Lyn Sims, Real Estate Broker Retired

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John McCormack, CRS
Albuquerque Homes Realty - Albuquerque, NM
Honesty, Integrity, Results, Experienced. HIRE Me!

Occupied no.  

Vacant yes open all blinds, curtains and turn on all lights. 

May 11, 2015 12:51 AM
Brenda J. Andrew
Professional Realtor in Conroe/Willis, TX

If the home is occupied, then I never enter early - unless the client is running late and I just want the owner to know as to not be rude.  If the property is vacant, it is on a case by case basis.  I normally don't like to go into a vacant property by myself - safety issues.

May 11, 2015 04:26 AM
Dan Harstine
Century21 Integrity Real Estate Group - Warsaw, IN
Warsaw, In Real Estate Residential, Lake, Commerci

When I arrive 5-10 minutes before the scheduled time,  I often will enter the home to check the "stage", familiarize myself if it is a new listing, be prepared to answer questions and point out the highlights of the property.   Unfortunately, many agents do not coach their sellers on preparation for a showing.

May 11, 2015 04:28 AM
Jirius Isaac
Isaac Real Estate &TriStar Mortgage - Kenmore, WA
Real Estate & loans in Kenmore, WA

The answer to this question depends on so many other factors that it is impossible for me to answer the questions without being at the home and considering the total situation.

May 11, 2015 08:16 AM
Kathleen Lordbock
Keller Williams Realty Professionals - Baxter, MN
Keller Williams Realty Professionals

Rarely do we have anyone stay In a home for the showings but if I am early I let the occupants know that I am the one in the parked car outside. If they have already exited or as they are, I enter and turn on lights and get a quick look around. You could always ask them to wait outside if they are truly early.

May 11, 2015 05:23 AM
Tammy Adams ~ Realtor / Podcaster
Maricopa Real Estate Co - Maricopa, AZ
A Maricopa Agent who Works, Lives & Loves Maricopa

I never go in without my clients. A) for safety and B) in case they flake out on    I do not want to be responsible for someone's home until I have to be.   :-)

May 11, 2015 04:50 AM
Damon Botticelli
Silver State Realty & Investments - Las Vegas, NV
Realtor - Las Vegas Real Estate

For me, if the house is vacant I go in to prep the house.  e.g. lights, doors, blinds, etc.  If it's occupied I usually wait in the car or outside....however this can get uncomfortable when it hits 110 degrees in Las Vegas during the summer.


May 11, 2015 04:20 AM
Darrell Hudiburgh
Berkshire Hathaway Home Service Michigan Real Estate - Clarkston, MI

I think it depends on your area.  Like others if Owner is home( which I ask the L/A  when schedule showing)  I will notify them I am here and waiting for my clients( so they can leave)  If  they are not home when I arrive I Knock and wait ,  if no response I will open door and Yell out  Real Estate Agent here to show your home. Wait for a response,.  I do this if I am alone Or If my Buyers  are with me.  I ask my clients to wait outside so  I can check out rooms to make sure is all clear.  When  I enter the home I have my phone on Video showing what I have done.  Once convince is all clear I return to front door and wait for buyers.  Now  why would  I  do this?  I have  had two  incidents at showings.   1)  After  looking at the down stairs and the basement, we headed upstairs and as we got to the master bedroom out walked the seller.

2)  Almost same thing, opened a master closet and inside two kids that where skipping school darted out.

Needless to say  both times  scared myself and my clients.

May 11, 2015 04:18 AM
Terry McCarley
Coastal Real Estate - Cape Coral FL - Cape Coral, FL

If the home is vacant I will go on inside and open blinds, turn on lights etc...If owner occupied I wait until the buyer arrives.

May 11, 2015 04:14 AM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Broker Retired

So it seems the correct ettiquette is to stay in the car or outside until your client arrives which is always what I've been practicing.

May 11, 2015 03:19 AM
John Novak
Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace - Las Vegas, NV
Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate

If the owner is home I always wait for my clients. When the owner is away or the house is vacant, I enter early to turn on lights, open blinds, unlock doors, etc. to get the home ready for an efficient showing.

May 11, 2015 01:57 AM
Shanna Hall
Real Estate Solutions - Kirkwood, MO
I love selling houses!!!St. Louis, MO 314-703-1311

I wait until the client gets to the house- it reduces liability. 

