Boise Homes For Sale: Secure Your Lockbox

Sent To All Ada County Realtors Last Week

If you’re  a seller who’s setting your lockbox out vs. securing it to your home, you are at risk!

There are roughly 2,300 Boise homes for sale now and many sellers opt to set their lockbox out for showings vs. securing it to their home.

Our Intermountain MLS Supra lockboxes are amazingly strong, but they can be defeated by those with criminal intent, especially when they can take the lockbox with them.

If you’re a seller who thinks you’re limiting access to your home by setting out your lockbox for showings, you’re actually creating additional risk by not securing the lockbox to your home.

Setting your lockbox out for showings make it easy for those with criminal intent because they can simply take your lockbox with them, crush it at their leisure, and gain access to your keys.

Here’s the notice from the Ada County Sheriff’s Office:


Dear Idaho REALTORS®;
Detectives with the Property Crime Division of the Ada County Sheriff’s Office have recently encountered a security issue with houses for sale we’d like to bring to your attention.
We are finding people are stealing key lock boxes that aren’t properly secured to unoccupied homes. That makes it much easier for those thieves to break into the boxes and get the keys out. They then enter the homes.
A good way for REALTORS® to help fight back and prevent similar crimes in the future is to make sure they secure the lock boxes to the residence by the use of a cable lock or direct attachment to the home. This isn’t a cure-all but we suspect it will make it much harder for criminals to break in to the homes of your clients.
Thank you for taking this into consideration. Please don’t hesitate to call if you have questions.

Detective J. Lloyd #4464

Ada County Sheriff’s Office
7200 Barrister Drive
Boise, Idaho 83704

8 Ways Home Sellers Scare Away Buyers

Some sellers are their own worst enemy when they’re trying to sell their home.

Here are 8 ways home sellers scare away buyers:

1)  Poor Curb Appeal

That old saying “you don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression” was intended for people who are trying to sell their home.

If your home doesn’t make a favorable impression during a drive-by, buyers won’t bother to look at the inside of your home.

2)  Overpricing

Today’s buyers have more information than ever, thanks to the internet.

I routinely encounter buyers who know more about property values than most Realtors®.

If your home is overpriced, it will remain unsold until you price it correctly.

Worse yet, your negotiating power declines the longer your home remains unsold.

Buyers and their agents love to lowball homes that have been on the market for a long time with several price reductions.

3)  Difficult To Show

Buyer’s agents tend to show homes that are easy to show.

That means having a lockbox and being willing to accommodate showings on short notice.

No lockbox, requiring an appointment through the (unresponsive) listing agent, and/or requiring lengthy notice to show will discourage showings.

4)  Photography That Sucks

The only thing worse than no photos or only one photo in MLS is bad photography.

Photos of bathrooms with the toilet seat up, Fluffy’s litter box, kitchen sinks with dirty dishes, and photos of other “features” will ensure that your home won’t get shown or sold.

Your listing agent should have a good camera with a bounce flash unit and know how to use it.

Better yet, your listing agent can hire a professional real estate photographer at a modest cost to showcase your home at its best.

Good photography will help sell your home for top dollar.

BTW – Smartphones are great for selfies, but not so much for real estate photography.

Then, there’s video.

If your listing agent uses video to promote your home, make sure it’s good video.

A video of your home, shot by your listing agent while walking through the home, stating “this is the kitchen” is really bad, amateurish video.

Bad video is worse than no video.

5)  Dark and Dreary

Buyers like homes that are bright, cheery, and well-lit.

Before you list your home, replace missing and burned-out light bulbs with larger bulbs that provide ample light.

Low-wattage bulbs and CFL bulbs often lack adequate brightness.

It’s also a good idea to open your blinds and turn all the lights on before your home is shown.

6)  Dirty

Clean homes sell faster than dirty homes.

And, they usually sell for more money too.

Before you list, deep-clean your home and make it look like you don’t live there.

That means having your carpets cleaned, windows cleaned, blinds cleaned, and making sure that your home sparkles.

7)  Clutter

Very few buyers are able to overlook clutter.

If a buyer can’t “see” your home, they won’t buy it.

Remove unneeded items from every room and put them away or throw them away before you list.

It’s especially important to remove furniture that makes a room look small.

8)  Pets

I understand that Fluffy’s adorable and Brutus is man’s best friend, but many buyers are allergic to pet hair and dander.

Nothing will turn off a buyer faster than Fluffy’s hairballs and her overflowing litter box.

Brutus may be loving and affectionate with you, but intimidate a potential buyer.

And, if Brutus decides to nip at little Susie when she tries to pet him during a showing, you’ll have bigger problems than not selling your home.

Some buyers and their agents will avoid your home if they see MLS agent remarks indicating the presence of an unfriendly dog.

Despite being a dog person, I’m one of those agents because I’ve been bitten more than once while showing homes.

