When you decide to list your home for sale there are many decisions you need to make. One of the biggest decisions, besides deciding on a list price, is access. How will agents obtain access to your home? Will your listing agent be present for all showings and allow access? Do you have to or want to be home to let agents in? Or are you thinking about having a lockbox installed?
Just like deciding on a list price your decision could negatively or positively impact your home sale. In some instances, the listing agent should grant access to all showings and other times they shouldn’t. At no point should you ever be home for a showing, it makes buyers uncomfortable, even if you’re in another room or in the backyard. Buyers want to talk freely with their agent and open doors without feeling awkward, which they can’t do if you’re around. Then there is the most popular option, a lockbox, but is this the right decision for you?
What Are Lockboxes?
Lockboxes are essentially code-protected key safes that are installed on your property to hold your house keys. Only people who have the code or equipment and credentials can access it. These individuals may include real estate agents, contractors, cleaners, and even members of your family.
For many home sellers, getting a lockbox can understandably cause feelings of doubt and anxiety. While rare, it can and does get tampered with by undesirables. Some lockboxes are easier to access than others. So if you decide to have a lockbox installed you need to know all of the different options and understand the differences between them.
Choosing a Lockbox
Choosing the right lockbox can seem overwhelming, especially if this is your first time selling your home. You may be wondering if the type of lockbox even matters, which absolutely does. Here is what you should look for when choosing a lockbox:
The two most popular types of lockboxes are a traditional combination lockbox and an electronic lockbox. Manual lockboxes are also known as portable key safes that can be opened by turning a combination dial or by pushing buttons. They are usually more affordable to purchase and less complicated to use. For example, installing a manual combination lockbox is simply a matter of setting a code and locking it in place somewhere on your home exterior.
On the other hand, a Bluetooth-powered lockbox has features that can add another level of security if you are especially concerned about the safety of your property. Many models can only be opened by a licensed real estate agent who has a special app on their smartphone. In addition to this security measure, electronic lockboxes can also store important data that may be useful for your real estate agent or provide evidence that can help in an investigation in case a crime occurs. A Supra lock box notifies you when it is accessed, and will also provide the identity of the person opening it up.
Another thing you need to consider is how easy the lockbox is to you. Electronic Supras are fairly easy for agents to use and access as long as they have a strong Bluetooth signal. While a combination lockbox can be a little more complicated. Does it require several spins? Do the buttons stick? The lockbox should be easy to open for all agents showing your property. It should also be located in an area that makes it easy to access. Make sure it’s not installed on a hose bib behind bushes. Agents don’t want to walk through landscaping in business attire to obtain a key then have to put it back.If you plan on using a lockbox to sell your home there are several things you should consider before doing so. #homeselling
Your listing agent should provide the lockbox for you, but make sure that you get a more current model that is still functional. The buttons and latches on an old and rusty lockbox that has been exposed to the elements may be hard to press or even get stuck. Possible intruders can also pick the locks of older models or break them with relative ease in order to get your house keys.
Newer lockboxes tend to be made of more durable materials and have updated security features to ensure that your house keys will be safe. These features include a cover to protect the dial or buttons and a vinyl coating to dissuade would-be thieves who might want to smash the lockboxes open.
Size of Compartment
You need to make sure that the lockbox is big enough to accommodate your house keys. Sometimes, you might have several keys to your property that are held together by a large key ring or bulky keychain. The last thing you want is to end up with a lockbox that is too small for your house keys. Before buying your lockbox at the store or installing the one that your Realtor provided, make sure that it is the right size first.
As an added security measure, make sure you have an extra set of your house keys in case the lockbox malfunctions or you forget the access code. Accidents do happen, even if they are rare, and it is always better to have a contingency if the worst-case scenario occurs. Lockboxes are designed to protect your house keys and will definitely be hard to open. It wouldn’t hurt to have your house keys copied.
In most cases, a lockbox is going to be the best way for agents to access your home. If this is the route you go make sure you know the differences between all of the options and select the best one for you.
The most secure lockbox is going to be a Supra because only licensed agents can open it. However, sometimes Supras are not an option for everyone. If your only option is a manual lockbox make sure it’s the most secure one available and change the code regularly.
Please consider spreading the word and sharing; Things to Consider When Using a Lockbox to Sell Your Home
About the Author
Top Wellington Realtor, Michelle Gibson, wrote: “Things to Consider When Using a Lockbox to Sell Your Home”
Michelle has been specializing in residential real estate since 2001 throughout Wellington Florida and the surrounding area. Whether you’re looking to buy, sell or rent she will guide you through the entire real estate transaction. If you’re ready to put Michelle’s knowledge and expertise to work for you call or e-mail her today.
Areas of service include Wellington, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach, Boynton Beach, West Palm Beach, Loxahatchee, Greenacres and more.