Hiring local for real estate is best for buyers and sellers

This week I got a call from an agent who was already in our area showing property wanting a "code" to the house he wanted to show. I just happened to be out of town having driving my daughter to a doctor appointment because with torn ligaments in her foot she should not drive. I couldn't pop over and open it.  He didn't call in advance to make the appointment that would have allowed me to add a contractors box for the day.  End result, my sellers lost an opportunity because that agent was too lazy to drive the 5 miles out of way to pick up a day to that house and his buyers lost an opportunity to see the house that could be the "right" house because they didn't hire a local agent.

There are also a couple of companies in my market who don't value the MLS and lockbox keys as part of their "cost of doing business". They make a lot of "hey we're on the lake and at this house can we get in it right now?" because they can't plan because they aren't in the MLS and well... they can't let buyers in the house either.

So if you think hiring your Atlanta agent or even a local agent who isn't a member of local Lake Sinclair/Milledgeville MLS is a good idea you might want to reconsider. If you're in the market to buy on Lake Sinclair you need to hire not only a local agent, but one who is a lockbox key holder of the local MLS. I can't promise we can get you in every listing because some require appointments and from time to time every house on the market might have a reason they have a "no showings today" day.  Recently one of my listings had a wedding reception on the grounds so we had a no showing day. 

There is also the occasional seller who lists with a non local firm who can't put a house in the local MLS and doesn't put a local lockbox on it.  Not sure how many agents from Atlanta those sellers think will be driving 2 hours to show it, but hey... I sometimes can't show those either if they are not occupied. The listing agents think that we local Lake Sinclair folks should "also" be members of the MLS based in Atlanta and not the other way around.  Sorry.

So ask you agent before you commit to work with them... Are you in the local Lake Sinclair MLS?  Do you have a lockbox key?  If the answer to either question is no, really consider your decision to hire them carefully. 


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Tammy Lankford, Broker/Owner


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Comment balloon 10 commentsTammy Lankford, • July 28 2016 11:43AM


Hi Tammy Lankford, , great lesson to share. I have a mix of MLS boxes and mechanical boxes. The MLS boxes are $100.00 each and the others I pick up for under $10.00 each. What I like about the mechanical ones is agents have to call me to get in and then I know exactly who and when they showed it. With the MLS boxes I often don't know for days or even weeks if it's a part time agent who doesn't renew their key card regularly.

Posted by Bob "RealMan" Timm, Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor (Ward County Notary Services) over 4 years ago

Local is the only way to go ... for both agent and LO ... especially in some areas that have specialty housing or unique lending programs, Tammy Lankford, ... real estate is getting more and more specialized for many reasons.  You mention great examples of that being true here ...


Posted by Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi, 708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience (NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656) over 4 years ago

Boy that is weird.  Seems like he would just join the MLS and make life easier on everyone.

Posted by Belinda Spillman, Colorado Living! (Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado) over 4 years ago

Tammy  - I agree with you 100%. And, if an out of area agent is going to take a listing they need a lockbox that works with the LOCAL MLS and a key that operates the box.  Otherwise ... that listing is going to sit and sit. 

Posted by Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist, Probate Real Estate (KD Realty - 408.972.1822) over 4 years ago

Bob "RealMan" Timm our iboxes give real time data.  I get an email and text as soon as the box has been accessed.  And if they call once to get the code, why do you think they'd have to ever call again for that property, do you change the code after showings?  I don't find them safe at all.

Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi  we have a ton of specialty type properties here that just as you say require local lenders




Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) over 4 years ago

Belinda Spillman it's not a local firm.  I'm sure his broker has no intentions of getting in an MLS out of the region he works in, but this agent thinks he's doing a good thing.  I think he's doing a huge disservice to his clients. 

Kathleen Daniels I have zero problems telling people "I'm not the best agent to list your house because I don't work in that geographical area"

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) over 4 years ago

Hiring local and buying local in general is a very good thing for all!

Posted by Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®, Giving Back With Each Home Sold! (RE/MAX Realty Center ) over 4 years ago

An associate of mine had me look after her listings while she was on vacation and one of her clients didn't want an MLS lockbox on the home, but instead wanted to have agents ask permission, then be given the code to the contractor lockbox, which was 7777, haha.  I had to laugh, since the owner's reasoning was security and this method sounded way less secure to me than having an MLS lockbox on the property.

Posted by Brian England, MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ (Vacasa) over 4 years ago

Kristin Johnston, Waukesha County Realtor 414-254-6647 yes buying local is something I also try to do as often as I can.

Brian England Right, because no one would possibly remember that code LOL  

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) over 4 years ago

Tammy, this isn't rocket science.

Clear thinking will result in the buyer or the seller understanding the ramifications of using an out-of-town agent.  I guess not everyone is thinking clearly.

Even without the best thinking, advance planning by out of town agents is one work-around, though evidently, that's asking too much too.

Ultimately, it hurts the clients on each side.

Posted by Claude Labbe, Realty for Your Busy Life (Real Living | At Home) over 4 years ago