Do You Really Need A Lockbox
When Selling My Palm Coast Home?
I was talking with a seller about just this question the other day. She was curious whether having a lockbox on her door was even necessary to sell her home. Those of you that don’t know, a lockbox is an apparatus that usually holds your front door key securely inside; your listing agent will attach it (the lockbox) in a convenient location somewhere on or near your home, making it very easy for the buyer’s agent who wants to show your home to gain access.
Real estate agents have become very accustomed to lockboxes to the point of expectation. Often agents will schedule several homes to show with their buyer and will want to have the ability to quickly go from one property to another without having to worry about keys. If your home is one of the few properties without a lockbox, it puts a monkey wrench in the flow of things. Homes without lockboxes run the risk be tagged “Difficult to Show.” the listing agent or if the agent is a member to the Flagler County Association of Realtors, they can insert their digital ID card; each agent is required to carry.
Without a key on-site (in a lockbox) there are usually only a few other ways to gain access to your home; none of which agents prefer:
- The seller has to be home to let you in; Agents & buyers prefer the homeowner not be present during showings
- The buyer’s agent has to go to (listing) agent’s office to get and later return the key
- Listing agent has to go to your property to unlock the door and wait at the property with the showing agent until done
Agents don’t have time to worry about keys, nor do they like having to schedule around other people's time (homeowner/listing agent). Thinking you will always be home or that your listing agent will always be available to accommodate another Realtor’s showing schedule is not realistic. A showing can happen at any time, and arrival time to your home is usually within a broad time-frame, which fluctuates within a half-hour to an hour. Neither the listing agent wants to wait, or can the showing agent always guarantee to arrive at a specific time. Agents are like water, and they follow the course of least resistance. If your home is challenging to get inside, an agent may drop it from their showing schedule.
"… Agents Are Like Water, They Follow The Course Of Least Resistance."
What would be your objection to a lockbox? Are you worried about safety, security, someone coming in your home unannounced? The Flagler County Association of Realtors (FCAR) in Palm Coast uses a lockbox system call SentriLock; according to them, it is the world's safest lockbox. Going that extra step to assure your home accessible at any given time will go along way in helping you sell your home. Remember, (YOU) HAVE CONTROL over it!
Realtors in Palm Coast using the SentriLock system can:
- Block-out showing times;
- Provide you (the seller) with a Do Not Disturb code;
- Require all showings to be verbally confirmed;
- Have accurate accountability of every Realtor that had access
- Post all showings and agent feedback in real-time online
Block-Out Showing Times
You can ask your agent to automatically block off showings (and disable your lockbox) for any specific time or recurring time frames. I like to restrict home showing times to fit between 9 AM to 7 PM daily; before or after that time-frame, Realtors can not automatically schedule a showing online, and the lockbox goes into complete lockdown; The lockbox is entirely disabled, and no one has access. It’s also good to know, for example, when I have a listing that is a second/vacation home for sale, and the owner wants to “use” it for the weekend. They can block out times days or weeks in advance. I can just block out those days and time they plan on being at the property. Scheduling block-out times is straightforward. I can block out showings whether I am at the office or on the road. Most sellers just email me what time they want to be blocked, and I send the confirmation. Another option you will like is the do not disturb feature. This gives you the ability to disable the lockbox ANYTIME you want at the lockbox; you can do it yourself and do not need to call your Realtor.
Do Not Disturb (DND)
You have total control when someone can use the lockbox. You can disable the lockbox on your property at any time – from the comfort of your home. Say, for instance, you are feeling a little under the weather, took the day off from work, and are at home bedridden; you called your listing agent and asked them not to schedule any showings for the day, but … you keep thinking about the key in the box outside. Not to worry, all you have to do is enter a simple code (provided by your agent/Better Buy Realty), and that code will altogether disable/lockout anyone that tries to get access until you turn off the DND function. You can keep it off for minutes, hours, or days – you have total control over that lockbox.
Every time a Realtor accesses your lockbox, their Id instantly embeds their identification, date, and time of access digitally into the lockboxes memory. This information is then transmitted wireless to Systems Engineering, Inc. (our MLS provider), which can be accessed by our office via the internet. We always know who was at your property and when. The data from the lockbox is then populated to a website that BETTER BUY REALTY prepares for each of our home listings called Sellers Gateway. Each seller is provided with a user Id and password and can go online and review all their lockbox data in real-time at their convenience 24/7. Sellers Gateway is an online record that you can access 24/7.
- Review all your past showings
- Read feedback provided by agents
- See future scheduled showings
In addition to access information, the Sellers Gateway also shows you how many times Realtors viewed your MLS listing and how many times your listing was viewed on Navica Public Websites. Knowing how many people are looking at your listing is very empowering; it helps you along with feedback to better position your home on a buyer’s radar. This gateway is a portal to your home’s showing history that providing you with a central location to review agent’s feedback about your home, keeps a tally of all the showings you had, and will even disclose showings that are set for a time in the future. Our sellers love this feature, and it is only made possible if a lockbox is used on-site to gain access.
Going back to the question at hand – Should I use a lockbox when selling my home? – my answer is Yes. I feel strongly that it is in your best interest as a seller to use a lockbox. A lockbox makes a home much more accessible to buyers and their agents and provides you with a complete and accurate record of showings. The key inside is safe and secure, and you always have total control over it (at your location) with a simple DND code to disable it at any time. When I visit for a listing presentation, I will bring a sample lockbox with me. I will show you all the features of the lockbox firsthand and how you and real estate agents interact with it.
All this discussion on the advantages of a lockbox is only to educate some (that do not realize) the advances made in technology on something so basic as a box that holds your house key. With that said, the use of a lockbox is your option; It is not a requirement by Better Buy Realty or me. If you do not want one on your home, that is perfectly understandable.
Having a lockbox at your home helps to facilitate, increases the number of showings and foot traffic through your property. The buyer’s agent still needs to make an appointment with the listing agent to show the house; no one is going to gain access to your home without your knowledge.