When your house goes on the market, you’re not only opening the door to prospective buyers, but also sometimes to unknown vendors and naive or unqualified buyers.

As with any business transaction, there is an expected protocol to how sellers, buyers and their respective agents interact. Should you find yourself in a sticky situation, let  your agent know.  Your agent can address the issue and remedy the problem.

Here are a few suggestions on how to you can begin using good seller’s etiquette to handle these situations.


The aggressive agent

When your house is on the market, all promotional materials state clearly that your agent is the primary contact for buyers and buyers’ agents.  However, sometimes a buyer’s agent will contact a seller directly.    This is not reputable behavior.  Let your agent know immediately if it happens to you.

The unscrupulous vendor

Have you ever moved and suddenly found your mailbox full of junk mail?  Unfortunately, this also can happen when you put your house on the market.  When you sell your home, there may be various purchasing decisions.  Sometimes  less-than-ethical vendors will take advantage of this.  Though MLS organizations enforce rules on how posted information is used, some companies have found ways to produce mass mailing lists.   If you think your address was sold, let your agent know.

The naive buyer

Yard signs, Internet listings and other advertisements can generate a lot of buzz for your home. Some prospective buyers – particularly first-timers – might be so excited to see your home that they’ll simply drop by.  If this happens, no matter how nice these unexpected visitors are, it’s best not to humor their enthusiasm by discussing your home or giving an impromptu tour.  Instead, politely let them know that your real estate agent is in charge of scheduling tours and provide them with the agent’s contact information.  If you attempt to handle these surprise visits on your own, you might inadvertently disclose information that could hurt you during negotiations down the road.