Giving Lock Box Codes to Buyers

Featured Video Play Icon

Here is the Link for NAMB in VEGAS.

How would you feel about a smart phone app that allows potential buyers to get a lock box code to tour a listing? Well, it exists.



  • Yes, let’s go for it! buyers visiting on their own, no agent. After all it is the sellers’ decision to allow it, not the agent. It will resolved itself with sellers saying enough. Chances are there will be too many incidents and the sellers will call it quit. To name a few: Doors or windows left open, giving a chance for a house to be gutted of its metal, or squatted. Broken items. And the best toilettes not flushed after potential buyers use. I am sure many other incidents which I am not thinking of at this time…. let the millennial create their own list of incidents.

    Myriam Desprez October 15, 2015 2:17 am Reply
  • I was looking at a rental property in Indiana (as a consumer) and to see the property I had to provide a credit card for liability purposes and then they would give me an electronic code to view the property on my own. The idea was they could track who entered the home via the code and then charge me for any damages or theft. Yes it’s still a beatable system, but a shade better than the one mentioned in the video.

    I’ve recently heard of real time video tours of homes and thought it meant the agent going to the home and FaceTime /Skyping themselves to potential buyers, not the other way around. Perhaps this is what was meant?

    Now here’s a thought, if you can’t enter the home without being on Facetime, don’t they now have you on a live video feed that would match your appearance up to your ID?

    Let’s take this a step further. What if they also used an app you had to download and it added geolocation to the mix? They have your pictures and proof of location.

    So I would say they (the buyer) has just as much liability as any buyer who walks in a home with a physically present agent.

    Kristina October 15, 2015 3:28 am Reply
  • ZipTours is backed by Marketplace Homes out of Livonia Michigan. This Company Marketplace homes offers too homeowners that can NOT sell their home due to poor conduction of the home or just can’t sell for some reason. They promise home owners, if you buy a home from one of our builder partners we will lease your home for six years and guarantee your payments for the 6 years. What happens is after they show the bank the rental agreement the home owner off sets their payment on the house, the home owner can’t sell. Marketplace homes than closes on the owners new construction home and receives a commission then Marketplace homes lease out that home that the home owners had on the market for a long time longer than a normal listing of 60 to 90 days. Marketplace leases these homes with problems to family’s and won’t return repair request calls, the home owner are NOT concerned with paying out any on going repairs leaving the lessee, the start too their nightmare… Marketplace homes is a company that wants too sell to home buyers and sellers a Zip Plan, people today want trust,service,goal’s and needs meet. A person/Company with a video camera that will be handling one of the biggest purchases in a home owners life, I don’t think so…On line photos and on line video is all home buyers need, too look at a home. After viewing their likes, will buy. No seller will TRUST just anyone walking thru their home. There are problems with Realtor’s stealing from listings, why make more problem’s for the process. Marketplace homes, has poor customer service. Mike Kalis owner of Marketplace homes won’t even call his clients, that lease the homes his company manages. Realtor’s are professionals that are needed. I say NO to ZIP and Marketplace homes.

    David Nagy October 15, 2015 3:41 am Reply
  • Sounds like an Agent Open House with a twist to me. Don’t many in the industry let “potential buyers” wander through homes without even providing an ID or a prequal letter?

    Sandi Crawford October 15, 2015 3:43 am Reply
  • Sounds a lilttle like today’s Agent Open House. Isn’t is common practice to let “potential buyers” walk through a seller’s real property without showing a valid ID or a PreQual Letter?

    Sandi Crawford October 15, 2015 3:45 am Reply
  • It is a great plan. I should come with an entry camera and a rolling programmable code on the lock box. 1 entry per code number and a running video of you in the property. $100 kit @ Tiger Direct!

    Greg October 15, 2015 3:49 am Reply
  • For traditional sellers of an occupied home, Bad, Bad idea. But this could have a use for vacant inner city listings shown to an investor. Keeps Realtor safe and very efficient for the investor.

    Pam Adams October 15, 2015 3:50 am Reply
  • I can’t even begin to list all the reasons this is a bad idea. As a Seller… yea… You remember the seller… The person whose home these unattended “buyers” will be going through – I would NEVER sign off on this!!! I have to look at specifically what the listing agreement says about lockboxes & showings but I am pretty sure it speaks to the fact the seller agrees to allow the home to be shown by licensed real estate professionals. Whether specifically stated… Again… Pretty sure the implication is that the Licensed Real Estate Professional is physically present! It’s one of the many reasons a seller uses a RE Pro!!! They feel safer! Good grief!!!

