Selling your house? Are you using a lockbox?
July 13, 2015 | Richard Sites
Selling your house? Need to move? Are you using a lock box? If not, why not?
Real estate is a local event and each area develops norms which get passed from agent to agent. When a new phrase appears in the MLS, it soon spreads to all new listings.
This is why each profession has lingo that get passed to new members of that group, phrases they may never have used before. In real estate here, clients are called “my people”, a phrase used effectively only by Moses.
In our area, there is a tradition of listing agents accompanying on showings. I’m sure sellers think that having a listing agent hanging around during the showing is adding value but to the contrary it might well be slowing down the sale. How so?
As I mentioned above, the tradition of being present at all showings is passed down from agent to agent within the industry. At first, this might seem like a good idea. But the numbers suggest otherwise.
According to the National Association of Realtors houses on lock boxes get shown 30% more than those not on lock boxes. And in nearly every part of the country selling agents (those working with buyers) either use lock boxes or schedule their showings directly with the owner. In fact, in the thousands or millions of foreclosures nationwide, all these REO properties are on lock boxes.
What about the safety of your personal items? First of all, all your personal items should be removed from the house when putting it up for sale. So there should not be anything of value around. Second, each agent seeking to view the property must use either an electronic lock box which records time, date and who entered or retrieve lock box combinations through the MLS, information that is only available to members of the profession.
So safety should not be a concern. But what about all the upgrades and special amenities you have added?
Unless there is some very special feature that can only be explained in person, just type up a list of upgrades and attach it to the listing information in the MLS. Few agents even utilize this feature. Or print up the list and leave it on the counter for the buyers to pick up. And don’t forget that buyers will want to personalize the house so most of what you have done is not really relevant.
What is really important is the data on the age of the roof, age of the A/C (I mean, it is Florida!) and special assessments or other significant items. What is not important is that nice carpet you installed in the guest room and the shelves you built in the garage.
So, if you are selling do yourself a favor and put your house on a lock box. If you have any other questions about why your home might not be selling or questions about getting it to sell quickly and smoothly, use the form below. Remember: Hope is not an effective selling solution.