Interestingly, there’s a listing in our local MLS now (for a home that hasn’t sold in more than a year) with “dog kenneled in garage, please keep hands & fingers away from kennel” in the agent remarks.  :roll:


Securing Your Home When You List

There’s much to consider when you list your home.

There’s much to do, including cleaning, de-cluttering, moving extra furniture to storage, paint touch-up, and other tasks.

But, the one thing that’s often overlooked is securing your home before you allow a world of complete strangers to enter it.

Sellers usually don’t think about it and agents don’t mention it because they want everything to remain “positive” during the listing process.

Here are a few tips on how to secure your home when you list it.

Personal Financial Information

Put away checkbooks, your supply of checks, coin jars, and purses/wallets.

You should also put away your financial information, such as bank statements, credit card statements, mortgage statements, and brokerage account statements,.

I have personally shown homes with all of that information in plain sight.

Do you really want a potential buyer to know your bank account balances or see that PAST DUE credit card statement lying on your counter?

You should also consider activating password protection for the personal files on your computer(s).

Prescription Drugs

It’s impossible for a buyer’s agent to keep an eye on buyers at all times when showing your home.

Leaving your prescription drugs on the bathroom counter or in your medicine cabinet is an open invitation for someone to help themselves to your drugs.

Potent painkiller drugs and anti-anxiety drugs are very tempting targets if left out in the open.


Consider how easy it is for someone to pocket that ring, necklace, or other valuable jewelry.

Jewelry left in plain sight is incredibly tempting because it’s small, easy to take, and may not be missed until later.

Put that jewelry box away, or better yet, lock your jewelry in a safe (if you have one).


Lock up your guns and ammunition in your gun safe if you have one.

Leaving guns in plain sight, or unsecured on a shelf, is both unsafe and dangerous.

What if a potential buyer’s child finds your loaded gun during the showing, points it at someone, and pulls the trigger?

What if the buyer isn’t really a buyer, but instead is “casing” your home for a return visit at a later time?

Yeah, I know ~ this probably sounds a little extreme and paranoid for some of you.

But, trust me, I’ve experienced some very interesting situations over the years.

It’s always a good idea to secure your home when you list it.


Your Listing Agent Won’t Buy Your Home!

If you’re considering selling your home, choosing the right listing agent is the most important decision you will make.

Listing with the wrong agent can be a very costly mistake when you’re selling your most valuable asset.

Over the years, I’ve seen many sellers list with a family member, part-time agent, brand-new agent, or an agent offering the lowest commission.

All of those choices can be costly for a seller.

But, the most serious mistake a seller can make is to list with the agent who promises the highest price.

In real estate, we call that “buying the listing” and it’s the oldest trick in the book.

Your listing agent isn’t going to buy your home and pay the high price they’re suggesting in order to get your listing!

Sellers who are eager to list their home above market value are easy prey for a listing agent who’s willing to tell a seller what they want to hear.

If you’re considering selling, we should talk before you list your home.

My past clients will confirm that working with me is like working with your own personal real estate consultant.

I’m plainspoken, highly-organized, and experienced.

No sales persuasion, no “closing the deal”, and no “overcoming objections”.

I simply provide honest advice and allow my clients to make their own informed decisions.

My 43 years’ real estate experience and thousands of delighted past clients are your assurance of good results.

I have avoided the team concept because I prefer to personally work with a few clients at a time and provide a very high level of responsive, competent service.

If you work with me, you will not be handed off to a junior team member who’s undergoing on-the-job training.

I answer my own phone (usually within a couple of rings), and I will work personally with you.

I have often joked that my business model allows me to conduct a staff meeting by talking to myself while driving on Eagle Road!

References are available upon request.

Sound interesting?

Give me a call at (208)938-5533 or e-mail me and let’s talk!


Choosing A Listing Agent: Highest Price

I’ve always been fascinated by sellers who choose their listing agent based upon which agent promises the highest sales price.

That fascination has, over many years, included numerous instances where I didn’t get a listing because I told prospective sellers the truth about their home’s value.

One of the oldest tricks in real estate is a listing agent promising the highest price to secure a listing.

That practice is called “buying the listing” in the real estate profession.

If you list with an agent who uses that tactic to get your listing, don’t be surprised when your listing agent asks you to reduce your price.

Before you list your home with an agent who promises the highest price, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Who will pay that price for my home? (it isn’t your listing agent!)
  2. What will happen if my home sits on the market unsold?
  3. What will happen if I have to reduce my asking price?

Do you really want to list your most valuable asset with an agent whose first act is to mislead you in order to get your listing?

When you encounter a listing agent who’s recommending a higher price than other agents, ask for proof of the value they’re recommending.

Consider the consequences of an unrealistic price and how it will affect your marketing time.

The thrill of a high asking price quickly fades after your home has been on the market for an extended period of time.

If you’re serious about selling, list with an agent who knows the market value of your home; not an agent who tells you what you want to hear.