Accompanied Showings…. Yay or Nay?

Accompanied Showings…. a definite NAY!

Occasionally, I am asked to do accompanied showings on a potential listing.  For 99.9% of the homes I market for sale to the public, this is a huge mistake.  The only time I recommend accompanied showings is when I have a truly unique house that requires and explanation.  Even that can become overcome with a “cheat sheet” I make for the showing agent.  I have had two listings in 11 years, that I thought benefited from me being there when showings occurred.  Both of the homes where very expensive historic homes that had a provenance to them that gave them value and needed an extensive explanation.

What did my Buyer say today about Accompanied Showings?

I just left a group of showings today.  Our first showing was accompanied by the listing agent.  When we arrived at the second showing, my buyer commented “Well, that was the most awkward situation, I rushed through the house because I was so uncomfortable”.  That is not the first time, nor the last time a buyer will comment on how uncomfortable they are feeling having the listing agent present when they are trying to view a potential home to purchase.  The particular listing agent today was quite pleasant and stayed out of our way, but the seller insisted she be there for every showing.

Why are Accompanied Showings a Mistake?

There are several reasons that accompanied showings are a mistake.  Most of it boils down to not making the buyer feel welcome.

  1. It makes the buyer uncomfortable-  In most cases it makes the buyer uncomfortable.  In today’s real estate market, buyers are using a Buyers Agent.  They have a relationship with their agent.  Introducing a new person makes the dynamic uncomfortable for the potential home buyer.
  2. Buyers rush through the showing-  When buyers feel uncomfortable they rush through the showing.  In general when there are accompanied showings my buyers spend almost a third of the time as they do when they are unaccompanied.  Tip- The longer a buyer stays in your home, the better chance they have of envisioning themselves living there.
  3. The buyers won’t talk-  When the listing agent is on the premises, my buyers will not talk freely about what they like or don’t like.  Often we walk through the home talking about what works for them, what doesn’t work for them and maybe what alterations can be made to the home to make it work.  The presence of the listing agent hinders the buyers agent from doing their job correctly.
  4. The agent feels they must sell the home to the buyers-  Many listing agents will take charge showing the home and try to sell the home to my buyers.  This is a huge turn off for buyers.  The listing agent will make assumptions about what selling features attracted my buyers and focus on totally the wrong thing.  I have worked with my buyers through many showings, I know what attracted them about your home and what they are looking for in a new home.
  5. Scheduling-  Once you require your agents to be there for all showings you now have added one more schedule to be accommodated.  In general I cringe seeing a home that requires the listing agent to be there, because its a nightmare to schedule.  Don’t forget we are usually viewing more then one house, if your home doesn’t fit in our timeline… guess what we will bypass it and try to get a showing another time.  Guess what happens if the second time they don’t get a showing?  They forget about your house and move on to something else.  You have to show your home to sell your home!

Think twice about what your motives are about requiring your agent to accompany showings of your home.  I would say most of the time it is about sellers wanting complete control of the selling process.  Well remember your control can cost you from selling your home or cost you thousands in a potential sale price.  Make the buyers feel welcome and have unhindered access to your home.


Kevin Vitali has been listing homes throughout Essex and Northern Middlesex Counties in Massachusetts for over 11 years.  He brings the experience of hundreds of successful closings to the sale of your home.  If you would like to discuss how to get your home sold call Kevin at 978-360-0422.