Ask the REALTOR®: If our house is under contract, can we still show it to prospective buyers?

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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.

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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 lightly 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 and hit the contact button there. Or you can go ahead and email me, 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
Cari McGee

My husband and I came to the Tri-Cities in 1994, and we thought it would be a temporary stop on our way to larger cities. He was a television sports anchor at the time, and we planned to go wherever the "next step up" took us. Twenty-plus years later, we're still here and we've loved every minute of it! We have two children now, and we've found the Tri-Cities area is a wonderful place to raise a family. It's a great place to do outdoorsy things -- I like to hike Badger Mountain or run along the river path. I also love reading ... by a cozy fire in the winter or a beautiful picture window in the summer (with the A/C on!). I've been a licensed Realtor since 2004. I earned my managing broker's license in 2016, which means I can run my own brokerage, or create a team of real estate agents and supervise them, which is exactly what I did when I formed the Cari McGee Real Estate Team in 2018! We have administrative and marketing personnel, as well as additional agents to serve you. I became a director of the Tri-Cities Association of Realtors Board of Directors in 2016, became Secretary/Treasurer of the organization, and was elected to Vice President in 2019. Want to talk about real estate? Click here to schedule a meeting with me!

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