It’s the Listing Broker’s Choice Regarding Simultaneous Showings
Access to listed property must be on the terms of the listing broker. A showing agent cannot take it upon themselves to decide whether they will allow another agent to enter the real estate during their showing. If the listing broker has granted two agents permission (via a scheduled appointment or some other authorization), no cooperating agent can interfere with that authorization. An agent arriving at a listing should replace the key in the lockbox after opening the property, so as to not have to make a decision regarding another agent arriving at the property.
Considerations when not doing so:
1) Not allowing an agent (who has authorization to be there) to enter could be interfering with the listing broker’s directions regarding that listing and may be found to be a violation of the Code of Ethics.
2) Allowing an agent (who does not have authorization to be there) to enter could be interfering with the listing broker’s control regarding that listing and may be found to be a violation of the Code of Ethics.
3) If the key is not returned to the lockbox after using it to open the door, the agent holding the key is putting themselves in a position of having to make a decision in the event another agent appears at the listing. Returning the key to the box takes that responsibility (and potential violation of the Code of Ethics) away.
4) Handing a key off to an agent who arrives at a property prior to you leaving interferes with the listing broker’s ability to have a record of all entries/exits to the real estate. And, with no record of the second agent, liability may fall on the first arriving agent. Keep in mind that it is likely that the key will be returned outside the first arriving agents showing time and there would be no record as to when the first agent left and the second agent arrived.
Although, it may be a bit uncomfortable to be in a situation where two potential buyers are viewing the property at the same time, if the listing broker has authorized both to be there, neither can interfere with that authorization.