    Nancy October 15, 2015 4:28 am Reply
  • Although this option may work for a buyer that has already been qualified and has actually met with a realtor, I believe most sellers would prefer the agent representing their property to be present. Buyers typically choose a realtor based on their performance history of selling prior properties. All in all, I feel this is a bad idea. Giving a lock box code out is insane. May as well leave the door open.

    Victoria October 15, 2015 4:30 am Reply
  • Forget it. As an agent I want to read my buyer’s reactions to what they’re seeing. There’s a level of accountability to the owner and/or the listing agent. Lots more to say, but why waste my time on this ridiculous idea…

    HUMBERTO JIMENEZ October 15, 2015 4:39 am Reply
  • Sadly you can’t fix stupid!

    paddee October 15, 2015 4:42 am Reply
  • I can’t imagine any seller with a halfway decent house saying “Sure, I don’t mind you giving absolutely everyone with a Facebook page and a driver’s license access to my home without a licensed Realtor present.”. I would never say that.

    Dave Slater October 15, 2015 5:05 am Reply
  • Too many times have I been showing a house only to find a buyer there that is not accompanied by a real estate agent, but was given the code by one. I don’t agree with the practice nor do I agree with the ZIP Tour concept. As Frank mentions, on the surface it sounds great HOWEVER it puts the home seller at great risk. Theft, home invasion, vandalism, raves, squatters. These are all terms that come to mind when I see this concept taking hold. What needs to be done is to educate buyers NOT to allow this sort of practice for their own protection.

    John Falto October 15, 2015 5:06 am Reply
  • Why on GOD Green Earth would any Seller or any competent agent would even want to take a chance on this app. As agents we are to protect our clients(Seller) investment(s). This app will open the flood gates for criminals.

    Xavrae Burse October 15, 2015 5:09 am Reply
  • Just say NO! Discuss with your sellers and I would imagine they all would say no. Simply have it part of the showing instructions. Realtor MUST be physically present in order to show home to any buyer.

    Rick Ketterling October 15, 2015 5:19 am Reply
  • I would hate to be one of those buyers getting accused of stealing something when more than one buyer has the same code and can give to how many others. This is not going to work for smart sellers!

    Julie Heniff October 15, 2015 5:53 am Reply
  • All a walk-thru buyer needs to do is unlock a window or two while they are there and more than theft can happen…. Think about it – rape, murder, child molestation, etc. Not only that, it just feels weird that a stranger unattended, has been through my home. What if there are two or more of them? Does everybody need to stay within the view of facetime?? What if they do not have a facebook page? And exactly how do they Vet these people? Is there a hard line that says you say too many bad things on Facebook? Who decides whether you are good enough or not to see a house alone??
    Too many unanswered questions for me at this time. Maybe a better idea is detalied virtual tours and one final showing with a Realtor. Of course Realtors want to show the best pictures online so a more realistic representation would have to be given so the buyers can make informed decisions based on reality.
    Technology is great but this is not something I would recommend to my clients yet.

    Broker Linda October 15, 2015 6:04 am Reply
  • We only give a “ONE DAY CODE” for a lock box when (a) an agent gets to the house and their sentry card isn’t working (b) after we have confirmed that the requester of this “ONE DAY CODE” is a licensee. If (and our brokerage does) assign all lock boxes to a particular property that data is gathered and we always know exactly who/what/where a lock box was accessed. Our market area shares several MLSs with different lock boxes, this practice is done to facilitate a showing and sale.

    Debbie October 15, 2015 6:05 am Reply
  • I don’t like it. We need to have control over our buyers because they can almost do anything over the internet already and this new system can give them even more “power”.

    Joe Monaco, Jr October 15, 2015 6:08 am Reply
  • How do they get the lock box code? If a listing agent provides the code that agent should have their license taken away and never returned. I will not even do an inspection for an appraisal on a house without some one being there unless it is vacant, thus nothing there to be accused of being taken.
    I will check with our MLS here, but I am sure an agent providing lock box codes for this purpose would be kicked off the board


    James the Appraiser October 15, 2015 7:11 am Reply
  • I would not give a buyer a lockbox code even if I was present. You then have no control. They could come back later with friends, give a friend who is also looking for a home the code, just list the code on Facebook to brag to their friends about the cool home they just saw. Unless it comes with a security system with cameras in every room and a one use code this is not an option. I would think that many people would prefer that the property was left open so they could just look around whenever they wanted to. The fact that some lazy age group of people that are so self absorbed that they think they are the only ones around does not make it a good idea.

