tenants refused to let us in during a showing!

8 Replies

I had a interesting experience today, had a showing on a duplex that I'm very interested in - and the first side had no one home, and a nasty dog barking - so we decided to try the other side.  The current tenants threw a fit, saying the place wasn't ready to show and that they never received notice (as my Realtor is holding her phone with the confirmation email that the showing was confirmed).  Then after just walking around the outside of the unit, another tenant comes out from the same unit and says "oh we can't even find out how much it's for sale for" - apparently the internet is broken and so are the two phone numbers of listing agents on the sign out front.  

Good times...   So gonna have to try again.  Anyone else ever have fun like this? Whats the worst you've seen during a showing?

The seller should have given the tenants a notice in writing and forget about all the Guru stuff like emailing or text do it the professional way.

Joe Gore

I have had tenants screaming at us. Asking why the realtor was knocking like he was the police. Tenants like you refusing to show us the place. Nothing crazy but definitely a hindrance. Coincidentally I've never bought a property after a showing like that. Not on purpose just how it turned out.

@Joe Gore - there is some kind of phone notification system in our area, so when properties are "in the system" tenants get a phone call from a call center, and once they verify tenants are notified the agent with the showing gets the notification.  So the existing tenants knew we were coming - they just didn't want to let us in.

@Philip Williams  - we were turned away right away, but after research we found the prior owner passed away - so I'm sure there hasn't been any management the past 6 months- and it looks like kids/relatives are looking to just liquidate it - so I've got my fingers crossed that's the case and it will turn out to be a good deal

@John K. I run into non-cooperative tenants when viewing REO duplexes in Milwaukee, it can be frustrating. I've learned to ask them if anything is broken, you'll usually get a response. If it's the ground floor unit I make sure to peek in the windows.


I as a new agent was once on a showing at a condo with a client. The bottom door lead up a staircase with a door leading to separate condos on each side. I ran up the stairs and unlocked one of the units and let my client in. To my surprise I noticed 4 cats and an overflowing litter box. In horror I checked my mls printout and noticed I was in the wrong unit. I was embarrassed and not sure how to tell my client my mistake when he opened the bedroom door and there she was cat lady in a grandmotherly night gown laying in bed watching tv. He let out a yell and closed the door. Cat lady never even noticed. The most shocking thing was that both of the condos were unlocked by the same key. 

At least once every three weeks -> " that they never received notice " <-

This seems like an opportunity. You could justifiably offer low and make a contingency that they not renew the current tenants. They are probably on a month to month now. Just make sure you get to inspect after they move out.

I agree with @Paul Wurster . That means that other buyers will likely have the same problem with un-cooperative tenants. Many buyers will just walk away and that means that your low-ball offer (considering that everything has to be re-done) might be the only offer this seller will get. 

You can always write into the offer: $ 3,000 for replumbing, unless proof that plumbing works, $ 3,000 rewiring, unless proof that wiring works. 

That would give the seller incentive to make sure that the place can be shown. And if not, it might give you a great deal, if you find out those things don't need to be done.

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