Updated: Aug 14
In this post, I wanted to give some more details about showings of my listings specifically geared toward buyers' agents.
The homes I list always have at least a few lockbox types, including all homes having a REIN lockbox and contractor lockbox. Some homes also have Williamsburg lockboxes and CBRAR lockboxes, depending on location. I do not have available CVR lockboxes so especially for those agents, it's important to get the contractor box code prior to arriving at the home. Please check the listing for available lockbox types to ensure that you will be able to access the home.
For more details on using a contractor lockbox if you're new to the business, go to my article on the subject including the video I made here.
2. Scheduling Showings via Showingtime Digitally or by Phone
I use Showing Time for scheduling showings via WBG MLS & REIN MLS with most properties. For those who don't have WBG MLS or REIN accounts, or if not listed on the one that an agent has access to, call Showing Time at 1-800-Showing.
If the occupant denies your showing without providing a reason why or requests a shorter time than what you've requested when you don't see another showing that would limit that time, please let me know via text at 757 879 9651 so that I can investigate with the occupant.
3. Pictures/Video/ Optimized Virtual Tour
A. Adam's Photos/Virtual Tour
Adam includes a Matterport virtual tour on all listings, which in some cases includes the exterior of properties & certain unfinished spaces like garages. For area photos, he typically includes captions, and agents should refer buyers to MLS for those captions since public websites (other than REIN.com) typically don't have access to those captions, which typically include distances to the property and other helpful information in many cases such as amenities present. Here are details in case they have difficulty finding them on MLS.
B. Buyer/Buyer's Agent Photos/Video on Property:
1. My listing agreements typically include the following express permission from the sellers: "Seller permits buyers, buyer's agents, and contractors to use photography/ videography for personal reference. Public posts are permitted as long as photos/ videos are not posted with a negative slant that could hurt the sale."
2. If a buyer's agent wants to do things like flying a drone over the property while on the property (as long as you are doing so lawfully including but not limited to Virginia Code & Part 107), let me know and typically sellers I work with will say "yes". Home inspectors & contractors don't need additional permission as long as doing so lawfully. While you are located off the property, i.e. on a public street, no additional permission by buyer's agents is necessary for aerial photography as long as abiding by the law when doing so (i.e. you may still need FAA/ATC authorization in some cases in restricted airspace & not coming within 50' of the house, while with permission from the seller you can come within a ft of the house). The same ruling by sellers on public posts being permitted under positive or neutral circumstances applies.
3. If a buyer's agent, contractor, buyer, or home inspector wants to take thermal imaging of a property, they can do that without any additional permission necessary, with public posts still allowed as long as neutral or positive in nature.
4. While no additional permission is necessary for inspectors or contractors, if a buyer's agent wants to take photos or video of a crawlspace using a remote control device (a crawl bot), please request permission and I will pass that along to the sellers. Typically the sellers will agree to it. In this case, please do not post the videos publicly, and I would love it if you could let me know if you see any issues.
5. For more details on how pictures/video can be beneficial for you as a buyers agent, your buyers, and my sellers, go here.
4. Refreshments Typically Available
I typically* have snacks on the countertop and drinks in the wine cooler (if present, includes a glass front) or fridge (if the fridge is otherwise empty) for all guests.
* Certain as-is properties & some 2.5% or less SBC properties are excluded.
Please alert Adam via text if:
1. The snacks/drinks are low or gone.
2. The trashcan is full.
5. Please Use Shoe Covers if Provided at Front Door
My listings typically have shoe covers available at the door closest to the lock boxes. Please use them or remove your shoes while in the home. For any home with shoe covers available, if you see that the floor is dirty (i.e. if someone before you didn't abide by the shoe cover/shoeless policy), please let me know.
If the home is being sold as is, or if the sellers are offering a lower commission, shoe covers may not be present. In those cases, please try to not add further dirt/debris to the home. In the event that you notice substantial debris in the home (especially that appears fresh and when the home is not being sold as is), please alert Adam.
6. Showings by Adam if You're Unavailable
In the event that you're ever unable to see a property that buyers want to see in a timely manner, whether in person or via video, & you don't have another agent from your company who can show it to them, let me know. I'll often be able to show it to your buyers or arrange for another agent from my firm to show it to your buyers. It's best in these circumstances especially to have a written exclusive buyer brokerage agreement with your buyers established prior to showing so that there is no confusion that I or agents from my firm that fill in for me represent the seller. My company also has a policy against dual agency, and I've never practiced dual agency in part because of it.
