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Different ways to show your home to potential Buyers

When you put your home on the market and on the MLS, you are wanting to make it as easy as possible for other Realtors to show your home to real Buyers. When a home is entered into the MLS, a Realtor chooses the showing instructions from a list.

For occupied homes, the most popular choices are:

– Call/lockbox
– Appointment only
– Appointment Listing Office

A Realtor can also choose “24 hour notice” as well

Call/lockbox means that the Realtor with the Buyer calls the number listed in the MLS listing (the owner or tenant). If no one answers, the Realtor can leave a message when they are wanting to show and then use the lockbox to show the home. It’s courtesty within the Realtor community to give at least a 2 hour notice before showing on a Call/lockbox.

Appointment only means that the Realtor needs to make an appointment with the owner/tenant on when to show. If their is a lockbox installed, the homeowner doesn’t have to be at home.

Appointment Listing Office means that the Realtor has to call the Listing Agent to arrange a showing appointment.

There is also a small area where the Listing Agent can add showing comments. This area is way to small to add more than a few words but there is also a “Confidential Agent Remarks” section which is a great place for the Listing Agent to communicate to other Realtors. What I do is put “see remarks” in the showing comments section and then communicate any additional showing instructions such as an additional phone number that the Realtor should call or other info such as the need to provide more than a 2 hour notice.

I had an unfortunate experience today while showing a home. This particular listing was “Call/lockbox”. I called the number listed on the MLS listing and received voicemail. I left a message of the time I wanted to show and my number in case this was a problem. When I arrived to show with my clients, the person at home was unaware of my showing and did not have the home ready to show so we were turned away. The homeowner wanted to be contacted before a showing. I felt bad for both my clients and the homeowner. I know what a pain it is for homeowners during the time when their home is on the market and really try to mimimize the trouble for them. In this case, the showing instructions should have been “Appointment Only” instead of “Call/Lockbox” and there should have been instructions to say to use an additional phone number if no answer at the one designated as the phone number to call for showings.

I’m surprised how little the “Confidential Agent Remarks” section is used by agents. Not only to make the showing instructions clear, but it’s also a great place to market (and hype!) the home to other Realtors. Some listings have no remarks in this section. Last year, I was successful in getting this section increased from 300 characters to 500 characters in the MLS system as I’m always running out of space. It’s still not enough, IMO, but I was happy I got it increased at all.

When you list your home, have your Realtor send you a copy of the listing that other Realtors see in the MLS. That way you can see if the showing instructions are clear and what you want. There’s no secret codes that Realtors use, if what you read on the MLS listing doesn’t make sense to you, then it probably won’t to other Realtors as well. By looking at the full listing you can also see how they are marketing your home to other Realtors.

Written by Keith Byrd - Go to Keith's Website/Profile