Barbara, Both Buyer and Seller in Massachusetts

My realtor say she can't do showings during the week.

Asked by Barbara, Massachusetts Tue Apr 26, 2011

We had our condo on lockbox, but after in incident, have decided that we are not comfortable with having our keys in it so we told our agent that we don't want to use it any longer. Here was her response to why we should keep using it:

"We don't want to miss any showings & I'm not able to accompany showings with 2 kids during the week."

Am I wrong to think this is unacceptable?

Help the community by answering this question:


Request that the agent use an electronic lockbox, if that is available in your area. Since agents know they are being monitored and the home entry can be traced back to them, they may be more careful. Also, if you have specific instructions (re: a pet, lights, alarm, etc), ask that the agent put specific requests in the agent remarks of your listing. And while your agent may not always be available, you may be able to see if they have a responsible assistant who can show it, if that still makes you more comfortable.

Good luck in your home sale,

Richard Schulman
Keller Williams Realty
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 7, 2011
In the MA area lock boxes are NOT the norm
the realtors that are scolding you shouldnt we are suppose to work in your best interest and if there was an incident your wishes & protection should come first ! I agree we do try to protect but we cannot be / see everyone when on a showing Hope this has been resolved by now.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 7, 2011
I agree with Jay about use of the electronic Realtors' lockbox. No one can access your keys unless they are an agent with a key card. It's unreasonable to expect your agent to be required to show up every time someone wants to see your home. And, as a buyer's agent, I would tend to omit listing with complicated entry requirements from my showing list if there arean adequate number of other homes on lockbox to show.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 7, 2011
Hi Barbara,

I highly recommend you use a full-time marketing agent. You will indeed be missing opportunities to sell your home if it is only available for viewing on the weekends. I have several clients who ONLY view homes during the week.

Best wishes for a speedy sale!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 26, 2011
Hello Barbara,
Sounds to me like your agent doesn't work full time if she is not willing to accompany all showings. If she has performed well for you otherwise: then maybe suggest to her that there might be other agents in her office that could assist her with showings of your home.
You are the client and are not requesting anything unusual. She should comply or you should speak with her Broker (her boss) about it.
Good luck!

Laura Feghali
Prudential Connecticut Realty
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 26, 2011
Barbara it is certainly not unreasonable, it is actually quite common for home sellers ti request accompanied showings only. I get alot of listings becuase i will accept a listuing listing that requires only acocmpanied listings where some agents will not. the simple answer is to get an agent who is full time and will do what you want, you are the client, you are paying for a service and should get everything you want and desire in an agent and how they sell your home.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 8, 2011
Dear Barbara,
I can understand your dilemma. Certainly your needs are first and foremost the most important criteria in managing the sale of your home. Before switching agents I might discuss alternatives to providing access to the home.

Given you have a condo in Massachusetts I am assuming there isn't a sign outside the home. Thus, few drive by buyer's will even contact your listing agent for a showing. Hence, most buyer's probably are getting the listing information from an agent's MLS system. Therefore, these buyer's have agents accompanying them on the showing. So in your situation having an electronic lockbox or some higher level of access is something important to consider. For a buyer or a buyer's agent to coordinate with another agent to gain access to a home isn't the best situation and certainly will not qualify for "ease of access". Regardless of your agent's ability to coordinate with the other party. I'm afraid this will adversely affect your home showings.

The issue is that many homes are shown by another agent opposed to simply your selling agent. Honestly, many buyer's agents don't always call the listing agent prior to showing a home unless required by the listing information. One issue is that the buyer's agent may assume an electronic lock box is present and not pre-read the agent remark instruction segment. Also, agents may have a list of homes to show buyer's and your home shows up on the radar after they are on the home tour. If that is the case and an electronic lock box isn't present your house will be passed by and not shown.

Providing ease of access is a crucial component to selling a home. For example if the showings can only occur at 8:00 - 8:15 am every other Tuesday morning then this is considered "low access". It is unlikely this home will receive many showings and as such very unlikely a buyer can preview it to get to the point of making an offer. Thus, this home will not likely be sold just based on low access to buyer's and buyer's agents.

