Don’t allow a combination lock box when selling your home. Allow me to explain why.
Why Use A Lock box
Lock boxes make access easier. Because other options to show a house are more challenging, lock boxes are often a preferred method.
There are times that a home can only be shown when the listing agent or homeowner can be there to open it up. Since it is impossible for any listing agent or homeowner to always be available, a seller might miss showings.
There is another reason too. Agents are more enthusiastic about showing homes with lock boxes because it’s easier and forgiving. If your schedule is off by 10 or 15 minutes, you can still show the house without upsetting anyone.
Combination Lock Box vs Electronic
We’ve established the positive reasons for using a lock box. There are negatives too which are important to understand. I believe all of them have to do with combination lock boxes. By the way, these are also called combo lock boxes in case you were wondering.
Combination lock boxes are opened by punching in a number. Electronic lock boxes are very different.
The New Jersey MLS uses the Supra EKey electronic lockbox. They open using blue tooth technology. Agents do this using a fob or their cell phone. There is a huge difference between these two systems.
Combination lock boxes can be purchased for as little as $10 on Amazon. The NJMLS Supra units cost $106. Agents have to pay fees for either the fob or cell phone methods. A combo box costs an agent nothing after purchase.
With a combo box there is zero accountability. There is no record keeping. With the GE box there is an immediate record when an agent opens the box. As a listing agent, I can get text or email alerts when someone opens it up and written reports of all showings.
Accountability and Security
Because the GE lock box records every showing there is accountability. While I can’t prove this is true, my experience is that when a GE box is used, doors are locked and lights are off. This is not my experience with a combo box listing.
Right now there’s a house for sale in Englewood on W Hudson Ave with a combo box. I walk my dog by it at night and there’s always lights left on and windows opened.
Security is an issue too. GE boxes can be set for what hours a house can be accessed and there’s no limit to how often you can adjust this. Combination boxes can’t do this – agents can get in any time they wish and also without an appointment.
My Take On This
What I will tell you is this – if you list your house with me and we use a lock box, it will only be a MLS lock box. I will never expose any listing I have to the lack of accountability and security that exists with a combination lock box.
My company, Weichert Realtors, has every office manager purchase enough MLS lock boxes for our needs. My office is so busy that we have MLS lock boxes from several different MLS systems. This is the most professional standard of practice because it’s the most secure and accountable system.
So if you are selling your home or other property and want to use a lockbox, insist on an electronic MLS box. Anything else in my view is not acceptable.