On June 1,2010 the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) I belong to, IMRMLS has required all listings to have an electronic Supra lockbox to be present if there is a lockbox. Their reason is unknown to me but I suspect it is due to the complaints from agents who cannot get listing agents to return their calls for combo codes for the REO (Real Estate Owned) properties that typically have combination lockboxes on them. As a listing agent for my fair share of REOs I personally have always called back, if I didn't catch the call, to provide the combo as that is just one of the reasons I was hired by the institutional seller. How can it get sold if agents can't get in?
Fair access to all agents and I have no problem with that at all. A new problem has arisen since those who whined about access, or the lack of, as now they are calling for the combo codes for the lockboxes I install for my vendors, repair crews, painting contractors,flooring contractors and cleaning crews to gain access. I always ask the agent why they don't use their Supra key to open the electronic box and whoa do they get upset when they have to say they don't belong to any Association of Realtors nor the MLS that covers my area.
The IMRMLS covers virtually all of Southern California including Murrieta, Temecula and the surrounding cities. When I won't provide the combo I have been called everything you can imagine but my reasoning is if you are going to be in the real estate business one needs the tools such as board membership,MLS membership and a Supra key to gain access. The combo box is for my vendors and with a Supra lockbox I can see who has entered the property,when they entered, so if the doors are left unlocked or the lights left on I know who was there. Oh and turning on the two air conditioning systems, upstairs and down, is OK on hot days but turn them off. I pay the bills and get reimbursed by the seller but that usually takes a month at least and neither they nor I want to see a spike in the electric bill.
Needless to say but by not giving out the combo codes I am protecting my clients assets. Lazy agents can no longer give the codes to their clients to gain access without the agent. Since this rule was placed into effect I stil have had no problem getting these REO properties sold as the professional agents have the tools necessary to conduct their business. Imagine taking your vehicle to your mechanic for repairs and he had no tools to fix it. Oooops.
If you are searching for a home to buy be sure to hire an agent who is more than a door opener. Agents need the tools of the trade as they cannot always open the door so you will not see the homes that may just be perfect for you. Use a professional who belongs to the local Association of Realtors and has access to all the homes on the market for the area of your choice.