Real Estate Industry Protocols


By Kay Wilson-Bolton

President, Ventura County Coastal Assn of REALTORS®

April 23, 2000

There is so much to be said for protocol.  Every industry has it.  Every profession carries its own jargon and legalese.

Somewhere this week a homeowner asked if they should be present when their home is shown.

One REALTOR® said, “yes” because the owner can answer questions; Another REALTOR® said “no” because the potential buyer will feel uncomfortable.  Yet another REALTOR® said, “ask the REALTOR® if they would like assistance in showing the home.”

Somewhere today REALTORS® conducted the final walkthrough before the closing. One REALTOR® representing the seller was present due to tension during the escrow period.  One chose to be on call if there were any questions. Another chose to let the REALTOR® representing the buyer handle the walkthrough primarily because they showed the house, they handled the inspections and the walkthrough is a formal presentation of the home just prior to the closing.

More serious protocol comes into play when an agent wants to show a home, and fails to make an appointment to do so and just shows up, or a REALTOR® fails to leave a business card notifying the owner of their presence in the home.

An agent may choose to leave a door unlocked because it was found that way thinking the owner went for a walk and left the door unlocked for easy re-entry.

It is difficult to standardize protocol because each REALTOR® has his or her own style of doing business—hands on and hands off.  Both can be effective but all must be held accountable for their style.  The agent who is also a REALTOR® is your best bet for ultimate accountability.

Not every real estate agent can use that name and there is a difference.  REALTORS® have subscribed to the National Code of Ethics that are clear and commanding and provide a baseline for performance.


Kay Wilson-Bolton is president of the Ventura County Coastal Association of REALTORS® .  For more information, contact Bob Seitz, CEO, Ventura County Coastal Assn of REALTORS® at 981.2100. Our website is




About Kay Wilson-Boltonhttp://www.kaywilsonbolton.netWith a full-time career in real estate, I can add to your bank of knowledge, not only in real estate but in many areas of life that deal with people and relationships and choices. My real estate career has taught me many lessons about planning ahead and looking forward. I believe in helping along the way so that they can be the best they can be in any situation. I serve as a Fire Department Chaplain and Coordinator for the Many Meals Project which serves homeless and hungry families in my community. The event is far more than many meals. As a result of my work with the homeless population in my community, I received the Good Neighbor Award 2017 from the National Association of Realtors and named as a Champion of Homes in 2015 by the California Association of Realtors. I make pastoral visits to the inmates in the County Jail System and offer them what God says about "all things being new" and His remarkable plan for our lives. I have served my community as Mayor and in many volunteer capacities. I serve others by serving God first. My husband is involved in prison ministry and is a graphic artist. We live a simple life in Santa Paula with an office cat named Scout, three rescued poodles and a cat named Tony Diane at home.

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