Who Can Access My House When It's Listed for Sale?

Real Estate Agent with Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 SA5376460000

There are a few different types of boxes that agents will use in Arizona to host keys to a home when your home is listed for sale on the Arizona Regional MLS.  The lockboxes might be the mechanical type with a 3, 4 or 6 digit code. But there is only one Arizona Regional MLS (ARMLS) lockbox that is connected to the Supra ActiveKey or Ekey that is used to open that type of box. 


There are benefits to using both types of boxes.  The mechanical type can be opened by anyone, including painters, handymen, and anyone wishing to enter that the agent and owner give permission.  These are convenient when agents can't get to a home in time to open the box or meet the vendor or tradesman working on the home.  


Of the three in the photo, the two on the right are both mechanical boxes. The blue larger type is an Arizona Regional MLS lockbox. My mechanical box is shown in the middle and will be removed when I activate this listing.  Mechanical boxes can be opened 24 hours a day, a nice benefit if early or late access is needed. 


The benefit of an ARMLS lockbox is that the agent has the capability to program the box and know exactly who is accessing the box and when.   Showings can also be restricted to certain times of day.   A report can be generated of anyone accessing the box, their contact info, and a fairly close time of entry.  It's up to the listing agent to program the box to the home's listing on the site.


There are also disadvantages to both boxes.  Once someone has the code to a mechanical box, that code can be shared with anyone and there is no computer generated report of who has been in the home. The blue Supra/MLS box may only be accessed by those that have an actual ActiveKey or EKey, so handymen or vendors may not access this type of box unless they pay the annual fees and join the MLS.  And the ARMLS box is timed to work only between 8 am and 8 pm.


I'm about to list a home on the Arizona Regional MLS for sale.  Currently the box has the mechanical box on the hosebib for all the vendors to use.  Once the home is on the MLS, the mechanical box will be removed.  There is no need for anyone else, besides an agent, to enter the home until we are under contract .


But there is also an unidentified mechanical box on the hosebib.  That box has been there for the three years I've rented this home for the owners.  I kept thinking someone would retrieve it, but not happening.  


Researching the old listings and I found one from 2006.  I've contacted the agent to remove the box.  She has not returned my call, so I'll have it removed by a handyman with bolt cutters.  


The benefit to using an ARMLS box is that all access is recorded as to who owns them.  If this had been an ARMLS box, I'd know in an instant who it belongs to.  But in this case, it's finders losers because I don't have the code to open it.  It's history by tomorrow!  


If you're listing your home for sale, select the box that works for you!

And contact me if you're interested in selling your home.  No matter where it's located, I know all the best agents to assist! 


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Comments (8)

Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster Real Estate - Gainesville, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Great post to educate sellers on the different types of lockboxes sellers may encounter in your market.

Jan 24, 2017 04:05 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

We have similar "Supra" boxes here - I always feel they are so much safer on a listing than a combo, especially when the home is occupied.

Jan 24, 2017 05:45 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

Good information to help inform sellers about various types of lockboxes used during the sale of homes.

Jan 24, 2017 07:27 PM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Thank you Chris Ann Cleland !  Oftentimes sellers have no idea about keys and lockboxes.  We hear the darndest things!

You're right Debe Maxwell .   Coded access with a suprakey and a box that can't be cut with bolt cutters!

Thank you  Myrl Jeffcoat !  Sellers oftentimes have no idea about these boxes.

Jan 24, 2017 09:13 PM
Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ

Jan I'm not a fan of  contrator boxes once the home in on the market. Like you we use them for our guys working to get homes ready but once they're on the market - on goes the MLS box!  Much more secure and it's good to have notice of who's going in to the house within minutes of entering. 

Jan 25, 2017 12:47 PM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

You're so right.  A few years back I had a listing that was accessed without permission.  She set off the alarm and I knew exactly who was in there!  Busted!

Jan 25, 2017 01:24 PM
Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles real estate concierge services

This whole lockbox thing is new in our market and generally only used on vacant homes. They are so useful when you are setting up multiple showings. Nothing like not having to time everything exactly. I am always nervous about mechanical boxes since you will never know if an agent sends their client by on their own, unethical as it is. 

Jan 25, 2017 04:25 PM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Thank  you for commenting Jane Peters .  Here in AZ we are not allowed to give out mechanical box codes.  It would definitely be a fine or worse!  Our town is so big, like yours that it's difficult to be everywhere you  want to be, too.  Have a great evening! 

Jan 25, 2017 06:32 PM