Hawaii Randy's Real Estate Opinions: Scrooge Real Estate Agent

Scrooge Real Estate Agent

I was thinking about an experience I had on Christmas a couple years ago. 

I got a call from an agent who wanted to show one of my listings on Christmas.  They not only wanted to show it that day they wanted to show it on short notice.  The same year that happened, I read a similar account from another agent on Active Rain.

What would you do?  I told them I could not make the appointment for them, but could schedule them for another day.  It is Christmas and my clients have guests over.  The seller's asked for no showings for the couple of days while they had guests, which I posted in the listing under showing instructions. 

Not accepting my response he pressed me further, all but demanding I call me clients and interrupt their holiday gathering.  I declined to make the phone call, which made him irritated.  I said it is Christmas and I will not disturb them.  After making some unpleasant remarks about professionalism and religion he hung up.  I never heard of the agent before that day and have never seen or heard of him since.   I am guessing may not still be in the business.

I wonder how many listing agents would have actually called their clients.



Randy L. Prothero, REALTOR®

Broker-in-Charge, ABR, AHWD, CRB, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, MRP, SFR

eXp Realty

Team Leader - "The Prothero Group"

Randy Prothero is well established as an expert in working with military / VA clients and first time home buyers.  His home seller's (listing) campaign is one of the most aggressive marketing programs in the area.  His luxury home listings sell faster and for more money.

Based out of Mililani, Hawaii. Randy services the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) Performs mediations and ombudsman services for the Board of Realtors.  To improve overall professionalism in his area Randy also offers classes for real estate agents. 

www.HawaiiRandy.comOahu (Honolulu County) Property Search  Hawaii Military Relocations

Comment balloon 51 commentsRandy Prothero • December 26 2008 02:48AM


Not I.


Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 10 years ago

NOPE! and my answer would be .... So Sorry, Chirstmas is a Holiday!

Merry Christmas!

Charlottesville Santa

your friend in Charlottesville!

Posted by Charles McDonald, REALTOR®, Blogger, Principal Broker®, Owner (Charlottesville Real Estate Solutions) over 10 years ago


It's  rare but I believe one year I was told by the seller that if someone did call...they could come by...I told them I'd rather not impose on the holidays no matter what their religion was. I think the problem is when people come from out of town.....they think they can go see property...maybe just an impulse to go look....but I'm not sure.

Posted by Neal Bloom, Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Unless directed beforehand to do so, I would not call them... under normal circumstances. If Richard Branson wanted to look on Christmas day, I believe I'd try to get him in there... especially a home in Lanikai!

Posted by Susie Blackmon, Ocala, Horses, Western Wear, Horse Farms, Marketing over 10 years ago

Randy...with direct instructions as to no showing on certain days, I would not have called them.  I check wiht all my listings as to availability during all holidays.  I have SOLD and wrote offers on the 24th and 25th, but I will not try to push my or any sellers to let a buyer in when they don not want to, for any reason!

Posted by William Feela, Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No. (WHISPERING PINES REALTY) over 10 years ago

Randy, NO not if they had asked me not have showings on a certain day or weekend I would not have called them. Even if the agent is begging, I will not beg my sellers when they tell me their plans. This applies to graduation parties or any other event they are holding.

Now if they had not told me no showing, I would have called and put the ball in their court.

Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) over 10 years ago

Randy- We would never schedule a showing on Christmas if our sellers asked for no showings on that day. We have a lot of Jewish people in our county and they may well show their homes on Christmas but never on Rosh Hashana or Yom Kipper. So we respect all their decisions.

But our office is closed on Christmas and we will not answer our phone on Christmas so they could not schedule a showing anyways!:)

Posted by Katerina Gasset, Get It Done For Me Virtual Services (Get It Done For Me Virtual Services ) over 10 years ago

No...no and no. What part of no did he not understand? The no?

Posted by Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman, (RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE (Liberty Homes) over 10 years ago

Randy, I actually have two sellers who would probably want their home shown, but if they said "no showings," they're the boss.

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Not me, in fact I would have called his broker and asked why he wasn't notified of the holiday, DUHHHHH.  I bet his office wasn't open and he didn't notice!

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg IL Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) over 10 years ago

I would have wanted to know ahead of time what my clients wanted, and then followed their instructions to the letter.  Which sounds exactly like what you did - good job!

