By. Stevie Fisher
With March comes the madness of the spring real estate market. This busy season seems to begin earlier and earlier each year, and Realtors® likely already find themselves in the full swing of spring working hard for their clients and customers. Realtors® must maintain the high levels of professionalism expected of them by the public and their fellow real estate professionals. Here are some tips and reminders from the Professionalism and Ethics Advisory Group that will support your success and protect you, your clients, and your business!
Showings and Lockboxes
- Knock before entering a property. There’s nothing worse than walking in on a spaghetti dinner when the homeowners forget about a showing or lose track of time!
- Running late to a showing? Contact the listing agent. It’s possible that they can accommodate a later appointment, but they may ask you to reschedule. Remember not to access the property outside of your confirmed showing time.
- Double check that the lockbox closed properly. After the property key has been returned to the lockbox, make sure the lockbox is properly shut! If a key goes missing, the Realtor® who last accessed the lockbox may be held responsible.
- Communicate about who will be present at the showing, home inspection, or other inspections or viewings of the property. Remember, approved access to a property is based upon terms approved by the seller. For example, if you schedule a home inspection as a buyer’s agent, let the listing agent know if you do not plan to remain at the property for the duration of the inspection. Otherwise, the listing agent has an expectation that the buyer’s agent will be present and responsible for the property during the entirety of the inspection.
- Back-to-back showings? While it may be easier to hand the property key off to the next party scheduled for a showing, it is important that each Realtor® who accesses a property registers their access with SentriLock. Remember! The SentriLock Rules require Realtors® to return the property key to the lockbox before leaving the property, even if there is another agent waiting at the door.
- If a listing broker does not provide the expiration date of an exclusive representation agreement to another Realtor®, the Code of Ethics states that the inquiring Realtor® “may contact the owner to secure such information and may discuss the terms upon which the REALTOR® might take a future listing or, alternatively, may take a listing to become effective upon expiration of any existing exclusive listing.”
- A Realtor® who shows a house to an eventual buyer is not necessarily procuring cause. The National Association of Realtors® defines procuring cause as “the uninterrupted series of events that results in the successful transaction.”
- Listing agents should ensure that the information entered into the MLS is accurate and up-to-date. Take care to avoid accidentally mispresenting facts about the property or the transaction. Remember to update listings as soon as possible after any changes.
- Take the time to review all written agreements to confirm there are no mistakes or errors. Realtors® have an obligation to ensure that all agreements are written in clear and understandable language, and that reasonable efforts are taken to ensure their clients understand the terms of each agreement.
The public looks to Realtors® to guide them through the home buying or selling processes. Your expertise and your professionalism are keys to your success. With these best practices in mind, you can watch your business bloom this spring season!