Dons' musings about O Fallon Mo : OHHH Please, Tell Me That You Didn't Ask Me That........

OHHH Please, Tell Me That You Didn't Ask Me That........

OHHH Please, Tell Me That You Didn't Ask Me That........

Let me say this is a rant right up front and I am sure that there will be some that will disagree and that's ok.

Not too long ago I received a phone call from a fellow REALTOR®, at least I think she was, asking about one of my listings.  She asked if it was still available.  I answered Yes it is.

She then asked if it was a foreclosure.  Again I answered Yes it is.  She then asked if she could schedule it to show and I said SURE.  I asked her when she would like to show it and she asked me if it was on a combo lockbox and my answer to her was No ma'am I have it on an electronic lockbox.  She then asked me why I had it on the electronic lockbox.......I almost fell out of my seat in surprise that she would ask that question.

Electornic and Combo Lockboxs

I told her that I have a responsibility to my seller, even if it is a bank owned property, to keep the property secure.  One way that I can do that is to NOT have the property on a combo lockbox.  Why?  Because I have no control over who that, or any other agent, will give it to OR who their client will give it to.  We have enough problems in our market with vandalism and I am not going to help it along with free access.  I might as well just leave the door wide open.

I said that this is a rant up front.  I feel better now, thank you for letting me vent.  This is covered in our listing agreement and above that I believe it is part of my fiduciary to my clients when they are absentee owner or live in owner to keep their property secure.

BTW, she did not schedule the showing.  Did I lose a potential Yes?  Is the property still secured Yes!

     Linkin with Don Rogers     Follow Don Rogers


Don Rogers is a licensed REALTOR® in Missouri.  I specialize in St. Charles County Missouri and have called O Fallon MO my home since 1993.  If you are looking to buy or sell or you are relocating to the area and would like information about the St Charles County MO area do not hesitate to give me a call at 314-954-6775 or if you would prefer to send me an email.


Comment balloon 114 commentsDon Rogers • January 13 2011 08:14PM


Don - I always use a supra lockbox regardless of who owns the property.  I heard about a scam going on where people would contact listing agents posing as a buyers agent and try to obtain the combo lockbox code.  Then they'd be able to come and go as they please.

Posted by Michelle Gibson, REALTOR (Hansen Real Estate Group Inc. ) over 9 years ago


You make a very good point.  In my market area there is about 30% electronic boxes and 70% combination boxes.  No doubt the electronic are more secure but I think there is resistance to using them because of the cost.  I imagine it will just be a matter of time before they are phased in completely, but in the meantime.....the security of the electronic lock box could be another benefit to your clients if they list with you.  I can't believe the number of Realtors who don't have their own keypad.

Posted by Tony Morganti, CRS, ABR, SRES - Cuyahoga Falls, Stow (RE/MAX Crossroads in Cuyahoga Falls and Stow, Ohio) over 9 years ago

What a story!  Glad you had it on the blue box!

Posted by Chandler Real Estate Liz Harris, MBA, #ChandlerRealEstateAgent (Liz Harris Realty) over 9 years ago

Hi Don:

I'm with you 100%...

I place the electronic lockboxes on all of my listings...period.

Posted by Toula Rosebrock, Broker/Sales Associate, Realtor, Lacey Township, (Diane Turton, Realtors, Forked River, NJ) over 9 years ago

Don, in Boise Idaho most everything is on the Supra lock box so it's really not an issue anymore, I imagine your market will get there eventually.  I think your "rant" was well mannered and appropriate!   

Posted by Keith Vermilyea (Home Buyers Marketing II, Inc.) over 9 years ago


You did the right thing. I am a home inspector and in our area inspectors can get a lock box key but it only works with the CBS (Call before showing) code.

You would be shocked at how many agents never set up the CBS code for their boxes and when I call they tell me where the key is hidden at the property.

Then when I show up the buyer has already opened up the home since he saw where the agent stashed it at.

There is notheing common about common sence.

Posted by Scott Warga (ACSI American Construction Specialists & Investigations) over 9 years ago

Supra is a great way to opritect those occupied listings, unfortanately most banks make me use their box or to place their specific code on a combo box

Posted by Scott Godzyk, One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents (Godzyk Real Estate Services) over 9 years ago
I have a Supra key and many agents use the Supra boxes, but most reo's are on combo boxes. I called on one today and it has a combo box. The other agent asked for my license number before she gave me the code. I guess that is one way to pretending that she is being diligent...
Posted by Karen Steed, Associate Broker Haralson Realty (Tallapoosa, Bremen, Waco, Buchanan, Temple, Carrollton) over 9 years ago

Vent away Don, you couldn't be more correct. Along with the greatly relaxed standards that people assume should be the case, they also want not to be accountable either. Not going to happen on your watch, nor mine. 

Posted by William Johnson, Retired Real Estate Professional (Retired) over 9 years ago

Nice to see there are conscientious agents, even when it's a bank-owned property. We should always give our best!

Posted by Joetta Fort, Independent Broker, Homes Denver to Boulder (The DiGiorgio Group) over 9 years ago


I had not heard of that scam but thank you for passing that information along.

Posted by Don Rogers, Realtor, Broker, CDPE, GRI, OnullFallon MO & St Charles County MO homes (Keller Williams Realty Chesterfield) over 9 years ago


I can't believe thatagents won't buy the electronic lockboxs if their company don't offer them to their agents.  I own my own and they go on all of my homes.  Just wait until an agent is sued and then see how fast that fee for the electronic  lockbox is overlooked.

Posted by Don Rogers, Realtor, Broker, CDPE, GRI, OnullFallon MO & St Charles County MO homes (Keller Williams Realty Chesterfield) over 9 years ago


I consider them an essential to doing business.  Thank you for stopping in.

Posted by Don Rogers, Realtor, Broker, CDPE, GRI, OnullFallon MO & St Charles County MO homes (Keller Williams Realty Chesterfield) over 9 years ago

Good evening Toula,

I wouldn't think of using anything else for my listings.  Although i do place them on the property so the appraiser can get in to do their work then change them out that same day.

