There was a time, in the good old days, when agents used secure lockboxes, and only secure lockboxes, on the homes they listed.
With the advent of agents from a number of different multiple listing systems, with their own unique lockbox keys, showing homes outside of their area (dare I say sometimes out of their area of expertise) along has come the combination lockbox.
Yes, many agents have resorted to using combination lockboxes...I even admit to doing so twice. I'm uncomfortable with it and will be very reluctant to do it again. However, I am afraid to say I never will. What if my seller wants me to? Will I refuse? Will I give up the listing? Maybe not.
The problem with the combination lock boxes is when the agent puts the code in the public remarks for the listing. Perhaps it is just an error when it appears but then some agents need to be more careful when they are inputting their information. If they have someone else doing it, they need to remember it is still their responsibility to make sure that the information is accurate and to make sure that it does not reveal anything that could put their sellers at risk.
Our local multiple listing system has a drip system which can automatically e-mails contacts. This is a great way to enable you to keep your clients current with all the properties in their price range. However, it is a feature I do not use and one reason is because every once in a while I find a lock box combination in the public remarks. Please make sure you are not sending out this information.
Another reason I do not use the drip system is because some REALTORS®, in spite of the fact that they know it is not allowed, put their contact information in the public remarks. Another "error"? Hard to believe when it happens over and over again.
We have a great system that allows us to share so much information. This is extremely helpful to our buyers and sellers. We need to watch what we are putting in the system. There are guidelines...let's adhere to them for the benefit of our clients and our fellow REALTORS®.
Naturally this is meant for those that are being consistently negligent (lock box code) or abusing the system (their contact ifnormation) time and again.
Be sure to review your Listing Agreement...does it say that you are installing an electronic lock box? If so, unless you have permission from your seller you may want to reconsider using one with a combination.
OUCH! I just fell off my soapbox.
If you or someone you know is thinking of buying or selling property at or near Lake Anna, Virginia please contact Kathleen "Kate" Elim, REALTOR®.