Lockbox Etiquette-Are You One of the Careless Agents?

Real Estate Agent with Home Smart Realty West   BRE#00877192

Lockbox Etiquette-Are You One of the Careless Agents?


On one of many Facebook real estate groups a question came up yesterday, "the agent showing behind me wanted me to give him the key".  She told him he should get it out of the lockbox and he turned around in front of both sets of clients and was rude about it.

Didn't sound like a new agent,  I think he's one of the many agents lots of us would simply like to see go away!  One Lockbox Safetybad apple and all that stuff.

Many of the agents responded with " ask for their card and then give the key to him or she should have given up the key", especially in this market. I don't know what the last statement means but all of those agents should find work elsewhere, in another profession.  New agents don't act or respond in this fashon but with questions like how should it be done?  Why?

Am I being rough? To harsh? Well, in the last few years I have seen, dealt with and suffered the dumbness and/or unprofessional behavior of more of these agents then should be considered normal! They are everywhere among us right now! And it hurts everybody concerned with selling homes.  I left remarks on this poor activity and they argue for giving the owners house keys to some dude walking up to the home!  OMG, learn, follow the rules and don't be a dumb ass.

If you don't understand why a key SHOULD NOT be passed off during multiple showings, get training because there is more than one reason! In fact, don't enter a property while being shown by another agent, wait in line for your turn. We aren't selling ice cream, skateboards or skirts!

Remember, if it were your home, would you want anybody that walks up to have the key? And for those agents that pass off the key when someone hands you a business card, I've got hundreds of other agents cards I could pass off.  Combo only lockboxes, only for the banks, REOs.

Home sellers and buyers, vet your agent, ask questions, ask this one because the lockbox is often discussed for security reasons. We can't protect the box if an agent showing is going to hand off the key to your valuables, safety or security unless we provide a one time code to every agent holding them personally responsible!  I think that is my next listing benefit I will offer all of my sellers.  Yes it takes time but the security of our listings is paramount.

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Comments (10)

Raymond E. Camp
Ontario, NY

Good afternoon Michael,

A situation we all become involved with at one time or another. If I personally know them I will give them the key and leave if not they will be getting it out themselves.

The one I hate worse is an empty home and the other agents clients are there and the agent is not and want to be left alone.

Make yourself an astonishing day.

Apr 05, 2016 06:30 AM
Michael Blue

Those are bad agents that give out the keys to clients, I would report them if I saw it.

Apr 05, 2016 07:22 AM
Michael Blue
Home Smart Realty West - Encinitas, CA
REALTOR - 760-889-8877, Encinitas/Carlsbad

I have done as well long ago. But, if other agents clients get sticky fingers or the client isn't vetted (as I commented on a yesterday post) its our code in the box and not our agent friends. Funny thing, when something is missing and my name is the only name of record for the last serveral days and the other agent claims innocent, I was left holding the bag for damages or be sued or worst, lose my licence. It's always out of the box for me now.

Apr 05, 2016 07:02 AM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

Michael no I do not give another agent the keys but I am professional about it and it always works out fine.  As a listing agent I want to know who's been in the house - period.  If something happens at the property and I've got the last agent registered - but yet he/she gave it to another agent behind .....well that's not a good thing.

Apr 05, 2016 07:02 AM
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

I ask the agent requesting the key to show me the combo he or she has.  If it is not an electronic one.  If they have the right combo I will give the key after I verify who they are

Apr 05, 2016 07:37 AM
Michael Blue
Home Smart Realty West - Encinitas, CA
REALTOR - 760-889-8877, Encinitas/Carlsbad

Exactly Anna! It's pretty simple.

Apr 05, 2016 07:43 AM
Sussie Sutton
David Tracy Real Estate - Houston, TX
David Tracy Real Estate for Buyers & Sellers

I don't pass off the keys either. I am afraid that they will do something within or to the home while that Supra says my client and I are the only one there. 

Additionally, like you said, Joe Blow could hand you a realtors card and how do you  know that is really him? It is better to lock up the box and let that person open it up.

Apr 05, 2016 07:53 AM
Michael Blue
Yep, that's the way we are suppose to do it.
Apr 05, 2016 09:54 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Michael, in our frenzied market, it is not uncommon to see 5-10 agents and their clients all in the house at the same time.   VERY important to know everyone has the lockbox and has approval for entry.

Apr 06, 2016 04:51 AM
Michael Blue
Home Smart Realty West - Encinitas, CA
REALTOR - 760-889-8877, Encinitas/Carlsbad

One of my solutions, electronic lock box code for each agent. Agent muct call for code, I ask they leave the box door open, enter the home and lock the door so that others won't have entry. 15 minute show time if its busy like you have mentioned Joan Cox. Appt are set 15 minutes apart. Agent gets done, locks door, exits and returns key, just like a normal showing. I explain this is a must, everybody has to be recorded into the box. They don't follow and something missing, well they could be contacted by police, so please lock door and key.

Apr 06, 2016 01:24 PM
Larry Johnston
Broker, Friends & Neighbors Real Estate and Elkhart County Subdivisions, LLC - Elkhart, IN
Broker,Friends & Neighbors Real Estate, Elkhart,IN

Hi Michael Blue , Just this week, an experienced agent was showing a home to a client when I arrived with mine.  She left the door open when she left and said the key is on the stair handrail. Later I found she had left the detatched garage side door unlocked.  The home was an occupied house and the garage was full of tools.  We have Supra locks here, so there would not have been any indication of me being there if I hadn't put in my code, as if the key was inside the lockbox.  I find that the new agents seem to go by the book more that some of the experienced agents.

Apr 08, 2016 01:18 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
CEO of Vision Drive Realty - Coastal San Diego

I agree, I don't hand over keys, I don't ask them to be either. I also think we should use electronic lock boxes to protect our clients homes. Document each showing and for follow up. Many agents don't leave cards any more, they are so bad about it in San Diego.

Apr 18, 2016 02:05 PM