Ginger Harper, Your Southport~Oak Island Agent~Brunswick County! (Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage~ Ginger Harper Real Estate Team)

Spam prevention
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

Like Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI I plan the safari with scheduled stops. However, the client needs to actually SEE the schedule to be beneficial. Still, the messiness of being human does occur. And like a good parent you need to check what is left behind.

Unfortunately, WAY TOO MANY BUYER AGENTS have grossly failed in managing their buyers. WAY TOO MANY BUYER AGENTS reduce a property to 'outhouse' status because their business is real estate malpractice.

And these same agents are the biggest grumblers when advised listing agent must accompany showings. 

Mar 26, 2016 10:24 PM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

It's the "nature" of this job . . . and I'm with Susan Emo -- I call it a plumbing check!  LOL

Mar 27, 2016 09:39 AM
Susan Laxson CRS
Palm Properties - La Quinta, CA
Realtor in San Diego, CA & Naples, FL

Seriously? When a client has to go, how can you tell them they have to wait? Even suggesting when they leave your office how long the tour will take, doesn't guarantee that they don't have a medical problem that requires frequent stops. I haven't ever had a seller complain and everyone seems to understand the call of nature.

Mar 27, 2016 04:38 AM
Susan Emo
Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage - Kingston, ON
Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area

Provided the home hasn't been winterized, I have zero problem with it.  I tell them plumbing needs to be tested at some point! 

Mar 27, 2016 04:04 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

When Mother nature calls then how can you deny a buyers need. If the home is not winterized (rarely in Austin) they are a guest in the house and the owner would allow them to relieve themselves. Doesn't hurt to double check if you are the buyer agent to make sure the bath is left the way it is found. As Michael Jacobs comments "Stuff happens and without another alternative, what choice do you have?"

Mar 27, 2016 03:52 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Stuff happens.  And as Kathleen Daniels answered, without any alternative, what choice is there?   Make sure water is running and if the toilet is taped shut and states do not use --- don't otherwise -- be a good guest.   


Mar 27, 2016 03:18 AM
Certified Mobile Notary Signing Agent - Smith Mountain Lake, VA
Highest Ranked Certified Mobile Notary in Virginia

When YOU gotta go, . . . . . Well, . . . . .YOU just gotta !

Mar 27, 2016 12:51 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

It doesn't happen often and we try work around issues by finding public facilities. But if there is no choice. Just be sure the water is on!

Mar 26, 2016 12:40 PM
Dan Tabit
Keller Williams Bellevue - Sammamish, WA

It's only a problem if the water has been turned off.  I always advise my buyers with the need to turn on sink faucet to verify there is running water in a vacant home.  Not all winterized homes have warnings.  Without running water, all deposits will remain.  


Mar 28, 2016 05:59 AM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

When you have to go, you have to go. If someone is home I always ask first.

Mar 27, 2016 11:04 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate Services

With no other option ... how can it not be okay. If I were the homeowner I'd rather they do their business in the toilet than mess my floors or fertilize my lawn.  These things happen. I'd let the buyers know that if they need to go ... to let me know ... and we will make appropriate stops at McDonald's ... that is after all why McDonald's exists. 

Mar 27, 2016 12:54 AM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Ginger Harper - 3 is too!

If there are kids, it's okay (still not okay!) - somehow, has not happened with me so far...

Mar 26, 2016 03:30 PM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

It may not be OK but the alternative is not a good idea.  A

Mar 26, 2016 02:05 PM
Anthony Acosta -
Harry Norman, REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Associate Broker


Mar 26, 2016 12:50 PM
Sybil Campbell
Fernandina Beach, FL
Referral Agent Amelia Island Florida

I would try to encourage the buyers to wait until we could get to a public restroom.

Mar 26, 2016 12:24 PM
Sandy Padula & Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West & Florida Realty Investments - , CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

When showing homes, I plan the circuit to include convenience stops so this is rarely a problem. In an emergency, sometimes there is no choice.

Mar 26, 2016 12:21 PM
Becca Rasmussen
HomeSmart Cherry Creek - Highlands Ranch, CO

I think as a listing agent, I might have this discussion with my seller and if they have strong feelings against it, put it in the showing instructions to please not use the facilities. Otherwise, I'd suggest they designate a powder room or guest bath as the preferred destination.

As a buyer agent, I'd honor the seller instructions, if any, then otherwise wing it. It happens. Check for water flow first, be neat, be clean, and I'd likely feel compelled to check afterwards and all should be fine.

Apr 11, 2016 07:12 AM
Kevin Morris
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Hodrick Realty - Danville, PA
Real Estate agent serving danville and surrounding

My thought on the matter is that it is better to ask permission and go. If it is a medical issue then I would rather something be said versus there be a "problem". A buyer can them relax and finish looking at the home. 

