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Hey, owners, the coast is clear

The Showing Beacon lets sellers know when it's safe to return to the house after showings.

October 01, 2006|Ann Brenoff | Times Staff Writer

Who doesn't love a good gadget, even one you probably don't really need?

Owners are often sent into exile when an agent is showing their home. The Showing Beacon is offered as the solution to the problem of sellers having to guess when it's safe to return home after showings.

Otherwise, say the Showing Beacon marketers, sellers have no way of knowing if a showing lasted 10 minutes or 120.

This gadget simply requires that the showing agent hit a big red button when the showing is over. The device sends an automatic e-mail as well as a voice mail message to the seller's cellphone alerting the homeowners that the coast is clear.

Why the agent can't just call the seller's cellphone to give the all-clear remains a mystery -- perhaps the agent has moved on to the next showing? -- but for gadget-loving agents, this toy may rock the realty world.

Besides, what's not to love about a box with a big red button on it?

Many Southern California agents attend all showings of properties they have listed. So although the buyer's agent may not feel an obligation to call the seller, the listing agent certainly should. Besides being good business, it's plain good manners.

The Showing Beacon, invented by a seller who got tired of staking out his home, retails for $79.95. The agent must also purchase a user plan after the first listing: It's $40 for the second listing or $99 a year for unlimited listings.

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