May 11, 2015 01:32 AM
Beatrice Briseno
RE/MAX Unlimited - San Antonio, TX
Beatrice M. Briseno, GRI, CDPE, San Antonio, TX

If its vacant I go ahead and enter, turn off alarm, turn on lights etc... If it is occupied I wait for the clients

May 11, 2015 01:26 AM
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

Only on vacant homes. On occupied, if someone is home, I might let them know I'm there and waiting outside for buyers to show up.

May 11, 2015 01:15 AM
Penny Brockway
Brockway Realty - League City, TX

I follow John McCormack's protocol.  I don't think it's a good idea to enter before the appointed time.

May 11, 2015 01:05 AM
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker

Out of respect I would not enter a house until my appointed time.

May 11, 2015 12:49 AM
Chris and Dick Dovorany
Homes for Sale in Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero, Florida - Naples, FL
Broker/Associate at Premiere Plus Realty

I always always always ring the door bell first.  It's adventageous to be early to turn on lights, close toilets etc.  If you have a special situation where you do not wish anyone to enter, please let them know when they are making the showing appointment or put a note on the door.

May 12, 2015 06:44 AM
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

I would not enter the home if anyone was home.  But yesterday evening I was showing an occuppied home.  I saw the residents leave.  I knocked, got the key and went in.  The place was nice but dark.  I went around turned on lights and opened blinds.  I have arthrities and if I can avoid it do not like to climb stairs in front of clients.  I go up and look around ahead of them.  Then tell them what is upstairs so they can go see it.  

May 12, 2015 12:31 AM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

I will frequently open the house if I know it is vacant. Better to get a heads-up in regard to what we are getting into. I notice things better if I am not trying to carry on a conversation at the same time. If the house is occupied, I would never enter and infringe on the occupant’s privacy while waiting for my client to show up.

May 11, 2015 03:48 PM
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

If the homeowners are not in the home and there are no agents in the home, I enter to turn on lights.

May 11, 2015 03:19 PM
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

Alot of great answers here ... there are so many different scenarios and I have on occasion entered a property when I got there early or when I got to the property and was awaiting the buyers to show up.  Gives me an opportunity to open blinds, turn on lights, and familiarize myself with the property. 

May 11, 2015 02:21 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

If occupied (and seller or tenants are home) no, but otherwise I do to scope it out turn on lights, etc. I do let the seller/tenants know I am there but waiting for my clients

May 11, 2015 01:45 PM
Debbie Laity
Cedaredge Land Company - Cedaredge, CO
Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO

I don't go in early if there is someone home. If the house is vacant, I will go in early.

May 11, 2015 01:38 PM
Larry Johnston
Broker, Friends & Neighbors Real Estate and Elkhart County Subdivisions, LLC - Elkhart, IN
Broker,Friends & Neighbors Real Estate, Elkhart,IN

If the home is vacant, or if the Seller has areay left, I would enter to turn ights on, but if the seller is there, I would wait.

May 11, 2015 01:24 PM
Ernest Villafranca
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate - Oakland, CA
3923 Grand Ave. Oakland CA, 510-418-9443

If I get there a lot early, I check my emails. If I get there just a bit early, I go in to make sure it's safe.

May 11, 2015 09:39 AM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

I always wait outside, vacant and occupied . . . I wait.  First off, our Supra lock boxes record the time of entry and if my clients are there and we enter together they can cooberate the time we set foot inside.  Second, in a vacant property I'm not going to enter alone, and ditto what I wrote.

May 11, 2015 08:56 AM
Mike Kelly,CRS,CIPS
The MJKelly Team - Santa Rosa, CA
"One of Sonoma County's Natural Resources"

I have no problem entering early as many an agent and Seller make the home less than attractive for showing. Seller's usually leave before a showing so I come in early, check for shades drawn, smells, heat to high--too low, any number of showing mistakes. I can then meet the client at the door and set the showing's expectations to reflect what I've just witnessed in the house!

May 11, 2015 08:51 AM
Woody Edwards
First Choice Realty, Inc - Chesterfield, VA
A Realtor® Who Answers His Phone!

Every case is different.  You ladies shouldn't enter a vacant home alone, unless you C&C!

May 11, 2015 08:43 AM
Kimo Jarrett
Cyber Properties - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Many interesting comments that seem to agree with your protocol. I personally try to drill down to what my clients want in a property including the physical appearance of the neighborhood and wait for their arrival and discuss any relative issues or concerns before entering the house.

May 11, 2015 08:24 AM
Linda Cooley
RE/Max Metro - Saint Petersburg, FL

If I have made an appointment time  and arrive early to a home that is occupied but on a lockbox and been told the seller would be gone, I will wait in my car or walk to the front patio and wait for my client.  

