COMBO LOCK BOXES...DO YOUR SELLERS REALIZE THE RISK?

By
Real Estate Agent with Dockside Realty VA 0225142975

Combo lock boxes...do your sellers realize the risk? Yes, I really believe there is a risk involved when using combination lock boxes. Often out of area agents that list homes here at Lake Anna will use combination lock boxes because they do not belong to the same association that we do and therefore use different types of lock boxes. 

SAILBOATS ON LAKE ANNA - UVA SAILING CLUB

Even though our Listing Agreement has a section were it specifies that there are sellers that may not understand the ramifications when an agent has check off 'will not'. Many owners may not even notice and there are possibly some agreements that have the 'will' check off but still do not use the electronic lock box.

The most important disadvantage is the insecurity posed by using combos instead of an electronic box.  There have been a number of out of area agents that I have called, simply told them my name, the fact that I am a REALTOR® and the name of my company. Hardly any, if any, of these agents know me and many probably do not know the names of all of the real estate companies here at Lake Anna. How do they know I am who I say I am, that I am indeed a REALTOR®, and that I am affiliated with Dockside Realty? They do not! 

Yet, when I ask for the code to enter a house they give it to me.

What kind of secuity is that? 

It is important that both sellers and their agents know exactly what is in the contract (Listing Agreement), what has been checked off and what is expected from all parties. 

Sometimes combo boxes are used to facilitate other agents access to a listing and that does make it easier for the listing agent instead of having to come a distance to open up an electronic one that local agents cannot access. Perhaps that is one more reason it is wiser to use a Local REALTOR®.

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Comments (52)

Kate Elim
Dockside Realty - Spotsylvania, VA
Realtor 540-226-1964, Selling Homes & Land a

Hi Sharon...Yes we do. I love knowing who is in the house and when they are so if something like a key is taken you can easily get it back. I rely on that record for feedback also.

Kate

Aug 10, 2013 12:28 PM
Kate Elim
Dockside Realty - Spotsylvania, VA
Realtor 540-226-1964, Selling Homes & Land a

Hi Richard...Yes, some combo codes are never changed. Also, some agents use the same code on all of their combos.

Kate

Aug 10, 2013 12:29 PM
Kate Elim
Dockside Realty - Spotsylvania, VA
Realtor 540-226-1964, Selling Homes & Land a

Hi Rosie...Many sellers may not even think about it and it shouldn't have to be something that concerns them. We place the lock box on the door and we should make sure it is as secure as possible. As you said the code may be known by so many and you don't always know who they are.

Kate

Aug 10, 2013 12:31 PM
Jimmy Faulkner
Florida. Homes Realty & Mortgage - Wantagh, NY
The Best Of St. Augustine

I can oly agree with you that using a local realtor has many advantages not least of which is security. Anyone can gain access to the house if they are aware of the situation. More importantly how do you know who is showing the house without an electonic lockbox.

Aug 10, 2013 01:17 PM
Joni Bailey
101 Main St. Realty - Huntsville, TX
Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR®

I prefer the supra boxes but none of the rural agents have supra keys. So I had to go and let them all in or make them come and get a key. Push button combo lockboxes and utilizing a showing service has been my answer to the problem. 

 

Aug 10, 2013 01:20 PM
Brian DeYoung
also affiliated with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Heritage Realty - Ithaca, NY
The Realtor with personal investment background

I have had the same experience getting codes from agencies with VERY little questions. AMAZING!

Very insecure. BAD.

The exception to that is Orange County New York. I applaud them. THey use a service there, and before i could show any homes they checked my license and made sure i was a Realtor in good standing. Well done!

 

Aug 10, 2013 01:27 PM
MichelleCherie Carr Crowe .Just Call. 408-252-8900
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

I love that our Supra boxes keep an electronic record of every agent. Combo lockboxes are not for any type of public/cooperating agent use IMHO.

Aug 10, 2013 01:29 PM
Kate Elim
Dockside Realty - Spotsylvania, VA
Realtor 540-226-1964, Selling Homes & Land a

Hi Jimmy...I agree that there are other reasons to use a local Realtor. I wish all buyers and sellers realized that. Thanks for your comment.

Kate

Aug 10, 2013 01:59 PM
Kate Elim
Dockside Realty - Spotsylvania, VA
Realtor 540-226-1964, Selling Homes & Land a

Hi Joni...I think the showing service is a good alternative to the electronic lock box. Although I still prefer the electronic.

Kate

Aug 10, 2013 02:01 PM
Lisa Von Domek
Lisa Von Domek Team - Dallas, TX
....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless!

Hello Kate,

Supra box is the only way to go around my area, even with our bank foreclosure listings.  We provide a (2nd) courtesy combo box for our bank for their vendors or contractors access.

Aug 10, 2013 02:01 PM
Jordon Wheeler
The Jordon Wheeler Group - Fairburn, GA
J W Group Real Estate Sales and Service

Hi Kate,

I have written about this same subject.  We routinely have agents use combo lock boxes on properties priced under $50,000 and will easily give out a code.  I use SUPRA with my listings as much as possible.  Much more secure approach.  Best of GREAT success to you always!

Aug 10, 2013 04:28 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

I agree with you totally. The supra boxes do a lot to provide peace of mind and security to our clients, especially as we can track who's come and gone. I'm always appalled at how agents try to save $60-75 to use a combo box.

Aug 10, 2013 09:40 PM
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce

In many areas...that is all there is...including ours...if the person making the appointment doesn't ask for more identification verification...that is a risk...I don't know of any here who do not.

Aug 10, 2013 10:14 PM
Bruce Hicks
Best Homes Hawaii - Honolulu, HI
Your Best Hawaii Realtor!

Several years ago, our MLS changed over to Electronic Lockboxes; however, I would say that around 50% of the agents still use the mechanical lockboxes.

Aug 10, 2013 11:56 PM
Jack O'Neal
HomeSmart Elite Group - Gilbert, AZ

I had a client that did not want a lock box of any kind on the house, they hadthe local bar keep it on the cash register, some one took it and robbed the house. What a mess

Aug 11, 2013 12:08 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Kate

It's an important issue and one I encounter all the time in our area, too. Sometimes agents only ask us to text them with the time we want to tour and they send the combo code, no questions asked.

Jeff

Aug 11, 2013 12:36 AM
Suzanne Otto
Six Twenty Designs - Lansdale, PA
Your Montgomery County PA home stager

It's scary to think what could happen with the combo lock boxes. I always thought about that, anyone could call up and say you're this agent from this agency and get in a house.

Aug 11, 2013 12:53 AM
Harry F. D'Elia III
RentVest - Phoenix, AZ
Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR

Supra boxes cost more but they do the job to secure the home.

Aug 11, 2013 01:07 AM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster Real Estate - Gainesville, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

I'm with you. I hate combo boxes and will only use them for reasons like a contractor that needs access to the house for a day or two.  But when I do use them, it is short lived.  I do not like having them on homes.

Aug 11, 2013 02:05 AM
Edward & Celia Maddox
The Celtic Connection Realty - Queen Creek, AZ
EXPERIENCE & INTEGRITY - WE TAKE THE HIGH ROAD

One of the main features that a combo lockbox does not provide, is a record of who visited the property and when.

Aug 11, 2013 02:09 AM