Showing a Home
Without Permission

Showing a home without permission is a big MLS no-no: any Realtor caught doing it is automatically on the hook for a $1,000 fine.

But the operative word is “caught.”

Unless the homeowner happens to be home, it’s one of those transgressions that you’d guess frequently goes undetected.

And even if it is, it’s up to the client to “press charges,” with assistance from their Realtor.

That means filing an ethics complaint, and documenting the allegation with evidence that the showing was rejected, and that the listing agent’s electronic lockbox was accessed by the offending Realtor (mechanical lockboxes generate no such log).

A certain Realtor active in the west ‘burbs’ is very lucky that I have especially gracious clients, and accepted an apology from him rather than having him fined $1,000 (he was showing multiple condo’s in my client’s building, and apparently, wanted his clients to see the full range of choices. When he unexpectedly found my clients home, he told them a baldfaced lie that he had a confirmed showing.)

P.S.: memo to MLS: I’d actually recommend a smaller fine; $1,000 is so draconian that I’m guessing many wronged home sellers (like mine) decline to impose it, or fear some kind of retribution if they do.

P.P.S.: want a guaranteed way out of paying that $1,000? Write an offer on the property.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.
1 Response
  1. Serottaguy

    I disagree, Ross. Although there was no forced entry, a Realtor going into a property without a showing confirmation is essentially "breaking and entering", something that in many other circumstances could (and does) results in jail time. I think that being able to avoid jail for $1000 is a bargain and I do wish that clients agreed to press the complaint more than they do – the fact is, somebody entered their home without permission. There is no way to excuse that…

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