    Doug October 15, 2015 7:11 am Reply

    Efrain Figueroa October 15, 2015 7:13 am Reply
  • Face Time GOOD… Lock Box Codes NOT GOOD. Yes, millennials want ‘instant gratification’ and that is not a bad think. FaceTime or any other form of video is a great way to help curb that appetite. And… during the video interaction, the agent can then gather information that helps the agent qualify the prospective client as a viable and potentially qualified buyer. Video interaction would also put a safer spin on an agent having a ‘first encounter’ one-on-one ‘in person’ interaction because a video image of the buyer prospect would be logged onto the video platform. It would be better if the video platform used a cloud based archive system to store and save the video session, for security reasons. Nevertheless, giving out a lock box code is simply NOT the right thing to do. Just my 0.02 cents to this subject.

    G2 Varrato II October 15, 2015 8:20 am Reply
  • I believe this could be a really great thing if implemented correctly. If a potential buyer has met with a loan officer and provided full documentation and a credit report has been run where this borrower has been fully vetted by a bank or broker then a real estate agent has just saved him or herself a ton of gas money by allowing the borrowers to do this via face time. You have a fully vetted borrower and you have all their stuff – there is no reason not to do this. Just food for thought and before you all go nuts with the new TRID rules think about it this way. Borrower wants to see a house great let me do an LE for you. Borrower says great and signs the intent to proceed. Now you can ask for all the rest of the documentation. Now you have completed vetted the borrower and they can go house hunting…it is not that hard every body.

    Bernie October 15, 2015 8:32 am Reply
    • That kind of thinking is unbelievably naive for all of the reasons cited previously. Meeting with a loan officer, and doing all the things you mentioned doesn’t change the fact that many people, even legitimate buyers, have sticky fingers when no one is watching. And there’s no agent present to insure that shoes are removed so that no dirt/mud/snow gets tracked through out the house.

      Krispin October 15, 2015 11:04 am Reply
  • Our MLS uses electornic lockboxes which record the time, date, and agent opening the box. You can’t use them unless you have an eKey issued by the MLS. The MLS doesn’t allow us to use lockboxes that can be opened with a code. Does that stop everyone from using the ole coded lockboxes? Of course not, but it sure makes it difficult for thieves if the agent will just follow the rules.

    Gary October 15, 2015 10:16 am Reply
  • “Please, before you drag the cut up copper across the finished wood floors, please remove your shoes, turn off all lights, and leave your card….”This is the best terrible idea in a while. Maybe they can submit it for an Inman Tech Award.

    Greg Traynor October 15, 2015 10:45 am Reply
  • I really can’t see a true criminal going through all this trouble, when a solid kick to the back door can easily grant access with no homework, no checks, no fakes, no alert to access, no dealing with authority at all. As technology advances and new products discovered, we will see more and more of this in our industry. I think we all might be a tad nervous our services are being marginalized. Lest we forget, they need us for the transaction.

    Stacy October 26, 2015 8:59 am Reply
  • Too much liability for the seller and the RE Agent. Facebook and an ID is not enough qualification for me to open the door for a potential buyer. Lookie Losers will be all over this. Only 1 out of 20+ Zillow contacts are viable buyers. Only Newbie and Stupid Agents would show a listing without checking loan ability and POF. I heard a while back a couple was going around to Open Houses and would help themselves to the sellers medications. I always tell my sellers to lock up guns, valuables and meds before showings and Open Houses! Sounds like a law suit waiting to happen. I heard the “we will buy your house” pitch years ago in the 80’s now a new generation gets to know reality of this statement. Wake Up America!

    Tere Rice December 2, 2015 10:00 am Reply
  • This is not a value added, safe, or legal technology to use. The legal listing agreement, i.e; contract, prohibits an unaccompanied buyer in any home without their licensed agent. No unlicensed person is allowed or provided a one-day code to gain access and no unlicensed person has a Supra Lock access card. Very unsure how this ‘app provider’ even gets one-day codes or combinations. It is never in a seller’s best interest to ever allow an unaccompanied buyer into their home. Not only is there a personal buyer safety issue at play, there is seller responsibility if a potential buyer enters the property without an agent being present. Even a burglar can levy litigious action against a home owner if they get injured while in a sellers home. (While unlikely to be successful, they can still file against the homeowner.) Allowing this type of unaccompanied access may seem like a great idea, it erodes the purpose of having a Realtor who was ‘hired’ to safeguard a seller’s best interest. If a FSBO elects this type access, then they also accept the responsibility for anything that happens as a result.

    Tom Schoenbeck March 3, 2016 3:40 am Reply
  • I like what you guys are up also. Such smart work and reporting! Carry on the excellent works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it’ll improve the value of my site :)

    personal loans with no credit check or employment verification April 20, 2016 4:20 pm Reply
  • great info! thanks for posting

    Daine Verfaille March 8, 2017 6:02 am Reply

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Menu Title