One suggestion is to call your agent right away when you notice something amiss. She can pull the tracking system and immediately call the last agent to determine what happened.

I have seen in the MLS system the following notes:
1. Please leave business card as a previous incident has caused seller to have heightened concerns.
2. Please insure the back door is secure as it has been left unlocked by previous agents.
3. Please call agent prior to showing as previous incident, owner wants to be informed of showings prior to occurrence.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 8, 2011
Dear Barbara,
I understand how you feel about having your keys in a lockbox. In my area we use a "supra key"which is electronic and records who is in the home so there is accounability there. Still, it's better if your agent accompanies any potential clilents if you are still in your home.
I might not be wrong "per se" but it is unacceptable to you, and your agent is working FOR YOU. You can always get another agent, and maybe you should.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 8, 2011
You are not wrong to think your agent's answer unacceptable. As a professional, his or her primary goal is to sell your house. An agent needs to make themselves available when customers want to see your home to insure that all sales opportunities are maximized. A true professional will have made provisions in advance for their children so that they can perform their job while knowing that their children are being cared for properly. If your agent is unable to do this, how can you expect them to effectively handle all aspects of listing and selling your home? It may be in your best interests to find another realtor.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 8, 2011
You are right, it is unacceptable. I don't know how an agent can consider themselves a full time professional if they are unavailable Mon-Fri. If she is only available 2 days a week , perhaps she should only be paid 2/7 of what a professional would be paid. That aside, I agree with Richard (below my response). An electronic lockboxworks off of cell phone towers and you/your agent will know who is entering the house instantly. I wish you luck in your sale .
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 8, 2011
Youwant her to sell the place, yet you put handcuffs on her and then blame her.
When you decided to sell the place, it was no longer YOUR house, it belongs to the Buyers; They need to see it and feel it, and you are saying that you don't want them to.

Reators are a very conscientious bunch, we look out for our clients and we protect houses and their contents when we show them. There will be problems, but for the most part, we do pretty good. We recommend that the Seller store valuable things and probably half of what they own, to make it show better.

It is apparent that you are not committed.

Other Realtors can see this, in the lack of a lockbox and reduced showing times. You will find that you do not get many showings. And it will not be the fault of your Agent.

Good luck and may God bless
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 7, 2011
It sounds like you are not working with someone who is a full-time agent.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 7, 2011
Wow I have 3 children and still find a way to make it work. Perhaps your agent can team up with another agent who has the time. If not, I would let her/him know that it is not acceptable to you. I understand how it is but you have to as a profssional find a way to balance it all. Otherwise sell Avon part time, but Real Estate is a full time job.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 30, 2011
This is harsh but I would call her broker explain the situation and ask to be allowed to choose a FULL TIME AGENT. Even ask the broker to cover her showings or let you out of the contract. Agents are here to work for you and be responsive to your needs. Missing a day or rescheduling should not be a problem but knocking out entire weeks without a backup plan should not happen!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 26, 2011
You are not wrong to think this is unacceptable.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 26, 2011
It is often difficult to make all appointments. I have been on the phone while the accompaning agent and clients walked through. It helped them and I was able to assure the seller that all was handled properly.
It is not perfect but helps in a pinch.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 26, 2011
One solution that should make you happy AND provide maximum exposure to prospective buyers is to install an electronic lockbox. Agents showing the property are prompted to enter a Personal Identification Number in order to access the key. The lockbox keeps an electronic record of those showing agents who accessed the property so if keys go missing again, you can find out which agent showed it last. If you had that from the beginning, there wouldn't be any question about who should pay your locksmith bill.

I think the general consensus here is that while the missing keys was an unfortunate situation, your agent didn't create just happened. If, aside from this incident, you think she is a competant representative for your listing, the electronic lockbox is a reasonable solution that will allow you to put this story to rest.

Best of luck!

Jay Allen
Coldwell Banker
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 26, 2011
You should discuss the matter with your realtor so that she could fix things out.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 26, 2011
There's a happy medium for "Accompanied Showings" - I let the Buyer Agent know upfront that I'll be giving a quick tour providing info that wasn't included in the MLS description and will then step outside so they can then go through the house at their leisure.

