Using a lockbox when selling your home.
The Realtor Lockbox Usage Form
Since you have recently decided to sell your home, you have met with a real estate agent. Have you asked about using a Realtor® LockBox? As this is a big decision, you have no doubt given many things a lot of thought. You have had the important discussions with your realtor: What is the value of your property? What price is appropriate? How many viewings do you expect to host each day/week? Should you hold an open house, and which day is best for an open house, Saturday or Sunday? What about staging the home? The list goes on…
One thing to keep your eyes peeled for when selling your home is the Realtor® LockBox Usage Form. This form provides information about the use of a lockbox by the realtor. This also involves giving others access to your home. The LockBox may seem like a minor concern when selling. However, there are several things you should keep in mind when you make the decision to use a lockbox.
How the Realtor LockBox Benefits Your Home Sale
First, there are certainly major advantages to using a lockbox to provide entry to your residence during the selling period:
- The Realtor LockBox provides a secure way for you to maximize on the number of showings your home receives. It erases the question of ensuring someone is able to meet and provide a key to the viewing participants.
- It is convenient for other Realtors®. Hey, this means you are certain to increase the viewings of your home. Having the availability for showing agents to arrange to show your home at the last moment is a huge advantage. For example, as an agent is out viewing properties with clients, he or she may gain a realization that your property is a perfect match. Showing agents contact your listing agent, and the LockBox details are provided. Now your home is added to a viewing list in a moments notice.
- With a LockBox you don’t have to go the “old-school” way of hiding a key under the rug. No more key behind the flower-pot, or in the mailbox, ontop of the doorframe. (Look, without saying too much more, almost anyone knows the top 5 places to “hide” your key).
Minor Disadvantages to LockBox Access
There are also some disadvantages to using a LockBox for entry to your home:
- Unauthorized persons could possibly break into the LockBox, and therefore gain access to your home. This could lead to theft or vandalism. This is certainly not something you need when you are selling your home.
- People other than Realtors® could gain access to the LockBox code.
- The key from the LockBox could be misplaced, lost, or not returned following a viewing. It is possible also that the LockBox is not closed properly following the viewing.
Different LockBox Technologies to Consider
We have just made note of some of the general pros and cons of using a LockBox for entry to your home. Now, it is important to recognize that some of these cons are easily diminished. Sometimes it is simply a matter of what LockBox you utilize. Yes, there are different types of LockBox’s, and of course, different suppliers that can provide them. Make sure you consider the differences before you agree to just use a LockBox.
The Mechanical LockBox
In some ways, this is the “old school” or “traditional” LockBox. It is still in use quite often, however, so it is worth your sincere consideration today.
The Mechanical LockBox operates by a mechanical device, or coded mechanical release. It does not have any battery requirements, but depends solely on mechanical devices to open and re-lock. This is a benefit in the fact that the box is less impacted by extreme weather. This model does not have to ensure a working battery at all times. It is a deficit in that this Mechanical device is a bit more aged. The LockBox device can take some fiddling to open, especially on well-used devices. It also requires a bit of force to close. Comparatively, the Mechanical LockBox does not require as much force to cut through and compromise. On average it takes 70-100 pounds of force with 24” Bolt Cutters to break through the lock.
The Electronic LockBox
The Electronic LockBox provides many improvements over the Mechanical version. It is more difficult to cut through. It requires an average of 160-200 pounds of force with 24” Bolt Cutters to break through this locking device. This more secure model also provides the availability to track data. For example, you easily keep track of your LockBox access, and the precise time access is granted. The device is modern, and easy to open in comparison to its mechanical counterpart. The Electronic LockBox also gives you, or your realtor, the availability to limit access. This means you can set certain hours that the LockBox is readily available. Also, set other hours your LockBox will not open regardless of codes.
Finally, the Electronic LockBox provides a simple method of resetting codes. As the code readily changes following each visitor to your home, your property security increases. The only deficit, perhaps, is the temperature effect. (Of course, depending on the time of year you might be selling your home). If you sell in the extreme winter months in parts of Canada, the LockBox operation needs to be considered. However, in the South Georgian Bay area, temperatures rarely drop to the -40 degrees Celcius necessary to compromise device operation.
The Electronic/ Mobile-Access LockBox
Electronic LockBox use also provides the opportunity to sync your LockBox with latest mobile technology applications. This way, Realtors® receive codes, in real-time. All data related to accessing the LockBox is easily traceable. In more advanced LockBox technology, reminder notifications go directly to your mobile as your LockBox opens. With a few additional settings, you receive a notification whenever the LockBox is not properly secure within a set amount of time.
Whichever LockBox you choose for your home, be sure to consider different advantages and disadvantages. Further, ensure you, or your realtor, place the LockBox in a secure location. The LockBox only breaks with 200 pounds of force, so don’t fasten it around your deck lattice, or attach it to a wooden railing spindle. Consider smart locations, out of direct streetview, where you can fasten your LockBox. Some good locations are on Iron fencing, behind a shrub or bush, fastened to something stronger than the Lockbox itself.
Final “Key” Considerations to Realtor® LockBox Usage
While the LockBox Usage Form seems like a minor concern when selling your home, consider what type of LockBox works best for you. Place your LockBox in a secure location. Give your Realtor®️ direction as to what access you want to give to your residence or property. With a little thought, you can enjoy increased access to your home, without compromising the security of your asset. Enjoy, and share, the convenience of LockBox entry, leading to a higher volume of viewings to your sale property.