A headline to make home sellers cautious, but don't panic

SUPRA LockboxToday’s story on AZ Central about thieves targeting homes for sale certainly has sellers in a heightened state of worry.  The story told of 2 separate incidences where someone posing as a Realtor asked the sellers to be gone while the home was shown.  The sellers complied only to return home to find valuables missing.

There were a couple weird things in this reported story. 

1. The agent gave out a “code” to enter the home.  Most regular resales are on SUPRA lockboxes which can only be accessed by someone with a lockbox key.  We don’t have a code to give out. An agent MUST have a lockbox key (unless the seller lets them in, which is why I’ve asked all my sellers to insist the showing Realtor use the lockbox).  Some agents may use a combo lockbox, which is cheaper, and is definitely a bad idea.  If your home is for sale, make sure you have a lockbox that looks like the picture here.

2. The second story said the “agent” had not accessed the lockbox but that the seller noticed their house key was missing.  Missing from where? 

Most sellers are coached that it’s best if they make themselves scarce during a showing.  Buyers will spend more time in your home if your not there.  But, if you’re uncomfortable leaving, then stay. 

It goes without saying that caution should always be the rule of thumb when you’re selling your home.  You can check any Realtors license online www.re.state.az.us/ 

Trust your gut.  If something doesn’t feel right when an appointment to show your home is made, call your Realtor. 

Never let someone into your home who shows up at your front door without an appointment claiming to be a Realtor, even if they are carrying a business card (anyone can purchase business cards).  Insist the showing Realtor use their lockbox key to open the lockbox even if you’re standing there.  The lockbox will also register the agent’s name, brokerage and contact information which your Realtor then has access to.  If you’re uncomfortable with this person standing on your porch unannounced ask that he/she contact your Realtor for an appointment.

Last but not least, there are hundreds of home showings taking place every day in the Valley.  A couple robberies are a reason to stay alert, but not a reason to panic.

Comments

  1. In our area we only use Supra boxes. The only code that they could of gave, was for the electronic key card for the Supra box I would suppose. Either way the agent sould not of given any code, if that is at all true.

  2. Most agents use the Supra boxes. Unfortunately, we have a slew of agents who are basically taking short sale and foreclosure listings and becoming “warehouse agents”. They provide poor service and are puting combination lockboxes (keyboxes you can buy at a hardward store for less than 20 bucks) on their listings. Not a big deal for a vacant REO…but if people are living in the home…bad news.

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