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Lock Box or No Lock Box


Yes, you should use a lock box when selling your Michigan home!

A lock box makes the whole process of selling your home easier.  A lock box is a basically a padlock with a cavity inside where a key to your home can be placed.  Having a lock box on your home for sale makes it easier and more convenient for other agents to show your home.  That's what it is all about.  Getting more showings. 

Here is how it works.  We only give out the combination after we talk to you and verify it is OK to show your home.  When another real estate agent calls to set up a showing of your Michigan home my office verifies who they are.  They ask them for their license number and they call to confirm on an office number that we have in our system.  So they can’t be just anybody looking to get into your house.

They have to be a licensed real estate agent to gain access to your home.  Then my office gives the other agent the combination to the lock box.  Only someone with the combination can get into the lock box and access the key. Having a lock box available at your house makes it easy for other agents to get access to your house.

They would have to take a sledge hammer to break the lock box open.  I know because every once in a while one sticks and doesn't open.  It's not an easy process to break it open.  They could take the same sledge hammer to your door and get in.  So the security is there with a lock box.

Without the lock box, agents representing buyers would have to set appointments to meet you or your agent at the house so they could gain access and view the home. This would be extremely inconvenient. Since almost every other house does have a lockbox available, if you do not allow one most agents will simply not show your property. You will miss out on lots of potential buyers.

My past experience with agents or home owners that don’t use a lock box is that they lose showings.  Now you have two agents that have to try to arrange a time when they both can be there.  A good agent is going to be very busy.  Do you think they really have to time to unlock your door so the other agent can get in?  If you are worried about theft.....they can still steal something if the other agent is there.    Think about these scenarios.

  1. Your agent has a family get together or his son is in a playoff game.  Do you think they are cancelling their family obligations to show your house?
  2. Your agent has a closing, or an office meeting.  Do you think they are going to cancel the closing to show your house?
  3. Your agent has buyer showings on the other side of town already scheduled with a client?  Do you think your agent is going to show your house?

No, your agent is going to say the buyer can’t get in that day or ask for the buyer to come another day or time.  That buyer you turn away because you do not have a lock box on the door may be the buyer that would have bought the house.   I have it happen to me all the time when I have to meet the listing agent at the house.  Many times the buyers schedule is not the same as the listing agents.  It creates problems by not having a lock box on your door when selling your home.  You have lost a possible sale of your home.  All good listing agents are busy.  It is a major inconvenience for them to drive to your house and let another agent it.  Trust me on this….a lot of homes without lock boxes lose showings because it is too hard to get into.  Buyers are not arranging their schedule to fit your agent's schedule.  You have just lost a showing!

Well you say you are going to let them in.  That is another bad idea.  Being there for a home showing is one of the worst things you can do when selling your home.  Buyers are uncomfortable when the sellers are there.  You also may disclose too much information.  So it is not the smartest thing to do to be around when the buyers are coming to see your home. 

The listing contract that you sign specifies whether you allow a lockbox or not. It is locked into place, usually on the front door and cannot be removed. Only other agents can access the key that is located within the lockbox.  So I highly recommend you put a lock box on your home when you go to sell.