Realtor - Amanda S. Davidson: An Open House With No Agent

An Open House With No Agent

An Open House With No Agent
One of the reasons I love real estate is that no day is ever the same. There’s always something to learn or something new to experience. Last Sunday was a first for me. I was set to meet a new buyer and noticed there was going to be an open house. She preferred a private showing and the house was vacant so I set an appointment for an hour before the open was set to begin.

Open House  

I arrived a few minutes before my client and noticed that the open house signs were out and the door was open so I walked in just thinking that maybe the agent was setting up. No one was inside but, the lights were on so then I thought maybe the agent was putting more signs up or maybe ran back to the car for something. My clients arrived and we toured the property, while we were there an open house visitor showed up and started asking questions. They were so confused when I explained that I’m not the agent who is holding the open. We stayed at the property for close to 30 minutes and when we were finishing up I tried calling the agent but, didn’t get an answer.

Open House With No Agent 

I decided to wait around after my clients left because I was starting to worry that maybe something had happened to the agent. Someone had been there to setup as signs were out, listing info was out, the listing agent’s business cards were present, and the lockbox was closed but, I checked and it did have a key in it. About 20 minutes passed and I started debating on what to do, should I lock up? Should I call the agents office? Decisions, Decisions.

An Open House With No Agent 

I decided to try calling the agent one more time and this time he answered. Never in a million years could I have guessed that he’d tell me to stop calling him because he’s out showing to clients and that yes he knows the door is open. Leave it as I found it because the house is vacant and there’s nothing of value there. He’s very busy and doesn’t have time to waste sitting around at an open house. At that moment my mind just went blank, all I could get out of my mouth was ok and I hung up right after that.

Open House With No Agent 

I sat in the parking lot for a few minutes after that to compose my thoughts. This property is an estate sale and I’m guessing the agent thinks the sellers will never find out he can’t be bothered to properly host an open house. How would he feel if someone propped the door open to his home and left? I have since contacted his broker who thankfully seemed appalled and genuine in wanting to address it. I really hope she follows through on that. I’ll never understand how agents like this stay in business, it’s situations like this that give honest and ethical agents a bad reputation. As with most professions, not all agents are created equal. Sellers and buyers should really invest time into researching and getting referrals for reputable agents and then make their decision on who to work with. Having the right agent working on your behalf who always puts your best interests first is priceless.


Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group

 exp realty






C  703.431.3755   |   O  703.988.3151  |   W

A  20130 Lakeview Center Plaza #400 Ashburn, Va 20147

Comment balloon 47 commentsAmanda S. Davidson • September 25 2018 03:16PM


There's an agent in my area who does more property management than sales. It's been a while, but I went to an open house he did for a sale property and he wasn't there. What a disservice to his seller.

Posted by Lorrie Semler, REALTOR® in the Dallas area. Call/text 972-416-3417, Real Service. Real Results. Real Estate (United Real Estate) 9 months ago

Oh my goodness, Amanda! I wonder if that agent's clients knew this was happening. The potential for liability is mind-boggling.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage ) 9 months ago


Wow, and how idiotic of him to be mad at you for caring...Amazing,  As Ron would say, "Some people insist on being stupid."  When I was showing office space in a Class A building, with guards in the lobby I always locked the suite after the showing.  A

Posted by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy (Napa Consultants) 9 months ago

WOW! yes those kind of agents do give us ethical agents a bad reputation. There was an older lady in Lago Vista TX who has sense passed but she use to leave her new built homes wide open with open house signs during the weekends. This was about twelve years ago but still not wise.

Posted by Bob Ratliff, "Sold with Bob" (Robert Ratliff Realty) 9 months ago

Amanda, that is truly mind boggling, and have not ever run into this situation.   Sadly, his clients most likely will never know about this.

Posted by Joan Cox, Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time (House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373) 9 months ago

I knew where this post was headed, and it's commonplace in my market for new construction to be open and not manned on weekends. Although it is common on new construction (the builders started the trend), I would never expect to see a resale property left vacant in this manner.

Posted by Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty, 601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell (Front Gate Real Estate) 9 months ago

Good morning Amanda. This is appalling period. I can't even imagine the calamity that is this agent.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) 9 months ago

Thank you very much, Amanda, for sharing this experience.

I hope you sell the property.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) 9 months ago

Good morning Amanda - it is bad enough that he left but the attitude is horrible.  You certainly did the right thing. 

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) 9 months ago

Hi Amanda S. Davidson - I personally think you did the proper thing by calling the agent's broker after the way you were treated. 

This is a huge pet-peeve of mine. There are agents all over that continue to give our profession a bad name and it infuriates me that they constantly get away with it.......especially if they are big producers.  

