Hello Patrick and thanks so much for the accolades--always good to be acknowledged.
Actually, however, I was referring to all liability from showing the home, to theft, to "slip and fall" or injuries, to unusual circumstances and not just to the tactical issues related to selling a home. Anytime someone enters a home with an agent, that agent takes upon himself or herself to ensure the safety of the home as well as that of the visitors. As a result, each of us, as real estate professionals, should screen those individuals with whom we work to ensure that neither we nor the properties we'll be showing will be endangered by the clients. It's an extreme example, I know, but it something that for which we should all be consciously aware.
Finally, I think that James Goodman said it best in his comment below "We (as agents) have a fiduciary responsibility to our clients, therefore, your agent should be showing your home to any qualified buyer who is interested in seeing it." Since the potential buyer in this particular scenario was "represented" by another agent, for the listing agent, that buyer was not actually a "qualified buyer." The buyer was qualified as a buyer for his/her agent only, but not qualified by the definition of the listing agent.
I understand everyone's comments that they would accommodate the request of the potential buyer, but, I always harken back to one of the very first things I learned in this business and that was "respect" for the contract between any client and his/her agent. It is the reason that we do not "solicit" clients belonging to other agents, and that we discontinue all conversations with represented buyers without their agents present. That same respect should similarly carry over to showing houses to buyers who are or say they are represented. The only instance in which I might consent to show the home is if the agent contacts me and asks me and provides me with permission to show the home to his/her client. I am never reluctant to spend time to show a home to a potential buyer, but I will take care never to be disrespectful to a real estate colleague or to interfere with an agency agreement belonging to another.
Perhaps if we all similarly refused to show homes to represented buyers without the agent's permission, we would encourage buyers to be truthful and honest--which is, after all, the basis for any good relationship or eventual sales contract.
Just my thoughts!
Grace Morioka, SRES, e-Pro
Area Pro Realty
San Jose, CA