Posted by Joetta Fort, Independent Broker, Homes Denver to Boulder (The DiGiorgio Group) over 10 years ago

Aloha from Maui:


I understand your situation and it comes up a lot here in the Islands because people come on vacation wanting to look for property and they have a limited time window and sometimes put unrealistic time limits on their agents.

First if the buyers were sincere they could have waited an extra day to see the property.  Their agent should have also informed them prior to searching for homes that in Hawaii listing agents attend the showings most times and properties aren't just on "lockbox" as a rule.  I always instruct my buyers to give me several different times and days for searching if they are on vacation.  If these buyers weren't on vacation there is no reason why they couldn't view the home on another day.

But, the bottom line is your clients instructed you not to show and that is what you did. 

Mele Kalikimaka a me Hauoli Makahiki Hou!

Aloha, Gina

Posted by Gina Duncan, R (S) ABR, e-Pro over 10 years ago

We always should respect the wishes of those we work for.  Whether it is Christmas, a birthday or just a weekend they want off it is the sellers right to decide if they wish to pass up a potential buyers visit.

Posted by Anonymous over 10 years ago

Is nothing sacred any more??? I agree, it's about respect, given the situation you definitely did the right thing.

Posted by Blowing Rock Real Estate Boone Real Estate (Blowing Rock Investment Properties) over 10 years ago

Randy - nope, wouldn't show and wouldn't call, given the client's wishes. Can't imagine anyone is so pressed for time they need to see the home on Christmas or cannot respect a seller's wishes, even those who do not celebrate the holiday.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (Solutions Real Estate ) over 10 years ago

Good Job, I guess if you do not listen well you do not stay in the business. Have a great holiday season!

Posted by Eric Bouler, Listening to your Needs ( Gardner Realtors, Licensed in La.) over 10 years ago

Hi Randy,

My guess is that the agent that needs to do this (call last minute to show) probably is not working with a truly qualified buyer.  I would not have called unless there was an offer conditional on them seeing the house. 

Best in 2009,


Posted by Mike Hughes, Services Newton, Brookline, Lexington, Waltham & W (Mike Hughes Team - Hughes Residential) over 10 years ago

Charles - That is how I see it.

Neal - It happens.  In those cases they may only be looking at vacant properties.  Either way, I would not be showing buyers that day.

Susie - Fortunately I have never had that happen, so I do not have to make that decision.  LOL

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

William - I have had very productive holiday weekends, but nothing on Christmas Day.

Missy - My decision was easy.  I almost felt like shame on me for answering the phone on Christmas.

Katerina - My listings also have my cell number on them, so I get all the calls after hours.  I try to be accessible.  Maybe Christmas Day is too accessible.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Sally - He was pretty obnoxious and did not care what my client's wishes were.

 Patricia - If it were a vacant unit or one where the clients said OK, I would have had no problem.  I have never had it come up like that before or since.

Lyn - I probably should have called his broker if nothing else for the religious comments and insults.  I can imagine he would be a Fair Housing or Civil Rights case waiting to happen.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Joetta - I try to respect my client's space especially during the holidays.

Gina - I get some with tight times like that also, but try to be sure they have realistic expectations.  Mele Kalikimaka a me Hauoli Makahiki Hou!

Anonymous - I always respect my client's wishes.  In the end they are who we represent.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Meris - It was sacred for me, obviously not for that agent.

Jeff - Not only on Christmas, but on a one hour notice.  I would be willing to bet they did not have a pre-approved buyer, with such a lack of planning.

Eric - I cannot imagine someone with that attitude doing well in real estate.  This is a people business.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Mike - I was thinking the same thing.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

We all have to respect our clients wishes.  If the instructions in the listing said no showings then the answer is NO. Considering the situation the agent should not have even called you.  Christian,Jewish, Muselum.. whatever .... the instructions said not on the 25th.  I had a listing just recently that my clients wanted to see and the showing instructions said " no showings until further notice ... death in family" .. I gently instructed my out of town clients that this was not possible and they were totally repectful of the sellers requests. Most people do understand these types of situations. I my professional opinion I think the agent should have taken the lead in this situation and simple explained it was a holiday and they had guests.  If it was not in the listing and the sellers were ok with showing ( and you made the call) that is another thing, but in this case it was clear that the sellers were not able or willing to show.  The agent should have been more sympathetic and respectful of the sellers and their request- and to you!   What a shame.  Ba humbug!

Posted by Kerry Roth,CRS Remax 2000 Rockville, MD over 10 years ago

No Way.....tell then to get a life.........I have found from experience, that if they ARE INTERESTED..they will be back the next day! 

