Access. It may be the most important concept to consider when listing your home for sale. While entering the market at the right price, de-cluttering, making repairs, painting, manicuring your yard and preparing a great first impression are all prudent activities, if your home is not readily available to buyers, then these activities may all be for naught.
What do we mean by access? It simply means that the seller's home must be readily available for showing to qualified home buyers. There are several issues that become immediately apparent in the real world. Each provides a potential roadblock to effectively showing your home.
So often, the listing agent will instruct other real estate agents that they must first contact him/her to show the home instead of allowing for simple, electronic scheduling of the showing. The difficulty becomes evident when the listing agent is not available. If entry is not obtainable, the buyer simply moves on to the next home.
Another frequent show-stopper is the use of mechanical combination lock-boxes for containing entry keys. Real estate agents will often use these devices because they are inexpensive. Often, these devices fail to operate properly. Sometimes, there are no listing instructions for accessing these devices or the code may have recently changed. A Realtor®-supplied electronic Supra lock box solves these problems and adds the seller-benefits of being able to track entry into their home and asking for feedback on the showing. Only licensed Realtors® can access these secure devices.
Listing agents who list weekly-rental homes and condos for sale often will demand that agents wishing to show their properties travel to a third-party location, such as a rental company office, to pick up the entry key. Sometimes, these offices are located a considerable distance from the property listing with limited hours of operation. The inability to obtain an entry key will often discourage a buyer from viewing that particular property. Again, they simply move on to the next one.
Additionally, if an owner has a long-term rental tenant in place at the property he/she is considering selling, they may wish to amend their contract to include their right to allow Realtors® to show their property to prospective buyers with the consideration of reasonable advance notice. Often, tenants are a frustration to Buyers Agents and their buyer clients because they actually control access to the property. Do not allow this to happen to you.
What does all this mean to home sellers? It's your home. You are in charge. Don't be short-changed. Insist upon easy, secure access to your home. Demand that your tenant and listing agent will not become obstacles to the sale of your home. Remember, a well-qualified, interested buyer can only buy your home if he/she can see and experience it.