If I know I will be meeting another agent there, I might knock/ring bell and let the agent know I have arrived and am waiting for my clients.  I prefer to greet my buyers/clients first before bringing them to the door.  However, since we are in the sunny and generally hot Florida, many agents offer to have me step in, which is nice but I still prefer to wait outside to greet them first.

I think this eliminates the awkwardness of trying to make idle conversation with another agent or being bombarded with questions about my clients before we even have a chance to view the property.

May 11, 2015 07:32 AM
Kristin Hamilton CA REALTOR
Berkshire Hathaway California Realty - Beaumont, CA
(909) 557-6966- Specialize 55+ Communties Banning

Yes when it is vacant I open the door after opening the box and get it ready for my clients. If it is by open house or appointment, I wait outside in my car until my clients pull up.

May 11, 2015 07:32 AM
Theresa Akin

I always call the agent right before to check the status. Ususally the day before and day of and confirm any showing instructions. If it's vacant, I look around the perimeter to make sure no surprises. Instructions usually stipulate if their are special instructions such as vacant on lockbox or occupied w/lb. So I would be going to the door first and ask the agent to wait until he is relocated so the house can be viewed. I inform my buyers if the house is occupied to wait for me to get there before going in. I prefer they wait in their vehicle if they get there early. Ifthe house is vacant, I will go in after looking around.

May 11, 2015 06:57 AM
Dana Hollish Hill
Hollish Hill Group, JPAR Stellar Living - Bethesda, MD
REALTOR * Broker * Coach

I agree with John McCormack. If it's vacant, but not with sellers inside. But I must say, I'm rarely at homes where the owners stay during showings. 

May 11, 2015 06:15 AM
Christine Lussa
RealtyLogic - Cape Coral, FL
SW Florida Real Estate 239-210-8256

Only on vacant homes.  To open blinds, storm shuttters, turn on lights, etc.  Never on occupied homes.


May 11, 2015 06:00 AM
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

If there is no one home I will go in early and make sure lights are on...but if someone is home, I will wait for my clinets and also the showing time.

May 11, 2015 05:59 AM
Lorraine Frendt, ABR, CRS, GRI, ePro
Coldwell Banker Professionals, Port Huron, MI - Port Huron, MI
The chosen real estate "Professional" since 1989!

If I am early and the house is vacant I will also turn on lights etc and preview if not familiar with. If occuppied I will wait in my vehicle until the client arrives and we will go in at the appointed time.

May 11, 2015 05:39 AM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

I will enter early if the home is vacant.  Otherwise I wait for my clients to arrive.

May 11, 2015 05:34 AM
Richard Robibero, e-Pro, ABR, SRS
Panorama R.E. Limited - Toronto, ON
Selling Your Home as if it were My Own!

Only if vacant and only if it is my scheduled appointment time.

May 11, 2015 05:15 AM
Kona Home Team (luva llc) Lance Owens (RS)
Kona Home Team (luva llc) - Kailua-Kona, HI
Getting transactions done, when nobody else can!

Absolutly, I go in, turn on lights, open doors, make sure there are no dead bodies anywhere..... 

I would suggest a note in the private remarks to instruct agents not to go in early with your special case. Because on a normal basis it would be perfectly fine, at least in our area. 

May 11, 2015 05:12 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Lyn - It looks like every agent here agrees with you! I think Sharon was right - you should ask them to wait outside. 

May 11, 2015 04:49 AM
Doyle Davison
Hawaiian Beaches Hawaii - 714-968-6767 - Huntington Beach, CA
30 years as your Concierge services listing broker

I always try and show up early if possible in order to see the goods and bads of the home.

May 11, 2015 04:47 AM
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Lyn, whether the home is vacant or occupied, I wait for my clients to arrive before entering the home. This is especially annoying if the home is occupied.

May 11, 2015 04:39 AM
Kevin Flinn
Platinum Realty LLC - Kansas City, MO

I don't enter until my appointment time. But if I have finished checking my email, text, and voice mail I will go inside.

May 11, 2015 04:17 AM
Jill Winchel
Royal Shell Real Estate - The Koffman Group - Cape Coral, FL
We make it easy. You make it home.

If a home is vacant I will open up and get lights on prior to buyers arrival. I never approach a home if it is occupied prior to my buyers arrival as that would be rude and wasteful of homeowner's time.