Mar 31, 2016 08:05 AM
Sharon Altier
Coldwell Banker Realty - Elmhurst, IL
Luxury Property Specialist, CSC, SFR

You certainly can't say no. If they are three in the same showing, I would be concerned what they are doing?  checking out meds in cabinet, doing something in bathroom...very odd. Always do a check of the bathroom, before you leave, so all is in order.

Mar 31, 2016 01:49 AM
Brenda J. Andrew
Professional Realtor in Conroe/Willis, TX

It's better than the alternative.

Mar 30, 2016 04:42 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

I try to stop somewhere in between showings for the adults, but have had kids that "could not wait".    Of course, if there is no water, no one can use the facilities.

Mar 29, 2016 07:43 AM
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

It's not OK, but what are you going to do?

Mar 28, 2016 01:04 PM
Gina Chirico
Lattimer Realty - Fairfield, NJ
Real Estate Agent - Essex County, New Jersey

It happens.  Aside from the house being winterized, I've had buyers use bathrooms.  I have to admit that if the same buyer consistently has "to go" everytime we are previewing homes, I have made it a point to say, in advance, you may want to use the bathroom before we leave my office or have said on the way from one house to another, do you want to stop at dunkin donuts for a coffee and bathroom break? 


How about one time I had a pizza delivery guy ask to use my bathroom!!

Mar 28, 2016 04:48 AM
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Broker
Elizabeth Anne Weintraub, Broker - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

There are procedures I've employed over the years when that has popped up. First rule is DO NOT use the master bath. Use your heads, people, sellers get super uptight about it. Second rule, flush. Seriously should I have to even say it? And third rule, wait for the toilet to fill up, for crying out loud and to stop running. If you've never been the last agent to show a home when the toilet floods the area because a person flushed and split, you're just lucky, that's all.

Mar 28, 2016 01:43 AM
Jeanne Gregory
RE/MAX Southwest - Sugar Land, TX
The most important home I sell is YOURS!

Why not?  Most of my buyers will ask if it's ok.  When you gotta go, you gotta go.  As long as the facilities are left clean, I see no problem with it.


Mar 28, 2016 12:41 AM
Mike McCann - Nebraska Farm Land Broker
Mike McCann - Broker, Mach1 Realty Farm & Commercial Land Broker-Auctioneer Serving Nebraska - Kearney, NE
Farm Land For Sale 308-627-3700 or 800-241-3940

What a great question Ginger Harper 

Here is the blunt honest truth: Everyone needs to pass waste sometime. It has happened to me and to clients. And sometimes it comes on quickly...even to those who are prepared to make "potty" breaks for client and self. If the property has a working toilet and is vacant...I discreetly go back and make sure there is no mess left behind.

If the house is occupied...I have the client use the guest bathroom if there is not a half bath available. I do not allow them to use the master bathroom if possible because... although they are my client and, yes, I have screened them...I do not want them rummaging through bathroom drawers.

Now that I am in the country and sell almost only farms and am out in God's great cathedral most days...some issues are never a problem...and other types of issues...well, let's say you have to get creative sometimes!!

Mar 27, 2016 11:16 PM
Rob D. Shepherd
RETIRED - Florence, OR

I have them "go" at the office an instruct them I will take them to a public one if necessary. WE do NOT use them in homes. I don't want accusations of prescription theft.

Mar 27, 2016 11:00 PM
Richard and Jean Murphy
Harborview Properties - Portland, ME
(207) 712-4796

Seems it should be OK. Checking afterwards is a good idea.

Mar 27, 2016 09:39 PM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Sure, unless you want to ignore the call of the wild, bursting kidneys. Nothing gets a confession quicker than no sleep, no bathroom privileges and is powerful stuff.

Let them try out the plumbing, look around while in there doing their business and with a property owner neat and clean and not scuzzy rental neglected situation think this bathroom is spotless or I hope I don't get cooties. 

The bathroom, it may be in the most personal part of the home other than the master bedroom. A bathroom where you shut your door, where your kids will spend lots of time too. It is one very important room in the house and you better want them comfortable in it. Let them try it out.

Mar 27, 2016 08:45 PM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I try to remind people to go before we leave the office and then schedule stops between homes if we have a full day of showing.  I discourage using the bathroom in a home, but sometimes it's just an emergency and it happens.

Mar 27, 2016 03:28 PM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH@Properties - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Beats having them use the back yard!

Mar 27, 2016 01:50 PM
Shirley Coomer
Keller Williams Realty Sonoran Living - Phoenix, AZ
Realtor, Keller Williams Realty, Phoenix Az

There are times when there is an emergency or a child who needs to go.  If the house is vacant I always have them check to be sure the water is on and of course toilet paper may be missing.  I had a vacant house that was a short sale, water turned off and twice found the bathroom had been used.  UGH.  If I have a vacant house now I put a note on the toilets that says please do not use.

