Can a listing agent continue to show homes even after it’s under contract, approved, and a closing date is set?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 15, 2021

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A listing agent may be able to continue to show homes to prospective buyers, depending on the agreement that the listing agent has with the person selling the house. Until the buyer actually owns the home and ownership has transferred to him, the buyer doesn’t have any legal right to control what is or is not done with the property. Thus, if the current owners and sellers want the agent to keep showing the property in case things fall through, this is legally permissible. What the seller and agent cannot do, however, is accept another offer on the property.

Understanding When Listing Agents Show Homes

Often, even when a deal seems like it is going to go through, things can fall apart at the last minute. There may be a surprise inspection result, the financing may not come through, or the buyer may not be able to come up with the down payment on the transaction. As such, it is common for a real estate agent to keep showing a house even after an offer is made.

Once an offer has been made and accepted and a closing date is set, it is pretty late for an agent to be showing a home. At that point, it is usually pretty certain that the any deal will go through. However, unless the contract says otherwise, the real estate agent has no legal obligation to stop showing the property. 

As long as the buyer has an accepted offer and a contract to buy, the buyer has little to worry about. Even if the seller gets a better offer, it is too late for him to void the contract he has with the buyer and take that offer, since the contract is legally binding.

If you have concerns about your legal rights during the property buying or selling process, consult with a lawyer for guidance and advice.

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