I don't know about your area, but here in the greater Chicagoland area (how we refer to Chicago and her collar suburbs) there has long been a controversy going on between those agents who list primarily in the city, and those who list primarily in the suburbs.
The city-agents insist that the only way to show a property, properly, is to have the listing agent accompany the showing. After all, they say, who knows the property better than the listing agent? Nobody can tout the properties assets better than the listing agent... and what if there are questions?? I need to be there to answer any questions. And what about the safety and security of the occupants, property and their belongings... why a lock box is tantamount to an "open door". if you're only going to put a lock-box in place, why hire a Realtor at all? In fact the city agents have gone so far as to call the suburban agents "lazy".
The suburban-agents, of course, disagree with this philosophy, and state that having a lock-box in place is the only way to go. Without a lock-box, appointments become difficult to coordinate an agreeable time between the listing and selling agents... and it's critically important that we not miss any appointments... after all, we can't sell it if we can't show it. And besides, the buyer/viewer doesn't want to be SOLD... they just want to take a look, and if they have further interest or questions, they'll get them answered through their buyer's agent.
There have been other bullet-points bandied back and forth, but the crux of the matter is that the accompany-only agents insist that "the agent MUST be present to SELL the property". And lock-box proponents say "we can't afford to miss any showings".
Well, I'm sure you'll be happy to know that all of that has been definitively settled by my latest group of showings in the city. I've made appointments for this Sunday for a client who's looking in the city. We have 16 properties to look at, all of them in the lower price ranges, and many of them in Short-Sale or Foreclosure status.
Interestingly enough 7 of the properties that I'm showing are empty or vacant. And the city agents who represent them have put lock-boxes in place on all 7 of those properties, and their reason for having a lock-box is because the property is "vacant"... and therefore doesn't require my presence.
Well, in making that statement... and that's 7 different agents, with 7 different properties... the only criteria they are considering is the "vacancy"... interestingly enough they're not taking into account their "I need to be there to SELL the property" argument... nor are they considering the "safety and security" of the building or "belongings"... (while some of them are unoccupied, they still have furnishings). So they really are saying
1) I don't need to be there to SELL it...
2) I don't need to be there to PROTECT the property or belongings
3) I don't need to be there to ANSWER questions
4) In fact it appears that since the owner isn't home... and won't KNOW that the listing agent didn't accompany... they're suddenly okay with unaccompanied showings... in fact they're subscribing to the "we don't want to miss a showing" philosophy of the suburban agents.
Things that make you go "hmmmmmm"
ALAN MAY, Realtor®
Specializing in Evanston Real Estate and North Shore Real Estate
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, 2929 Central Street, Evanston, IL 60201
847.425.3779 Cell: 847.924.3313 Email: Almay@aol.com