Show Anytime The Key Is Under The Mat

Real Estate Agent with Integrity Real Estate Group

Go and Show

When you list your home for sale security is one of the things you worry about.  So how would you feel if you knew the agent has the key to your door under the welcome mat?  Recently I called for showing instructions on a listing in the Woodbridge VA area and that's exactly what I was told.

Sure enough when my clients and I got to the front door there wasn't a lockbox but the key was there under the mat.  My clients were shocked and I wish I could say I was too.

Perhaps the sellers agreed to this arrangement but you have to wonder WHY?   My reaction is the same when I see a combo code listed in the agent remarks on the MLS.  Since I've encountered unaccompanied buyers in a home it doesn't take long to figure out that an agent gave them the code so they could see it on their own.  

Without an electronic lockbox on the property or using one of the local showing services there is no way for an owner or an agent to know who has been in the property.  Though the home we checked out yesterday was empty there are still appliances, cooper pipes and light fixtures that could disappear in the middle of the night.  Who is responsible for the damages to the home if it isn't secured?  Is it the agent for taking a short cut or the sellers?  If you call the police to report a robbery and tell them the key was under the mat how do you think they will react

If you list your Woodbridge home with Cindy Jones and Integrity Real Estate Group we won't take short cuts on the security of your home.  We use electronic lock boxes which capture the entry information for every agent who comes to our property.   If you are still living in your home we are going to go over with you the personal belongings and medicines you should secure before the home goes on the market.  Though no one can 100% guarantee complete security, we do our best to make sure your home is protected from just anyone being able to walk in the front door.

The key is under the mat.  Not on my listings.

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                                   Real People*Real Lives*Real Estate

If you are interested in learning more about the Northern Virginia Real Estate market including Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax and Prince William Counties give Cindy Jones and Integrity Real Estate Group a call at 703-346-2213.

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Integrity Real Estate Group
Real People*Real Life*Real Estate

Licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia




Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Fred Cope 06/24/2014 10:58 PM
  2. Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate 06/25/2014 11:16 AM
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Sybil Campbell
Long and Foster REALTORS® 5234 Monticello Ave Williamsburg, Virginia - Williamsburg, VA
REALTOR® ABR, SFR, SRES Williamsburg, Virginia

It really makes you wonder doesn't it.  My pet peeve is when the agent has not checked the key he or she had made and you can't get into the house!

Jun 24, 2014 04:35 AM #20
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

Not only that, but a vacant house can be the home to someone who needs some cheap, free shelter.  I wonder why sellers don't have better information when they list with someone.  The listing agent is their fiducary and seems to be lacking. 

Jun 24, 2014 05:14 AM #21
Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

Not wise at all!

Jun 24, 2014 05:19 AM #22
John Mosier
Realty ONE Group Mountain Desert - Prescott, AZ
Prescott's Patriot Agent 928 533-8142

I once had a listing that I showed 100 times before getting it sold. This listing was tagged with "Listing Agent Must Accompany" and was over 12 miles from my home. I just realized that is around 2,400 miles on my car. I would never have convinced the Seller of that many showings without the lockbox records.

Jun 24, 2014 06:39 AM #23
Elyse Berman, PA
Best Connections Realty, Inc. - Boca Raton, FL
Boca Raton FL (561) 716-7824 CRS, ABR, GRI,ePR

Really bad idea; you never know who could walk in.  I like electronic lock boxes.  We knew who went in, what time, etc.  

Jun 24, 2014 06:49 AM #24
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

Every time I see something other than a Sentrilock, I cringe. What's wrong with the agent? Surely, he can afford a lockbox.

Jun 24, 2014 07:49 AM #25
Women of Westchester Working Together
Women of Westchester Working Together - West Harrison, NY
Women helping Women get ahead

OMG that is just crazy. Stupid.  I can't believe people do that...esp if the house is on the market. - Debbie

Jun 24, 2014 08:18 AM #26
John & Shannon Cox

I would never, ever list a home using anything less than our ARMLS lockbox. It records which agent has shown the property and when. Anything less is malpractice in my opinion.

Jun 24, 2014 08:21 AM #27
Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living

Amazing, either the sellers are extremely trustworthy or something else.  I use an electronic SUPRA box exclusively and only occasionally put a combo box on temporarily to accommodate out of area agents for specific appointments.

Jun 24, 2014 11:39 AM #28
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

I have to say this is nothing I have ever come across in over 15 years.  Thanks for the heads up

Without an electronic lockbox on the property or using one of the local showing services there is no way for an owner or an agent to know who has been in the property  


I prefer the electronis lockbox for this reason.


Thanks for sharing your insights and experience.

Jun 24, 2014 11:46 AM #29
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

I am so with you on this. I just can't believe home owners risk their security this way. More so, I can't believe their agents let them do it!

Jun 24, 2014 10:01 PM #30
Fred Cope
Reliant Realty in Nashville, TN - Nashville, TN
Looking For Homes With A Smile

There have been times when a service tech or a handiman required access, but they are not members of the MLS.  I have combo box available for their specific and temporary access.  Combination is changed before each assignment.  I have a system for assigning combo code that lets me maintain record of use,  I am looking into getting a wireless security system that can monitor activity at entry.  Deer hunters know the value of this.

Jun 24, 2014 10:38 PM #31
Doug Rogers
Bayou Properties - Alexandria, LA
Your Alexandria Louisiana Agent

People are nuts. Frankly I would decline a listing if a seller set those terms. My guess is the seller would still look in the agent's direction if something came up missing.

Jun 24, 2014 10:49 PM #32
Suzanne Otto
Six Twenty Designs - Lansdale, PA
Your Montgomery County PA home stager

Wow, I'm really surprised they went this route. They opened themselves up to a world of trouble. I mean, just leave the door open at that point. 

Jun 24, 2014 11:00 PM #33
Nick T Pappas
Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, @HomesBirmingham & Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Hun... - Huntsville, AL
Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource

Cindy, I don't know why agents would expose themselves to the obvious liability.  I do have one current listing with no lock box, but agents do have to call me for the electronic touch pad lock installed in the door and to get the alarm code.  I also feel the need to share with the agents that call "not to give the code to their clients"!

Jun 24, 2014 11:24 PM #34
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Long before lock boxes, we hid keys....Long before hiding keys, we left the back door open

Jun 24, 2014 11:55 PM #35
Bruce Kunz
C21 Solid Gold Realty, Brick, NJ, 732-920-2100 - Howell, NJ
REALTOR®, Brick & Howell NJ Homes for Sale

Hi Cindy. No system is perfect but to just leave a key under the mat is almost worse than just leaving the doors unlocked. Thanks for sharing and nice job setting yourself apart from that foolishness!


Jun 25, 2014 03:06 AM #36
Morgan Evans
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Manhattan, NY

Sounds like a terribly risky way to do business, I cant imagine a seller that would feel comfortable and allow having the access to their home without any type of safeguard. 

Jun 25, 2014 07:52 AM #37
Ted Glover
Alderman Classic Realty, LLC - Moultrie, GA
ABR in Moultrie, Georgia 229-854-5422

I see the same thing here in Georgia. Some will just say I am leaving it unlock and just lock it back when you leave. The problem is if your buyer changes their mind and don't want to go and see it at all.

Jun 25, 2014 08:47 AM #38
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude


It boggles the mind when you see this sort of thing. I have run into keys under the mat several time (and noted in the MLS), and in one case access was through the garage door that was open, just in case you could not find the key that was under a rock by the door (said the agent), Really?


Jun 28, 2014 10:32 AM #39
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