Selling your home in Denver Metro? Odds are you are not safe. I don’t say this as a scare tactic, simply stating a very concrete, though scarcely known fact. In fact, according to a local Realtor board, only 6% of the agents in Denver Metro have taken the #1 step to ensure that their clients and their homes are safe when listed for sale.
Every single major metropolitan city in the US requires their Realtors to use electronic key boxes to protect the consumers who are selling their home. Every major city that is, except Denver. While not required here, the electronic key boxes are available, yet fewer than 10% of Realtors in Denver use them.
The manual lock boxes that are the “standard” here in Denver are 3 or 4 digit codes, sometimes numeric, sometimes letter codes. Anyone who has the code for the box can access the box anytime, day or night. While that in itself is unsafe, it is exacerbated by the fact that many Realtors don’t make any attempt to make their codes difficult to decipher. What 4-digit number is most associated with Denver? If you can guess that, you can access many of the homes for sale in our area. What are 3 letters used to identify one of two major universities in our area? If you can guess that, you’ll be able to walk right on it to many homes for sale in Denver. Does the agent on the sign have a 3 or 4 letter name? Good chance that is how you enter the home. Want to Google the agent to find out how old they are? Try their birth year and see if you can get in.
Electronic lock boxes have unique, 1-day codes for each person who wishes to enter. They are long computer generated codes. When I put a code on one of my listings, I can set the hours that the box will work, so even if someone had a code, they could only access the key during the hours that my home owners desire. Every time someone access the key box, I can see who it was and when they were there. Need to let the contractor in? I can generate a unique 1-day code just for them and we can track when they got to the house.
So why don’t all agents use the electronic key boxes? Why would an agent risk their sellers’ safety by putting giving access to anyone who looked over their agents shoulder and saw the code, allowing them to come back at 2am? Because the manual boxes can be purchased for around $20, and the electronic ones are $100 plus a $95/yr subscription. Nevermind that you are paying your agent thousands of dollars to sell your home, $100 to protect you is apparently too much.
This bothers me. I have been a Realtor for nearly 14 years, and I take my job seriously. Ensuring my sellers’ safety is paramount in my mind. We are already publishing your address and pictures of your belongings all over the Internet, so anything I can do to make this process safe I’ll do. It bothers me that over 90% of the Realtors in Denver don’t see this as important, and most of the home sellers in Denver don’t even know this is an option.
If you’d like to know more about how these two types of key boxes work, or learn more about homeowner safety while selling your home, please give me a call.