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Access is Everything

Real Estate Agent with HomeSmart Stars TX #0552717

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One of the decisions you'll have to make when you're ready to sell your house is how much access to your home you want to give potential buyers. You should work with your agent to develop the right amount of access for you.Supra


If the home is empty, a combination lockbox holding the key can be used, but this option doesn't allow for much security. The combination can be intentionally or unintentionally shared, leaving you no way of knowing who was in the house or when.


There are ibuyer programs where an agent, or even a buyer without an agent, can call in and get a one-time code to open a lockbox. This may be convenient for the showing appointment, but often in my experience, the code didn't work or there was no one answering the phone to help when the code was not delivered.


A more secure method involves the use of a recording lockbox such as a Supra or Sentrilock. Only real estate agents, inspectors and appraisers have access to open them, and a record is made as to who is opening the box and when. It is possible to set restricted times so that the lockbox won't open when you don't want people entering. These boxes are usually hung on the doorknob of the front door, or on a railing, or other fixture or tree near the house.


In a universe long ago and far away, listing agents would leave house keys at their broker's office and buyer agents could stop by to pick up the keys, then return the keys after the showing appointment. In today's high tech world, this is an inconvenience. It is still rarely, but sometimes, used.


There are 3 levels of access timing to also consider. Here in the North Texas area, the primary showing services (BrokerBay and ShowingTime) who facilitate appointments allow for these:

  • Go and show - call or log in and you're immediately approved, with information about the showing - alarm codes, etc.

  • Courtesy call - same as "go and show" AFTER the seller gets a call letting them know to expect a showing - confirmation is given after the seller is notified

  • Appointment required - the seller can accept or decline the appointment and the appointment is not confirmed until the seller has responded to the request from the showing service

Go and show is typically used only for vacant properties. The courtesy call does not work well for families with small children or pets who must be corralled and tidied up after.

At the height of the buying frenzy during the pandemic, there was a rise in the number of homebuyers who put offers on houses sight unseen. That happened for three reasons:

  • Extremely low housing inventory

  • A lot of competition from other buyers wanting to take advantage of historically low mortgage rates

  • General wariness of in-person home tours during a pandemic

The housing market is changing today. As a seller, be willing to work with your agent to give buyers as much access as you can to your house when you sell. Buyers can now be more selective and take a little more time to explore their options.  So, in order to show your house and sell it efficiently, you’ll want to provide buyers with as much access as possible.  


Bottom line: Access can have a big impact on the sale of your house.


Let’s connect today when you’re ready to make a move.


Posted by

Lorrie Semler, REALTOR
HomeSmart Stars

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Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Lorrie and thank you for the interesting blog to share with us here in the Rain.  Make it a good Sunday!


Jun 11, 2023 10:02 AM
Lorrie Semler, REALTOR® in the Dallas area. Call/text 972-416-3417

Will Hamm That's the plan!


Jun 11, 2023 11:53 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Prop. Mgr, Wenatchee, WA

Hi Lorrie,
This brings back memories of when I was on the MLS Board and resigned because the Board chose not to pursue agents who left the business but did not return their keybox keys. The liability was immense, and I wasn't willing to participate in that.

Jun 11, 2023 11:36 AM
Lorrie Semler, REALTOR® in the Dallas area. Call/text 972-416-3417

Carol Williams We don't have those charging keys and cradles anymore - everything is through an app on the phone and I'm sure the MLS board can turn off or remove the app of agents who aren't active.

Jun 11, 2023 11:55 AM
Carol Williams

Yes,  Lorrie Semler, REALTOR® in the Dallas area. Call/text 972-416-3417 , technology has been a good thing for tracking access. I'm aging myself. LOL

Jun 11, 2023 11:59 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

This is good advice to share.

You do not want to discourage prospective home buyers.

Jun 11, 2023 12:55 PM
Lorrie Semler, REALTOR® in the Dallas area. Call/text 972-416-3417

Roy Kelley Gotta get that house seen so it can be sold!


Jun 11, 2023 04:16 PM
Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

There are still some agents that don't want to spend the money to get Supra access and they request a special showing, which is not always convenient for the listing agent.

Securing the house and having a record of who and when is the best an agent can offer.

Jun 11, 2023 01:23 PM
Lorrie Semler, REALTOR® in the Dallas area. Call/text 972-416-3417

I wholeheartedly agree!

Jun 11, 2023 04:19 PM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Lorrie, in Denver we are still a bit slower to the concept of electronic boxes.  

Jun 11, 2023 02:13 PM
Lorrie Semler, REALTOR® in the Dallas area. Call/text 972-416-3417

Joan Cox They are well worth the money. And here, we're able to sell or transfer our unused ones to other agents.

Jun 11, 2023 04:18 PM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

     Supra Boxes / Sentrilock and Showing Time have made our jobs much easier.    And, they provide a level of security for the Seller, even for a vacant unoccupied house.

      It is far better than the long-ago days of driving across town to get a key, or hearing the Listing Agent tell you that there is a key hidden under the door mat! 

Jun 11, 2023 02:30 PM
Lorrie Semler, REALTOR® in the Dallas area. Call/text 972-416-3417

Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate A key under the door mat is just asking for trouble.

Jun 11, 2023 04:19 PM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

In our area, Supra is the dominant electronic lockbox.

For our listings, we take advantage of the electronic showing service that is offered.

Jun 11, 2023 04:15 PM
Lorrie Semler, REALTOR® in the Dallas area. Call/text 972-416-3417

John Juarez We've been Supra ever since I started in real estate. It's safe and easy.

Jun 11, 2023 04:21 PM
Charles Ross - eXp Realty LLC
eXp Realty LLC Salina Group - Salina, KS
Love To Help People

Excellent information.Thank you for sharing. Have a wonderful day and a blessed week.

Jun 12, 2023 02:33 AM
Lorrie Semler, REALTOR® in the Dallas area. Call/text 972-416-3417

Charles Ross - (785)-819-6944 That's the plan!

Jun 12, 2023 06:19 AM