May 11, 2015 04:09 AM
Michael Crawford
Golden Eagle Properties - Temecula, CA

If the home is occupied I might let the sellers know I am there and waiting on my clients outside. If vacant, I go inside, turn on lights and open blinds. I may go back outside to wait for clients but at least I know what the inside looks like already when my clients arrive and I am ready to point out potential issues or concerns as soon as they walk in. Each situation varies

May 11, 2015 03:56 AM
Rolanda Pullen
Coldwell Banker Pryor Realty, Inc. - Chattanooga, TN

I always wait on the buyer to enter the home.  If the home is occupied, I feel that it reduces liability.  If the home is vacant, it can be a safety issue to go in some vacant homes by yourself.

May 11, 2015 03:52 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

If the home is occupied, I wait. If it's vacant, I enter to get everything set up (turn on lights, open doors, close toilet lids, etc.

May 11, 2015 03:48 AM
Spirit Messingham
Tierra Antigua Realty - Tucson, AZ
Third Generation Full-Time Realtor® 520 471-6900

If it is vacant, I will sometimes go in but many times I wait in the truck, multitasking until the clients make an appearance.

May 11, 2015 03:32 AM
Sharon Altier
Coldwell Banker Realty - Elmhurst, IL
Luxury Property Specialist, CSC, SFR

If vacant, yes, and I would turn on lights and look around to get an idea of the layout.  However, if someone is there and my client said they are running late or will be there in minutes, I would ring the bell and let the person know.  However, I would return to my car or be outside until my client comes.

I do not see anything wrong if you ask the agent(s) to wait outside until their client comes.  You don't need to entertain an agent.

May 11, 2015 03:21 AM
Takia C. Walker
United Real Estate Columbia - Columbia, SC
Real Estate

I enter vacant homes if I arrive early, not occupied!

May 11, 2015 03:01 AM
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Serving the Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale Metropolitan Area - Scottsdale, AZ
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty

Only if it's vacant

Nov 19, 2017 02:53 AM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

If I arrive early I do like to go in and turn on lights and get familiar with the property so I can make the buyers feel at ease.

Oct 01, 2016 11:21 AM
James (Jim) Lawson, DBA LLC - Bonita Springs, FL
Broker Associate, RSPS, BPOR, HI & PE

If vacant, I scout the house and get it ready without the clients. Then I go outside and wait for the clients. When occupied, I show up at the appointed time then enter the house with my clients once the occupants leave after I have told them that I am there.

May 16, 2015 01:21 PM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

I operate the same way you do.  Waiting inside might be dangerous, too.  I wait outside for my clients.  The minute they pull up, I pop out and open the lockbox so they don't wait on me if it's summertime.  Otherwise, I don't enter. 

May 14, 2015 03:16 PM
Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®
Carmel by the Sea, CA
Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea

Like everyone else here, I have just gotten into the habit of waiting for my client and then go inside if the home is occupied. When it's vacant, I always go in and check it out before the clients arrive if possible.

May 13, 2015 03:33 PM
Kimberly Windle
Keller Williams Metro North - Flower Mound, TX
Win-Win or No Deal!

Waiting for the supra box that will not let you in, if it is not during your showing block: )

May 13, 2015 01:17 AM
Nancy Robinson Ranked #6 in MI
Century 21 Town and Country - Royal Oak, MI
#11 Century21 Realtor in the US, #16 in the World

I too wait for the buyer almost always if the hone is presumed vacant or occupied.

May 12, 2015 10:05 AM
Dale Taylor
Re/Max 10 New Lenox Illinois - Frankfort, IL
Realtor = Chicago Illinois Homes Townhomes Condos

When I know the Seller is home I knock on the door, introduce myself, and inform them I will wait outside until the Buyer gets there.  I had Sellers to leave, and lock the door behind them when I've been sitting in the car in front of their home.

This story also reminds me of a Seller years ago who walked up one side of me, and down the other because I was a half hour early.  "He told me he had a standing appointment with his spouse every week at around this time, and because of me he did not finish."

May 12, 2015 06:18 AM
Evelyn M Epperson
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Johns Creek, GA
A Tradition Of [Excellence, Trust & Service]

I always arrive early and open the home.  I walk through the home just encase the buyers have a question.

May 12, 2015 03:57 AM
Alberta Perry

I would enter the home and turn on lights if they were not on already, as well as to get the layout of the home.

May 11, 2015 11:22 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

I always ring the doorbell first. 99% of the time, sellers are already gone from the house when I arrive, so I don't worry about waiting for my clients inside under those circumstances.

May 11, 2015 09:30 PM
Ron Aguilar
Gateway Mortgage Group - Saint George, UT
Mortgage & Real Estate Advisor since 1995

all good answers. Make your best choice.

May 11, 2015 03:53 AM