The Importance of Showing Instructions on RMLSweb


REALTORS® have a lot of details to juggle in their daily lives, and in a hot real estate market, showing instructions probably aren’t on the top of your priority list. Even so, a hot market means it’s of utmost importance to provide detailed showing instructions if you’re listing a property, or abide by the instructions when showing a property to prospective clients.

Are you doing the best by your clients and your colleagues’ clients? RMLS™ has compiled a list of ways to make sure you’re doing the very best you can regarding showing instructions.



Provide thorough showing information in the listing so other subscribers may easily conduct a showing. We understand it’s tempting to get a listing up quickly, thinking you’ll fix it later, but this may set your colleagues and clients up for some unpleasant interactions.

Think about the hours your lockbox can be opened. Default lockbox hours on RMLS™ SentriLock lockboxes is 8am-9pm Pacific time. Did you change these default hours when the lockbox was on a prior listing? Would you like to customize your lockbox to only be accessible during a different timeframe? You can change lockbox hours yourself or call the RMLS™ Help Desk for assistance.

Put yourself in the showing agent’s shoes. Double-check the showing instructions are accurate and that an agent showing the property has what they need to follow the instructions. If a listing instructs agents to call the owner first, the homeowner’s phone number should be included on the listing. Showing information may be included in any of the following fields: Private Remarks, Occupied By, Lockbox/Location/Combo, Showing Hours, Showing Instructions (aka Show), Owner/Phone, or Tenant/Phone.

Do you need to restrict access to a listing? If so, consider using a Call Before Showing (CBS) code to access a lockbox.

Make your CALL-LA instructions crystal clear. Use the private remarks to clarify if showing agents should make contact for instructions or just leave a message that they will be showing the property.



Check the current listing status to avoid a violation of the RMLS™ Rules and Regulations. Before showing any property, double-check the listing’s current status. If you enter a property in Pending (PEN) status without the permission of the listing agent or owner, you could face unpleasant repercussions! Entering a property in Pending (PEN) status is against the RMLS™ Rules and Regulations (see Sections 5.1 and 7.1)

Read—and follow—showing instructions. While you’re in RMLSweb checking the listing’s current status, thoroughly review the showing instructions detailed on the listing. RMLS™ regularly receives reports of embarrassing situations, negative feelings, and potential rules violations when subscribers don’t pay close attention to instructions. Instructions or pieces of information could be found in any or all of the following listing fields: Private Remarks, Occupied By, Lockbox/Location/Combo, Showing Hours, Showing Instructions (aka Show), Owner/Phone, or Tenant/Phone.

Use RPR Mobile™ and HomeSpotter to access listing information in the field. Listing data can be easily accessed in the field via HomeSpotter or RPR Mobile™. If you’re not already using both these apps, they’ll make showings easier, so get to it—find out more about RPR Mobile™ then read about HomeSpotter and download them today!

Trust your gut. If you arrive at a scheduled showing and something is off—an aggressive pet is loose in the house, minors are home alone, or a band of squatters is camped on the front lawn—consider rescheduling the showing.



Know the difference between CALL1ST versus CALL-LA! If a listing says to call first in the showing instructions, call the owner/seller. If there is no answer, leave a message informing them you will be showing their property. If CALL-LA is in the showing instructions, check the remarks for further information and call the listing agent for further instruction before showing the property.

Don’t enter listed properties in Pending (PEN) status! (Have we mentioned that one yet?) Check the status of the listing as well as the showing instructions just before entering the property, whether or not the property is occupied. It’s a RMLS™ Rules and Regulations violation if you don’t (see Sections 5.1 and 7.1)!

We realize that honest mistakes happen out in the field, but taking more time to be mindful about showing instructions can stop unpleasant situations—with clients or colleagues—before they happen.


