From time to time seller’s ask why I place two Lock Boxes on their home. It’s a great questions so I’ve decided to answer with a blog post.
Virginia REALTORS covers the Commonwealth of Virginia and consists of many local Associations and/or Boards. Each Association/Board has its own Multiple Listing Service (an offer of cooperation and compensation where REALTOR members share information on real estate for sale such as property information, showing instructions, sales price, etc.). These Multiple Listing Services often issue (sell or lease) LOCK BOXES (a device for storing keys w/ some type of coded access) to their members providing a standard method of accessing keys for showing homes. Without the lock boxes, buyer’s agents (licensed real estate agents representing the buyer in a transaction) would have to drive from office to office picking up and returning keys or arrange for the seller/listing agent (licensed real estate agent representing the seller) to be at the property to grant access. If you’re showing a buyer five to fifteen homes arranging the showings can be complicated and time consuming!
I’m currently a member of the Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORS (I’ve had duel membership in other associations over the years) which covers Charlottesville, Virginia and the surrounding counties. We use the blue LOCK BOXES in the top photo. These are manufacture by General Electric and require an updated code. They can be access by a smart phone with app installed or a D Key. Both the smart phone and D Key must be updated daily to receive a code allowing a user to open the lock box. I can also remotely turn off an lock box if the owners don’t want a home shown on a specific day and set the daily time range when the key can be accessed for showing the home. These are pretty cool tools!
When an agent uses a smart phone to access the key in the Blue LOCK BOX, I get an e-mail alerting me to a showing with the buyers agent name and contact info. This allows me to follow up with the agent to see if they have questions and request feedback. Sellers often like to see the feedback from agents showing their home. If an agent uses a D Key, I don’t get the e-mail till they place the D Key in a charging station to get the next days code. The systems works well and is pretty cool!
Since much of Central Virginia has overlapping Associations of REALTORS (I had Louisa County listings shown by Charlottesville, Richmond, Southside, Fredericksburg , Northern Virginia & other associations member agents this year). These agents cannot access the blue LOCK BOX in many cases (some can get a one day code). I want to provide my listings and seller clients with maximum exposure for the real estate we’re selling so I market to buyers and Real Estate Agents outside of my Association. So that these buyers agents can show the real estate to their ready willing and able buyers, I place a black or brown old fashioned combination lock box on the property as well. Agents must contact me to schedule the showing and obtain the combination. This allows me to know who is showing the property and follow up for feedback. This system works well!
I’ve also had sellers benefit from the combination lock boxes when they or a guest locked themselves out of their home! Appraisers and contractors doing upgrades/repairs can also be given the code allowing for more flexibility in scheduling.
If you have questions about lock boxes or real estate in general, let’s talk! I am here to help. The only bad or silly questions remains the one you do not ask.