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Lillian Castner's Blog

By Lillian Castner | Home Seller in Winchester, MA

Professional Courtesy.

Our home has been on the market for 6 or 7 weeks. We ensure our home is neat and as spotless as possible when we have an appointment for a buyer's agent to show our property and we leave the premises at least 15 minutes prior to the appointed time so they have the place to themselves. We know the buyer's agent is an important partner in the selling process and we do everything we possibly can to make it easy for them to help sell our home to your clients. Up until now we thought we had seen just about everything, but apparently we were wrong.

In school everyone is taught about punctuality, defined as:

"Acting or arriving exactly at the time appointed; prompt. 2. Paid or accomplished at or by the appointed time. 3. Precise; exact. ..."

Perhaps there are some people who find being early a virtue, however being early can be as rude and unwelcome as tardiness. Two weeks ago we had an agent and his clients arrive approximately a half hour early for their showing while we were obviously still at home. The agent did not ring the doorbell, just accessed the key via the lockbox and came strutting in with his clients unannounced. Very rude and abrupt as if WE should not be there. Hello!  You were early - couldn't you have called and said you were running early??  We could have been out of the house in plenty of time to accomodate you.  How about ringing the doorbell at least to alert us to your arrival? Someone could have been in the shower, or on the toilet, or some other situation in flagrante delecto. I'm sure it's happened to others.

This past Monday we had a similar situation, only this particular agent and her party were one hour early. Again, not even a courtesy call to let us know they were running early. When we opened the door to her, the agent played dumb and fumbled through the papers on her clipboard like she was not sure of the appointment time.  The house was ready for her to show , and it was just a matter of a few moments for us to grab our jackets and leave. Again, what's 30 seconds to make a phone call ahead of time and let us know her arrival time??

We have had people drive by and see the stairs out front and decide they hate the house without even seeing the inside. That's fine, we do understand this house is not for everyone. Please just make the call and cancel the appointment if you are not going to show up - don't make us go sit out in the rain for an hour if you are not coming. We had one realtor who was a no-show actually pretend he was here and fill out a feedback form via MA Pass and he had never even entered the property. We got a good chuckle out of that guy. 

Of course being late without a word is no less excusable. Last summer we had an appointment on a Saturday at noontime with an agent who was probably making the rounds of 5 or 6 houses with some clients. They did not show up at the appointed time and an hour or so later we wrote them off as no shows. I went shopping, hubby went to take a nap because he had been working overnight shifts that week. In strolls this agent and her clients, 3 hours past their appointed time with the poor man asleep in bed - again no phone call, didn't even ring the doorbell. There was absolutely no excuse for no phone call after that length of time. 

We, as sellers go through the effort of making the house white glove immaculate and leave here early to accomodate your schedule on demand - right there that's a good chunk of our morning or afternoon. We want our house sold and we want to work with buyers agents. There's always something - we know this, we are human too. However, we don't think it is unreasonable to expect a bit of courtesy from you in return if you cannot be punctual. In 2011 everyone has a cell phone, you don't even have to go find a phone booth anymore. If you are earlier than your scheduled time, CALL. If you are running late, CALL. If you are cancelling, CALL. It's just respect and common courtesy. People have forgotten that in this day and age. It does go a long way.


By Joan Braunschweiger,  Sun Apr 24 2011, 08:02
Well written Lillian and I absolutely agree.
Selling a home is stressful enough without the added inconsideration of some agents and their buyers.

Thank you for sharing your perspective.
By Brenda Feria,  Sun May 15 2011, 20:59
Thanks for this letter. Hopefully, agents will read it and realize that it is a privilege to show seller's home - not an entitlement. I am sorry that you had to experience this unprofessional behavior. That is why I often do not attach the lock box to the house, but allow the seller to put it out when they leave in the mornings or get a call about a showing. Also if there is a storm door, the lock box can be put on the front door and the seller can lock the storm door so that the lock box cannot be accessed while they are home and do not want to be disturbed. If the house is empty, it usually doesn't matter.
By Kathy Weber (951) 551-7587,  Sun May 15 2011, 21:37
Lillian, thank your for sharing your story. Many people don't understand how difficult it is to be on the "seller's" side of the transaction........great insight......thank you..
By Lillian Castner,  Sun May 15 2011, 22:16
Thanks for reading, and thank you for your understanding and your positive feedback.
By Katherine Waters-Clark,  Wed May 18 2011, 16:52
Lillian, I'm so sorry that this happened to you. How awful! Selling a home is extremely stressful on a family and it's completely inexcusable for an agent to be anything but professional. The idea that an agent would show up an hour early, not show up, or not notify your agent when something has changed is an embarrassment. Hopefully your home has sold/will sell soon and this will just be a story you share over dinner in your NEW home!

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