Posted by Don Rogers, Realtor, Broker, CDPE, GRI, OnullFallon MO & St Charles County MO homes (Keller Williams Realty Chesterfield) over 9 years ago


We are on the Supra lockbox but there are those agents that would rather do the combo lockbox for their REO properties.  Not me.

Posted by Don Rogers, Realtor, Broker, CDPE, GRI, OnullFallon MO & St Charles County MO homes (Keller Williams Realty Chesterfield) over 9 years ago


Our inspectors here also get their key so they can get into the proeprties to do their inspections which is a real plus.

Posted by Don Rogers, Realtor, Broker, CDPE, GRI, OnullFallon MO & St Charles County MO homes (Keller Williams Realty Chesterfield) over 9 years ago

Scott G.,

I use the combo boxs for the bank to get their initial work done but once I get the listing agreement which says they give me permission to place a electronic lockbox on their property. :-))

Posted by Don Rogers, Realtor, Broker, CDPE, GRI, OnullFallon MO & St Charles County MO homes (Keller Williams Realty Chesterfield) over 9 years ago


That is a real twist to getting another agents information prior to showing.

Posted by Don Rogers, Realtor, Broker, CDPE, GRI, OnullFallon MO & St Charles County MO homes (Keller Williams Realty Chesterfield) over 9 years ago


It seems as though the standards keep getting weaker and weaker.  When will it end and we start doing what we are supposed to do.

Posted by Don Rogers, Realtor, Broker, CDPE, GRI, OnullFallon MO & St Charles County MO homes (Keller Williams Realty Chesterfield) over 9 years ago


Some agents want a combo so they can give the code out to their buyers. I always use an electronic box!

Featured in the group "Whacked!!!"

Posted by Richard Weisser, Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional (Richard Weisser Realty) over 9 years ago


Thank you ma'am for stopping in tonight for a visit.  I am just trying to do my job that's all.

Posted by Don Rogers, Realtor, Broker, CDPE, GRI, OnullFallon MO & St Charles County MO homes (Keller Williams Realty Chesterfield) over 9 years ago


My friend I agree with you but those agents need to take their job a little more serious or re-think why they are in this profession.

Posted by Don Rogers, Realtor, Broker, CDPE, GRI, OnullFallon MO & St Charles County MO homes (Keller Williams Realty Chesterfield) over 9 years ago

Don: Every listing on our MLS must have a supra lock box, if it has a lock box, or the agent can be fined $100. Most foreclosed properties have combo boxes on them as well though for contractors or out of area agents. I think as long as you can confirm the agent's identity there's no reason why they shouldn't be able to use the combo box if it is in place.

Posted by Matt Grohe, Serving the metro since 2003 (RE/MAX Concepts) over 9 years ago

Howdy and evening to you Don

everyone needs to vent at sometime. My friend, you sure are doing the right thing. You just never know anymore what ours just might end up doing.

Have a good one
Dale in New Hampshire

Posted by Dale Baker, New Hampshire Relocation Real Estate Information (Baker Energy Audits and Commercial Properties Inspections) over 9 years ago

The Supra tells me Who has been in the house, and when.  An Alert appears on my Blackberry.

The Combo tells me nothing.  Not only that, but once mosts Combos are opened, the person who opened it can then re-tumble the numbers and change the Code.


Posted by Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate, Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker (Fred Griffin Real Estate) over 9 years ago


I like the idea of the $100 fine and the backup combo box for the contractors.  That is not a bad idea.

Posted by Don Rogers, Realtor, Broker, CDPE, GRI, OnullFallon MO & St Charles County MO homes (Keller Williams Realty Chesterfield) over 9 years ago


You are so right my friend -- you just never know what someone else is going to do.

Posted by Don Rogers, Realtor, Broker, CDPE, GRI, OnullFallon MO & St Charles County MO homes (Keller Williams Realty Chesterfield) over 9 years ago

Good morning Fred,

I had never stopped to think about someone going into the box and changing the combo but, You are so right sir.

Posted by Don Rogers, Realtor, Broker, CDPE, GRI, OnullFallon MO & St Charles County MO homes (Keller Williams Realty Chesterfield) over 9 years ago

Good morning Don, most foreclosures in this area are not on electronic boxes which surprises me... 

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) over 9 years ago

Don - For some reason, the combo lockbox has persisted here, but only on lease properties.  I've never even owned one.  All of ours are Supra.

Posted by Jason Crouch, Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653) (Austin Texas Homes, LLC) over 9 years ago

I love your rant - Why? How about the day I showed up to preview three units in a building that my client would see me at in a moment.  One combo lock box had no key.  I called the agent and informed them and they told me the key would be back in the box MAYBE in a couple of days but probably NEXT WEEK.  Gotta love those real estate agents!!!!!


Posted by Vince McEveety (Gilleran Griffin Realty) over 9 years ago

Hi Don, I'm with you.  Of course we want it on an e-box.  It helps us to keep an eye on the activities of our listings. 

Posted by Brandon & Grace Yee, Lake Tahoe Real Estate (Chase International) over 9 years ago

Electronic all the way! Just showed a property that had a combo box with the front open and the key in the front door.

Posted by Lisa VonBargen, Estes Park Real Estate Photographer (Photography7522) over 9 years ago

Don, that is a great reminder to be cautious who gets the code. I have used combo in the past, but i use it as a supplement for a specific reason so only the intended user gets the code.

Posted by Diane Lipps, Broker "Lake Ray Hubbard Real Estate" (DA Rock of Homes - Broker/Owner/REALTOR (469-879-1301)) over 9 years ago

Don...I cannot believe she did not schedule it.  I have a SUPRA key just for that reason & I cannot believe there is anyone who does not have one.  More often than not, I find the listings have the combo lock box.  You know what?  I prefer the electronic ones - they are easier to open!  No fumbling with the numbers or dial.  I don't do listings but I would also worry about the code; once it is out there, there is no taking it back.

