Fab Real Estate Blog: How Not to Sell a Home

How Not to Sell a Home

Once again, I tried to show a home to a ready, willing and able buyer, but I couldn't.

The home has a combination lockbox - you need the combination in order to get the key for the house.  The showing instructions say:  Call listing agent for lockbox combination, then go and show.

So, I called the listing agent on Friday.  I called again on Saturday.  The showing was for Sunday. 

I'm still waiting for the return call.  But, I showed other homes on Sunday.  I'll sell these buyers a home, but not a home that I cannot gain access to.

There is a reason combination lockboxes are not common in our area - our local Association of Realtors offices all utilize electronic lockboxes that are easily opened with our "e-keys."  Showings are simple and convenient this way.  No need to wait for that return phone call that may never come...

Don Fabrizio-Garcia, REALTOR
Connecticut Real Estate & Appraisals
CT Home Group
Keller Williams CT Realty
Connecticut Real Estate and Homes for Sale

Comment balloon 10 commentsDon Fabrizio-Garcia • February 25 2008 07:18PM


I have come up on a listing that  says vacant - lock-box then you get to the house after two days of calling agent to confirm only to find it on a combination lock box. want makes it even more madding is when I call the broker and they don't they must have combination. I so wish that if a licenced agent holds the listing then they must spend the money to have a supra (ekey) lock-box.

Posted by Eric Reid (Renaissance Realty Group of Keller Williams Atlanta Partners) about 11 years ago
Yes, I dealt with a similar problem on Friday on a house that had a combination lockbox.  My realtor and I went to the house with the code and it wouldn't work no matter how many things we tried.  Called the agent and didn't get any help.  We left to run some errants and got a call that the agent just remembered that his partner had changed the code.  We had to go back a second time for success.  Offered on the house that afternoon and the bank accepted this morning.
Posted by Robert Martinez, Gwinnett County Real Estate Investor (Blue River Holdings, Inc.) about 11 years ago
I totally dislike combination lockboxes, fortunatly I don't see many. It only happens when an agent is from out area and dosen't belong to the local board.  
Posted by Maria Couto, Realtor with "Results That "MOVE" You' (RE/MAX Premier) about 11 years ago
I use a combination box and so do most other agents (at least on the properties I've seen).  I don't know anything about the supra keys or any of that.
Posted by Jennifer Esposito (JenRan Realty, LLC) about 11 years ago

Eric - there is no reason not to use the electronic lockboxes - other than they're expensive.  But, it's a cost of doing business.  Some foreclosure properties do require combo lockboxes.  Then, we just have to suffer with it. But - make the combination available to your fellow agents!

Robert - Sorry you had to deal with trying to see a home without the combination for the lockbox.  It is very frustrating.  Glad to hear your offer was accepted - banks usually are taking much, much longer to accept offers these days.

Maria - The electronic lockboxes are now being used (almost) statewide here in Connecticut.  A few areas have their own lockboxes, but those agents have learned that need to put both lockboxes on their listings so that all agents have access.

Posted by Don Fabrizio-Garcia, Owner/Broker/Trainer - Fab Real Estate (Fab Real Estate) about 11 years ago
Jennifer - The Supra electronic lockboxes are great.  We each have our own key, which is updated daily for security.  Or, we can use certain SmartPhones in place of the key - this is an additional service we can opt for.  I'm surprised that your part of the state isn't using them yet.
Posted by Don Fabrizio-Garcia, Owner/Broker/Trainer - Fab Real Estate (Fab Real Estate) about 11 years ago

I prefer the Supra lockboxes since I can track who is going in and out of my listings.  Thankfully my company provides the lockboxes to us so we don't have to buy them. 

Many of the bank owned properties require combo lockboxes though since they need to provide access to realtors, trash out, inspections, etc.  and that is quite frustrating.  Thankfully with that many of the people are now using a Showing service and they have the codes which makes things a  bit easier.

Posted by Stacy Magid (Century 21 New Millennium) about 11 years ago
Stacy - I've been fortunate in that with my foreclosure listings, I've requested - and been allowed - to use both their combo lockbox and an electronic lockbox.  But I am noticing more and more foreclosure listings with only the combo lockbox.  Showing services are not common around here.
Posted by Don Fabrizio-Garcia, Owner/Broker/Trainer - Fab Real Estate (Fab Real Estate) about 11 years ago
Don....that drives me absolutley insane!!!! I can't imagine making a home difficult to show in this market
Posted by Cherimie Crane (Cherimie Crane & Associates) about 11 years ago

Cherimie - Exactly!  Homes need to be accessible, especially in this market.

Posted by Don Fabrizio-Garcia, Owner/Broker/Trainer - Fab Real Estate (Fab Real Estate) about 11 years ago