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Lockbox vs Agent Accompany showings: Which is better for the Seller?

Posted by Gloria Singer on Thursday, August 12th, 2010 at 5:40pm.

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Please allow me to vent. I was just scheduling some showings to take a buyer out to see some two bedroom condos in Regency in Boca Pointe. I have a listing there, which she saw online,  but she also wanted to see some other condos as well as mine. Four in total. Mine is easy to show. I have a key, plus it is on a supra lockbox for the convenience of co-operating Realtors. All the others required appointments with the listing agents. So I figured out the schedule, which is very dependent upon the promptness of the buyer client, and called the brokers to schedule the appointments. On two there was no problem. On the third, I caught the agent and his partner-wife on vacation. He said, “OH we are out of town for the week, sorry we can’t show it”. I was dumbfounded. I asked if they had someone covering for them. The response was, “no we don’t have anyone so sorry”. AM I MISSING SOMETHING? How is this possibly serving their seller client if people can’t even see the apartment?
Many Realtors insist upon accompanying showings of all of their listings. They feel:

  • They are serving their sellers better because they can point out all the benefits and advantages of the property as compared to others (such as the beautiful metallic wallpaper which was installed 25 years ago). They actually even use this extra “service” as a point of difference when going on listing appointments.
  • Actually I can’t think of any other reason than maybe they have nothing better to do?


Yes it is true, many sellers do prefer “agent accompany” but I view it as my job to educate them about our industry and the best way to sell a house. (I am not referring here to unique properties or $1Million plus properties filled to the rim with valuables etc-- )
But for the average property, I believe it is preferable to make it easy for other agents to show the property. The name of the game in this market is exposure, and I think that most will agree that the more people that actually see a property, the more likelihood of actually getting an acceptable offer.

  1. When selecting properties to show, many Realtors will actually select the ones that are easy to show, i.e. on a lockbox, because they don’t want to take the time (and it is extremely time-consuming) to schedule appointments. On the MLS itself, it indicates whether on a lockbox or if an appointment is required, so this in and of itself will result in fewer showings.
  2. It is sometimes impossible to know an actual time for an appointment. For instance, if I am showing four houses, I don’t know if my client will take 10 minutes per house, or a half hour thus making it difficult to schedule accurately with other agents.
  3. I want as many people as possible to see my listings, and not be dependent upon my schedule. We always have them call our office before showing, and we do schedule it with the seller, so they at least know there is a showing.
  4. I always use the electronic Supra lockbox pictured above. No number locks for us, where anyone can get in with the combo. Only licensed Realtors have access to the ekeys that are able to open the Supra boxes, and there is an electronic record of all activity related to the opening of the keyboxes, so I can follow up with agents and so I know who actually is going into my listings.
  5. My listings with supra boxes get more than double the number of showings than those that require appointments/agent accompany. And showings are the name of the game.


Please don’t misunderstand. If a seller absolutely is not comfortable with a lockbox, I will accommodate personal showings. However, I truly believe that it is in the best interest of the client to allow a lockbox and therefore more showings and hence a quicker and higher offer.

 

 

Gloria Singer is the Broker of Boca Expert Realty, a boutique Boca Raton real estate company with a focus on professional service and an unparalleled customer experience. Our select agents are amongst the top performing professionals in the field. Visit www.BocaExpert.com for information on Boca Raton, Delray Beach and Highland Beach real estate and to connect with an expert in the local market. 

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