Private showings, broker tours, and showing software


  • Private showings and broker tours are viewings of homes for sale that are not open to the public. 
  • Private showings are coordinated between the seller or seller’s agent and buyer or buyer’s agent.
  • Broker tours are scheduled times to view properties that are only open to licensed real estate agents.
  • Many private showings are scheduled by agents through the MLS. Requests are often made using showing management or tour scheduling software.
  • The most popular showing management software is ShowingTime. Agents use this software to manage private showings and collect feedback from buyers and their agents.
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What is a private showing?

A private showing is a scheduled viewing of a house for sale that is not open to the public. Typically, a buyer and their agent will tour the home. The seller and their agent are not always present for private showings. In some markets where homes don’t stay on the market for long, private showings are uncommon.

Why do agents and owners schedule private showings?

Private showings are often important for buyers who are in the later stages of assessing a home for sale. They will want to walk through the property in detail and follow up with any questions or concerns. As a result, most sellers will support private showings. Sometimes sellers will provide restricted scheduling windows to ensure the home is in the best showing condition.

How do agents and buyers schedule private showings?

Agents representing the seller often provide showing instructions on the MLS. Often these instructions require the use of showing management and tour scheduling software. In many cases, a buyer’s agent will simply reach out directly to the seller’s agent to schedule private showings.

What is a broker’s open house?

A broker’s open house is a scheduled time for licensed real estate agents to view a property that is currently for sale or not yet on the market. In some markets where homes move quickly, broker’s open houses might be the only time when homes can be viewed prior to offer. For example, San Francisco has a set broker's open house schedule that has historically taken place on Tuesdays with designated hours for different locations in the the city.

Why do sellers host broker’s open houses?

Many sellers use broker’s open houses to market their homes to buyers without having to open up their home to unlicensed professionals who may not have a high intent to buy. Essentially, hosting a broker’s open house is like marketing a home to every buyer client that a real estate agent represents. Unlike a traditional open house, a broker’s open house may not result in offers quickly. Agents still need time to relay information about the property to their clients.

How do agents find broker’s open houses?

Broker’s open house times are typically posted on the MLS. In addition, agents will often share broker’s open house data within their brokerage and broader agent network.

What is showing management and tour scheduling software?

Showing management and tour scheduling software helps agents coordinate showings on behalf of their seller clients. These tools also allow buyer’s agents to request and confirm private showings with the listing agent or seller. Most platforms also include instructions on how to enter a property. Many of these tools also collect feedback after showings that the seller’s agent can relay to the seller.

What are some examples of showing management and tour scheduling software?

The most popular showing management software is ShowingTime. Agents use this application and others to manage private showings and collect feedback from buyers and their agents. Many MLS software providers directly integrate with ShowingTime so agents can request tours within their MLS. That said, many agents still simply coordinate private showings via email or phone.

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