Guide to Showings, Keyboxes, & Centralized Showing Service

An efficient property access system is one of the most valuable services a real estate agent can provide for a seller, so take advantage of the electronic memory keybox and CSS (showing service). This service is included in all of our listing packages at no extra charge (where available), but requires a $100 deposit for the electronic memory keybox.

What is the Electronic Memory Keybox?

Electronic Memory Keyboxes can only be opened by a real estate agent with an electronic key. Every keybox has a unique number, and all real estate agents have their own electronic key, which also hshowing-serviceas a unique number. All keyboxes and electronic keys record access information. If there is ever a problem, your listing agent can find out exactly who entered the home and at what time. Another desirable feature is that Electronic Memory Keyboxes can’t be opened by anyone after 9pm or before 9am.

We ship keyboxes to our clients by UPS, and we provide the return shipping label for the return. All you need to do is put the keybox back in the box
we shipped it in, add the label we provide, and drop it off at the nearest UPS drop off location.


Centralized Showing Service (CSS)

CSS is similar to an answering service; it is a third-party company that schedules showings for real estate agents.  Where CSS is available, 99% of all homes for sale in those markets are set up with CSS.

If your home is in any of these MLS areas, you definitely want to be set up on CSS:

CSS Availability

MLS Area Electronic Keybox Available? CSS Available?
Houston YES YES
Austin YES YES
San Antonio YES YES
Central Texas YES YES
McAllen NO YES
Bryan- College Station YES NO
Corpus Christi YES NO
El Paso YES NO
Fort Hood YES NO
Highland YES NO
Tyler YES NO

**In areas where CSS is not available, the agent will call the seller to schedule the showing.

Agents love CSS because they can call one phone number to set up all of their showings in a matter of minutes, and get any information they need, such as keybox combinations, alarm codes, gate codes, pet information and other showing instructions. CSS then calls, e-mails, and texts the client to alert them of the showing.

It’s a secure system, because all agents need to register with CSS and obtain a “showing code” before they can use it. Any time they want to set up showings or get any information, they must provide their showing code.

CSS is only for agents to set up showings through MLS, and not for use by the general public, so the CSS telephone number should NOT be put on flyers, yard signs, or any other advertising materials intended for buyers.rebate-new-home

“Call & Go” or “Courtesy Call” (requires an Electronic Memory Keybox)

We highly recommend using this showing instruction, because this avoids missed showings due to “phone tag” between you and the agent, and is the most common showing instruction found in MLS listings for agents to follow.

It means CSS will call to inform you of the showing– approval from the seller is NOT needed. If they get your voicemail, they will leave a message stating the name, contact information, and time the agent plans to show the home, and the agent will be given approval for the showing. You can still call them back to cancel the showing if you have to. The agent gains access through the Electronic Memory Keybox with their electronic key.


  • Less barriers means more showings! The easier it is for an agent to show your home, the more showings you will get, and the faster you will sell your home.
  • 9 out of 10 times (no joke) when a seller claims they always have their phone with them and answer it 24/7, we get phone calls from agents who can’t reach the seller.
  • Your listing will look exactly like a 6% listing and not an FSBO listing.

Can I use a combination keybox?

Use Combination Keybox only in special circumstances.

You can sometimes get by with a combo keybox in areas where CSS is available, because at least CSS can give out the combination and you can avoid the “phone tag” problem. Also, with CSS, agents need to give their security code before getting the combo, and CSS records all showings and who the agent was.

However, a combination keybox does not give you the same security as keybox-combo
an electronic keybox
because of lack of access control. Once someone has the combination, they can give it someone else or come back themselves at any time without you knowing. You also never know for sure if the person you are giving the combination to is an agent.

We provide the Master Combo keyboxes when a seller wants one. We have found them to be the easiest to use and the most reliable. If we send you a combination keybox, it is yours to keep.

Leave the home during real estate agent showings

Statistics prove that buyers will rush a showing when a seller is present because they feel like they are intruding, thus making them feel uncomfortable. The last thing you want is for the buyer’s first impression of your home to be a negative one! The less time a buyer spends in the house, the more likely they are to forget it, and the less likely they are to schedule a second showing. Using an Electronic Memory Keybox makes leaving the home easier.

Value of Showing Agent Feedback

Please refer to Value of Obtaining Showing Agent Feedback on our Marketing page.


Some sellers will have some specific showing instructions, such as “don’t let cat out” or “dog in back yard may bite”. The problem with showing instructions written in the MLS listing or left with CSS is that the agents forget them, lose them, or don’t read them in the first place. It’s best to put large notes that can’t be overlooked in the place where the information is needed. A note like “Don’t let cat out” should be on the front door so the agent will see it before entering the house, and “dog in back yard may bite” should be on the back door leading out to the back yard. The only showing instruction that makes sense to put in a listing is if the seller requires a minimum amount of notice, such as “One hour notice required”.


Some sellers don’t want to use keyboxes due to a pet, and plan to come home and deal with the pet every time there is a showing. Unless the house is priced for a quick sale, this can be a major obstacle. Remember: not every buyer may be compatible with pets, so make sure you make your home inviting to all potential buyers that visit your property!pets

Dogs can often be handled by leaving them outside, confining them to a room such as a utility room, or putting them in a travel crate (depending on the dog, the weather, and other factors). Many dog owners perceive these measures as some form of torture, and dogs are experts at making sad faces to instill guilt in their owners! Another alternative is leaving the dog with a family member, friend, or dog boarding facility until the house sells.


It’s wise to lock away cash, firearms, jewelry, prized knickknacks, and other valuables when you are marketing your house. Although theft during showings is extremely rare, there is no need to take a risk of things disappearing.