Dear David: We’ve lived in our home for 30 years and are putting it up for sale. My agent wants to put a lockbox on the front door. This makes me nervous. What are my options? – INSECURE
DEAR INSECURE: Of all the homes listed for sale in our region, the vast majority are represented by professional agents. Typically, these agents use lock boxes to place access keys on the property.
A lockbox is a small, secure box (like a miniature safe), designed to hold a house key. It’s often mounted on a door or a railing at the entrance of a home. Lock boxes opened by combination decades ago, but today’s technology is significantly more secure.
Here in K-W, we employ the gold standard in lock box security: electronic and Bluetooth-enabled boxes that can only be opened by an app on the agent’s smartphone.
Before an agent can book an appointment at a home with an electronic lock box, they are vetted by the listing brokerage to ensure they are a legitimate, licensed Realtor in Ontario. Once their appointment is approved, they must arrive at their scheduled time in order to receive access. The electronic lock box identifies the agent by connecting to an app on their phone, then prompts them to enter a unique code for each showing at every property. The box will only release if the correct credentials are presented at the specified time, which prevents any unauthorized access.
If you’re uncomfortable with the prospect of using a lock box, you are not obliged to do so. As a homeowner, you are in full control of your property and home security decisions are entirely up to you. You are perfectly within your rights to remain in your home as showing agents bring their buyers through, but there are a number of reasons why I advise against doing this.
From my personal experience, a homeowner’s presence tends to make buyers feel uncomfortable. People want their own special time to fall in love with your house, and if you are there, they may feel awkward walking through your space or having an open conversation about the property. If we compare real estate to dating, staying in your house during showings is like forcing the buyers to bring their parents on a date.
From a convenience perspective, a lock box allows you to leave the house at your leisure, rather than having to be on site for every showing. And because electronic lockboxes keep a timed log of everyone who enters and leaves your home, they keep licensed agents accountable and on schedule.
It’s important to note that lock box codes are only provided to salespeople/brokers who are registered with the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO), never to unlicensed staff or unaccompanied buyers. There are no grey areas when it comes to home security and agents who break lock box rules face severe sanctions. #Advice #AskDavid #TheNegotiator
David is a top-selling Broker in Kitchener-Waterloo Region. He works personally with you when selling or buying your home. Call or text today for your free home evaluation! 519-577-1212.