When you list your house in Pike you got to have showings in order to sell it. Depending on the seller, this can be easy or challenging. If the house is vacant then the showings are easy. If the owner is living in the house then it can be more challenging. In order to show a house a Realtor must get permission. If they don’t and show a house they are trespassing.
Over the past 30 years the evolution of showings has changed drastically with the help of technology. Today it is done completely differently than in the past.
Showings 30 years ago required the following;
Buyer wanted to see a house.
Buyers Realtor would call listing brokerage office.
Listing brokerage would set the showing up.
Buyers Realtor would arrange to pick up the keys at listing brokerage office.
(Normally buyers want to see a number of houses at a time. The buyers Realtor might have to pick up several keys at several offices.)
Buyers Realtor shows the houses.
Buyers Realtor returns all the keys to all the offices.
Listing Realtor might call the buyers Realtor after the fact and try and get feedback info for the seller.
A simple device where most brokerages had the special key to unlock it. This saved Realtor’s from having to run around town collecting key for houses to show.
Now the Realtor did not have to worry about keys in order to get into the lock box. They just had to call the listing brokerage, identify themselves, get the ok to show and get the combo for the lock box.
13 years ago when I started technology had taken over. If you are a Realtor, you are a member of Metropolitan Indianapolis Board of Realtor’s (MIBOR). If you pay your technology fee every year you are given a card, somewhat like a credit card that is programmed to use on the new types of lock boxes;
Some of these new lock boxes can be opened by a Realtor’s smartphone if programmed. Otherwise the credit card like card can open these locks with a programmed security code. Two great features of these locks are that the entry cards have to be renewed on very regular basis or they won’t work anymore. The other nice feature is that the lock box records who has opened it. That is a great security feature for sellers.
As with any free market when there is a need, somebody will figure out how to fill it. Brokerages did not want to handle showings. It is to time consuming and labor intensive. Companies started appearing nationally that would handle all showings for a brokerage for a price. It was reasonable enough for large and small brokerages to use. Now the listing office can enter in all relevant information on a new listing and not have to worry about keys or keeping track of showings. Today 80 percent of listings in Pike Township use Centralized Showing Solutions (CSS) in order to make an appointment for a showing. Centralized Showing Solutions has taken the technology a long way.
Currently if you want to make an appointment to show a house, you do the following;
Buyers want to see a house.
Buyers Realtor calls CSS.
Buyers Realtor identifies themselves and security code is checked.
CSS sets up the appointment and tells buyers agent how to get in (lock box type) and any other relevant instructions.
Buyers agent shows home.
Buyers agent get email from CSS asking for any feedback.
Feedback is sent to listing agent and seller if programmed.
CSS’s website for Realtor’s keeps track of all showings and feedback historically. It also allows the listing Realtor to send an email to all agents that have shown the property in case there was a price reduction or some other significant change in the property. This really saves the Realtor a lot of time.
Last year I came across a new type of lock box. I have only seen it on bank owned listed houses.
I had an investor last year that bought a house that had this kind of lock on it. At closing they told him the lock was his to keep. Actually I think he paid BIG for it. There was a $299 non-negotiable fee that he had to pay to do the deal. Best I can tell the lock was worth about $100. Banks try and get any kind of money any way they can.