o.k. for them to wait in the listing until I arrive - then they need to leave, period ! Best of 2011 to you !
Posted by Bill Gillhespy, Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos (16 Sunview Blvd) over 8 years ago

Well written post with great points about stepping aside during showings.  I'm bookmarking this one.  Thank you!

Posted by Laura Barron, D + B Real Estate - Collin County Texas & Beyond (www.RealFamilyRealEstate.com) over 8 years ago

Hi Tri: I had a showing recently on a listing where I need to deactivate the alarm, then planned to leave. The buyers showed up early and their agent showed up late. So I felt compelled to let them in, sat them on the deck to watch the ocean to wait, and retreated. Turned out fine, but I felt the agent should have communicated with her client that she was going to be late. But have the seller there? Never.

Posted by Hella Mitschke Rothwell, Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker ((831) 626-4000) over 8 years ago

Great post Tni.  I agree on all of the above. I have had luxury listings where the owner has asked me to be there for all showings concerned about security of their home. I felt sick being there knowing that it made both the buyer and their agent uncomfortable being there. It takes away the "neutral effect" of looking at the home if you are lingering around. The buyer spends more time thinking about you rather than the home. That's my opinion.

Posted by Stanley Stepak, Realtor - Avon Lake, Avon, Bay Village, Westlake, (Howard Hanna - Avon Lake, OH) over 8 years ago

At some point, we have to relay to our sellers the importance of getting out of their own way when selling their home.  Particularly for sale by owners that later turn to agents to sell....they just don't get why they had so many "fantastic" open house turnouts or "interested" buyers but NO offers.  Well, it is because the buyers were being NICE to you...they did not wish to offend you!  Great discussion.

Posted by Karen Feltman, Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group) over 8 years ago

This is a relevant and important post.  Many Sellers do not get it!!!

Posted by Sharon Parisi, Dallas Homes (United Real Estate Dallas ) over 8 years ago

Hi Tni--

very good points...valid in my neck of the woods, in sunny Perth W.Australia  as well.

Extremely seldom do I get sellers insisting staying at home...some times there are valid reasons...the hidden safe, or the tenant who strongly insists 'seeing' it all....

...in those circumstances, both seller and/or tenant  and buyer are made aware ('prepared' beforehand)  and asked if they agree to walk the 'red carpet'....yes, totally agree it is a mindset...and thank you for bringing it up. Great comments and thank you all for sharing. Peter

Posted by Peter Michelbach over 8 years ago

Thanks so much for all the positive responses; there are too many to respond to them all individually now.  Selling a house is a difficult process and it is important for sellers to be reminded what that experience is like for buyers. 

Thanks Curt - I really appreciate reading that. 

Ruthmarie - Sometimes people can be their own worst enemy during the process, that's where a good agent comes in handy!

Pat Tasker - I have to head over there and check that one out.

Liz Lockhart - Thanks so much for the suggest!  It worked!

Wendy Rich-Soto - Thanks so much glad you like the posts!

Lenn - So true you want the buyer to want to spend time in the home.  If they really like it they will linger and that many times means an offer. It is difficult for buyers to write on a home they feel rushed seeing, and they always feel rushed when the seller is present.  Just human nature.

Phil- So true.  No matter how well meaning the sellers are they always pointing out things that eitehr the buyers hate or that are just not important to them.  Let their own agent do the showing.

Sally & David - That is such an annoying move.

Charita - So true!

Glen - So true I once showed a home where the seller stole my buyer's boyfriend in high school.  Glad the seller wasn't present for that one.  But yes personality conflicts as well.  Don't limit your pool of buyers.

Hi Cindy - It's my real full name.   I wrote a post about my name recently.  If you want a quick laugh you might want to check it out.

Thanks Irene - I would do the same!

Jeanne - What was she thinking.  That's not exactly a selling poitn for anybody!

Joe Kenny - Thanks for the re-blog!

Posted by Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D., Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879 (Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795) over 8 years ago

Kelly in the Keys- I agree the post was inspired by a showing I had on Saturday.  My buyer asked me if the range was gas or electric and the seller screams out from the next room "ELECTRIC" before I have a chance to say anything.  And I really do believe I could've answered that one!  LOL.

Barbara - I agree. Just don't be there.  You're nervous, they are nervous, the odds of something stupid being said are very high.

Jimmy Gilley - Thanks for the re-blog!

Thanks Rhonda!

Jeff - Yes I do believe the home will sell faster with an unaccompanied viewing.

Stephanie - Yes flow is KEY!

Thanks Gay - I do have a plan for them and AR is great motivation to keep the writing going.  I love the comments they are a lot of fun. 