Posted by Susan over 10 years ago

Kerry - Think about this.  What if his client truly wanted to buy the property.  How would his insults and bad behavior represent their interests?

Susan - I did not believe they were serious buyers and the agent sure didn't sound professional.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago


In the past I have been known to not only show properties on Christmas but also to negotiate successfully a sale.

In your case where the property was occupied and the Seller had left instructions for no showings I would then have to defer to my clients goals for the answer.

If they truly needed the sale ( imminent foreclosure or similar ) then I would have placed the call wishing them a Merry Christmas and giving them the option. This of course all done after extensive conversations with the other agent about the motivations of the client.

If however they were not pressed for the sale then I would have done as you did.

Posted by Herb Hamilton, Real Estate Broker ,CDPE, Downtown Portland (RE/MAX Preferred Inc. Realtors) over 10 years ago


Like you, my market is a tourist destination. Consequently, we always have to weigh whether the prospective Buyer is getting on a plane tomorrow and we will lose them to Reno or some other destination.

History has told me that if they are on a Buying mission, they will leave plenty of time to see the best deals, regardless of their religion. If they are on a vacation mission, they probably had enough sun, and have decided to find a nice real estate agent to show them around and perhaps even buy lunch! For that reason, rainy days and Fridays are the best days for an island agent to take off.

The agent that played tour guide is likely out of business, or hates his business which is why he gave you such a hard time. You had a day off and enjoy life while he was stuck working.

To avoid the uncomfortable position you were put in, let all calls go to voice and enjoy your time off. You do not violate your fiduciary by being closed for holidays. It's that simple. Even if my Seller said they wanted to have showings on Christmas, the appointment would have had to be set the day before, because my office, and I, are closed on Christmas.

In tough times we have to work harder...harder to keep business and personal lives in perspective.

Have great holidays, a great 2009, and now is a great time to plan your days off for next year!

Tom Bernardo, GRI

Keller Williams World Class Realty

Posted by Tom Bernardo, Fort Myers Beach Florida over 10 years ago

Working in an area that does have a lot of people looking for second homes or retirement, it is more common to have this type of call. Guess it might be important to know what the client wants but generally I would say not possible today, can do tomorrow.

Posted by Mary Strang over 10 years ago

In my opinion, we work for our clients... what they want takes precedent (even if that meant passing up a potential offer)... they give you instruction to show or not to show on a particular day - holiday or special event (maybe their daughter is getting married)... you work by that... thanks for the post---

Posted by Anonymous over 10 years ago

If my client had specifically requested not to have any showings on Christmas Day, I would honour that request.  I would certainly not break that request for a rude an obnoxious realtor.

If this was a "second showing", I might have made the phone call.

Posted by Alan May, Helping you find your way home. (Coldwell Banker Residential) over 10 years ago

Herb - I guess the proof was in the pudding.  They did not want to see it the next day and I never heard of the agent ever again.

Tom - I hate letting calls go to voice, but in this case it would have made things a lot simpler.

Mary - Actually in my area, I do not get vacation home requests much.  I am in the center of the island in the planned communities.  This home was a single family home in one of those areas.  Not something investors or vacation home folks normally look at.  This was an owner occupant kind of listing.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Anonymous - That is the bottom line.  We represent our clients.

Alan - When the agent started spewing personal and religious insults the phone call was over.  That individual really needed to find a new line of work.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Hi Randy!  If they specifically stated, NO SHOWINGS for those days, then I would not have bothered them either.  You're right, the other agent is probably not in business any more--he certainly doesn't know how to treat his peers, that's for sure!

Debe in Charlotte

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods (www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) over 10 years ago

Nope no way. I would have said NO also.

Posted by Sandy Gleason, Realtor for Southern Idaho-Magic Valley (North Pointe Realty) over 10 years ago

Debe - I honestly can't remember his name or I would have looked him up to see if he was still around.

Sandy - I think most agents would have done the same thing.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

First of all, let me clear a few things up. 

From the posts, some think we are to jump. Well, YES, I have written offers on Christmas and Christmas eve, ONLY if they have seen the place are PRE APPROVED NOT PRE-QUALIFIED from a REPUTABLE BANK..(are there any out there still?) THEN, I would proceed to write.

SHOWINGS..NO, unless, UNLESS as stated above, and the SELLER WISHED TO SHOW.......it is a holiday.  Most people who push like this, from YEARS of experience are lookers........they will wait till the next day.

