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What You Need to Know About Lock Boxes

Though they carry their share of drawbacks, lock boxes make showing your home easier and more secure.

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Today, I wanted to talk about lock boxes—what they are, why we use them, what types there are, and the pros and cons of each type.

Lock boxes hold the keys that we give to your Realtor once we confirm that they’re a licensed agent. The rubberized lock box then gets mounted on the doorknob of the listed house with the key to the house inside it. 

There are two types of lock boxes you can use: the combination lock box and the electronic lock box. We always offer a choice between the two.

The main benefit of the electronic lock box is that they are very durable. One of the drawbacks, however, is that if you’re the owner of the house and you need to get the key, you can’t access it unless you have the specialized corresponding software on your smartphone or the specialized key the manufacturer gives you. 

Additionally, the only way to get that software or that specialized key to open the box is to be a member of Suburban West Realtors. This means you have to be a licensee or an affiliate member and pay the appropriate fees. Many agents choose not to spend the money to get the key to open the box, which can really inhibit the potential for showings.

Also, not all of the appraisers and home inspectors that we need to get access to the house have the membership required to use them. This can be impractical if you’re trying to sell your house during the busier parts of the year.

Lock boxes are a secure way to help get your home sold quickly.

The alternative to the electronic lock box is the combination lock box. These are accessed by a very specific code that we set. We can then give you the code if you need to get the key. We can also give the code to the Realtor/appraiser/inspector once they qualify through our specialized system so they themselves can gain access to the house. The downside of the combination lock box is that there’s a fractional chance (40,000 to 1) that an evil genius can guess the code.

Not using a lock box can create challenges such as mitigating the ease with which you can provide showings for your home. The other options would be to leave your home open and stay there and or have somebody else open it. Ideally, you shouldn’t even be at your showing, so when you don’t use a lock box, you run the chance of mingling with prospective buyers. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it can make some people uncomfortable.

Ultimately, we always recommend that you use a lock box. They’re a secure resource that helps you speed up showings, speed up closings, and get your home sold. It also allows us Realtors to always know who’s coming to your house ahead of time. 

If you have any questions about lock boxes or the real estate market in general, please don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you!

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