Real Estate Lock Boxes - Could A Listing Agent Put Your Home's Safety At Risk?

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Real Estate Lock Boxes - What You Know May Protect Your Home.....and May Even Help You Choose Your Real Estate Agent

You have decided to sell your home and you are interviewing Real Estate Agents in your area....lets say Amherst NH.  There are all kinds of criteria to use when selecting the best Agent and Brokerage Firm in Amherst NH and there are many thoughtful questions that you should be prepared to ask.

If you think listing price, staging, curb appeal, showing schedules or commission rates are critical, you'll also want to ask some pointed questions about Real Estate Lock Boxes.  Real Estate Lock Boxes - photo credit Afagen

I'm a proponent of using real estate lock boxes.   In fact, I think that using a Real Estate Lock Box on your Amherst NH home for sale is critical.  A fundamental part of successfully selling your home is allowing agents with qualified clients to easily show your home.  You have to show your home to sell your home and reducing showing obstacles can often differentiate your listing from other properties.  

Ask Your Listing Agent Candidates what type of lock box they plan to use.  Why? Because real estate lock boxes are most effective when they are used properly.

Lock Box 101

There are basically two types of lock boxes, (1) Combination Boxes and (2) Key Boxes   

Combination boxes most often use either 3 letters from A-Z on a spin dial or 4 numbers 0-9 on a push button or multi-spinrow dial (think bicycle lock).  These boxes are easy to use and anyone with the combination can open the box.  There is no real record of who opened the box, other than showing schedules and business cards left behind by buyer's agents.

Key boxes come in two types, (1) physical key and (2) electronic key (eKey).  eKey boxes are the most secure types of lock boxes and require a wireless device or fob to release the key from the keybox/shackle.    There is an electronic record each time the keys are released from the key box with the showing agents information and the time of the showing.  There is no set code to remember and without the wireless electronic key, the physical keys in the lockbox cannot be accessed.  Supra - Electronic Key Lock Box

Why is this lockbox information important to you the Home Seller?  Two reasons, Factory Codes aren't always reset and Agents don't update codes regularly on "ageing listings".

Twice this week I showed homes for sale in Amherst NH that had combination key boxes.  BOTH times the code on the box was the FACTORY SET CODE!!!  

These combo lock boxes were older models and the agents had not taken the time to reset a factory code that nearly every single real estate agent on the planet would know and every average home thief could figure out.  I wondered how many houses those lock boxes had been on ...all with the same key.  I'm sure there is a YouTube video out there that explains how to open these combination lock boxes with the factory set code. A simple Google search will tell you what the Factory Code is.  I'd put a link here, but somehow I just can't bring myself to do it. It is right up there with how to make a bump key.  How safe were those houses?  Hum....

I've showed houses with combo locks that had been on the market for more than 200 days.  The combination codes were the same on day 200 that they were on day 1.   I'd be willing to venture that the agents for those houses use the same code on ALL OF THEIR LISTINGS.   How safe are those houses?  How safe are any of these agent's listings?   Hum.....

These real estate agents should have known better.  Between the 5 of them, they had nearly 100 years of experience selling houses, their listing presentations and newspaper ads even said so.  If that doesn't just shock you, I don't know what would.  I call this practice unprofessional, downright lazy....and even scary.  

Statistically speaking, I'm not certain that there is a correlation between the types of lock boxes agents use and their willingness to embrace technology....but anecdotal evidence seems to indicate there is.

I don't use combination lock boxes on houses I list, but there are good reasons to use combo boxes and these boxes can be very safe and effective when used properly.  If a seller specifically asked for a combination box, I can promise you I'd change the factory setting and update the codes regularly while their house was on the market.  Isn't that what you'd expect your professional real estate agent to do?

Now you have a few more questions to ask listing agents in Amherst NH.....or just call me 603-673-9797 and I'll promise to leverage today's technology to not only market your Amherst NH and Bedford NH Home For Sale, but I'll also take the proper steps in protect your home while it is on the market.




Posted by

Caroline DeVore Caroline DeVore - Stowe Meadows Lodge - Realtor
Tel: 802.888.0002 |  Mbl: 617-803-7222 

The information contained in this blog is believed to be reliable and while every effort is made to assure that the information is as accurate as possible, the author of this blog, and its comments disclaim any implied warranty or representation about it's accuracy, completeness or appropriateness for any particular purpose.

Caroline DeVore ©2010-2013   Stowe Meadows ©2010-2013

Comments (6)

Evelyn Kennedy
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA


In our area we all use SupraKey lock boxes.  Just as you say they are secure, there is history of who used the boxes and they seem to be safe.  It does appear that professionals use an electronic lock box most often.

Jun 01, 2011 06:36 PM
Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices


We choose to only use combination lock boxes. There are 3 MLS in the  area and it sometimes creates a nightmare.

Our problem is agents who  just would not lock the door, and sometimes leave them simply wide open, or agents putting the key back but not changing the numbers, so you can get the key with no effort.


Jun 01, 2011 06:42 PM
CA COASTAL ESTATES Lauren Selinsky Perez CRS
California Coastal Estates - Aliso Viejo, CA
"Your Real Estate Broker" #oclauren

I have seen similar blogs like this out there when I first started and it also got featured, but yours is quite specific and many NEWBIES as well as seasoned Agents as I like to state should read this. Very informative and a very good question. I personally do not use combo boxes, only because I do get a lot of Celeb listings, but not only that, but we need to know who? and when? agents/Realtors(R) are coming in/out of a property. Agents/Realtors(R) are loosely giving combo boxes to "friends" and colleagues, especially if it's vacant. Now, that many supraKeys are now "eKeys" it is harder to give out. That's my personal opinion, but I see we all have different rules and standards of doing business, but this is one reason clients choose me as an agent as well. Some agents do not want to spend money on the lockBox.

Anyway, nice blog.... we have different opinions, but it is still a very good blog. ;)


Jun 01, 2011 06:48 PM
Mark VanBuskirk
Cassidon Realty - Lehighton, PA
PA REALTOR Specializing in Carbon & Monroe County

Our board uses supra keys but I prefer Combo lock boxes! I utilize both based upon the customer preference!

Jun 01, 2011 07:09 PM
Ronald DiLalla
Century 21 Discovery DRE 01813824 - Anaheim, CA
No. Orange Cty Real Estate

Hi Caroline, interesting postl....and thanks for sharing.   Our board promotes the use of supra keys and that is all that i use.  I don't trust the combo locks.

Jun 01, 2011 08:29 PM
Ellen Caruso
Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty - Glen Head, NY

My favorite it when showing New Constructions, they give me the garage code! Easy to get in and out!

Jun 02, 2011 10:30 AM