Thank you Dr. Swamy!  Maybe it is the lawyer in me! 

Karen Crowson- I agree sometimes it is unavoidable.  But other times. . . I've actually seen seller think they SHOULD be there for a showing.

Tammie - So true - let the agents handle it from here!

Posted by Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D., Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879 (Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795) over 8 years ago

Faye - So true.  Imagine that.  LOL.

Barb - Yes, and the showing that inspired this -- I asked the seller twice do you want us to wait until you leave? No.  Do you want us to wait until you are done cleaning up?  No.  No, come right in while we are vacuuming.  That's a great first 15 seconds!

Chris - I just really don't see what they gain from it.  The risk of offending people is too high and what is gained in exchange?

Bill G. - Good advice!

Hella- (Love your name by the way).  For sure I would have called if I was going to be late.  Nice of you to park them in front of a true selling point!

Stan Stepak - I agree.  Buyers don't need two agents following them around the home.  One is enough.

Karen- Right. I've heard that time and time again from FSBOs. 

Thanks Sharon!

Peter -  Yes a warning helps!

Posted by Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D., Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879 (Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795) over 8 years ago

Tni, you're right about possibly saying the WRONG thing. I know what the buyers are looking for and always point out all the positive. But if the seller mentions too many details that lead right into what the buyers didn't want, that's it. It's done.

Posted by Terri Poehler, Coral Springs Real Estate Agent (Realtor) over 8 years ago

This would never work in a designated agency state.  If the listing agent isn't present, he is not upholding his fiduciary duties to the seller by representing the seller's interests to a prospective purchaser.  All too many times have I seen buyers agents zoom in and out of a home, bad mouthing the property and the listing agent (note: please don't do this, you could find yourself violating the Realtor® Code of Ethics) thinking that they are doing their clients a favor.  Actually they are not.  If the listing agent is present, he can answer questions, demonstrate some of the unique features or amenities of the home and demonstrate why they are the neighborhood expert by explaining features of the neighborhood, community and services.  The listing agent can also be a resource to the buyer's agent when negotiating a purchase price by providing comps to support the asking price.

Actually, now that I think about it, unless you are a transactional broker, or a facilitator, you still have fiduciary obligations to the seller.  That's why sub-agency is not good for buyers because the "buyer's agent" is often times a sub-agent of the listing agent.

HMM. Anyone want to comment?

Posted by Martin Kalisker, Professional Standards & Legal Assistant (Greater Boston Association of REALTORS) over 8 years ago

Terri - So true.

Weichert - Hey you got to the party kinda late -- I was just about to turn out the lights!  LOL.  The post is aimed at a market where the seller being home is not the norm.  It makes that clear in the first two sentences!  I am aware that in places like Manhattan the listing agent is always there.  And I know even there buyer's don't LIKE IT.  But in an area where you are the only one or one of two it can have the effect of making buyers completely ignore your house.

Also, you may see buyer's agents zoom in and out of home but it may be because the buyers don't like the home!   Why waste time?  If you are there it's true the showing takes longer because they are humoring you!  Which is another reason buyers get annoyed by you or the seller being there -- they are focused on not offending you instead of whether they like the home.  If they know immediately they don't like the home they will leave, but with a seller there trying to show them the bathroom cabinets they are going to play along.  If you are upset at agents bad mouthing you believe me they can do that in the house or standing out front of it.  You being there may delay it but not prevent it.

As far as the listing agent being a resource for comps, I think that of course the listing agent will submit comps to me especially when they are reaching price wise.  But, there is no way I'm going to rely on his or her comps, I'm gonna check them myself.  Besides you can email me your comps, you don't have to stand in the kitchen with us to give me your comps.  Representing your client doesn't require you to be present at showings.  In my opinion, your presence as the listing agent or seller does more harm than good -- I can easily see why someone who is used to a different system would see it differently -- they are used to doing it one way and it seems odd to them.  In my market, buyers are used to seeing homes without the seller or the listing agent, so it seems odd to them.   That was my point.

Posted by Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D., Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879 (Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795) over 8 years ago
Sounds like we agree to disagree here...
Posted by Martin Kalisker, Professional Standards & Legal Assistant (Greater Boston Association of REALTORS) over 8 years ago

I just came across this post, Tni, and think it was very good indeed! It's nice to see the seller's side from the buyer's perspective.  Makes us (as the listing agents) think a little differently, I believe.


Posted by Emcee M. Arah, Realtor w/Architectural Dimension, AHWD CRS B-Arch (Remax Excellence - Silver Spring, MD) over 8 years ago