Showing Etiquette and Professionalism

The real estate market has picked up and with that we expect there to be an increase in showings as new homes get listed and buyers increase. Being courteous to the seller and listing brokeris important. Remember, showing a home is a privilege, not a right.

  1. ALWAYS check showing instructions.

  2. ALWAYS respect showing instructions.

  3. ALWAYS check to make sure lights are turned off.

  4. ALWAYS double check to make sure all doors are locked.

  5. ALWAYS close blinds and curtains and/or leave them as they were found.

  6. ALWAYS leave property better than you found it.

Below are courtesies and etiquette created by NAR's Professional Conduct Working Group of the Professional Standards Committee for use by REALTORS®.

Pathways to Professionalism


  1. Follow the “Golden Rule” – Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

  2. Respond promptly to inquiries and requests for information.

  3. Schedule appointments and showings as far in advance as possible.

  4. Call if you are delayed or must cancel an appointment or showing.

  5. If a prospective buyer decides not to view an occupied home, promptly explain the situation to the listing broker or the occupant.

  6. Communicate with all parties in a timely fashion.

  7. When entering a property, ensure that unexpected situations, such as pets, are handled appropriately.

  8. Leave your business card. Do not leave behind business cards that contain advertisement.

  9. Never criticize property in the presence of the occupant.

  10. Inform occupants that you are leaving after showings.

  11. When showing an occupied home, always ring the doorbell or knock—and announce yourself loudly—before entering. Knock and announce yourself loudly before entering any closed room.

  12. Present a professional appearance at all times; dress appropriately and drive a clean car.

  13. If occupants are home during showings, ask their permission before using the telephone or bathroom.

  14. Encourage the clients of other brokers to direct questions to their agent or representative.

  15. Communicate clearly; don’t use jargon or slang that may not be readily understood.

  16. Be aware of and respect cultural differences.

  17. Show courtesy and respect to everyone.

  18. Be aware of—and meet—all deadlines.

  19. Promise only what you can deliver—and keep your promises.

  20. Identify your REALTOR® and your professional status in contacts with the public.

  21. Do not tell people what you think—tell them what you know.


  1. Be responsible for everyone you allow to enter listed property.

  2. Never allow buyers to enter listed property unaccompanied. Never give out a lock box combination.

  3. When showing property, keep all members of the group together.

  4. Never allow unaccompanied access to property without permission.

  5. Enter property only with permission even if you have a lockbox key or combination. Alert the listing agent immediately if the lock box does not open or malfunctions.

  6. When the occupant is absent, leave the property as you found it (lights, heating, cooling, drapes, etc.). If you think something is amiss (e.g. vandalism) contact the listing broker immediately.

  7. Be considerate of the seller’s property. Do not allow anyone to eat, drink, smoke, dispose of trash, use bathing or sleeping facilities, or bring pets. Leave the house as you found it unless instructed otherwise.

  8. Use sidewalks; if weather is bad, take off shoes and boots inside property. Consider the use of shoe covers in inclement weather.

  9. Politely remind parents to keep track of their children’s activities as children can wander unoccupied, or handle the sellers’ personal property.


  1. Identify your REALTOR® and professional status in all contacts with other REALTORS®.

  2. Respond to other agents’ calls, faxes, and e-mails promptly and courteously.

  3. Be aware that large electronic files with attachments or lengthy faxes may be a burden on recipients.

  4. Notify the listing broker if there appears to be inaccurate information on the listing.

  5. Share important information about a property, including the presence of pets; security systems; and whether sellers will be present during the showing.

  6. Show courtesy, trust and respect to other real estate professionals.

  7. Avoid the inappropriate use of endearments or other denigrating language.

  8. Do not prospect at other REALTORS® open houses or similar events.

  9. Return keys promptly.

  10. Promptly provide showing reports to the listing agent.

  11. Carefully replace keys in the lockbox after showings.

  12. To be successful in the business, mutual respect is essential.

  13. Real estate is a reputation business. What you do today may affect your reputation—and business—for years to come.

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