What is your opinion regarding the use of a lock box vs. showing by appointment only? Home that will be listed in Milton, Ga. community.

Asked by lydiastorm, Atlanta, GA Sat Feb 2, 2013

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Bruce Ailion’s answer
Bruce Ailion, Agent, Marietta, GA
Sat Feb 2, 2013
Appointment only communicates a less motivated seller than a home on a lockbox. Ultimately you want to attract the busy professional agent that has a large number of buyers and sellers they are working with. Making it more difficult to show your home means fewer of that group will select your home to show. In Milton 50% or more of the potential buyers will be from out of town. Many fly or drive in and have one week or less to find a home. They may work with an agent for 2 to 4 days prior to selecting a home. These are your best buyers. When one of these buyers are in town, agents focus on them, their other business gets backed up. They are even more focused on convenience. Scheduling an appointment is inconvenient especially if 3 or more homes have that requirement. Bottom line these homes are less likely to be on the agents pick list for the buyer's tour.

An agent may be driving one of these out of town clients through the neighborhood. They say what about that home. It's pulled up on a mobile device, appointment only is noted, a call is made with no answer and the agent says we'll check it out later. Later never comes.

Price and time on the market is a function of how many people view your home. The fewer people that see your home the lower the price and longer the time on the market. Easy access says my home is available. I am highly motivated to sell. I want to make your job selling my home easy and convenient. Isn’t that that the marketing message you want to send? This is especially true where the majority of buyers and the agents representing them are on a very short time frame to make a decision. Agents pick the homes that are accessible and easy to sell first. Only after all those are selected are the more difficult to show homes selected.

There are very few circumstances where I would recommend appointment only to a client.
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1 vote
My NC Homes…, Agent, Chapel Hill, NC
Sat Feb 2, 2013
Appoint is fine, you should use a lock box, Buyers agents don't want you or your agent there, they want to be able to speak freely with their clients. Also it's impractical to require your agent to attend all showings, you're not their only client and if you force them to attend all showings then you're going to limit the number of showings based on their availability. I've been a full time broker in the top 10% of all Realtors in terms of successfully closed sales the entire time, I won't take listings if the Seller require me to attend every showing. and tell them that their shooting themselves in the foot.

Hope this helps and best of luck, I hope you get your home sold this Spring.
1 vote
Kawain Payne, Agent, Seal Beach, CA
Fri Feb 22, 2013
Great question!!!!!

If I am the listing agent, I prefer using a SUPRA type lock box. The stay away from combo lock boxes. As the listing agent you want to make sure you give the home maxiumum exposure. Shown by appt simply will limit the amount of viewings.

As a buyer's agent I surely prefer a lock box vs shown by appointment only. When I am out with a buyer, I may have four properties lined up to show them. When you have to make appointments to show a home it makes your task a little harder. I my area I often times run across shown by appt only listings that have pretty restrictive showing times. In many cacses I am not able to show these homes at all, as my clients schedules can not meet the strict showing times.

Much Success To You!!!

Kawain Payne, Realtor
0 votes
Lee Taylor, Agent, Decatur, GA
Sun Feb 3, 2013
Lockbox, but...

How long do you plan for your house to be on the market?

This is all about price, and your non-negotiable terms, and making those very simple for buyers to understand.

At a take it or leave it price, you will attract 8-10 showings and your Realtor will line them up over like 2 or three days. You probably have a reasonable take it or leave it price in mind - use that. It's your market in Milton, because there are probably buyers clamoring for exactly what you have to sell.

Take offers - call for highest and best - don't accept a single one if they are not a win-win.

Plan B starts if it's not under contract after three days on market. Better than implementing plan B next season.

Plan B should start with a lockbox, 95% of the time. But first, reconsider plan A.

There is tremendous certainty in this market for savvy sellers - the price is so easy to call - get over the idea that you know more than recent appraised SOLD property data - the data is the data, and in a seller's market there is certainty.

And, plan A is way better than you keeping things neat...for weeks and weeks and weeks...waiting for hosted appointments. Most of the time. Maybe you like having guests over infrequently.

A lockbox is very convenient and easily arranged with plenty of notice - we want you out of the house, and unless the listing agent has such superior architectural, historical or psycho-graphic community knowhow that they must host a tour, then the buyer probably doesn't care to hear from a talkative salesperson playing the role of tour guide.
0 votes
Kathleen Kane, Agent, Atlanta, GA
Sun Feb 3, 2013
I think it will slow down activity in showing the house. Most realtors would rather courtesy call the homeowner or the agent to set up a time or range of time to show the property. It is much easier on the selling agent to do this. And you are trying to sell the house to selling agents to sell to their clients! You can still be in control of a lockbox on your house if you like. You can put the lockbox out once you've spoken to an agent, gotten their name, company and phone number and time that they will show your property. Or you can have your agent handle that part and be the contact to you to put out the lockbox. There are several ways to handle. To make it just appointment only will narrow who will show your home. You have to have buyers look before you can get an offer.
0 votes
Edith Karoli…, Agent, Winnetka, IL
Sat Feb 2, 2013
Well what does your Realtor recommend?
It all depends on the property and the location.
In general, if there are a lot of details that are important to the sale of the home, your listing agent may
want to be present at each of the showings, then a lock box is not required, but that will require coordination between two busy Realtors the Sellers and the Buyers....