I had the BEST BROKER in the country tell me and his staff, have a life, make your schedule and follow it.  Your REAL BUYERS and sellers will respect your business..he followed this plan and he was ranked as #2 agent for C-21 in the US for YEARS!  I think he knows what he is talking about................he sure has many subdivisions that HE developed with HIS own money for years.....

PLUS, if the agent that is calling does not sound professional and does not give proper information about the buyers, skip it.  I would NEVER fear a discrimination suit..............worked with all and never had a problem..........remember, treat everyone the same, and you are never before the board.




Posted by Susan over 10 years ago

Hi Randy, Happy New Year!  For me the answer is simple.  I am employed by my clients, and my employers have given me direct and explicit orders.  They are the ones who hired me and they are the ones paying me.  I don't owe the buyer's agent anything but courtesy and professionalism.  I take my instructions from my employer, not from an outsider -- no matter how important he thinks he is.  In any other business there would be no question.  If you worked in a law office and the senior attorney said not to disturb him while he was in conference, you wouldn't think of disturbing him just because someone called and said he wanted to talk with your boss right now.  It's pretty much the same thing, I think.

Posted by Susan Neal, Fair Oaks CA & Sacramento Area Real Estate Broker (RE/MAX Gold, Fair Oaks) over 10 years ago

Randy, Very good point. I have shown & written contracts on the 24th & 25th (vacant homes though) but I told my buyers that I wouldn't send out the contract until the 26th as the agent needed time with his family too & fortunately they agreed with me.

Posted by George Wilson (Lincolnton, NC) over 10 years ago


You totally did the right thing. You had your showing instructions covered and this was obviously not a popular agent since you had never heard of him.

My guess (especially since you never heard anymore of or about him after this, either) is that this was possibly someone wanting to committ a crime-- or help someone else commit it. He may have been trying to find out who was home and who was away for the holidays. People do "case" homes and will accept money from others to disclose valuables and don't forget... PRESCRIPTIONS !!

Santa's hat is off to you!

Julie Gifford/ Got Real Estate, LLC/   Clemson, SC/  www.GotReal1st.com

Posted by Julie Gifford, Broker-CoOwner of Got Real Estate, LLC over 10 years ago

Susan - The only one who had a problem with discrimination was the agent who was spewing religious insults.  I am not sure if that plays well in some places, but it sure does not work here.

Susan N. - You are right, I can not think of another business where someone would even try that.

George - Good point when submitting a contract, timing is critical.  I always recommend a little extrat time for things like holidays or out of town sellers.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Julie - I never thought about the crime angle.  I guess everything is possible.  Fortunately I have not had any issues of that so far.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

I wouldn't call my clients on a major holiday unless they specifically told me I should. I would also never suggest to a client that we could see an occupied house on a major holiday. I sure hope that agent is no longer in the business. So not-professional.

Posted by Kelsey Barklow, 423/948-9154 (Hurd Realty) over 10 years ago


Some folks just don't get it in real estate or in life. He probably changes professions frequently.

Posted by Trey Thurmond, College Station , Texas Homes (BCR Realtors) over 10 years ago

Kelsey - Not very good people skills either.

Trey - I am sure he changes jobs and never really has a profession.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

I am not an agent, only a lowly stager... ;-) and I don't celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday.  but common sense would tell anyone... with any sense... (a very stringent requirement, I realize) that this agent's attitude was just out of line. It is not unreasonable to request, it is the lack of respect as indicated by the inability to back off that brings his professionalism into question... just my opinion, granted - from an outsider, but I do have 30 years of business experience...

Posted by Joanne O'Donnell (Chic Home Interiors) over 10 years ago

Joanne - I agree, his attitude was the problem.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Rendy, You did the right thing by your clients.  They requested no showings and you honored their request.  As for the other agent, I'm sure he wouldn't have been able to sell it anyway, his true colors showed very quickly to you on the phone, and it wouldn't take long for them to show to his client. 

Posted by Bob Cumiskey, US Army Retired, Your Sun City Center, Florida ~ Realtor (A1 Connection Realty, Inc.) over 10 years ago

Bob - I agree.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Randy—I agree. Respect for your clients and your family comes first, especially on a holiday. Wishing you a very happy 2009 without holiday interuptions by bozos!

Posted by Linda Bourgault (lulugraphix-creative photography & fine art) about 10 years ago

Linda - I wish you and your family the absolute best.  Have a great 2009!

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) about 10 years ago

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