Broker’s Tours are for?

Tuesday Broker’s Tour. In some areas I believe they are called “caravans” but for whatever reason, in San Francisco it is known as the Broker’s Tour. And, like all things San Francisco, there is a bit of controversy associated with it.

What Is It?
Every Tuesday, agents (or their assistants, associates, or some other trust-worthy individual) open their MLS-listed homes that are for sale in San Francisco in 90 minute windows for other agents to view or preview for clients. Tuesday broker’s tour starts at 9am in the northeast side of town (think Nob Hill and Russian Hill, although it extends as far south and west as the Civic Center/Van Ness neighborhood) and runs in a counter-clockwise direction until it ends in the southeast part of town (think South Beach) in the afternoon with the final tour block closing at 4:00pm.

Spotted on a recent Tuesday…

Why Have It?
It might seem kind of obvious, but I’ll say it anyway – so that agents can preview or view homes for their buyer clients. Active San Francisco agents are out touring every Tuesday to keep a pulse on the available inventory, market trends, and generally be informed about the homes that are for sale and the prices at which they are listed…

Who Can Attend?
This is where opinions start to differ. Some agents feel strongly that Tuesday broker’s tour in San Francisco is only for other real estate agents. By which I mean, the general public, regardless of if they are working with an agent, is not welcome at the broker’s tour. Other agents feel completely the opposite and feel that since they are at the property and the home is in showing condition, the more exposure the better!

Most people seem to agree that an agent bringing their clients through a broker’s tour is acceptable, so the disagreement is over clients that are attending a broker’s open house without their agent.

Unless our seller has a strong preference, we fall into the “more the merrier” category. With short marketing periods it can often be difficult for motivated buyer clients to see all the homes they are interested in on a given weekend, and opening a home to them during a scheduled tour time is often more convenient for all parties (including the seller) than setting up a special showing.

What has your experience been? If you aren’t in the real estate business, have you ever been made to feel unwelcome at a broker’s tour? If you are in the business, what is your preference?

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