Philadelphia, Bucks and Montgomery Counties Real Estate. Tips for home buyers, home sellers by Gita Bantwal,Realtor at Re/Max Centre Realtors.: YOUR HOME IS UNDER CONTRACT FOR SALE. IS IT TIME TO REMOVE THE LOCK BOX?

YOUR HOME IS UNDER CONTRACT FOR SALE. IS IT TIME TO REMOVE THE LOCK BOX?

Sellers are usually uncomfortable with a lock box and are eager to have it removed as soon as the house is under contract. There will not be any showings once we have your home under contract, but many poeple will need access to your home. It will be more convenient for the agent if the lock box is on until all the contingensies have been satisfied, unless you work from home and do not mind being there to let them in.

You will be informed of all inspections in advance . 

1. The home inspector, the radon and termite inspectors etc. The agents accompany the buyers and the inspectors. The inspector has to come again in a few days to pick up the radon kit.

2.The bank appraiser  will come in a few days. He takes measurements and pictures of the interior and exterior.

3.The home insurance company usually sends a representative.

4.If there are issues with home inspection , more inspectors or contractors will have to come  to give  estimates .

After the above inspections it is safe to remove the lockbox and then have it installed again the day before settlement for the final walk thru on day of inspection.

 

 

When you read about events please check the year for the event as some people find information a year later and think it is for that year. . The posts remain online even after the event.

Gita Bantwal is a Realtor with RE/MAX Centre Realtors in Bucks County, a Northern suburb of Philadelphia. You can view 1000s of listings on her web site www.GitaBantwal.com

 

She can be reached at 215-343-8200x124 or direct 215-275-8491 or via email gita01@aol.com

If you would like a FREE MARKET EVALUATION OF YOUR HOME IN PHILADELPHIA, BUCKS or MONTGOMERY COUNTY call me at 2152758491

 Gita specializes in Active adult communities and is a Seniors Real Estate Specialist. She holds the ABR designation (Accredited Buyers Representative) and specializes in selling to first time buyers as well as move up buyers.Gita also hold the CRS designation , Certified Residential Specialist and the CDPE designation as well. Information about real estate market is deemed to be correct but is subject to errors and omissions and should be verified independently.. Opinion expressed by me or others  in my post and comments is not to be construed to be  legal advice.I am licensed in Pa. Check real estate laws in your state as they may be different than in Pa.

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Comment balloon 16 commentsGita Bantwal • August 24 2007 07:29AM

Comments

Sellers are usually uncomfortable with a lock box

Privacy or respect of it is one of the biggest motivating factors with sellers when choosing to use a professional auctioneer over a realtor.

Why on earth would someone want 10,000 people to have 24 X 7 access to their home? I could start on lock box horror stories but y'all have heard those before.

My question is how can someone make a 1/4 million to 1/2 million dollar decision on a home that has not been appraised and inspected prior to being placed on the market?

We usually have the inspection completed, appraisal, aerial photographs, 30-second video spot, interior / exterior photos, seller disclosures, contracts and more posted on our website before a sign goes up in the sellers yard..

http://auction.reauction.com/cgi-bin/auction/view?cmd=view&listingID=449

In this slow or as realtors now say "challenging" market a lockbox removes all sense of urgency for a buyer looking at a property.

Auctioneers are marketers and we only show a property twice before auction day usually for two to three hours requiring everyone who is interested to show up at the same time.

When was the last time you previewed a property with a steady flow of people who registered at the door (or are refused admittance) and were given a personal inspection of the property with a minimum of one to three other groups inspecting at the same time?

For me it was last Saturday.

So what is the reason for using a lockbox again?

The saddest words in the English language are "because thats the way we have always done it..."

Posted by Billy Burke, CAI - AARE (The Auctionarium) almost 11 years ago
We do encourage sellers to get appraisals and inspections in advance, but most do not want to do it.The lockboxes we use are electronic lock boxes and we know who goes in by the code that they used .
Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) almost 11 years ago

And, if I recall correctly, the 'key' for the lock box only works in a specific area.  So a REALTOR® from the Lehigh Valley can not get in a house in Bucks County. 

Is that correct?

Posted by Ann Guy (NA) almost 11 years ago
Yes you are correct. Our lockbox is from Supra and they know who the key is registered to. it is good in Philadelphia, Bucks and Montgomery counties. If we got to areas where it does not work,the listing agent meets us at the house.
Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) almost 11 years ago

Gina, well written and hats off to you.

Apples vs Oranges.... How do they compare?  Entirely different fruits and flavors.

Posted by Diane Velikis, Luzerne County Real Estate (Coldwell & Banker Busch Real Estate) almost 11 years ago
Diane,  Thank you for reading my post and taking the time to comment. In  this buyers market it is more important than ever to be able to show houses to buyers . When agents look in mls for showing instructions and there is no lock box , we get less showings.
Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) almost 11 years ago

Thanks for your comment, Gita, on my "Turning 50" post.  You're almost there yourself... maybe another week? 

This post is excellent advice for localism.com.  Just between us girls, I would like to add a suggestion that someone recently shared with me.  After the property is sold, they substitute a combo lockbox so that authorized personnel who may not have access to the Realtor lockbox can gain access.  I thought that sounded like a good idea. 

