…USE ONE, It’s that simple, in our opinion, that is.
A lock box is a convenience to the broker escorting the buyer: Time constraints often make it difficult to run to a listing office to get the key and then make time to return it. If another broker wants to show in the same time frame, you could miss a showing because of the key shuffle.
A lock box is a lot more secure than “under the rug”, “in someone’s pocket,” or – worse “we’ll leave the door open.” Since you aren’t supposed to be there when the buyer arrives – the lock box makes good sense.
We think it is incredible that some agents insist on being on-site for showings – opting against lock boxes. Think about this: if the listing agents is busy, what service has been done for the seller if the showing is missed? Remember – the listing agent is not a baby-sitter. They should be skilled in marketing and should be competent when coordinating showings. Additionally, the agent showing the property is licensed. They don’t need baby-sitting. At least, we should assume that. If the listing agent has done a competent job of placing comprehensive property information on the premises, the showing agent should have everything they need to conduct an effective showing. It is my experience that the listing broker can, at times, minimize the effectiveness of the showing by interfering with the showing broker’s rapport with the buyer, or rattling on about features of the property that interferes with the showing broker’s knowledge of the buyer’s needs. Buyer’s will typically choose a REALTOR® to work with because they are comfortable with that agent. The over-zealous listing broker, in an attempt to perform a service, in reality gets in the way. The showing broker should be allowed to do what they are getting paid to do. Exceptions, of course, always exist. Perhaps you have listed a property with features that require special presentation. Perhaps the seller is unable to be off-premises because of health or physical condition. If those exceptions exist, the listing broker should discreetly open the property, then step aside unless invited to participate.