When they're done, I go back in, make sure all is secure, lights are off and then leave.

I do this for single as well as multi-families.

I've been hired to do a job and I believe that job is to be there for showings, to provide additional info and make sure the house is secure when the showing is done.

I personally could not in good conscience put a lock box on the door and not accompany.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 26, 2011
You're going to have to work this out with your Realtor.

At the end of the day, you call the shots and if your Realtor is unable to accompany on showings, suggest she partner with someone in her office that will help. That's called teamwork!
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 26, 2011
No you are right to be afraid but your fear is keeping your home from selling. Most people have a buyer's agent and they are not going to be snooping through your home. They are there to buy it. You don't get offers without showings. Your Realtor is a Mom. You can be there to let them in and take off, but to have your Realtor present at the showings make people feel weird too. Put the lockbox back on the door and hope it sells quickly.
Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 26, 2011
The first part of her answer is acceptable as you can't meet everyones request at a specific time, even though most agents can reschedule the times to accomadate the listing agent as well. The second part is unacceptable, let alone her telling you thats the reason. You deserve nothing but the best service available and for that agent to do everythng to put your property in its best light and to be there to answer questions.

Louis Wolfson

Representing Greater Boston's finest builders and communities - Brookline, Dover, Needham, Newton, Wellesley and Weston
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 26, 2011
Without a lock box, you **WILL** lose showings, regardless of people's availability.

Many realtors will see that it is "Agent to Meet" and will either not send the listing to her client or will talk them out of seeing it because it will be a scheduling nightmare... regardless if she has tried to set up an appointment or not.

Regardless, your agent should be available to assist potential buyers. It may not be at a drop of the hat, but they should be available within a couple of hours. (get a call at 9am, make an appointment for afternoon, etc). There are other alternatives such as if your condo has an office if they will take responsibility for holding onto a key for other agents who present ID and sign a sign-in sheet (Many condo offices don't want to take this responsibility/liability). Is the lock box a simple combination lock box? In Texas we use iBoxes which are more expensive, but ONLY realestate agents who have subscribed to the service can access (this is pretty universal to my area so it is never a problem).

Talk to your agent and see if there are alternatives. In my opinion having a lock box is essential to selling a home or condo. Too many negative connotations in the real estate world with "Agent To Meet" properties unless it is a million dollar listing.

Good luck to you!

It's more than real estate. It's RAYL-Estate!

Brian Rayl, REALTOR®, e-PRO, SFR
Keller Williams Elite Dallas Park Cities
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 26, 2011
First let me say that Massachusetts is one of the very few locations in the country where the listing agent attends the showing. Having many Realtor friends and connections across the country, I assure you they think that we are crazy for being there if the buyer is being accompanied by an Agent.

That being said, I prefer to be there if it is at all possible. I do use lock boxes on my listings, but if I can be there to answer questions for the Buyers Agent, I will be there. After all who knows more about the property?

It's funny because I find that the majority of buyers feel more comfortable if the listing agent doesn't attend, but the majority of buyers agents like having the listing agent there to get information first hand.

There is no set rule. It is up to the individual Relator to choose how they want to run their business.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 26, 2011
You are not wrong to find this unacceptable, I find it unacceptable
Your agent should have another agent cover for her Plus you can speak to the office manager or owner to insure there is a second agent covering, you are losing valuable time - the spring market is our top selling time ! If you are in the Fall River - Taunton - New Bedford area I would be glad to assist, I work full time and then some ! Good Luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 26, 2011
It's important to have the ability to show your property. When does your contract expire?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 26, 2011
Your agent should work with a partner to accommodate your needs. However, I think you should reconsider the use of a lockbox, you can put some parameters around it to increase your comfort level.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 26, 2011
You are the client so if you are not comfortable with a lock box then your Realtor should be able to accommodate you. Besides there are many other ways that showings can be arranged.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 26, 2011
Sounds like perhaps this is not the best match for you. I would recomment interviewing a few more realtors and relisting the property with someone else
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 26, 2011
You are absolutely *not* wrong!

If your Realtor cannot do accompanied showings, find one who can!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 26, 2011
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