Mar 27, 2016 12:58 PM
Melissa Jackson REALTOR
Trinity Premier Properties - Azle, TX
Helping You Make The Right Move

I check to make sure the water is on. Yes, it happens.

Mar 27, 2016 12:56 PM
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

As long as they leave it clean I am ok with it

Mar 27, 2016 12:49 PM
Debbie Laity
Cedaredge Land Company - Cedaredge, CO
Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO

In my area that is OK. This is a really rural area, and you can spend quite a bit of time on the road looking at properities with no break facilities around. 

Mar 27, 2016 11:47 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

I use the term "checking the plumbing" instead of using the facility.

Mar 27, 2016 07:44 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

As long as they keep it clean.


Mar 27, 2016 07:38 AM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Happily Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

I always hoped it would not happen, but when you have to go, you have to go....

Mar 27, 2016 06:17 AM
Kathleen Luiten
Resort and Second-Home Specialist - Princeville, HI
Kauai Luxury Ocean Home Sales

I expect that to happen occasionally. I even have a little roll of paper in my tote in case the home is empty and the bathroom is sans paper.

Mar 27, 2016 05:47 AM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

What you are gonna do? Say ''Hold it!''? It does not happen often but it happens. What do you do when you are in the same situation and you need to ''excuse'' yourself?

Mar 27, 2016 05:34 AM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

As long as the water is turned on, and you make sure that the toilet stops running and not soiled, it should be.

Mar 27, 2016 05:13 AM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

Nature happens.  Happened to someone who was looking at one of my listings yesterday.  They ended up writing an offer on it!

Mar 27, 2016 04:43 AM
Cathy Cowger
aReal Estate Service Team - Merritt Island, FL
Broker-Associate serving FL Space Coast

I never allow them to use in an occupied home, too many issues can arise.  I have on occasion allowed small children to use but not with adult going in with them.  If owner is around I always ask first.

Mar 27, 2016 03:57 AM
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Serving the Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale Metropolitan Area - Scottsdale, AZ
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty

parked and reading

Mar 27, 2016 03:11 AM
Chrissi Chapman Topoleski
Coldwell Banker Realty - Woodbridge, VA
Helping agents live an exceptional life!

I had a client once who became violently ill at a home I was showing him. There was no way to get him elsewhere so we just made sure the bathroom was clean when he was done, and ended our house hunting for the day.

Mar 27, 2016 03:02 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

You need to tell them advance that they will not be able to use the bathrooms. 

Mar 27, 2016 02:05 AM
Linda Guess
Keller Williams Tri-Lakes Branson, MO - Branson, MO
Branson area real estate sales.

Luckily this has not been a problem for me. 

Mar 27, 2016 12:18 AM
John McCormack, CRS
Albuquerque Homes Realty - Albuquerque, NM
Honesty, Integrity, Results, Experienced. HIRE Me!

I make sure the water is running and there is tp. 

Mar 27, 2016 12:12 AM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

miscellaneous events trigger calls...what can you do?

Mar 26, 2016 11:54 PM
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Ginger Harper No, would you like strangers using your bathroom?

Mar 26, 2016 11:43 PM
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

It is not ok. I have had sellers go nuclear when some used their bathroom while others have been ok with it. It is best to ask then to just use it. 

Mar 26, 2016 11:02 PM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Make sure there is water and toilet paper.

Mar 26, 2016 10:53 PM
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR

It's happened to me twice.  Knock on wood, nothing came up missing. 

Mar 26, 2016 10:18 PM
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

It happens. I think most people would be understanding.

Mar 26, 2016 09:44 PM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

When you gatta go, you gatta go!

Mar 26, 2016 09:43 PM
Joe Petrowsky
Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709 - Manchester, CT
Your Mortgage Consultant for Life

Good morning Ginger. If someone has to go, the alternative is not very good. I don't see it as an option, it would be fine.

Mar 26, 2016 07:09 PM
Larry Johnston
Broker, Friends & Neighbors Real Estate and Elkhart County Subdivisions, LLC - Elkhart, IN
Broker,Friends & Neighbors Real Estate, Elkhart,IN

I had a young couple with 2 children.  I had to go to my car to get some toilet paper, as one of the children had an emergency call.  At least the home was vacant.  Whew!!!

Mar 26, 2016 02:20 PM
Allie Angeloni
Long Realty - Oro Valley, AZ

Haven't had this happen yet, as our homes are all in the same community or not more than 20 minutes away, so we've never spent an entire day with clients Ginger Harper.  On vacant houses, I would not count on any TP being available, and you have to check to see if the water is turned on.   

Mar 26, 2016 02:12 PM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

I direct men to the back yard.  I encourage ladies to flush the toilet first, to ensure that the water is on.

Mar 26, 2016 12:48 PM