Ann Arbor Real Estate, NAR and LockBox Safety

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Missy Caulk TEAM

Sentri-lock The National Association of Realtors is considering whether multiple listing services and Realtor associations will be allowed to require that their members pay for some services that are now considered optional, such as lockboxes.

At least three MLSs have notified NAR of their desire to require all of their subscribers to pay for lockbox services, citing security issues when members don't use the devices, and potential cost savings from universal member participation.

A policy adopted by NAR in 1996 to curb potential abuses of authority by MLSs and local Realtor associations limits the services that can be included in member dues. Products and services are defined as either "core," "basic" or "optional."

Without knowing about this new NAR discussion, I wrote a post a few days ago on AnnArborRealestateTalk 

Electronic Lockboxes provide more safety

Ann posted a story on homes being broken into while on the market.

The crew is alleged to have stolen foreign coins, two-dollar bills, equestrian trophies, jewelry, electronics, cash, a guitar and custom-made brass bullets from homes in Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor Township, Scio Township, Webster Township and Dexter Township.

In one instance, a wall was destroyed in an unsuccessful attempt to open a safe filled with expensive jewelry, according to courtroom testimony Thursday.

It took about 15 minutes for me to look on the Ann Arbor MLS and figure out where the homes were located. I looked at the date it was listed and cross referenced it with which ones provided on the map showed. Many of the homes were unoccupied at the time, while the homeowners were either trying to sell or on vacation.

Does this bother you?

Ann Arbor Michigan It does me, because when I list a home for sale in the Ann Arbor area, I use a Sentri-lock lockbox. It is an electronic lockbox that we as Realtors must update our cards every 3 days.

Although we have been offering them to our Realtor members for over two years, many agents have not upgraded to them and still continue to use the old punch key or locker type numerical ones. Heck, some agents still use the same combo's they have used for years!!

Each lockbox is only $100.00 and our board of Realtors was offering them for $35.00 during the transition to get Realtors to use them. The card is $8.00 a month. 

Sorry for my rant...but it is inexcusable for listings agents to not use these to better protect their sellers. When a agent is showing a property is records exactly who went in and what time that we can check in our logs.

Ann Arbor sellers be safe, INSIST you have a secure, electronic lockbox on your property.

  1. What do you think of the potential change in NAR policy that some of advocating for?
  2. Does it bother you that NAR now has a 20% interest in the Sentri-lock lock boxes? 
  3. As a listing agent do you agree or disagree that is your responsibility to keep provide the best safety for your seller homeowners? 
Posted by


Missy Caulk, Ann Arbor Realtor

Missy Caulk, Broker/Owner of Savvy Realty Group can be reached at 734-926-9797 or email:

Our Team of 6 agents are available to help you relocate to Ann Arbor, Saline, Dexter, Chelsea, Milan, Ypsilanti Township, Clinton, Manchester, Whitmore Lake, or throughout Washtenaw County, MI.

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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Jo-Anne Smith 11/14/2012 11:37 PM
  2. Michele Connors 11/15/2012 04:32 AM
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marti garaughty - Montreal, QC
a highly caffeinated creative type...

garaughty, abstract art, graphic design, WordPress consultant

Nov 14, 2012 11:14 PM #1
Missy Caulk
Missy Caulk TEAM - Ann Arbor, MI
Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate

Thank you Marty, it has been a long time, huh? 

Nov 14, 2012 11:22 PM #2
Jo-Anne Smith
Oakville, ON


I'm with you on the use of electronic lockboxes. I once had a house listed with a punch code lockbox where a buyer agent was too lazy to drive from Toronto to show the house (and 9 others on the buyer's list) so she gave out the code and the buyers went through the house on THEIR OWN (my listing and the other 9 they wanted to see).


Nov 14, 2012 11:34 PM #3
Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

Missy - I certainly can understand your point, but in our area the MLSs are so fragmented, and agents from neighboring areas work in the same area, and lockboxes are not compatible, it is a nightmare, and if we would be forced to do it, it is not a benefit to anyone. You end up with several lockboxes, because local MLS demands that their lock is there, and then you put another, so that you can work, and when you have several  locks, the chances of the property being compromised are much higher.

besides, there are areas where mandatory lockbox causes breaks in, and now we are trying to find a place to hide the lockbox, so that kids do not see it and do not simply break in into a vacant house.

Not a simple issue at all.

We use simplest lockboxes, not electronic. Yes, there is some inconvenience, less security, but electronic lockboxes are not always the solution.

Nov 15, 2012 12:48 AM #4
Missy Caulk
Missy Caulk TEAM - Ann Arbor, MI
Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate

Jon,I do understand, we use to use Supra, but you had to be a member of our board, we switched to Sentri-lock when IDX and sharing data became the norm. With sentri-lock we can give our one day codes to Realtors who are not members of our board.

A board next door uses Supra and it is impossible to show their homes. 

Nov 15, 2012 01:20 AM #5
Michele Connors
The Overton Group, LLC Pitt & Carteret County - Greenville, NC
Your Eastern North Carolina Realtor

this is a great topic ! Suggested feature for you! Good to see you Missy- yes, all should be participating in ssecured boxes. I have walked up to open combo boxes on homes, key trays not secured properly. I also have seen mls sheets left behind on the counter with the CODE WRITTEN ON IT for the next visitor to see!
What is difficult is neighboring counties using alternate systems- I am one that belongs to Supra and Sentricard.. Love the card box much better than the point/ remote for supra but either way I am very pleased with how SECURE they are. Wouldnt expose myself or my client to liability by cutting corners.

Nov 15, 2012 04:24 AM #6
Katerina Gasset
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services - Wellington, FL
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services

Hello Missy,
I find it very useful. Thanks for sharing this and excellent job as always. Best luck!

Nov 20, 2012 03:49 PM #7
Bas Panch
SCV Home Buyer - Valencia, CA

Great post here. Keep being a good example as the best Ann Arbor Short Sale Agent. Best of luck!

Nov 21, 2012 08:57 AM #8
Debbie Harr
Homes that Click Realtors - Columbus, OH
Realtor Homes That Click, Worthington Ohio Homes

Excellent post as always! Very informative. You are truly one of Ann Arbor short sale agents finest!

Nov 21, 2012 02:58 PM #9
Debra Parker
Debra Parker Real Estate, Inc. - Stuart, FL
Realtor - Stuart Florida Homes for Sale

Great share Missy! It's very informative and useful. Keep it up!

Nov 23, 2012 07:56 AM #10
Connie Harvey
Pilkerton Realtors - Brentwood, TN
Realtor - Nashville TN Real Estate

Missy, just stopping by to wish you a Very Merry Christmas! Hugs from TN!!

Dec 20, 2012 10:36 PM #11
Jim Crawford
Maximum One Executive REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Jim Crawford Atlanta Best Listing Agents & REALTOR

Happy New Year Missy!  May your New Year be full of peace, joy, great health and prosperity my friend!

Dec 29, 2012 11:48 PM #12
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Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate
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