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Are your sellers restricting showings? Are you having trouble getting in to do showings?

In today’s environment many sellers are restricting or denying access for showings, or possibly allowing only virtual showings (using apps like FaceTime [iPhone only], Google Duo, Skype, UberConference, etc.) around the country. The seller may include delayed showings or other restrictions in the listing contract.

While it may be time-consuming, your best options are to use ShowingTime to schedule a showing or call the listing agent as sellers’ decisions may change day-to-day.

We want to recognize that the NAR Code of Ethics in Article 3 requires that listing agents not misrepresent the availability of showings as shown below.  If a seller offers no showing availability, the listing cannot be put in the MLS by local rule. If showings are suspended for a time they need to be placed ON HOLD so that no one is misled about its availability. Showings may be restricted, such as via electronic means only, or in number of people, etc.

NAR Code of Ethics:

Standard of Practice 3-8:
REALTORS® shall not misrepresent the availability of access to show or inspect a listed property. (Amended 11/87)

Standard of Practice 3-9:
REALTORS® shall not provide access to listed property on terms other than those established by the owner or the listing broker. (Adopted 1/10)

Standard of Practice 3-10:
The duty to cooperate established in Article 3 relates to the obligation to share information on listed property, and to make property available to other brokers for showing to prospective purchasers/tenants when it is in the best interests of sellers/landlords. (Adopted 1/11)

Showing Restrictions & Fair Housing:

We remind everyone since April is Fair Housing Month to continue to follow federal and state Fair Housing Law. While we understand that safety of your sellers, buyers and selves is paramount at present, any limitations on showings should be carefully implemented to ensure you remain consistent with Fair Housing Law by avoiding restrictions based upon any of the protected classes.

While virtual tours involving just a single agent (or perhaps just the seller themselves with precaution about what should or shouldn't be discussed) are safer options at present, we understand that some buyers insist on getting a tactile feel for a home before undertaking one of the largest financial commitments of their lives. Examples of on-site showing restrictions that we think are consistent with Fair Housing Law would be limiting the total number of individuals indoors at a showing, or allowing just the agent and pre-qualified buyer(s) at the showing. That said, we recommend clearing any proposed showing restrictions with your attorney or the WRA Legal Hotline in advance.

Additional COVID-19 Resources & Updates