Posted by Sheri Sperry - MCNE®, (928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR® (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) 9 months ago

Hi Amanda

I first thought this was going to be about a self-guided open house that we are starting to see when I read the title. This is pretty appalling. Wonder what the client would think. Even if the house is vacant the liability is still there. Glad you called the broker who is ultimately responsible.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (Solutions Real Estate ) 9 months ago

I have seen appalling acts by some Real Estate Agents. But, this is a first Amanda and I too would have called the broker...

Posted by Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400, Long Island Home and Condo Specialists (The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803) 9 months ago

Amanda- Livid doesn't begin to describe how I would feel if I were the seller. I'm glad that you called the Broker!!

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) 9 months ago

Wow!  This is bordering on unethical behavior, in my opinion, Amanda.

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) 9 months ago

Can't believe it - and yet, I can. What a greedy bugger. Can't waste his time holding an open, fearful he'll miss another sale if he takes his buyers out after the Open House. Argh. You handled this very well. D

Posted by Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, REALTORS® in Clark County, WA (ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors) 9 months ago

Thanks for sharing this post, I am surprised this happens! Humans...

Posted by Ron Aguilar, Mortgage & Real Estate Advisor since 1995 (Continental Mortgage) 9 months ago

It seems like he would also get fined for violating something in that he has advertised being at an open house, yet he isnt there.  What a crazy situation and I hope that his broker comes down hard on him.

Posted by Brian England, MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ (Arizona Focus Realty) 9 months ago

Wow that is really shocking.     How can he consider himself a fiduciary?

Posted by M.C. Dwyer, Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist (Century 21 Showcase REALTORs) 9 months ago

OMG, I'm in SHOCK, Amanda! "Having the right agent working on your behalf who always puts your best interests first is priceless." - if only these sellers knew they DON'T have an agent who has their best interests at heart. 


Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods ( | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) 9 months ago

Hi Amanda S. Davidson, I'm just shocked. What on earth was this agent thinking?  I wonder what the sellers would say. Just insane!   

Posted by Beth Atalay, Cam Realty of Clermont FL (Cam Realty and Property Management) 9 months ago

I heard at my MLS conference that this is becoming the trend on unoccupied houses. I just don't get it, why an agent wouldn't want to serve his client better than that.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) 9 months ago

It happened to me several times. Often same agent(s). One finds the door or back door not even locked. You call them they don't even show any signs of embarrassment. These agents often are discounted agent who have no shame and often hint they won't present your offer (no matter how high it is). They will sell their listings themselves. 

Posted by Sam Shueh, mba, cdpe, reopro, pe ( (408) 425-1601) 9 months ago

My advice is if it is same agent listing skip it and show others listing.

Posted by Sam Shueh, mba, cdpe, reopro, pe ( (408) 425-1601) 9 months ago

All the time here there is a company that does 6 every weekend called "unmanned Open Houses" but they do have flyers at the door explaining how they work and to call for more info and the bad news or good news I guess for them they work. 

Posted by Charles Stallions, 800-309-3414 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl. (Charles Stallions Real Estate Services ) 9 months ago

If I were selling my house, and I found out my agent just left the door open for hours so anyone could walk through, I wouldn't be happy. A lot of damage can be done to a vacant house. And how would anyone who walked through get answers to questions? 

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, 9 months ago

Good morning Amanda S. Davidson,

I'm so glad you called his Broker. This is not ethical behavior by a licensed Realtor® and its agents like this that give us a bad name. Just because the house is vacant doesn't mean their can't be damage done or even a homeless person that could wander in. If I were the seller's I'd be livid!

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899) 9 months ago

Wow. I had a similar situation with a showing. The front door lock was broken when I got to the home. There was no way to secure it. After multiple attempts to contact the listing agent and his broker, over an hour at the property on a Friday evening, I threw in the towel and left. It was a corporate owned rental unit, and the brokerage owned the home. Not sure why they didn’t care!? But thankful there are people such as us who do

Posted by Denise Copeland, Jupiter Abacoa Sales & Beach Front Luxury Homes (Mirsky Realty Group) 9 months ago

Hello Amanda --- it's kinda amazing what we see/learn on a daily basis. Kinda odd too.

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393 9 months ago

Amanda S. Davidson These are the types of things that occur because brokers do not exercise sufficient supervison over their agents.

Too many brokers treat agents as if the were merely satellite entities, free to do whatever they wish.

Their misguided excuse is that the agent is "an independent contractor."

In fact, that's legally NOT true. Please review this information in support.