If you have a lock box, thee are various types, discuss it with your listing agent, what is safer what is not
where to place it etc.

If you are working with a Realtor who will list and market your home, he or she should be able to explain
all to you. For high end homes with valuable decor, and details not readily seen, I usually accompany all
showings, otherwise by electronic lockbox...

Good Luck to you

Sincerely yours,
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Investors alike....And always with a SMILE :)

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0 votes
Kevin, Home Buyer, 30097
Sat Feb 2, 2013
It's very possible that you can show and sell your home all by yourself.

It just takes a pretty substantial commitment on your behalf to meet with potential buyers and open up your home to them. You also need to work around other peoples schedules as they may take a day off work to look while your at work.

Also one flaw most self seller make is trying to help tell all about your house and what you did and why during the initial look see by a potential buyer.

You can do it, just becomes much more difficult on your behalf . Plus you need to consider what you might get from a listing agent and the extra 6 to 7% uplift on the house price.
0 votes
David Herren, Agent, Atlanta, GA
Sat Feb 2, 2013
As pointed out in previous posts you generally want to make your home as easy to show as possible. That said, you need to balance your need for security with the norms for showing in your market and price range. It is customary for higher priced homes to be shown by appointment only, but rarely with the listing agent present.

Explain your concerns to your Realtor and ask their suggestions. If you are not listing with a Realtor, please consider doing so. Your home will likely sell faster, at a higher price, with minimal inconvenience to you, than if you go it alone.


Dave Herren
Best Atlanta Properties
0 votes
, ,
Sat Feb 2, 2013
It would really depend on how badly you want to sell your home. Not having your home on lock box is most likely going to limit the number of potential Buyers you might have. Having your home on lock box, but by appointment only would be your best option. This way, you can set the amount of notice required (i.e. 2 hours, 24 hours, etc). Your Listing Agent will have a record of what Buyer’s Agents then access the lock box..

Of course, neither the Buyer nor their Agent would ever want the Seller to be present during a showing. Having a Seller present prevents the Buyer(s) from speaking freely about the home with anyone who is accompanying them. This is the time they need to be discussing what they do and do not like about the home. If the Seller is present, most not will not have these conversations and you are probably going to lose the Buyer.

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0 votes
Greta Thomas, Agent, Atlanta, GA
Sat Feb 2, 2013
It depends on if you wish to be present at every showing for a good reason. Homes that do not have easy access even with an appointment, are less desirable for showing. Unless your home is in demand and is not competing with other similar homes in your area, I suggest placing a lockbox but by appointment only.
0 votes
Mary Anne Wa…, Agent, Atlanta, GA
Sat Feb 2, 2013
Generally, you'd like to make your home as easy as possible to show - using a lockbox accomplishes that. But for homes in a higher price range or on the luxury market ($750,000 or above) I generally do "appointment only". That allows me as the agent to meet the potential buyer and ask any questions; I also find that sellers in that price range are much more comfortable if I'm present during the showing.
0 votes
Shanna Rogers, Agent, Murrieta, CA
Sat Feb 2, 2013
Hi lydiastorm,

I always prefer to have electronic lockboxes but ask buyers to give a few hours notice so the seller can clean up the house (if occupied). I also program the lockbox to the property so it logs everyone who shows the house - for followup and 'security'. Using a lockbox makes it more convenient for buyer's agents (in case the owner is not home at times). It also makes it more convenient for the seller (if occupied) so they don't have to sit around waiting for buyers to show up.

Shanna Rogers
SR Realty
0 votes
Ava Anderson, Agent, Snellville, GA
Sat Feb 2, 2013
I suggest you use a electronic lockbox. That way buyers agents can access you property even when you are not available. You can still request appointment times, but a lockbox ensures you property will be seen as often as possible and your agent will get notification with a few minutes of the lockbox being accessed and can follow up.
0 votes
Michael Hamm…, Agent, Suwanee, GA
Sat Feb 2, 2013
Consider having the Listing Agent set it up as appointment only, 24 hours notice, NO exceptions in the Private Section of the MLS data sheet and use a Supra lockbox. You will know who come in and when. Please call, text or email if we can provide further assistance. Good Luck!

Michael Hammond





0 votes
Mckenley A.…, Agent, Atlanta, GA
Sat Feb 2, 2013
I would suggest you show by appointment only. This allows you to properly monitor the traffic for your listing. Also, you will get to have a personal touch with all the potential buyers that are interested in your listing.
0 votes
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