It can be tempting to sneak a peek in a vacant house without checking the showing instructions. Maybe the remarks say “Lockbox Vacant”, or it just came on the market and you’re nearby. Or maybe you’d like to see it before showing it to your client. Regardless of the reason, accessing a lockbox without following the showing instructions is a violation.
What’s the Harm?
There could be a very good reason why the listing agent asks for permission. In some cases, the homeowner might demand it, especially if there’s an existing safety or privacy issue on the property you should know about. A bee hive, rotten floor boards, mold or lingering possessions from the previous owner might still be lurking about.
Or it could be that the listing agent/homeowner just wants to know who’s seeing the property before-hand. Regardless of the reason, you must follow the showing instructions before entering the property.
What’s the Cost?
Per section 13.4 of the Rules and Regulations, you must use the showing instructions before entering the property. Not doing so can result in a fine of $500.
Rules can be tricky. Learn more about them with our online Rules and Regulations course.
So, if you have texted the listing agent and asked to use the lockbox to preview or show the house, can you still be fined $500?
That’s a great question. It all depends on how the listing agent wants to be notified. If they’ve selected “Text”, then getting permission via text would be fine. If they selected “Use ShowingTime” and you texted, that would be a violation.