The latest MLS statistics definitely show that our REALTOR® members are BUSY. The amount of out of town traffic definitely shows that our Property Managers are BUSY as well. But now more than ever our REALTOR® members need to get back to the basics of professional courtesies.
In 2020, the Outer Banks Association of REALTORS® adopted the following Professional Courtesies in the belief that beyond ethics, an important aspect of being professional is following business practices or “courtesies” that ensure smooth transactions and foster good relationships with clients and fellow REALTORS®. While these guidelines are voluntary, they can build a reputation for professional behavior that will enhance your standing with colleagues and clients.
Professional Courtesies For REALTORS®
Respect for the Public
- Follow the Golden Rule: “Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.”
- At first substantial contact, ask prospective clients if they are working with another Agent or if they have signed a Buyer Agency Agreement.
- Schedule appointments as far in advance as possible.
- Notify the Listing Agent immediately if you are delayed or must cancel an appointment.
- When showing a property, ring the doorbell or knock prior to entering. Agents should enter first to ensure unexpected situations such as pets are handled properly.
- If the Seller is present during a showing: Do not ask the Seller compromising questions if showing as a Buyer Agent.
- Do not criticize the property in the presence of the Seller.
- Inform the Seller when you vacate the premises. Say, “Thank You.”
- Always present a professional appearance, dress appropriately and have a clean vehicle.
- Communicate clearly, do not use jargon (i.e., FSBO, MLS) not readily understood by the public.
- Communicate with all parties in a timely manner.
Respect for the Property
- Use best judgement when parking in the driveway or in front of the mailbox. Use sidewalks and do not walk through landscaping. If weather is bad, remove shoes when entering the home.
- Protect keys, SentriLock lockboxes, KABA and combination codes. Never share any access information with Buyers.
- Buyers must always be accompanied by an Agent when visiting a property.
- Consult Buyers prior to entering the property. Ask them to remain together and restrain small children. Be responsible for them upon entering the property.
- Be considerate of the Seller’s property. Do not allow anyone to eat, drink, smoke, dispose of trash, use bathing or sleeping facilities, or bring pets (ESA exceptions).
- When finished showing, be sure to turn off all lights, shut windows, lock doors, re-arm security systems and return keys to lockbox, unless otherwise instructed.
- Notify Listing Agent immediately if something is amiss with the property such as access to the home, damage, etc.
- Get permission from the Listing Agent before photographing or videoing the property.
- Schedule a new appointment each time you enter the house, regardless if you already have the access information.
Showing Vacation Rental Properties
- Try to show all listed properties on changeover day, if possible.
- If showing a property while tenant occupied, show up on time and be respectful of tenants and their personal property. Be courteous and economical with their time while showing the house.
- Changeover showings should not take place until tenants vacate the home.
- Avoid interrupting cleaning and or maintenance crews as they go about their work.
- Notify Listing Agent after showing to allow next guests to check- in.
Respect for Your Peers
- Follow the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
- If another Agent is showing the property when you arrive for a showing, inform the Agent you are there and remain outside until he or she is finished.
- If you are showing a property and another Agent arrives and is waiting outside, be courteous and step outside the house once your showing is complete to allow the other Agent to show the property.
- The Listing Agent should share important showing information about the property, including the presence of pets, security systems, audio/video systems and if the Sellers will be present during the showing. Use Agent remarks in the MLS and/or the appointment service to convey information.
- Put the lockbox in an easily accessible location and enter that location in the showing instructions.
- Advise the Showing Agents through the appointment service how to leave the property when finished showing (i.e., lights on/off).
- Do not leave business cards or solicitation material in the house.
- Give feedback for showings within a timely manner if requested from the Listing Agent.
- Notify the Listing Agent if anything appears incorrect on the MLS report.
- Promptly respond to other Agent’s calls, e-mails and/or text messages.
- Complete all home inspections as soon as possible and continue to keep the Listing Agent informed of your progress and when inspections have been scheduled.