At some point, a buyer will go to an open house and the property seems like a good fit. They want to see it again, but this time, in a private showing.
Private showings can be a challenge for some sellers, especially those currently living in the property. It requires maintaining the home in its "staged" appearance and then getting out of the house before the buyers and their agent show up.
Because private showings can be so intrusive, sellers who live in the home and their agents try to reserve them for serious buyers. Ideally, those buyers have attended at least open house and need more time to take a closer look. The buyer usually wants to feel at liberty to poke around and really get a feel for the place. It's a huge decision they're making, and they need the opportunity to investigate the property without feeling rushed.
Lock Box Showings
In some cases, the home for sale is vacant. Or the sellers work all day out of the house. In this case, the property can be much easier to show. To make it easier for everyone, a lock box is placed on the front door. Inside the box is the key to the home, and agents use their local MLS key to open the lock box and get the key inside.
For a newer buyer in the market who may not be available on the weekends, lock box properties can be a good way to start getting a feel for the market. Also, if an agent has an out-of-town buyer coming in for just a day to see properties, lock box listings might be the way to go. The buyer can come into town for a few hours to get educated on the market.