Do I have to have a lockbox on my home when I'm selling it?
You've decided to sell your home. You may have researched what to do to prepare the home to sell. You've probably made repairs, did maintenance, cleaned it and checked off all the items on your Honey-Do List. You may have even found a real estate agent, broker or real estate company already. But you're concerned about safety.
Just because you have your house on the market to sell doesn't mean you aren't concerned about theft, break-ins or your family's well-being. In fact, having your home on the market probably concerns you of your household's safety even more so!
Let's face it; you have advertised to the world, where scary things happen and bad people dream up all kinds of ways to take advantage, that you intend to allow people you don't even know to come into your home. Heck, you might even plan on putting a sign in the front yard that basically says the same thing!
And now you are supposed to just accept placing a lockbox (with a working key in it!) on your front door? Maybe even one of those cheapo boxes that are easy to break into? Yeah right!!!
You don't have to. There are a couple options, but keep in mind, the more difficult it is to view your home for sale, the less buyers may see it. Here's a few options:
- Appointment Only: Require all buyers to make an appointment to view the home while you are there. If you do this always require they are accompanied by an agent, either their's or yours.
- Open House Viewings Only: Ask your listing agent to hold chaperoned open houses periodically. This cuts down on appointments but it does raise other security issues because more than one person or group could be in your house at once. Always require your agent or one of their trusted colleagues you've vetted out to be present.
- Move Out First: This can be the safest ways to sell a house, but still insist on an agent being present with a buyer at all times. Appliances and other items like hot water heaters, stoves and even toilets, fixtures and air conditioners can still go missing!
Here's a couple other tips:
- If you are going to use a lockbox, insist on your agent using a industry produced box. There are lockboxes like Sentrilock boxes or Supra E-key boxes that use codes that change every day or special Realtor assigned keys to get in, and most of these boxes are expensive and can take a beating.
- Don't ever let anyone come up to your door and knock, just to let them in. That is a home invasion waiting to happen!
With the right precautions selling your home can be a safe endeavor, but just like anything else you must plan beforehand. Take care and good luck on a successful sale!
-Todd J Garrigus