Are potential home buyers allowed to view my home without the real estate agent present?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Are potential home buyers allowed to view my home without the real estate agent present?

I am renting a house and the owners have put the house on the market. The Real estate agent put a box on my front door to access my home that I am still living in. He mentioned that he will allow viewers to look at my home without

himself being present. Is he allowed to do that? I have lots of private belongings and would rather not allow stranger to walk amongst my home by


Asked on July 5, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, this is legal. While this house might be your "home," it is the owner's property, asset, and investment: the law recognizes the owner's right to market and show it for sale, even if doing so impinges on tenant privacy. While there are some limitations--e.g. you must be provided reasonable (generally considered 24-hour) notice, and showings should be at reasonable times (generally between 8am and 8pm)--the owner can show it when you are not present, is not required to be personally present, and is not even required to have his agent present for the showings. If anything is stolen, you may be able to sue for its loss, but otherwise, you need to put anything "private" away securely (e.g. in a locked drawer or file cabinet, in the trunk of your car, etc.).

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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