Some agents like myself like to limit those agents filling in for them based on agent quality so that they don't have someone brand new do a showing for them or someone without a good camera phone doing a video showing for them. Here is more on my video showings, here are the majority of my former sales/current listing(s), & here is a selection of my reviews with links to additional reviews.
7. Conflicting Showing Times Policies
Typically you might encounter this scenario if another exclusive showing has arrived early, late, or arrived on time, but needs more time than they've allotted. In any case, please extend courtesy & the golden rule. Also if there is any overlap between showings, each agent should use the electronic lockbox available if their originally intended access was via an electronic lockbox. Without that, Adam will not know whether you showed the property or not unless you let him know.
B. If someone is performing a showing during your exclusive timeframe without any prior permission by you given:
See "generally" section for tips
Once at the property during your exclusive timeframe, alert the agent inside after knocking on the door or ringing the doorbell that you're present. Ask them if you can preview the exterior (if they're looking inside) or the interior (if they're looking outside) to keep out of each other's way for properties with yards. For properties with no yards, seek to be on different floors if there are multiple floors. They are not permitted to say "no", even for 30 seconds, & if they do & you wish to, feel free to point them here so they have that in writing. That said, on the opposite front, please do not "kick them out" once you've arrived. Keep in mind the golden rule.
As you'll note in the "Inspections/Estimates Prior to Offers" section, while not typical, there are rare occasions where someone may be performing an inspection or estimate during your showing timeframe. Adam will typically seek to provide you notice in advance in case you'd like to schedule a time that would be more private.
C. Squeezing in a showing when it doesn't seem possible due to previously scheduled showings during you & your buyer's available time(s):
If you aren't able to make any of the times available for showing, but would still like to see the property, alert Adam, ideally with a few potential time slots available. Adam can then reach out to the buyer's agent(s) in the slot you're asking about and see if they would be alright with a dual showing. See also, "Showings by Adam if You're Unavailable".
8. Second Showings
I welcome 2nd or even 3rd showings by buyers who like the property & are considering an offer. Those who spend plenty of time at the property will be more likely to not be surprised at the home inspection.
9. Inspections/Estimates Prior to Offers
In the event of a multiple-offer scenario, sometimes buyers I have represented have wanted to make a more competitive offer by waiving the home inspection contingency. In some cases, buyers perform a home inspection prior to the initial offer, especially if they have a few days before an offer deadline. In the event that your buyer would like to perform a home inspection or other inspections &/or acquire contractor estimates prior to the time of offer, sellers I work with are typically open to inspections/contractor estimates prior to offers if desired. Even if a certain time limitation is present in showing instructions for general showings, some exceptions may be granted on a case-by-case basis for a longer period of time than that which is in the listing description. In the event of a home inspection prior to contract ratification taking up a longer time period than that which is in the showing instructions, there may be cases where other agents need to show the property to their buyers during the home inspection. The home inspection in those cases can keep going unabated, but please be courteous with other buyers/agents showing at the same time.
10. Desirable Offer Elements
11. Other Offers & Deadlines
Seller & situation preferences vary, although typically sellers I work with are willing to disclose whether or not we have offers and the number of offers that we have, if applicable. In some cases, sellers are willing to disclose offers in great detail. What the seller is willing to disclose may change over time.
I encourage verbal indications of what buyers are planning on offering, though of course prior to the finalization of a contract, all should be in writing. I present offers prior to deadlines close to the time that they come in. If any deadline is provided, while the sellers I work with typically keep the deadline, that's not always the case, & the seller reserves the right to accept something sooner. In some cases, a simple text from buyer's agents stating something like the price, escalation clause (if applicable), contingencies, payment type, & closing date of a buyer can keep the seller from ratifying a contract with another buyer prior to a deadline.
I welcome questions from buyer's agents regarding offers, including but not limited to non-committal questions if desired by buyers. You can never ask me too many questions that could help to facilitate a transaction. I tend to ask more questions than typical myself when I represent buyers. Feel free to text or call at 757 879 9651 any time of the day or night. I turn my phone to silent when sleeping so you won't wake me. You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org . If you'd like a quick response and don't text, rather than emailing, you may want to email email@example.com which goes directly to my texts. If doing so, it's best to CC my primary email (ggrva). Here are my hours, and please note that I take off on Sundays save limited urgent matters.
13. Additional FAQs
Do you allow showings after a property is under contract? - Typically I encourage sellers to show the property until the point when the buyer is "clear to close."
When a contract has fallen through & is back on the market, do you typically have the home inspection/other inspections available? - Yes typically as long as the sellers received reports & as long as they have the authority to share those reports, including before buyers/agents see the property if desired. With buyer-paid inspections, express authority for the seller to share reports is important, so that is always sought.