BE CAREFUL which lock box you choose to use

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Mackintosh REALTORS 82894

In the past month I have been made aware of something most REALTORS are unfamiliar with about certain combo lock boxes.

Did you know some combo boxes can be hacked? This was brought to my attention; so I did a quick You Tube search. What I found was alarming on the number of how to hack a lock box videos were online.    














Earlier this year an agent told me of an incident on a vacant house using a combo box where a homeless person was camping out in the property. The type of box used suggests that the box was hacked.

The most secure lock box to use is the electronic form. Most REALTOR Associations recommend using the Sentri Lock or Supra brands.


Another incident in which a property for sale, using a Senti Lock box , had been broken into and the Seller asked if any agents had been through the house. The property was under contract so when the log of who had accessed the box was run it found the lock box had not been used during the time of the house break in.


            Be cautious selecting the lock box you choose to use !



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Matthew Klinowski, PA
Downing-Frye - Naples, FL
Golf Community Real Estate Specialist

Good morning Buzz, thanks for the tip! Although I didn't know those lock boxes were easily hacked, I'm not surprised. I've been using the Supra lock boxes which work well.

Dec 30, 2018 06:35 AM #1
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Buzz. There are standard combination boxes that can be changed but most use the same combo on all. Electronic is good but not perfect.

Dec 30, 2018 06:46 AM #2
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Those 4 diget spinning ones are easy to hack.   I left the combo on my desk on one home.  took me 5 min and I was in.

Dec 30, 2018 06:56 AM #3
Fred Griffin, on leave of absence from ActiveRain
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

      I have two brass shirt collar stays in my toolbox.  I use those to turn the tumblers.   Same technique as the photo at the top of your blog post.

Dec 30, 2018 07:37 AM #4
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

Someone borrowed my Master combo and did not recall the code written inside.

I have been trying to open it for 2 months by dialing every code and pull the handle while watching the boob tube.  So far no dice. Need a better shim.

Dec 30, 2018 07:59 AM #5
Andy Brown-Climer School of Real Estate
The Climer School of Real Estate - Orlando, FL
The Best Real Estate School in Florida

Buzz, this is a good blog. Remember that blogging needs to keep Google happy. Make sure that you keep up with Google's ever changing rules about content, keyword density, keyword types, and length!

Dec 30, 2018 08:53 AM #6
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

Your link leads to a YouTube video that is the first of several that show "hacking" of a combo lockbox. Kind of worrisome to know that the contents and, perhaps, occupants are open to a clever crook!

Dec 30, 2018 09:16 AM #7
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

This is shocking, Buzz and as I mentioned in Q&A, another reason to use the Supra boxes!

Dec 30, 2018 09:47 AM #8
AJ Heidmann ~ CRS
McEnearney Associates, Inc. - Alexandria, VA
YOUR Alexandria & Arlington, VA Real Estate Expert

Buzz ~ I figured that most combo boxes weren't fool proof, but was amazed how easily it was to find the combo in the video.  I tried it on a combo box that I use for contractors and unfortunately it works.  Thanks for the heads up!

Dec 30, 2018 12:43 PM #9
Jim Smith
The Property Management Company - Round Rock, TX

As a property manager, we have developed basic locksmith skills as a part of our daily routine.  Early on, a master locksmith shared this: a lock is merely a mechanism which keeps honest people honest.  He then went on to show how many ways a lockbox can be picked and/or jimmied within seconds. (He also showed me very simple ways to enter properties without needing a key and creating no damage - scary!).  This is why it is so important to advise clients to store valuables in a safe place (off-site, if possible); and, to routinely check on vacant properties.

Dec 31, 2018 06:28 AM #10
Anthony Kirlew
Group 46:10 Network @ eXp Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Helping You Make Fiscally Sound Choices

While disturbing, this not shocking. I agree, that electronic is the way to go!

Jan 01, 2019 08:11 AM #11
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

Very important advice shared here, Buzz Mackintosh ... given the responses provided above, along with your own experiences.  Hope that many heed your words of caution ...


Jan 10, 2019 10:29 AM #12
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