Posted by Ken Jones, Helping Agents Build a Secure Financial Future (Ken Jones Real Estate Advisor) 9 months ago

You did the right thing calling as I would have also done that. That agent is sur enot representing that seller properly. The house could be damaged and the furnace, plumbing and wiring sure is valuable. As well as i have seen faucets taken as well as cabinets, so everything is valuable 

Posted by Scott Godzyk, One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents (Godzyk Real Estate Services) 9 months ago

Thanks for sharing, Amanda S. Davidson. It is an unbelievable situation - especially with the agent giving you a hard time for being concerned...

I don't find open houses a 'waste of time'. I bring my laptop and other things to do during the slow times to make it a productive event. There's always something to catch up on.


Posted by Bruce Kunz, REALTOR®, Brick & Howell NJ Homes for Sale (C21 Solid Gold Realty, Brick, NJ, 732-920-2100) 9 months ago

It might be a coming trend, but I would never do that. I wonder how the agent will explain it to the seller if an appliance or expensive light fixture is missing

Posted by Tom Bailey (Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc.) 9 months ago

WOW, Amanda....that is just unbelievable. Glad you called his broker. I would never have an unmanned open house.  

Posted by Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®, Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate (Vision Quest Realty) 9 months ago

That would be a first for me and you did the right thing by calling the broker.  That is one for a book to be written about not what to do!!

Posted by Will Hamm, "Where There's a Will, There's a Way!" (Hamm Homes) 9 months ago

Unfortunately I have seen this a few times in New Construction, where an agent has a vacant SPEC home open but unattended. What a waste, if you're going to do an open house, do it right. The right way benefits the seller, the seller's agent, and any and all possible buyers!

Posted by Stephen Turner, The BIG Guy of NEW HOME SALES (Gemcraft Homes (TriCorner Realty)) 9 months ago

I would love to know beforehand where these are as I would come by and set up shop and get all the buyer and seller leads that walk in the door :) lol

If you are "too busy" either hire someone or if you work with a lender, have them host it FOR FREE! #DumbDumb #ZillowWillReplaceThem

Posted by Nick Krehnke 425-202-5655, "Your Trusted Friend in the Home Loan Biz" :) (All Square Mortgage INC.) 9 months ago

It's a terrible practice that even with the consent of the seller is wrong. Although I'm not positive that the behavior violates the Code, Article 1 does say this, which is pretty basic but covers it:


When representing a buyer, seller, landlord, tenant, or other client as an agent, REALTORS® pledge themselves to protect and promote the interests of their client

Posted by Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate (Baird & Warner Real Estate) 9 months ago

It would serve him right, if one of the sellers, or their relatives happened to pop by.

Posted by Alan May, Helping you find your way home. (Coldwell Banker Residential) 9 months ago

Haven't heard of this. Unreal.

Posted by Anne Corbin, Serving Lake Anna & Central Virginia (Long and Foster - Lake Anna) 9 months ago

Sad, but true. It takes all sorts of agents to make up a real estate community. You just ran across one of the really bad ones. Wow. I personally would have let his broker know, since the broker actually represents the seller.

Posted by Jon Quist, Tucson's BUYERS ONLY Realtor since 1996 (REALTY EXECUTIVES TUCSON ELITE) 9 months ago

I have one bozo agent in my market who's concept of open houses is close to those online brokerages. He'll open house a few listings but not actually present at the properties. Rather he drives around in his car and leaves a note on the door of the open house for the consumer attending to give him a call. He figures this way he can open house multiple properties at the same time.

Posted by Richard Bazinet /MBA, CRS, ABR, Phoenix Scottsdale. Sellers, Buyers & Relocations (West USA Realty) 9 months ago

OMG...unbelievable. Glad you told the broker. I hope this sorry excuse for an agent is held responsible for his irresponsible behavior!

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) 9 months ago

Wow! Good for you for calling the broker! Those poor sellers probably had no clue he wasn't representing them properly. He will gladly accept his commission, but not do his due diligence? Very risky on his part!

Posted by Melissa Spittel, "Achieving Results Together " (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) 9 months ago

What a story!  I would also report the agent to the state office! That agent should NOT have a license!

Posted by Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR, Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area (Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes) 9 months ago

Wow!  That's an ethics violation - duty to client!  Yikes - I'd hate to answer that call from his broker.  It's always best to imagine that your client is standing in front of you at all times.  Decisions are non-decisions!

Posted by Jan Green, HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN (Value Added Service, 602-620-2699) 9 months ago

Oh no! I would have turned off the lights and locked the door. Obviously calling the broker was a must. Let the agent field the calls from potential buyers expecting to meet an agent when viewing a home and finding no one there to host it! Unbelievable 

Posted by Karen Feltman, Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group) 9 months ago

good article.. sometimes this really happens

Posted by EnCourage Realty, "Be.Do.Have.Give." 8 months ago