Posted by Christine Smith, Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA (Buyers Brokers Only LLC - over 9 years ago

Don - Happens all the time, doesn't it? We do bank owned too and it never ceases to amaze me how many agents ask for the combo code "so they can give it their inspector, the carpet guy, etc". The answer is "do your job" in no uncertain terms. Whenever my ActiveKey chirps, I immediately log in to Supra to see if the person entering a house via the iBox even made a showing appointment. So often they do not, even though it is a violation of our MLS rules. 

Posted by Christianne O'Malley, Exceptional Service - Delivering Results in Reno! (RE/MAX Realty Affiliates) over 9 years ago


I completely agree with you and I also use a Supra. 

Honestly, sometimes when I list property in long distance farming areas or small towns ( I should Pass on but don't) I use a combo box because local brokers don't belong to the MLS or have Supra keys, but they have the buyers.


Don Keeton REMAX The Producers of Omaha

Posted by Don and Valerie Keeton, Omaha Real Estate - 402-496-3700 (RE/MAX The Producers) over 9 years ago

Electronic boxes are rarely used in my market. Almost all REOs are on a regular lock box. We do however use a showing service through our MLS. This service verifies licenses and logs showings.

With an electronic box I don't know who is showing the property until AFTER it is shown. With the showing service I know BEFORE they show it. This gives me the opportunity to send over the web album I have for the property. Or call them with other pertinent informatrion including other properties that they may have missed in the search.

It's my opinoin that the same agents that hand out lock box codes are the same ones that let others use their electronic key.

It's the agents that are the problem. NOT the type of lock box.

Posted by Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time (Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC) over 9 years ago

Don, I only use a Supra lockbox regardless of the property. It's astounding that someone would give a combo number over the phone without any way of verifying the legitimacy of the caller.

Posted by Robin Scott, Broker, CRS, ABR, SRS, REALTOR® - Austin Texas (Robin Scott, REALTOR®) over 9 years ago

I hate combo lock boxes.  I much rather have a Supra key on the door, makes it so much easier to deal with during a transaction.  Thanks for the rant post

Posted by Jimmy Gilley, (269) 362-4841 - Search Niles MI Home For Sale (Gold Star Realty) over 9 years ago

A REAL potential buyer or buyer's agent, wouldn't have been deterred.  I would venture to say "No loss."  However; you may have potentially saved yourself and the Seller of a multitude of problems stemming from that "agent".

Posted by Natalie Flaming, Oklahoma City Real Estate (Metro First Realty - The VIP Team) over 9 years ago

That's funny. I dislike supra keys. They are too expensive  & difficult to maintain. I often have signal problems with them out in the country...Those expensive remote pads we had to update last year are not holding up well. We paid hundreds of dollars to "lease" them, and they are crap. The number pad has not held up, it won't hold its charge, and it takes hours and hours to re-charge it. Quite often I'll be out showing houses, and zap-the dang thing goes dead, or the battery on the door unit is dead...I've traded in several, and they all seem to have the same problem.

The other thing with a supra is some agents have problems with unannounced showings without appointments. The agent drives up and sees the supra, and figure no appt is needed, I guess...I have noticed that in the Houston market, the unwritten code is if the property is occupied, supra, if unoccupied, combo. If you don't make an appt, and the house is occupied, and the homeowner is not dressed, or what not, it can be a problem.

In reality, the hardware of combo vs. supra is not the issue. It is that people don't think, and have no manners, and think they don't have to follow the rules. This is the true issue. It is frustrating. I wish people would grow some manners!!

Posted by Amy Law (Alliance Properties) over 9 years ago

I am right there with you!  I got this same call on one of my listings.  It is close to going into foreclosure and an agent from another market area was doing a BPO on it.  She wanted me to come open the Supra on New Years Day because she didn't have a Supra Key!  She kept asking why it wasn't on a combo!!!  I later found out that she is not a member of either of the MLS systems that cover our local market (her broker is) because I questioned her and she said she was a member of all the MLS's....well if she was she should have a Supra Key!!!  I did the "right" thing and let her in, but I let her know that I was on to her!

Posted by Jeani Codrey, If you're not learning, you're not living! (The Learning Jeani) over 9 years ago

Hi Don,

I completely understand that you are a professional and want others to act professionally.

I agree 100%.  But, in this market I don't want to lose showings, so I will keep an extra key in my office for my listings, if the agent doesn't have the card key for the electronic box, they can still show it, they just have to go out of their way to pick up the key.


Hope you have a great new year!

Posted by Kevin O'Shea, White Plains, NY Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) over 9 years ago

Don, sounds fishy all the way around. It really would be that easy to call an agent, act like I'm calling as an agent, and gain access to a vacant property for a night. I can't see how your post would make anyone upset. You can never be too safe. 

Posted by Sample Sample over 9 years ago

Don I really think you could have done a much better job of ranting.  Don't hold anything back next time!  It can be frustrating to deal with some of our peers...some we wonder how they ever got licensed and others we wonder how they can be successful when they're so oblivious...

But before I go on a rant I will say that if she didn't show it she may not have been a Realtor at all or perhaps not a member of your association.  If she's licensed she should have a Supra card (provided that's what you guys use there).

I will also say that in my market Realtors who specialize in foreclosures and short sales frequently use combos because they have so many listings.  While I can appreciate your point I can also appreciate the cost of purchasing several lockboxes.  Most of the time when I show a foreclosure the MLS remarks have not only indicated that it is one but that I would need to call the LA to get the combo.

Better luck with your showings.



Posted by Dave Leiderman, ABR, SFR - Realtor - DE & MD Beaches (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 9 years ago

Don, we need more agents like you.  I have never shown an REO with an electronic box.  Great job!

Posted by Joe Kenny, Better Than Your Average Joe (Realty Executive Midwest) over 9 years ago

Great rant Don...I agree that she should identify herself up front and provide some proof if she wants to see your property...and you probably did not lose a buyer...but then again who knows...

