Can a listing agent continue to show homes even after it’s under contract, approved, and a closing date is set?

A listing agent can continue to show homes to prospective buyers, depending on the agreement that he/she has with the seller of the house. Until the buyer actually owns the home and ownership has transferred to him, the buyer doesn't have any legal right to control the property.

UPDATED: Jul 12, 2023Fact Checked

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Jeffrey Johnson

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Mary Martin

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Mary Martin has been a legal writer and editor for over 20 years, responsible for ensuring that content is straightforward, correct, and helpful for the consumer. In addition, she worked on writing monthly newsletter columns for media, lawyers, and consumers. Ms. Martin also has experience with internal staff and HR operations. Mary was employed for almost 30 years by the nationwide legal publi...

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UPDATED: Jul 12, 2023

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UPDATED: Jul 12, 2023Fact Checked

A listing agent may be able to continue to show homes to prospective buyers under contract, depending on the listing agreement that the listing agent has with the person selling the house. Until the buyer actually owns the home and ownership has transferred to him, the buyer doesn’t have any legal right to control what is or is not done with the property. Thus, if the current owners and sellers want the agent to keep showing the property in case things fall through, this is legally permissible. What the seller and agent cannot do, however, is accept another offer on the property.

Understanding When Listing Agents Show Homes

Often, even when a deal seems like it is going to go through, things can fall apart at the last minute. There may be a surprise inspection result, the financing may not come through, or the buyer may not be able to come up with the down payment on the transaction. As such, it is common for a real estate agent to keep showing a house even after an offer is made.

Once an offer has been made and accepted and a closing date is set, it is pretty late for an agent to be showing a home. At that point, it is usually pretty certain that any deal will go through. However, unless the contract says otherwise, the real estate agent has no legal obligation to stop showing the property.

As long as the buyer has an accepted offer and a contract to buy, the buyer has little to worry about. Even if the seller gets a better offer, it is too late for him to void the contract he has with the buyer and take that offer, since the contract is legally binding. So, relisting a house under contract is almost impossible, however, when such a situation arises it is always best to consult an attorney for legal advice because each situation is different and even the slightest change can revise the attorney’s advice. In most cases, the seller may re-list the property if it is stated that the buyer does not intend to complete the transaction. So if the house under contract is still showing, this should be confirmed in writing.

If you have concerns about your legal rights during the property buying or selling process, consult with a lawyer for guidance and advice.

Case Studies: Can a Listing Agent Continue to Show Homes

Case Study 1: Greenfield Realty

Greenfield Realty, a well-known real estate agency, allows its listing agents to continue showing homes even after they are under contract. They believe in providing options to the sellers in case the current deal falls through. This practice allows them to keep potential backup buyers interested and maintain a proactive approach in the market.

Case Study 2: Coastal Properties

Coastal Properties, on the other hand, follows a different approach. Once a property is under contract and a closing date is set, its listing agents stop showing the home to potential buyers.

They prioritize the completion of the existing deal and ensure a smooth transition of ownership. This approach aims to provide a sense of security to the buyer and minimize any potential complications.

Case Study 3: Horizon Real Estate Group

Horizon Real Estate Group takes a middle ground when it comes to showing homes under contract. Their listing agents can continue showing the property but with certain restrictions.

They limit the showings to serious buyers only and ensure that the buyer is aware of the property’s current status. This approach allows them to maintain interest while also respecting the buyer’s rights and the progress of the ongoing transaction.

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Jeffrey Johnson

Insurance Lawyer

Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

Insurance Lawyer

Mary Martin

Published Legal Expert

Mary Martin has been a legal writer and editor for over 20 years, responsible for ensuring that content is straightforward, correct, and helpful for the consumer. In addition, she worked on writing monthly newsletter columns for media, lawyers, and consumers. Ms. Martin also has experience with internal staff and HR operations. Mary was employed for almost 30 years by the nationwide legal publi...

Published Legal Expert

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about legal topics and insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything legal and insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.

Get Legal Help Today

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