6 Showing Instructions That Make Real Estate Agents Ask, “Are You Serious?”

Minion reading door instruction

Real estate agents are privy to a little more information on their listing sheets than what a buyer sees. There’s a section that listing agents can add “showing instructions” to make sure buyers’ agents are aware of any specific concerns or requests the owners may have when people come to see their house. These often range from information about an alarm system, pets, or how to schedule an appointment.

But some owners ask their agent to include some requests that are either a bit ridiculous, or just make no sense…

Here are 6 showing instructions that’ll have agents asking, “Are you serious?”

1) Please take shoes off…

Asking real estate agents and their buyers to take their shoes off or wear “booties” before traipsing around your house is totally acceptable… when your house is clean! But sometimes socks and booties are the closest thing to a mop the floors of a house have seen in months.

So if you’re gonna ask agents and their clients to take off their shoes, do your part and make sure they’re not going to have to hose them off before they enter their own house after they show yours.

2) Don’t mind the dog…

It can be tough trying to sell your house when you own a dog. In an ideal world, you could take your pooch out for a walk or to doggy daycare during every showing, but that’s not always possible.

While some owners will put their dog in a cage for a showing, others prefer more of a free-range rover approach, and simply tell the buyers’ agents: “Don’t mind the dog. It may bark, but it’s friendly.”

Um, easy for you to say! While your dog may be friendly most of the time, you never know how it’s going to act with strangers in their home and you’re not around. And even if it is friendly, some people are just plain afraid of them, or have trouble focusing with a barking dog following them around.

3) Do not enter…

There are valid reasons for making a room off limits during a showing, like if that’s where you’re hiding a vicious (or just overly “friendly”) dog for instance. But sometimes it’s just because there’s a grumpy teenager who doesn’t want to clean their room, or be woken up before noon.

Either way, it makes it impossible for a buyer to truly see the entire house in one showing, and probably have to come back another time before making an offer.

4) Showings are between 1:13-1:57 PM Mon. through Fri. ONLY!

Sellers have every right to set limits on when people can come see their house, especially if they have a small child who naps at certain times, for example. But some homeowners just don’t want to be bothered with people coming in and out of their house whenever it’s convenient for them, and would prefer people adhere to a rigid window of time they can schedule a showing.

It’s difficult enough for buyers and agents to coordinate their schedules to go see houses, but when there’s a house on the list that can only be seen during a half-hour time frame on certain days of the week, it makes it almost impossible to schedule a showing. The easier you make it to see your house, the quicker it’ll sell.

5) Owners state they will only consider reasonable offers…

Some sellers ask their listing agent to add some remarks in the listing about how they’re willing to consider all “reasonable” offers. They might as well say, “Don’t bother making me an offer if it isn’t for the full asking price, or at least pretty darn close to it…”

Ultimately, buyers decide what the value of your home is by offering as much as they’re willing to pay. Technically, your agent is obligated to present you with any offer a buyer puts in writing. Whether you’re willing to accept it is another matter. Telling buyers to be “reasonable” isn’t going to convince anyone to pay more than they’re willing to.

6) Please lock all doors when leaving…

Locking the door once you’re done showing a house is Real Estate 101 for agents, so they don’t need to be reminded in the listing instructions or with a note on the door. What would be more helpful is a reminder to not lock the door with the house key still inside on the kitchen counter, along with their cell phone!


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