Because here is my take on it and my comments here are to the few narrow minded viewers of your blog who seem to have forgotten that the seller is in charge.  If the seller requests a combo box...and many REO or bank properties do, then that is what you have to use. Their reasons may be flawed but it is their choice. Even some sellers do.  That is how it works. It is not the agents or MLS  decision unless the seller makes it your decision.

There are many agents also out there working who do not belong to NAR (Not Always Reality) which has a monopoly on one of the rented/leased electronic boxes key junk system.  (I used an electronic box key for years and yes they are junk...reread some of the above comments.)

Does that mean that those unaffiliated agents do not have legitimate buyers?  Or are not legitimate agents themselves?

You put all your trust in an electronic key system and then think it protects you and the client from harm or loss or keys being left in the door with the door wide open?

Keep in mind that NAR and the mls do NOT trump your state law and be very very careful in any self righteousness about electronic boxes if they violate the wishes of your required or not.

I am not in a large metro so maybe it would not work as well there...but in our market I have no problem getting into NAR agents houses by getting the key.

I also have no problem with agents or NAR agents showing any listing I might have although the nice thing is the NAR agents prefer to not show my listings since I am not a NAR agent even though I coop and pay as much or more on my listings.

That means their clients call me direct to see the property and then I sell it to them...double ending the deal and yes it makes NAR agents mad and yes they call me all the names in the book and yes they forgot that they were working for the client and wouldn't call me for the lockbox combo code or stop and get the key and YES I laugh all the way to the bank and finally YES...this is happening in every state and almost every town in America.

Even in YOUR town Mr or Ms. reader...right

In my town of 30,000 people their are at least 20 brokers/agents who not affiliated with NAR and of the top income earning brokers in this town...3 of the top 6 brokers do not belong to NAR / mls or electronic key system and they earn well over $250,000 per year. 

Many of us do not need NAR or electronic boxes and that does not make us any less Professional than someone who ponies up hundreds/thousands of dollars each year so they can say they are a NAR agent and have a part time working key.  

When your key breaks or is not charged is that "professional" or is that the fault of the system? NAR agents miss out on millions of showing across America each year because of lack of willingness to work with unaffiliated agents or broken electronic that professional and working as hard as you can for your client?

I enjoy reading the comments of many of the folks who make comments that by being strong-armed or required to join a "Professional" organization like "NAR" they will be better agents.  Many times...including 4 or 5 times in this thread...I see comments that are funnier than actually reading the comic page in the paper.

All of our clients would be so much better off if everyone left NAR and their electronic box system and formed our own local mls type service...but you won't and in a few years the industry will lose another 2 or 300,000 members like it has over the past few years.

And I won't be laughing about that because even the self righteous need to eat and live.

Posted by Mike McCann - Nebraska Farm Land Broker, Farm Land For Sale 308-627-3700 or 800-241-3940 (Mike McCann - Broker, Mach1 Realty Farmland Broker-Auctioneer Serving Rural Nebraska) over 9 years ago

I generally use Supra lockboxes, but... some of my REO listing clients require combo lockboxes with specific codes so that their contractors can access the property easily.

Posted by Jeanne Dufort, Madison and Lake Oconee GA (Coldwell Banker Lake Country) over 9 years ago

I'm not exactly sure that you lost a potential client. A potential client would absolutely not care if the lockbox was combo or sentrilock.

Posted by Melissa Zavala, Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County (Broadpoint Properties) over 9 years ago

i also have lock boxes on my REOs. Why, because the listing agreement says i have too. But I also show all my listings even though it may have a lock box on it.

Posted by Justin Quinn (Windwalker Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Thanks! I enjoyed the story and hadn't thought of that before, but you are right, allot goes on with the combo boxes on REO our market, we have about 3 standard combo sequences. Not the most top secret!

Posted by Jennifer Wolfe over 9 years ago

I have been a Realtor here for 10 years and have Never Used a Combo Box...  We have had Supra Boxes and what we call KIM Keys since I began.  Every Realtor here has access as part of their fees to our MLS Board.  I don't use the Supra Key to access the boxes I use my iPhone 4 with Ekey adapter and Ekey App...   Works fantastic.  We have to purchase our boxes at $150 Each and we can either have a CBS Code or not. 

Nobody enters a house here without the Listing Agent's knowledge unless specified on the listing sheet. 

Posted by Ryan Penner (REMAX Signature Properties (Calgary/Okotoks, Alberta Canada)) over 9 years ago

Let's see... either not an agent, or too cheap to for the key.

In SoCal, we are "suppose" to be on SUPRA's only, but we still have combo's for workers & such.

Posted by Phil & Celeste Pafford, Corona Short Sale Broker (, Corona CA) over 9 years ago

Don, I wish all the REO listing agents in my area took their job as seriously as you do. Do they use a combo box on their "regular" listings? What's the difference? I don't see one. Protecting our clients is our job, and any tool that we can reasonably provide is just a cost of doing business. Thanks for the "rant", although you are much more civil in yours than I would be. Thanks!

Posted by Chris and Berna Sloan, Tooele UT (Group 1 Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Don, very odd. Why would she care WHY you chose an electronic lock box? It IS more secure, so you have the best. This should have made her happy. Strange. I am like others, if an agent, she did not have access. VERY VERY weird.

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) over 9 years ago

I've never even seen an electronic lockbox. Maybe we're behind the times? I heard they're more expensive, but I wouldn't mind. Besides the security, I hate opening a lockbox and they key is missing. Happens way too often.

Posted by Eric Michael, Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519 (Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI) over 9 years ago

A lot of distressed properties in the Las Vegas market use both boxes -- electronic for agents, combination for cleaning and repair vendors. I think that's the best solution.

