All Lockboxes are Not Created Equally
A homeowner in Parker recently had his home trashed by a group of underage teens who appear to have used a real estate agent’s unsecure mechanical lockbox to gain entry. Unfortunately this same type of lockbox is used by over 90% of the agents in the Denver area. They are available from any hardware store for about $20. An unlock code of 3 or 4 characters or numbers is manually programmed into the box and remains static until the box owner manually changes it.
Here’s one of the many problems with these boxes. The agent has to memorize the code, and if he or she has several lockboxes, as most agents do, the codes will all be the same. They are usually something like B-U-Y or X-Y-Z or the agent’s initials, or if it’s a numeric box, a simple 4 number code like his address or 7777 or similar.
With these boxes there is no way to track who has used the lockbox and when it was used. I’m surprised that disturbing incidents like this don’t happen with greater frequency.
The type of lockbox that I use for my listings is an electronic wireless lockbox made by SentriLock. Multiple unique codes are electronically programmed into the box, and each showing agent is issued one of these codes. The code expires within a relatively short time after each showing, and use of the box is tracked so that a positive record of each use is logged to the SentriLock servers online.
Additionally, the home seller is given a separate code which can be used to lock out any other codes.
If a bad guy tries to break into the house using a stolen lockbox code with one of those cheapo hardware store lockboxes, they will most likely be successful.
If someone tries it with a SentriLock, they won’t get in.
So why doesn’t every Realtor use SentriLock? It introduces technology that some don’t understand, and also because SentriLock is much more expensive, and only those Realtors who value their client’s safety and security will pay the extra money to buy them and subscribe to the service.
The following video was created by the late Oliver Frascona. Oliver was a notable real estate attorney in Colorado who was tragically killed in a plane crash a few years ago. Oliver was a huge proponent of the electronic lockbox for storing the keys to the sellers home for Realtor accessibility.
Expensive in comparison to others ($175). This is undoubtedly the most secure. Every Realtor showing the property will be provided a unique 8 digit code that cannot be re-used. It is bluetooth enabled and uploads a log of who has accessed the property. Access can be disabled remotely.
This is the only type of lockbox that our team uses. We value the security of our clients.
Unsecure, Also cheap ($25). 4 digit code remains constant, allowing anyone with the code to access the home at any time, day or night.
Access code can be read by anyone who observes an agent showing the property. It’s clearly visible. Most Realtors in our area are still using these. Why? Don’t they value their clients privacy and security?
I hope this has been of value to you. Selling a home can be a very tricky proposition if not handled properly. If you would like some professional assistance with your home sale, please call me.
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Jerry Downer, Broker Associate
Your Castle Real Estate