"Appointment Only" May Mean No Appointment At All

When a property is listed in the MLS, the buyer's agent will see "showing instructions". It may state "Go Direct" (vacant homes generally), or "Call First", or by "Appointment Only". My advice be careful with "Appointment Only".

With inventory high, it is critical that your home be easy for a buyer to access with their Realtor. On one occasion, I had a showing that illustrates how "Appointment Only" can place your home in a negative light. We had 5 homes on our list to see, and we were meeting at 10 am. The 4th home we intended to see was booked for 11:00 - 11:30 am. I was assured there would be an agent there, but no later than 11:05 am.

The first problem has already happened. When a buyer's agent has multiple properties to show, it can be a challenge to be specific about arrival times. The amount of time to show a home varies with the interest level and the travel time between homes, which can be impacted by traffic.

I arrived with my buyer at 11:05 am, but the listing agent was not there. No lockbox. No sign. No access. The listing agent called at 11:10 am and said she was just 10 minutes away. More waiting... We finally did see the property, and luckily, my client liked it. The listing agent was nice, but I suspect she was struggling to make it up to this property every time it was shown. It recently expired after a 90 day listing, and this could have been a contributing factor. We could have passed on seeing it if we had been in a hurry, or if my client became impatient. Some agents will just skip a property altogether if it requires going through too many hoops to show it. Frankly, there are just so many options out there right now.

When is "Appointment Only" ok? When your area considers that type of showing style the norm (some areas of the country do), or you have a very, very high end home. Even if you have pets, allow the agent to call with a big enough time frame that it is still convenient for you to move the pets, and then let them access the home via a lockbox.

The bottom line - make your home accessible and easy to show!