Posted by John Novak, Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate (Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace) over 9 years ago

I would think that if the seller, ie. in most cases bank REO listings, wishes to have a combo lockbox, there is a reason.  Usually, as John states above, it is so their inspectors and other vendors have access to the listing.  There is, however, nothing that says that you cannot have a combo lockbox for those folks and an electronic lockbox for agents.  There is no reason that could not work as long as no one has the combo but the listing agent and all agent showings go through the electronic one. That way, if an agent would like to show it that does not have electronic keybox access, you can give them that code as necessary.  Sounds like a good solution to me.

On a side note, we must be very fortunate here in Iowa.  Our local MLS association pays for the lockboxes and then in turn charges us a fee of $1 per box per month.  If we lose them or they are stolen, we are responsible for the replacement.  Also, when the number of lockboxes is low, agents are only allowed to have as many lockboxes as listings and will be asked to return them to the boards' inventory.  

Posted by Karen Feltman, Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group) over 9 years ago

A suggestion for Supra Lock Box users - at this time of year, many Agents and Brokers decide "Not to Renew" their Board Membership.   Hence, they know longer need, nor can use, the Supra eKey Lockboxes.

Contact "Retiring" Brokers about Buying their Lockboxes.    I bought quite a few Supra Boxes for $25 - $30 each.  Compare this to the Board Price of $90 each.    I took my "New" Lock Boxes into the Board Office, and had them Re-Registered and Re-Set as My Lockboxes.    

Posted by Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate, Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker (Fred Griffin Real Estate) over 9 years ago

I am aware of agents who loan their MLS login information to their clients!

I am aware of agents who just give combinations to clients to save a drive.

I am aware of agents who let unlicensed assistants borrow their electronic lockbox keys.

And then there are all those excellent agents (the great majority) who do NOT do any of these things.

Posted by Jim Gilbert, The Gold Homes Team (Keller Williams Fairfax Gateway) over 9 years ago

I use electronic lockboxes for security. If an agent cannot spend the money (and it is pretty inexpensive) to have the tools to do their job, then they should reconsider the job. I wonder how they would feel if a plumber came to their home with out tools and told them that tools were too expensive, then asked to use their tools, and still charged the same amount for their service. Bet they would reconsider, and maybe see how unprofessional it is to work without their own tools. 

Posted by Jeanne Kozak, REALTOR and Broker/Owner in WV and VA (RE/MAX In Action) over 9 years ago

Just wish the agents with combo lockboxes would either answer their phone so I could get the code or post it as an attachment in the MLS.  I hate to get to the home with my buyer and not be able to get the door opened because of the combo lock box.

Posted by Suzanne Taylor, Home Sales In Corpus Christi, TX (Ultima Real Estate - Corpus Christi) over 9 years ago

Good for you!  I completely agree with you.  Combo lockboxes are not secure.  In fact, our agent when we bought our home many years ago, had absolutely no problem giving me the combination so that I could come and go without her.  Now that I know better, I'm sure the builder would not have been happy about it.  Your duty to the seller is to secure the property and I don't know many agents who would give out their electronic lockbox key to their clients . . .

Posted by Lisa Ackerson, CRS - Dallas Fort Worth Area Expert (JP and Associates REALTORS®) over 9 years ago

I don't see the big deal.  I use both, combo and supra lockboxes and never had a problem.  One thing-I do not put the combo code in MLS, I make even agents call for it, that way I know who and when it's being shown. 

Not to mention that if you're on the edge of several different MLS boundaries (as I am), many agent's supra keys won't work on your fancy electronic supra box anyway.  Combo's the way to go.  Many homes even have both.

And I can't imagine not showing a home because it has a combo lockbox on it.  Sounds like someone who just doesn't feel like getting out and showing a home.

Posted by Jim Pirkle (Harvest Realty LLC) over 9 years ago

Many times, I come across vacant homes with electronic lockboxes where doors have been left unlocked, sliding doors left open, windows left open, AC left on.  I always secure the home. and let the agent know.  What do you do with the agent that previously showed it?

Posted by Greg Haraksin, North Orange County Homes (Prudential California Realty) over 9 years ago

Support again for the many different perspectives on practically every topic.  Even when we believe we're making the only "right" choice, turns out circumstances can dictate other "right" actions.  

Posted by Beverly Femia, Broker Realtor Stager - Greater Wilmington, NC Are (BlueCoast Realty Corporation) over 9 years ago

Hi Don,  Not quite sure why she had an issue with the Supra lock.  Perhaps she was looking for an esay way to gain access or wasn't really a board member.  Hmmm...

Posted by Bill Gillhespy, Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos (16 Sunview Blvd) over 9 years ago

When the foreclosure onslaught first hit, a lot of REO agents quit using Supra lockboxes in our area because of the expense. If you have 100+ listings, that's a lot $$$ tied up in Supras. But complaints started to roll in. Too many agents were making showing appointments assuming a Supra, and then arrived to find a combo and had to doodle around trying to get the combination while their buyers stood impatiently by. Now all agents are required by the the terms of our MLS to have a Supra lockbox on their listings. They can have a second, combo box for their contractors if they wish.

Posted by Linda Humphrey, CRS, Broker/Owner HHC Realty (Humphrey Home Connections Realty, Reno, Nevada) over 9 years ago

Although most banks/asset managers require their combo and keycode, having a Supra on the door sure saves me hassle when filling out the monthly status report as I can easily see who has been in the property.  While the combo box is necessary, who says that has to be located on the front door? The lady calling for the code could have been looking for copper to steal out of the house, or a squatter.  I say never ever give out the code if their is a Supra on the door. Been there done that...seen too many scenarios play out.

Posted by Kathy Fuhriman (Bear River Valley Realty) over 9 years ago

Hi Don. I cannot believe someone would be offended by a Supra. Every serious agent should have one. Besides all the already  mentioned security reasons, in a lot of times a Supra is just easier to open. I have been multiple times to houses where the combination lock would not open - either someone in the real estate office had given out the wrong combination or the combination lock was just in very bad shape. And I am with you, yes, I want to be able to see who all accessed my listing.

