When a seller puts their house on the market, they are extending a great deal of trust in their agent and all the agents that will be showing their home. I have always done my very best to show due respect when viewing homes, but in over 20 years in business, I’ve made my share of mistakes and apologized for my share of errors. I confess, I, or clients I was responsible for, have bungled a showing or two.

Here’s my top-five, hard-learned house-showing lessons:

1. Don’t close the door behind you when stepping on a rear deck. Calling the list agent for an emergency rescue lacks professionalism.

2. Don’t use the facilities. If nature calls and you simply feel you MUST, make sure the water is turned on. If the water is turned off, I beg you, please don’t use the facilities. Please, just don’t.

3. Read instructions carefully regarding pets. Nothing stresses a showing quite like Rover making a run for it.

4. When you walk in and an alarm goes off, step back out, quickly re-read the instructions to see if you missed a directive. If the instructions offer no help, call the list agent. Don’t panic and don’t damage the security system.

5. Prescription drugs left out in the open by the seller can make for awkward conversations, especially when your client steals them. Sellers, please put away your medications. Prescription drugs are the most often stolen item in home showings.

As the list agent, I’ve had to apologize for my colleagues’ occasional bad judgement, and they have done the same for me. Most of the time house showings go off without a hitch, but every so often there’s an uncomfortable hiccup. Taking responsibility for one’s part in the blunder and communicating honestly to everyone involved is the best way to move forward. Fortunately, I’ve never experienced any blunder that was beyond repair. Being willing to eat humble pie helps a lot.