Permissions, pets and property showings

Everyone knows you’re supposed to floss your teeth every day, slow down at yellow traffic lights and pay your bills on time. Yet we’re not always diligent about doing what we’re supposed to do.  So here are some friendly reminders about the rules of showing properties:

  • You and the prospective buyer are essentially guests in someone else’s private home.
  • If an owner is not present, the responsibility for how the property is viewed and its condition upon your leaving is yours. After a showing, the property should be in the same condition as you found it.
  • Permission is essential. Never enter a property without permission even if you have the lockbox code.
  • Find out if there is an active security system and make sure you know how to use it.
  • Always notify the listing agent if you need to delay or cancel an appointment to show a property. Sellers usually put serious effort into each showing and it is very discourteous to leave them high and dry.
  • Ask that pets be secured in a separate part of the home during showings or even taken off site. Some people are frightened by animals.  With strangers coming into the house, dogs can be noisy and protective, but also intimidating.  Remember too that some people are allergic to cats and dogs.
  • Find out if a seller plans to be present during showings. It can be awkward to show a home to a potential buyer and collect information, observations and comments from the client when the owner is within earshot. Nor do you want the owner to participate in the showing. It is best to encourage the person living there and/or the owner to vacate the home during showing times.
  • Turn the lights on and open blinds to present a home. Be observant and careful about how visitors treat the house and its furnishings, and bear in mind that you are responsible for everyone you allow to enter a listed property.
  • Politely remind parents to keep an eye on their children so they do not wander off and handle the seller’s personal belongings.
  • Be considerate of the seller’s property and do not allow anyone to make a mess (eat /drink) or use the facilities. Insist shoes be removed at the door to keep the home clean and tidy, even if it is not especially tidy when you entered. Your responsibility to view the home without any noticeable change or disturbance at the property is important nonetheless.
  • Leave the property exactly as you found it after showing, whether it’s shutting off the lights and the heating-cooling system, closing blinds or shutting the garage door.
  • As a courtesy thank the seller for the privilege of viewing their home.
  • Immediately notify the listing agent of any inaccuracies or concerns about the property.

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