Posted by Christine DeLay (Bransom Real Estate, Azle, Tarrant County, TX) over 9 years ago

There's nothing to rant about - it's the way it should be. I only use electronic although I am not listing REOs

The issue we often have is with agents from other MLSs/counties listing properties in our area. Then you only see combo boxes. They clearly are not willing to pay for a box they might not use often in another MLS, plus they have to be a member. Not so with the combo boxes.

Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California) over 9 years ago

We don't have electronic lockboxes in our county.  Too few agents and population probably.  Based on the average commission around here, most agents don't want the extra expense.  You can't buy the Supra have to rent it at $280 a year.  For those of us that live in an area where you still go pick up the key from the agents office, that is an expense that most don't want to pay.  Again, we are small, all our offices are within a mile of each other and for 95% of listings, you go pick up the key from the agent's office.

Posted by Carolyn Shipp, Mineral Wells Texas Real Estate (Source 1 Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Agree that Supra is more secure, however, as REO agents, we are usually directed by the bank to use a combo lockbox on our REO listings.  We do however use a showing service and require all agents to log showings through this service.  This enhances security with combo lockbox secured properties.

Posted by Bradenton, Sarasota, Real Estate ~ The Serena Group, Selling Real Life Dreams in Paradise! (Bradenton-Homes, Experts - Keller Williams Realty ) over 9 years ago

Shouldn't she have seen all that information on the MLS? My guess is she was not a Realtor and thought she could talk you into giving her the code. You did the right thing.

Posted by Ann Cordes, Home Ownership is Not a Distant Dream (Century 21 Randall Morris and Associates, Waco) over 9 years ago

Hi Don

I Don't think you are ranting at all. Your stabd is valid and you have a right to take it. In the six months I have been doing this business I have only seen The Supra key used up here in the Pacific N.W.............Brad

Posted by Brad Hornshaw, Realtor, Listing Agent, Buyers Agent, Investments (Brad Hornshaw Realtor Lynnwood, Bothell, Everett) over 9 years ago

I had to go back and see what state you were from!  We have an agent here in town who doesn't PAY for a key card.  When she shows property, you have to either meet her at the unit to let her in or provide her with a key!  She has NO REGARD for any one else's time!

Posted by Kathy Opatka, Serving Ocean City, MD, & The Delaware Beaches (RE/MAX CROSSROADS) over 9 years ago

Supra boxes are great tools.  We like knowing when someone shows our listings and who they were so all of our listings have them.  Our only problem is that many of the batteries are getting low and they are not powerful enough to even release the shackle when you have to remove them from the property in the winter.  They won't change the batteries for us until they are just about worthless (20% or less).  We've had listings where the keybox doesn't open at all when it's cold out and we had to give the buyer's agent the garage code just to show the home.

Posted by Derrick Guevremont, Rochester MN Homes for Sale (Counselor Realty of Rochester) over 9 years ago

I'm with you Don - supra allows me to control the entry at least a little.  And I can get reports when I need them.  I also do not understand the agents who will not provide themselves with the tools for doing business.  Great post

Posted by Kimberly Brandon, Broker/Owner (Smart Moves Real Estate) over 9 years ago
I totally agree with you. I'm in an area with 2 different multiple listing services and often have to have a combo box on for some agents that don't have compatible keys. They must call me and prove who they are before I give out that number. Good post.
Posted by Julie Baldino, Opening Doors to New Chapters... (Front Door Realty) over 9 years ago

Nothing wrong with ranting every now and then.  I am with you that electronic lockboxes are more secure.  Too many times agents are giving out combo codes to their clients so they don't have to be bothered showing them homes.  Agents need to be more responsible and remember their duties and responsibilites to keep people and properties safe and secure.

Posted by Valerie DoBrava, Your Key to Real Estate (NextHome First Choice Realty) over 9 years ago

Don:  This is not a rant.  All you are doing is expressing a "concern."  I do not have any combo lockboxes on my listings, and cannot remember the last time I even owned one.

And I think the argument that they are too expensive is pretty lame.  Supra boxes are $86.31 each... here in DFW.  Sure, that pretty much kills a hundred dollar bill... but it is worth it.  For an agent to say they cannot afford six of these for their listings because they are too expensive... makes about as much sense to me as an agent trying to convince me that using a bicycle when they're showing houses is better than a car because it is less expensive.  Uh huh.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) over 9 years ago

We don't have to put a lockbox on a listing, but if we do it must be a Supra iBox. When I have an REO with a coded lockbox on as well, some agents call for the code because their battery on their phone or Active Key died. I won't give it out and they get mad at me.

Posted by Cynthia Larsen, Independent Broker In Sonoma County, CA over 9 years ago

Well I think she was just going to have the buyers go there & check it out whenever. I do the same thing & have been harassed because of it.  But I've also been showing with my clients & have seen buyers come up to a foreclosure unaccompanied & add the agent gave them the combo.  If I wanted to get involved I would have asked who it is & reported them but who has the time for that.  I do tell the buyers to stay out of the house until I am finished with my showing.

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) over 9 years ago

Who the heck would use a combo lock box??? You made the right move. If she was serious, this would not have entered into it at all...

Posted by RhondaHeaslip NanaimoRealEstate (RE/MAX of Nanaimo) over 9 years ago

My REOs and HUDs have combo boxes by instruction from the banks and HUD.

I sometimes forget how lucky we are at our Board. We lease our electronic Redi-Key and our Board provides the lockboxes (RediSafe) but don't dare lose one or turn it back in late -- nasty fine.  If a lockbox is lost, I think it is close to $100 to replace but since I've never lost one, I don't really know.  It is very different for those who have small Boards. There are less than 300 agents in our Board so we pretty well all know one another. It does make life simpler.

Posted by Velda Miller (The Real Estate Store LLC) over 9 years ago

I don't care what type of lockbox you use but how do you get around the banks & REO companies dictating using a combination box and even telling you the code to program it to? One of them insists on the same combo on all the houses--that's truly stupid because once you tell an agent the combo, they have access to all that banks houses and you'll never know who is coming and going.

