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Ask the REALTOR® is a new series in which I answer your most commonly-asked real estate questions, with a new Q&A posting every week. If YOU have a real estate question for me, drop me a note here.

This week’s question: If our house is already under contract, but the sale hasn’t closed, can we still show it to prospective buyers? Here’s the answer in this brief video, and don’t miss the transcript below.


Hello. This is Cari McGee with Keller Williams Realty in the Tri-Cities area of Washington state. And welcome to this week’s edition of Ask the REALTOR®. Every week, I answer questions from buyers and sellers, and pretty much everyone in between, regarding real estate. So, this week’s question is:

If our house is already under contract but the sale hasn’t closed, can we still show the house to prospective buyers?

Well, yes, you can but it’s not advisable. And here’s why: Say, for example, buyer A comes in, they love your house, you’ve negotiated out a contract with them, everybody’s great, and we’re off to the races, right? And you’re gonna go ahead and close with them on November 1st. And so, middle of October you keep your house available for additional showings. Middle of October, somebody comes in and they say, “Oh my gosh, this is the exact right house for me, I love it, I have all cash, I’m gonna pay $50,000 over your asking price because I can and because I love it that much.”

Now, how often does that really happen? It doesn’t. But if it did happen, and in certain markets I can imagine it happening especially when there is a housing crunch, you’re super sad now because you’ve gotten yourself into a situation where you know someone else will pay $50,000 more or whatever — 10, 20, $30,000 more for your house than the other offer that you’ve already accepted. And you can’t accept that because you’re in a legally binding contract with the first buyer.

So, no. I wouldn’t recommend that you do that.

In addition, most agents won’t show houses to buyers if the house is already under contract with someone else just because you do get into that, sort of, legal pickle. And it’s a frustrating situation. So save for yourself a lot of frustration.

When your house is officially under contract, just take it off the market or, I mean, it gets listed in the MLS as under contract, taking backup offers or just under contract. And most agents will know at that point that there’s really nothing that can be done. That sale is very likely going to come together especially if you’ve gotten past the inspection phase. And no need to show their prospective buyers…or no need to show their buyers that house because it would just not be a good situation.

So, if you have questions for me, by all means, go ahead and reach out to me via my website carimcgee.com and hit the contact button there. Or you can go ahead and email me, cari@carimcgee.com. Or call 509-430-5342 or text me, love that too. Have a wonderful day and see you next week! Bye.

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About The Author
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Cari McGee

Hi, I'm Cari McGee. 👋 I've lived in the Tri-Cities since 1994 and I've been a licensed Realtor® since 2004. That's a lot of local knowledge and real estate experience that I put into every article you read on my website! We've helped more than 560 families buy or sell property in the Tri-Cities. In 2023, our community voted us the bronze winner for Best Real Estate Team in the Tri-Cities Best voting. Learn more about me by clicking the link right above. And if you have any questions, get in touch anytime!

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