Sellers need to have a plan in place for what types of property showings they are willing to accommodate. At the same time, a buyer’s agents and their clients need to be understanding of the benefit they gain from giving the seller time to properly prepare the house.
To that end, there are three different types of property showings: open houses, private showings and lockboxes.
The Open House
An open house is when there is a set period of time that the house is open for anyone to stop by and walk through. Typically the sellers vacate the house and their real estate agent is the person there to welcome potential buyers.
Sellers like open houses because it is a good way to get a lot of people through the house in a short amount of time. It is not easy for sellers to prepare over and over again for individual property showings, so having a lot of buyers looking at once is a good thing.
Buyers like open houses because it gives them an opportunity to test the market. They can stop by when they see an “open house” sign in a yard and check out the house. It also gives them the chance to meet real estate agents without committing to work with one.
To make it easy for buyers and their agents to access a house without leaving the house open while the seller is away, the sellers’ agents will put a lockbox on the door. The lockbox contains a key to the house inside.
When a buyer’s agent is interested in showing the house to a client they simply call the selling agent to receive the code to open the lockbox and retrieve the key. When they are finished looking at the house they simply return the key to the lockbox after locking the house up.
Using a lockbox also allows the seller to prepare and exit the house before the potential buyers show up with the confidence that not just anyone can enter.
When a buyer is interested in a house and has already walked through it at an open house or through a lockbox showing with the agent they will usually have a private showing.
During private showings the seller’s agent will walk through the house with the buyer. The buyer will have a chance to ask questions and the seller will know that their agent is there acting on their behalf. These showings do not typically happen until the buyer is considering making an offer.
There are distinct purposes for each type of the property showings. It will usually take a mix of all three types before a buyer will make an offer. However, that is not always true. There can be buyers who make offers during an open house or ones that are only interested in a private showing. Being willing to accommodate all showing requests can be difficult, but is often the best way to find a buyer.