Posted by Jeff Getman, Realty Executives (Realty Executives of Ravalli County) over 9 years ago

Don,  I doubt that you lost a potential sale. 

A REAL agent would have a lockbox key so it would not have mattered what type of box you had on the property.  This is either a case of a non-agent wanting to view the property or an out of area agent who should not be trying to work in an area in which she can not provide full service.  I would not lose sleep over it.

Posted by Gayle Barton, Forsyth County Real Estate, Cumming GA Homes For Sale (404) 710-0204 (BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY Georgia Properties) over 9 years ago

I'm a home inspector.  I pay for a Supra key.  It's a business expense.  I THOUGHT Buffalo had only electronic lock boxes, but I was wrong when I went to inspect a home last week and saw a combination lock!  Uh oh!  Sometimes agents don't come to the inspection, and I had never met this agent.  I quickly called the # on the sign in the front yard, and got a voice mail.  Well, I started the inspection (outside, snow, 20 degrees) and HOPED the listing agent would call me back.  The buying agent came (whew!) and had the combination... or so she thought!  She tried the combo, and it didn't work.  She called the listing agent as well, but thankfully, the listing agent called her back with the correct combo.  For today's inspection, I called the listing office to see if it had an electronic box.  The woman on the other end seemed confused as to why I would ask such a thing, until I mentioned that my last inspection had a combo lock.

Posted by Julie Babcock -Nook & Cranny Home Inspections (Nook & Cranny Home Inspections Tonawanda, NY) over 9 years ago

Here in No. Calif. it is mandatory to use the SUPRA box part of our required MLS fee's-if we want workers to have access we must furnish an additional combo box and only furnish it to that worker and when he is done change the combo. Lot's of maintenance but it our responsibility as agents to protect our sellers that's part of our paycheck.

Posted by Dianne McNeill over 9 years ago

Very good post here. Many bank owned home in our area, are on combo boxes, and some realtors ask you to call them to show it. So, you can be sitting in front of the house with buyers, and look at your printout only to see "call agent for code". Then you call, and the agent doesn't pick up!

Supra boxes are the way to go, so you can track who goes in. Sounds like this agent wanted to get the code, or may have been just somebody who wanted to go check it out.

Posted by Eugene Lew (RE/MAX equity group) over 9 years ago

i hate it when you have to call for a combo and can not get anyone on the phone for two days. Many showings are missed because of a combo box and a missing in action listing agent.

The agent that called you just gives out the combo to buyers and has them drive around themself.

Posted by Alan Grizzle, Full Time Realtor, Lifelong Resident of Dahlonega (Chestatee Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Thank you to all who have commented on this post I really appreciate your views and your passion for this topic.  I have notice that there are other REO agents that have commented with a concern about the banks request for a combo lockbox for their contractors.  YES they may require that you have a combo lockbox on the property but the bank that I work with currently has not told me that it is the ONLY LOCKBOX to be on the property.  Is there anything wrong with two boxs on the property and direction to the company that does the scheduling of showings to not give out the combo code to anyone without YOUR approval?  From what I have experienced in the past is that the reason the bank needs a combo box on the property is for the appraiser to come in and do their work or for another agent to do a followup BPO if needed.  Most banks have a service company that will go out to the property that does the winterization and places a combox on the property for you. 

Again thank you for your comments it has given me MUCH to mull over and consider.

Posted by Don Rogers, Realtor, Broker, CDPE, GRI, OnullFallon MO & St Charles County MO homes (Keller Williams Realty Chesterfield) over 9 years ago

I am with the crowd that likes the electronic lock box. As an agent I want to know who has been in the house and when. A trend that I am starting to notice with more and more frequency is the listing agent who wants to use manual lock boxes but still control who goes into the home. They do this by requiring you to call them to get the code and that would work perfectly if they picked up their phone - just saying! For me its getting to be no code, no show!


Posted by Bill Bentley (Realty One Group) over 9 years ago

Hi Don,

The electronic box is what all of our agents in the MLS use.  The REO agents will also but a combo box on it to allow for repairs, the appraiser, and other people they are  giving permission to.  But any agents viewing properties here must enter with an electronic key.  It records the agent entry and the time of day so to a listing agent really valuable.  I'm glad it's that way for us. 

Great post!

Posted by DeeDee Riley, Realtor - El Dorado Hills & the Surrounding Areas (Lyon Real Estate - El Dorado Hills CA) over 9 years ago

Don -- I use only electronic. I have had this happen to me.  I suspect they don't have (pay for) a key or come up with some lame excuse that their key is not working and can I meet them at the property. 

Posted by Barbara Altieri, REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale (Kinard Realty Group Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Times have sure changed. When I started in real estate the listing agent went along on all the showings unless they knew and trusted the agent with the buyer - then that agent took the key from the listing office and returned it after the showing.

All I can think is that it was a good thing there weren't many buyers running around in those days!

Posted by Marte Cliff, Your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) over 9 years ago

Several years ago The Toronto Real Estate Board introduced electronic lock box system.  I thought it was great but the outcry against the expense was so great that the Board discontinued their use. I think it was a great disservice to the home seller. 

Posted by Donna Webber (ArcRealty Inc., Real Estate Brokerage, Toronto, ON, Canada ) over 9 years ago

I'm so glad you brought this up.  Locally, an agent had acquired the combo code on a foreclosure, from an outside agent.  The local agent, blank emailed all his potential buyers the code and asked them to go see it and if interested, let him know!  How about that!!!

Posted by Carol Tunis, Carol Tunis...a "HouseSold" name! (Florida Homes Realty & Mortgage) over 9 years ago

Security and ease of showing!  Both have the Sellers best interest in mind.  I probably would fall more on the Security issue and hope I am dealing with professional interested buyers agents on the other side to put a deal together.  Good post Don, success to you in 20011!

