Our house is currently for sale. It’s generating a lot of interest, but we are frustrated by agents who book showing appointments then show up late or not at all. We’re tired of getting the house ready and heading out into the winter weather for no reason. What do we do? – COLD AND TIRED
DEAR COLD: I’m sorry to hear you’re experiencing this type of behaviour from agents.
Selling a home in today’s market can be uniquely challenging. With so few properties available, showing schedules are sometimes booked so fully that appointments run back-to-back for multiple days at a time. To accommodate the traffic, sellers must keep their homes in perfect shape and be out of the house for much of the day, which leaves little opportunity to pop back in for a meal or other necessities. Cold winter weather and closures due to COVID add more inconvenience, so it’s no wonder you’re frustrated when appointments are missed.
As a listing agent, I receive similar complaints far too often and am growing weary of having to apologize for other Realtors. The COVID protocols we’ve been operating under for the past two years seem to make the market more susceptible to these types of issues. At this point, showing appointments are often limited to 30 minutes in length and only one group is allowed inside at a time. Pre-pandemic, showings lasted an hour and could overlap, which gave agents more of a buffer when they were scheduling tours that spanned multiple homes.
In our area, a mix of increased demand and limited inventory has added to the headaches. We’re also finding there’s a larger proportion of out-of-town agents who are unfamiliar with the city and how long it takes to travel through it.
By arriving on time, agents give their buyers a chance to see the home in its entirety, without creating chaos for the sellers. Every agent has the tools and technology to book or cancel appointments at their fingertips (it’s on a phone app) so there’s no excuse for missing an appointment without notice.
As a Realtor, keeping appointments is a basic professional courtesy. The Realtor’s Code of Ethics requires agents to treat those they deal with in the course of trade with fairness, honesty and integrity. If an agent fails to appear for a showing, they could find themselves facing professional complaints and sometimes even disciplinary action.
PRO TIP: As a seller, it is possible for you to file a complaint with RECO (the Real Estate Council of Ontario). Life is unpredictable and we sometimes need to extend a bit of grace. But when an agent can’t make it to their showing appointment, they must give notice. Failing to do so is a violation of the Realtor’s Code of Ethics.
David is a top-selling Broker in Kitchener-Waterloo Region. He works personally with you when selling or buying your home. Moving? Get it right. Ask David today! Call or text 519-577-1212.