Posted by Margaret Woda, Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) almost 11 years ago
Margaret , Thanks for the comments. Yes sometimes  I  put a combo lock box after it is under contract  if someone  like the appraiser or radon person does not have the electronic key  pad. I do not have as many combo lock boxes as electronic lock boxes. 
Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) almost 11 years ago

I think it should stay on the property untill all the contingencies are removed.If the seller stay home more often than we can put an hour  to two hour notice to sellers. So they know some will be there. but lockbox comes in very handy and to keep deal moving smoothly.

jyoti

Posted by Jyoti (Prabhjot) Sandhu (Exit Valero Realty) almost 11 years ago

Gita,

Excellent post,  most buyers, sellers do not realize how many people will need to access their home. 

I discount  listing inspections in Lehigh, Monroe and Carbon County, also they receive a substantial discount   If they use my company for their own buyer's inspection. Quite a few sellers have been receptive to this form of marketing as money is tight for most.

Maybe you could contact a few of your trusted inspectors to see if they would be willing to do the same. 

Feel free to contact me if you would like more information on my listing inspection promotion.

 

Posted by Chris Duphily, Stroudsburg PA Home Inspector (A2Z Home Inspections) almost 11 years ago
This is the same thing I tall all my sellers. There are a lot of inspections to be done prior to removing the lockbox. Once they realize how many things need a lockbox they are more than willing to leave it on there, rather than to stay home and let all these people in themselves.
Posted by Respect Realty LLC, Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate (Respect Realty LLC) almost 11 years ago
Jyothi, Chris, Todd, Thank you for taking the time to post your comments .
Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) almost 11 years ago

Why do Billy Burke's comments on everyone's blogs always sound like an ad for his services??  (That's why they invented the DELETE button)   Anyway...

With some lockboxes you can program them with a special code that will not allow them to be opened unless they have the code.  You can give this "code" to the appraiser and termite inspector, etc; without having every agent in town able to get in.  Another option is replace it with a combo box.

As for appraisals and inspections in advance - the buyers bank is going to ask for their appraidser - the sellers can do one in advance; but the buyers bank will still do their own; as will the buyers have their own inspections.

Posted by James Downing - Metro DC Houses Team REALTORS®, CRS, GRI, ABR,MRP, MilRes, When Looking to Buy or Sell - Make the Right Move (Real Living | At Home) almost 11 years ago

James:

I am glad to hear that you are a regular follower of my blogs & comments.

Privacy is a huge issue with sellers but right now we are not working Bucks County, PA so its not really a plug for my services but a commentary on how & why.

This post has been educational for me to the point I have purchased a COMBINATION lockbox for any post auction activity or service vendors to access unoccupied homes.

Allowing access to any member of the board or cooperating boards access to an auction listing is counter productive to the process.

Gita's answers about how she uses them after a contract are very professional and based on sound logic.

You may ask if Billy Burke sounds like an evangalist for the auction method of marekting because it's open fair & transparent?

You betcha!

Auctioneers are rated in the top ten of trusted people and professionals in the nation while realtors rank lower than the plaid jacketed used car salesmen of the 1970's. 

 

Posted by Billy Burke, CAI - AARE (The Auctionarium) almost 11 years ago

James, Billy, Thank you for taking the time to comment on my post . I have written a post about auctions bacoming popular.Mr Burke might want to read it and comment.I do not have any experience with auctions. I once got a listing which did not sell at auction.It was good for me because all the inspections and appraisal were done. The buyers did their own inspection though, and infact the first set backed out after the inspection and then another person bought it.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) almost 11 years ago

Interesting thread.  I forgot what I was originally searching on and got pulled into this one! LOL! 

Billy Burke - that's great that you've cracked the nut on moving auctions.  I've known several to have great success as well.  What percentage of market value are you getting on average for your sales at auction?  And are the majority of your auction properties still owner-occupied?  Also, can you site your source on Auctioneers being rated in the top ten of trusted people?

I'm not knocking that auctions are effective...I'm sure they are for a particular kind of buyer...cash closers for the most part or those savy enough to close with fast cash and later refinance into a long term loan.  How many first time homebuyers buy at auctions? 

I think if everyone were to go to auctions, huge populations of buyers would not be adequately tapped into or serviced to the detriment of all.  So just as auctions have their place, so do other methods and strategies of selling houses.

You said "My question is how can someone make a 1/4 million to 1/2 million dollar decision on a home that has not been appraised and inspected prior to being placed on the market?....Auctioneers are marketers and we only show a property twice before auction day usually for two to three hours requiring everyone who is interested to show up at the same time."

My question is How can someone make a 1/4 million to 1/2 million dollar decision on a home after only having seen it twice, only reviewed appraisals and inspections that were completed and paid for by the Seller, only viewed the home while others were present in the midst of a "frenzy"-type environment that is purposely created to take advantage of buyer emotions and the "I gotta WIN this house" pressure that is created in such a setting?

I really do want to know your source of Auctioneers being in the Top Ten of Trusted People, because I don't get it.

Posted by Keith & Shannon French, Baltimore's Best for Rent To Own Homes (www.KeithandShannonFrench.com) about 9 years ago

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