Fire Your Realtor if they Use a Combo Box
Well, this post will ruffle some feathers, and I am ok with that! So should you fire your REALTOR® if they are using a lockbox? Well, I cannot tell you to do that but you really should have a conversation about using a real lockbox. But! If you are interviewing agents, ask them if they use a combo or Supra Lock Boxes and if the answer is a combo, just end the conversation and find a real professional.
So why am I hot to trot on this one and what do I mean by a "Real" lockbox. Let me first tell you a real-life story that happened to a seller in North Texas. (some details changed to protect the seller)
A seller recently listed their home in the beautiful city of Penuckle! It was the first day of showings and the seller said to their agent, I can only showtimes from 1-3 today as I need to round up our awesome four-legged kids... aka the dogs! As the seller was working around the house they hear a bustle at the front door and the kids go wild with excitement... except the seller panicked! It was noon! Yep, at noon a random person unlocked their door and showed themselves in. When they realized the owners were home and the dogs were out they left!!! But wait... there is more... someone did the same thing about 30 minutes later!
So here is where that story gets interesting! The REALTOR® they hired only uses a combination lockbox! So the person coming in may have been a REALTOR® or someone the REALTOR® randomly gave the combo to! And yes, it is unfortunate that they are lazy ass agents that give random buyers the lockbox code to the house and tell them to go see it whenever!
Thankfully this story ended ok...but imagine if it was a teenager at home by themselves! Or what if the homeowner retrieved their firearm and shot the person coming in? All because a cheap lazy agent used a combo box. Are there cases where it should be used? Of course... the MLS that the agent is a part of does not use electronic lockboxes or you have contractors working on the home and need access. Imagine you as the seller and some random person coming into your home with you there! Not only that, what if you were not home and the dogs were out... hopefully, the dogs ripped them a new ass when they entered without authorization.
A combination lockbox, unless 100% needed, is no place on the door of a home. It does not matter if it is a rental, a vacant home, or any home! They are cheap and agents that use them (thankfully not all) are lazy and do not think about what could have happened. Do not allow an agent to use a combo on your home!
So what do I mean by a Real lockbox? Well in North Texas and most of Texas we use Supra Lock Boxes. These are what I consider a Real lockbox. They have to have a mobile app on the agent's phone in order to gain access to the box. When the agent opens the box it records who and when they opened it, and it even tells you when they closed it. The above scenario could have been prevented by using the Supra box. How? I can program it to only open during the times the seller has told me. Anything before or after, the agent cannot open. Not only that, the agent cannot give some random person access to your home!
I cannot stress enough the importance of working with a REALTOR® that uses the tools of their trade and those available to them. If they cannot afford the $130 it takes to purchase a lockbox, they can borrow one. If they don't know anyone that they can borrow one from, they need to talk with their broker or team leader and figure it out. I may be overly passionate about a little lockbox but that passion is about the sellers and their home being protected from unauthorized access ... and yes if someone wants in, they find a way, but that is a whole different ball game!