Posted by Robert Courtney, Century 21 All Islands, RA, CDPE, MCRE, CIAS over 9 years ago

I live right on the border of 3 MLS areas.  Sometimes I want to show homes in the nearby community where they are often listed on two or 3 MLS's.  When they are not listed on mine I need a combo box.  I admit I am too cheap to pay for all 3 memberships.  It does not happen a lot. 

However, I do call and explain who I am and why it is an issue.  I rarely have a problem.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Security is the key. You need to do what's in the best interest of your client.

Posted by Robert L. Brown, Grand Rapids Real Estate Bellabay Realty, West Mic ( over 9 years ago

Our MLS uses Sentri boxes which in my opinion are better than Supra.  However since our local MLS is the only one that uses them it causes problems.  For one, we don't have access to Supra unless we join another MLS.  Out of town agents can't get in our boxes unless we give them a contractors code (which is fine but out of town agents don't seem happy that they have to call for access).  In my experience REO properties have been required to have a combo box on them so the asset management companies and the banks have access if they want on the property.  They do allow an electronic loxbox in addition to a combo.

Posted by Amanda Smith (Allison James Estates & Homes Elite) over 9 years ago

Maui refuses to get behind the idea of Supra Lockbox.  We used them in FL and I miss my Supra.

We could get electronic reports about who had entered the property and when.  It was fabulous!


Aloha, Gina Duncan

Posted by Anonymous over 9 years ago

I love arriving at a showing and walking up to a combo box only to find, when I go to enter the code, that the code is still showing on the dial.  The last agent never cleared it!  How can they be so lazy and careless?!  Boggles the mind!

Unfortunately, we have to use the combo boxes sometimes, like on the listing I just took that has to be listed in two MLSs because it's so close to the neighboring one, and they don't have access to our brand of electronic boxes (we don't have Supra; we have Sentrilock).  So we have to use combo boxes for when they show the property.  I put both on, and the combo is only given to agents from the neighboring county.  I'm considering changing the combo after each time the showing desk has to give it out.


Posted by Paula Burt, REALTOR , SFR, RECS over 9 years ago

In San Francisco Bay area, the local MLS requires all agents to use a Supra Box! You can also have a combo in addition. There's a heavy fine that's strictrly enforced if you don't have a Supra box. Before this rule was implemented (last year), often the cheap crap combo boxes didn't work, the agent forgot to put the combo in the private remarks of the listing, etc, etc.

Before last year, many agents had me call them for the combo. They asked my ID and DRE number and then they gave me the combo. The only problem with this scheme is that I could have given them anyones number and name because they had no way to verify who I was over the phone. Other times I called, they never answered the phone and returned my call two days later. When they did call two days later, I always told them my buyer had already made and got an acceptance of an offer we sent in yesterday so you lost a sale.

Posted by Peter Rozsa (Cupertino, CA) over 9 years ago

I can't imagine giving the code of a lock box to someone.  Both ways can work properly if we do our jobs.

Posted by Dale Terry over 9 years ago

Don ~ it almost sound as if she wasn't an agent and just wanted to see the house without an agent.  I'm sorry to hear that you have had some vandalism in your area.

Posted by Dawn A Fabiszak, The Dawn of a New Real Estate Experience! (Private Label Realty ( Denver metro area, Colorado) over 9 years ago

We use the Suprakey system here in Klamath County, too.  I like it because I register the boxes online and can see who accesses the box.  I think in 6 years I've had only one agent call for a key, who didn't have an electronic keycard.

REOs here also require their own boxes, but we put our own on as well, and I don't know anyone who gives out the bank's code, to anyone.  Our own box is there...

Here's something I didn't see anyone write... there's a big scam going on where thieves advertise homes for rent on Craigslist, and these homes are not theirs, but are for sale and vacant.  I wouldn't be at all surprised if that prospect you "lost" was a thief.  With or without gaining entry, they manage to collect large deposits from unsuspecting renters, and then disappear into the wind.  The home owner is left to deal with a pissed off, ripped off renter.


Posted by Victoria CB Trees, Principal Broker (Victoria CB Trees Real Estate Services) over 9 years ago

Good morning CB,

There are so many things that can go wrong when a combo lockbox is the only form of entry into a property.  It does not matter how secure you may think the home is.  We have heard of the Craigslist scam here not to mention all of the other areas that can go wrong.

IMHO, the cost of the lockbox should not even be an issue it is a cost of doing business.

Thank you ma'am for stopping in this morning and adding your comment.

Posted by Don Rogers, Realtor, Broker, CDPE, GRI, OnullFallon MO & St Charles County MO homes (Keller Williams Realty Chesterfield) over 9 years ago

Better safe than sued!

Posted by Mark Tucker (The Law Office of Mark Tucker) over 9 years ago

I have some sellers that prefer the combo box, but we talk about the differences upfront on the listing

Posted by Sandy McAlpine, Search Lake Norman Homes For Sale - Lake Norman NC (RE/MAX EXECUTIVE) over 9 years ago

Don, I am always thankful when a property is on a combo box, just because it's easier than updating my key.  However, that's just my personal preference, and I would NEVER question another agent for putting a SUPRA/electronic box on a listing.  I put them on most of my listings too, unless I run out, and then sometime I use combos on my lower end props.  But I can't imagine an agent having the audacity to imply you did something wrong by having one on there. 

Some people!

Posted by Matt Robinson, (Professional Investors Guild) almost 9 years ago

I guess some areas of the country are just backwards with regards to a lot of this stuff! My own parents live in Marcellus, Michigan and their home has been for sale with 3 different agents in nearly 2 years. 2 of the 3 didn't use the MLS or realtor dot com!!! Their current realtor is primarily a contractor!!! I have referred brokers to them and given them lots of advice about how to sel their home and how to choose a realtor. They just get swayed by smooth talk and other nonsense! Their first realtor took awful photos and put them in his local Lake Property Magazine... which took him 2 months to publish. He did nothing else!!

I am a realtor in southern California and things are sure different here! My parents are still trying to sell and I am beyond frustrated with all the screwballs out there!! 

Posted by Peter about 8 years ago

This blog does not allow anonymous comments