Are You Guilty Of This?

By
Real Estate Agent with United Real Estate TX #0552717

In Texas, when a home is sold and the United States Postal Service owns the mailbox for delivery, the USPS wants their keys back! So what's an agent to do?Mailbox 

We can't ignore Paragraph 2C in the One To Four Family Residential Contract that lists mailbox keys as accessories that convey to the buyer. I'd never given this much thought, but the proper way to handle this is to note the keys in the following paragraph, 2D, as being an exclusion, to make sure the keys do not convey with the property.

Once the keys are turned in, the Post Office changes the locks and gives three new keys to the new homeowner. If the keys are conveyed directly to the new owner, those keys should be turned in to get new ones issued. You shouldn't need anything other than the closing documents and a government issued ID. There's no key deposit required.

The good news is that if the mailbox is privately owned, the sellers can just hand over the mailbox key at closing.

Cluster mailboxes, a centralized unit of individually locked compartments, could be owned by the subdivision or an HOA, so be sure to check.

You've got mail!

Posted by

Lorrie Semler, REALTOR
United Real Estate Dallas

Serving your residential real estate needs in Dallas, TX and all the surrounding suburbs


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Comments (12)

Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Lorrie (oops, I realized my mistake) - with so much going on in a real estate sales transaction, there always seems to be something that is forgotten, overlooked or missed in some way.  I can see how the example you share could occur.  This is an important reminder and another thing to add to that always growing "to do" list for those people who are moving.  

Jul 17, 2022 09:27 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Lorrie- I don't think I ever knew this but I can see how this could get lost in the shuffle. 

Jul 17, 2022 04:52 PM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

This is a good point for those who have locked mailboxes. We don't!

Jul 18, 2022 04:58 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Hi Lorrie... this is great advice. And I'd bet something most of us, including me, do not have on our list of things to deal with when listing a property.

Jul 18, 2022 08:45 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Carol Williams hi Carol... making up for last week... here's another post I'd recommend for your Second Chance Saturday post. :)

Jul 18, 2022 08:46 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Lorrie. Must say, never gave it a thought with residential real estate. Now in Chicago, when I took occupancy of my unit I got the keys. Like the idea of having the keys changed. Enjoy your day.

Jul 23, 2022 05:56 AM
Lorrie Semler, REALTOR® in the Dallas area. Call/text 972-416-3417

Wayne Martin It's certainly safer to get new keys. You never know who has an old one.

Jul 23, 2022 07:09 AM
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
Relocation to NW AZ with elbow room & more freedom

In the property disclosure statements, the location and type of mail box is required. I have learned to look for this because it can be a problem given when the listing agent is clueless or provides erroneous information.

Jul 23, 2022 06:19 AM
Lorrie Semler, REALTOR® in the Dallas area. Call/text 972-416-3417

Leanne Smith Unfortunately, that's not on the Seller Disclosure Notices in Texas.

Jul 23, 2022 07:10 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Lorrie - I did not know that about PO Boxes.  I have an issue (non real estate) with regard to an association mail box.

Jul 23, 2022 08:46 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Jul 23, 2022 06:57 PM
Lorrie Semler, REALTOR® in the Dallas area. Call/text 972-416-3417

Kathy Streib Thanks for the feature! It's important information that many agents don't know about.

Jul 24, 2022 09:28 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

I never knew this, I've never known a mailbox that wasn't privately or HOA owned, so I guess it's not a thing in Cali or if it is, I've managed 23 years disregarding it LOL. Have a relaxing and happy 😊 Sunday!

Jul 24, 2022 06:58 AM
Lorrie Semler, REALTOR® in the Dallas area. Call/text 972-416-3417

Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets The newer home subdivisions here have cluster mailboxes that are USPS owned. 

Jul 24, 2022 09:26 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Hi Lorrie,

Great post and so glad that Kathy Streib featured it in her Ah-Ha moments for the week! Our cluster boxes are not owned by the HOA so a detail that needs to be handed at closing

Jul 24, 2022 07:51 AM
Lorrie Semler, REALTOR® in the Dallas area. Call/text 972-416-3417

Dorie Dillard Austin TX I wasn't aware of this either until I read the article in the Texas Realtor magazine a while back.

Jul 24, 2022 09:27 AM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate Brokered by Real - St. George, UT
St. George Utah Area Residential Sales Agent

Congrats on the feature, Lorrie and another think to check off the list at recording!

Jul 24, 2022 06:24 PM
Lorrie Semler, REALTOR® in the Dallas area. Call/text 972-416-3417

Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can! Thanks, Wanda. Checklists are wonderful to keep you on track.

Jul 25, 2022 08:01 AM