15 Responses to “The Importance of Showing Instructions on RMLSweb

  1. Jeff Kreinbring April 15, 2017 at 9:33 am #

    Along with these excellent comments, directions to the home is of equal importance! Directions should start with the word “From”, followed by the name of a major road everyone will know, followed by “turn (North, East, West, or South)” as appropriate, then Right and Left turns to the home.
    Good example; From Andresen go West on NE 58th St, Left on NE 56th Av, Right on NE 54th St to home.
    Bad example; Andresen, right on 58th, left on 56th, right on 54th
    Worse example; NE Wedgewood CT (for a home in Camas that did not even have Wedgewood in it’s address)
    Lazy example; use gps

  2. Marge Bare April 17, 2017 at 1:15 pm #

    I just ran into something that really surprised me and I’d love other Broker feedback. If you’re waiting to show a property and there’s people inside looking before you, do you ask your buyers to wait until the other showing is done?

    I think its common courtesy to wait. You can always ask if you can look at the same time, but if they say “no” then I think that should be respected.
    I actually was showing a couple a condo last week. An agent showed up with buyers who just came right in. When I asked my buyers if they minded, they said “We’d prefer to have the home to ourselves for a few minutes while we look”. So I nicely explained to the agent and the 5 people in their group, that “we had an appointment to show, and could they wait a few minutes, we’ll be done soon”.
    Their agent looked at me like I was asking for the moon, and her buyer got very rude, to my face, and said “he would never ask a buyer to wait like that”. He made his unhappiness very clear, throughout the time as they waited in the living room glaring at me.

    I was so shocked. His agent acted like I was in the wrong. I don’t think I was, but would love feedback. I think its common showing courtesy to give each buyer some time without a lot of other people, unless its an open house of course.

    What do others think?

    • Deborah Giles April 17, 2017 at 4:33 pm #

      I always lock the door behind me once my clients and I are inside. It’s bad form to interrupt a showing in progress – with OR without an appointment.

    • Lori Durling April 18, 2017 at 1:54 pm #

      I have been trained never to enter a home that is in the process of being shown. I explain to my clients that it is common courtesy and proper REALTOR etiquette to wait outside until the other party is finished. This has always been my experience with other agents as well.

    • Cheryl Kinley April 18, 2017 at 3:15 pm #

      You are not in the wrong. Common courtesy, common sense. Good idea about locking the door behind you……

    • Kria April 23, 2017 at 12:03 pm #

      I had someone, not a Realtor, just come in the house while I was showing. I had to get that person out… Since then I always lock the door when showing. I think it is a safety issue as well for us and our clients.

    • Sherry Galloway April 25, 2017 at 12:46 pm #

      You were there first with an appointment, they should have waited outside. It would be a different story if the property was on brokers tour or open house then your buyers would need to wait until the others were through viewing to have the property to themselves.

    • Sue April 28, 2017 at 2:35 pm #

      no you were correct and respectful.
      The other agent and cclient-should learn the meaning of R E S P E C T!

  3. Marge Bare April 18, 2017 at 3:07 pm #

    Thanks all, I thought I was trained right, but you never know these days.

  4. John Ayers April 19, 2017 at 8:13 am #

    Thank you all for the great comments. Another point to note regarding waiting for another broker to show a property is the lockbox entry log. If you are the first broker to a property to show it, and then another broker brings some buyers in – you are the name that opened the lockbox, and are therefore responsible for anything that may happen while the other brokers and their clients are in the property. As noted above, it is a good practice to close and lock the door during a showing and then put the key back into the lockbox so the new broker has to open the lockbox with their credentials in order to show the property. This may be considered rude or unfriendly, but it is the best way to keep your risks at a minimum.

  5. Matt Meyer April 22, 2017 at 9:33 am #

    I am an appraiser. What tips do you have regarding appraisers using the lockbox system? Obviously, we violate the “do not enter a pending sale property” rule every time, but what other considerations should we adhere to?

    • Kria April 25, 2017 at 9:33 am #

      Let us know you are going.

    • Cheryl Kinley April 25, 2017 at 11:47 am #

      I think appraisers would not fall under that rule, so to speak. Yes, just let us know when you will be physically at the property.

  6. Peter Anyanwu April 22, 2017 at 10:34 pm #

    Very well said by the previous comments especially locking the door behind you. Moreover if you are previewing the property all by yourself without clients, the last thing you ever wanna do is let somebody else in while you are in there. I recall a couple years ago a female realtor in the Willamette Valley got assulted by a man pretending to be a buyer.

Leave a Reply