If you’re planning on selling your home, you might want to consider getting a lockbox to help improve the security of your property while it’s on the market. As the name implies, a lockbox is a small container where the keys to the property can be stored. It has a shackle to attach the lockbox to a home’s doorknob.
Types of lockboxes
Manual, combination lockbox: These have a spin-dial or push-button panel where a combination of numbers or letters is entered to access the house keys.
Digital lockbox (Bluetooth): These offer advanced features like mobile app connectivity, key-card access, and monitoring.
Digital lockbox (Wifi): These are similar to Bluetooth locks, except you don't need a bluetooth device/mobile phone to obtain a key.
Supra lockbox: These are the brand of digital lockboxes most commonly used by real estate agents. However, they are typically not accessible by consumers as local Realtor board membership is required to buy and use these lockboxes.
If you are selling your home, you have the option to arrange showings only by appointment or use a lockbox. In case you choose the latter, your agent will set it up. Make sure to review instructions from your agent on how to open a lock box so you can see it in action. To learn more about the advantages of using a lockbox in real estate properties, read on.
Lockboxes are convenient
One of the benefits of using a lockbox is it makes real estate showings very convenient. If you have vacated the property and there are interested buyers who want to see your home, you won’t need to meet up with the agent to give the house keys. You can leave spare keys in the lockbox and your agent along with the buyers can let themselves in.
Also, lockboxes can easily grant property access to a buyer’s broker. If you are comfortable with it, you can permit your agent to give the buyer’s broker the lockbox’s access code at an arranged schedule. With more showings, your home becomes available to a larger pool of potential buyers—which can increase the number of bids and potential selling price.
Lockboxes improve security
If the property you are selling is currently vacant, security is your prime concern. Part of your worries can be that intruders might come in and cause issues like theft and property damage. When you use a lockbox, you can ensure your property remains secure.
In case the lockbox requires entering a PIN code, ask your agent to create a unique PIN to deter unauthorized entry. If possible, request to have the code frequently changed or after every property showing as an added precaution. This adds an extra layer of security, especially when you have multiple people entering your home like contractors making repairs.
In case you use an advanced lockbox, it can serve as virtual guards. They can notify you or your agent via email if anyone tries to enter the property beyond scheduled showing times. They can even provide information like the time and date the intruder tried to enter the premises.
Lockboxes limits property access
Using a lockbox allows you to restrict access to your property. Since only a few people know the password to the lockbox, you can select specific days or times when interested clients and their agents can get the keys to look at the property.
When more advanced lockboxes are used, like those that require a smartphone app for access, your listing agent can track each time someone wants to enter your home. These types of lockboxes can record information that includes those who try to enter the property and those who were able to successfully gain access.
Lockboxes provide privacy for homebuyers, renters or Airbnb guests
Some home buyers prefer to visit and check out a listed property alone. When you or your agent is present during the showing, prospective buyers might feel a bit awkward being watched as they carefully inspect every inch of your house. They might also become hesitant to discuss freely and honestly with their partners or broker what they think about the property.
Additionally, some homebuyers can feel pressured when the property owner or their agent is following them around. Instead of having the time to mull over their choice, they can end up not purchasing the property because they feel they need to provide a decision on the spot. If you use a digital (non-agent/Supra) lockbox, you can easily accommodate private showings to interested buyers, renters or Airbnb guests anytime.
As a home seller or property manager, it’s best to consider the perks of using a lockbox on your property. While lockboxes keep your property safe and secure from intruders, they also make your home available to more prospective buyers.
Once you understand the type of lockbox that you’ll be using, make sure to discuss any specific instructions with your agent. Let your listing agent know if you allow home showings without your presence or if you prefer to be there while potential buyers are touring your home. This way, all expectations are clear for both parties and you can avoid any misunderstandings.