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Why I Don't Use Lockboxes

While many agents swear by the convenience of having a lockbox on their listings, I personally don’t use them, and this is why:

Reason #1 – First impressions count!

I want my listings to make the best possible impression when buyers walk through the door. That means getting there early to open curtains/shades, turn on lights, put down toilet seats, make sure there are no dishes in the sink, etc. Lockboxes don’t yet have the technology to do these things for me.

Reason #2 – I can’t sell a home if I’m not there.

Seems eminently obvious. My seller clients hire me to sell their homes, and that involves being there to point out the positive features of the home and neighborhood, answer questions that come up, and make suggestions to counter potential concerns. Let me illustrate:

Buyer:  I wish the laundry wasn’t in the basement.

Me:  Did you notice the large linen closet next to the first floor powder room? That would be a great place to put a stackable washer/dryer – there’s easy access to the pluming and since it’s an exterior wall, you’d be able to add the venting.

Buyer:  The rooms feel kind of choppy.

Me:   If you prefer a more open layout, you might be able to open up an archway between the living and dining rooms – that would improve the flow and light to both rooms and would really be a great opportunity to add to the home’s value.

Reason #3 – I like to meet the potential buyers.

In a market where most homes are receiving multiple offers, it’s helpful to know something about the buyers’ attitudes as we assess the pool. The guy who walked through the house criticizing every detail and asking if the seller planned to replace this and that? Probably someone who will come back with a long punchlist after the home inspection. The couple discussing paint colors and how perfect the study would be for their home office? These folks will likely be much easier to deal with throughout the transaction and less prone to deal-killing cold feet.

Reason #4 – My clients deserve someone they know and trust looking out for their home.

It’s kind of a funny concept if you think about it: having a bunch of strangers going room by room through your home, opening your closets, cabinets and refrigerator. My presence during showings gives my clients peace of mind, knowing that I am keeping eye on their “stuff,” making sure lights are switched off, doors are locked, and kitty is safely inside when we depart. It also gives ME peace of mind, and why wouldn’t I want that? 🙂


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