I say this somewhat tongue-in-cheek since I believe I know the answer according to our MLS.
I suspect it is true in many places.
The market has spawned plenty of opportunistic behavior...attempts to take advantage of buyers, sellers, and other agents, including criminal conduct. The dramatic increase in REOs, and short sales, also seems to have resulted in increasing laziness on the part of some who are presumably called upon to represent their seller clients but apparently do very little in that regard.
I have been hearing increasingly that some agents are allowing buyers to see properties on their own by providing them with the combo codes for lockboxes. In some situations that I have heard about from buyers themselves, it is the listing agent that provides the code to the buyer who is not with an agent and wants to see the property.
But buyer agents are doing the same thing.
And buyers seem to have no concerns about doing this - perhaps they don't realize the problem with what they are doing, or maybe they are just being opportunistic. Apparently these agents see no problem with this conduct either.
I haven't heard of any agent sharing their Sentrilock cards, but I would not be surprised it that, too, is happening here and there.
In several cases this has happened in a 55+ community where I have a listing. A buyer who I have talked to several times who came to see my property told me specifically about another listing she had seen where the agent "seemed so desparate" for her to see it but was not in the area and so gave her the code to get it. This was not a bank sale, by the way.
I had a call yesterday from a buyer who wanted to see my listing and asked if I could provide him with the code, and that he had just seen a number of properties in the complex that way. I let him know, in no uncertain terms, that this is a violation and could land the agent in big trouble. Not to mention that I have a Sentrilock box which requires a electronic card (the "Smart Card")and pass code. His feeling was that this should not be a problem since he "used to be in real estate" but was now retired.
I was touring an REO in Oceanside for an out-of-area buyer of mine recently. I was in another part of the house and upon coming into the living room to leave, I discovered a young man looking around. I asked who he was, assuming he was an agent, but the response was his agent had sent him over to check out the house (it had a combo code). This was not the first time this has happened. I have gotten in the habit of locking doors once I enter to preview a property or take my buyers through.
Is this happening in your area? Thoughts?