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No Call, No Show Showings
In recent months, the Greater Milwaukee Association of REALTORS has seen an increase in the number of real estate agents who operate under the notion that it is acceptable to set a showing appointment and not show up at the scheduled time or, worse, not show up for the appointment at all without a phone call or other effort to notify the seller’s agent of the cancelation. Not only does this behavior result in frustration for the seller’s agent and their client(s), who have made their home show-ready and arranged to vacate the property, but it shows a lack of regard for the industry’s established professional courtesies.
While most REALTORS operate with the highest level of professionalism in-mind, some need a reminder that the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) Pathways to Professionalism exists to address issues of courtesy and etiquette that are important factors when it comes to the NAR Code of Ethics & Standards of Practice. Pathways to Professionalism addresses professional courtesies in three key areas, including: Respect for Public, Respect for Property and Respect for Peers. These courtesies are intended to be used by REALTORS on a voluntary basis and cannot form the basis for a professional standards complaint.
1.     Follow the "Golden Rule”: Do unto other as you would have them do unto you.
2.     Respond promptly to inquiries and requests for information.
3.     Schedule appointments and showings as far in advance as possible.
4.     Call if you are delayed or must cancel an appointment or showing.
5.     If a prospective buyer decides not to view an occupied home, promptly explain the situation to the listing broker or the occupant.
6.     Communicate with all parties in a timely fashion.
7.     When entering a property ensure that unexpected situations, such as pets, are handled appropriately.
8.     Leave your business card if not prohibited by local rules.
9.     Never criticize property in the presence of the occupant.
10. Inform occupants that you are leaving after showings.
11. When showing an occupied home, always ring the doorbell or knock—and announce yourself loudly before entering. Knock and announce yourself loudly before entering any closed room.
12. Present a professional appearance at all times; dress appropriately and drive a clean car.
13. If occupants are home during showings, ask their permission before using the telephone or bathroom.
14. Encourage the clients of other brokers to direct questions to their agent or representative.
15. Communicate clearly; don’t use jargon or slang that may not be readily understood.
16. Be aware of and respect cultural differences.
17. Show courtesy and respect to everyone.
18. Be aware of—and meet—all deadlines.
19. Promise only what you can deliver—and keep your promises.
20. Identify your REALTOR® and your professional status in contacts with the public.
21. Do not tell people what you think—tell them what you know.
1.     Be responsible for everyone you allow to enter listed property.
2.     Never allow buyers to enter listed property unaccompanied.
3.     When showing property, keep all members of the group together.
4.     Never allow unaccompanied access to property without permission.
5.     Enter property only with permission even if you have a lockbox key or combination.
6.     When the occupant is absent, leave the property as you found it (lights, heating, cooling, drapes, etc.) If you think something is amiss (e.g. vandalism), contact the listing broker immediately.
7.     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. Leave the house as you found it unless instructed otherwise.
8.     Use sidewalks; if weather is bad, take off shoes and boots inside property.
9.     Respect sellers’ instructions about photographing or videographing their properties’ interiors or exteriors.
1.     Identify your REALTOR® and professional status in all contacts with other REALTORS®.
2.     Respond to other agents' calls, faxes, and e-mails promptly and courteously.
3.     Be aware that large electronic files with attachments or lengthy faxes may be a burden on recipients.
4.     Notify the listing broker if there appears to be inaccurate information on the listing.
5.     Share important information about a property, including the presence of pets, security systems, and whether sellers will be present during the showing.
6.     Show courtesy, trust, and respect to other real estate professionals.
7.     Avoid the inappropriate use of endearments or other denigrating language.
8.     Do not prospect at other REALTORS®' open houses or similar events.
9.     Return keys promptly.
10. Carefully replace keys in the lockbox after showings.
11. To be successful in the business, mutual respect is essential.
12. Real estate is a reputation business. What you do today may affect your reputation—and business—for years to come.
(Revised 11/13)
If you’ve recently experienced a disregard for professional courtesies by an industry peer in the practice of real estate and would like guidance on how to follow up on these instances, please contact the Greater Milwaukee Association of REALTORS by phone (414-778-4929) or by e-mail ([email protected]) for assistance.
For more information on the NAR Pathways to Professionalism guidelines, please visit 
We hope you enjoyed Issue #12 of Ethics Exchange 2021 brought to you by the Greater Milwaukee Association of REALTORS® (GMAR). The GMAR created this newsletter, each issue dedicated to a unique issue, because the REALTOR® Code of Ethics, on which our industry is built, is the foundation of what it means to be a REALTOR®.
Your proactive support of the Code of Ethics will assure your fellow REALTORS®, as well as members of the public, that every member of GMAR operates under the highest ethical standards.
Questions, comments or concerns regarding this issue can be directed to
Scott Bush at the GMAR Office (414-778-4929 or [email protected]).