Realtors (or Their Clients) Behaving Badly

First, a caveat:  the vast majority of Realtors showing my (listing) clients’ homes are punctual, respectful and otherwise professional.

In turn, I try to do likewise when I’m showing homes as a Buyer’s agent.

Aside from common courtesy, doing all those things is very much in the Buyer’s agent ” and their client’s ” self-interest.

After all, the reason to show any home is that their client may want to buy it, and if that’s the case, antagonizing the owner by showing up late/early, leaving footprints (or a door unlocked!) is a very bad start.

That’s especially true in a Seller’s market, where at least some owners can choose amongst multiple Buyers.


That said, there are obviously isolated cases of bad Realtor behavior in connection with showing homes.

When that happens, the best response is to report the transgression to the Realtor’s Broker and ” if warranted ” to the local Board of Realtors.

Of course, there are also simpler, “self-help” remedies.

I recently read about a homeowner who complained on Facebook that they’d had a string of Realtors show up either early or late, disturbing their small children.

My two-part suggestion?

First, the homeowner should ask their agent to replace the electronic lockbox (which only licensees can access) with a manual lockbox.

Second, the owner should get the lockbox code from their agent, and remove the key in between showings.

So, if the Realtor requested 3 — 4 p.m. on Saturday (the convention is a one-hour window), at 4:01 p.m. the homeowner removes the key.

While electronic lockboxes are more secure, substituting a mechanical one — especially if the owner pulls the key when they don’t want showings — is a reasonable, short-term alternative.

P.S.:  One of the biggest Realtor “no-no’s” is showing a home without official confirmation.

At least in Minnesota, that’s an automatic $1,000 Board fine.

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.

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