Just Give Me the Lockbox Code …

.,. because I’m not calling you because I need or want a REALTOR, I just want to look at the house.

This always has been one of my favorite phone calls. Leave me a message asking for a lockbox code and there is a 50-50 chance you’ll never hear back from me, depending on whether I’m in the mood to have to explain how ridiculous the request is.

Let’s set aside the fact that you’re calling me because you need the absolute basic of my services even though you have no interest in anything other services – you know, the substantive stuff – that I can offer. (No, no … I don’t want to go through the drive-in window … just leave the Big Mac in an unmarked bag on the table outside the front entrance and we’ll all go our separate ways.)

The basic reality is most – not as many as should, but most – listings use the blue SUPRA electronic lockboxes that only can be accessed using an electronic key. There’s no code, just a roughly 1 x 2 keybox coded specifically to me with a unique PIN that opens these boxes.

Some agents have opted for the less expensive and less secure route and use combination lockboxes such as the ones that can be purchased at Home Depot for $10 or so. (They also can be defeated and stolen really, really easily but what is security when there’s money to save.)

Sure, I could give you the code … if it were my last day on the job. Here’s the fine structure from the Arizona Regional MLS for lockbox violations. They’re the stiffest fines issued by ARMLS:

First Violation – $500

Second and subsequent Violations – Minimum of $1000 up to a maximum of $15,000 and/or suspension from MLS and/or Lockbox system for a minimum of 30 days and up to a maximum of one year

Needless to say, as much as I like my clients and potential clients, I don’t like you that much.

Now, if you want to pay the fine plus the lost income during the time of my suspension that’s another story.

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at allphoenixrealestate.com.


  • Brad 8 years ago

    You mean you don’t put your listing keys under the front door mat? I had a great memorial Day weekend! I hope everyone else did too. Real estate was slow, but there were lots of activities to enjoy.

  • Roxana Reeves 8 years ago

    Hi Jonathon,

    I am the person who called you the other day and was definitely looking for a realtor to help as I have just relocated to the valley from San Francisco and had no idea how your process works out here in Arizona.

    I was going to send you an email to let you know how much I appreciated you giving the name of the listing agent for the property who was really awesome and I fell in love with the property.I was going to express my appreciation but was certainly taken aback when I saw your comments on your site. It made me sad.I am looking for a temporary rental while shopping for a home but I guess you wouldn’t know that I needed a realtor because you never asked. I can’t imagine that with that type of interaction is very successful.

    I didn’t know that you weren’t allowed to do that as I am a very busy professional with not alot of time and hoped I could narrow down some choices. Iwould have called you back as your site was the most useful in my search.

    I can’t imagine ever making a judgement call of this sort when someone calls requesting your services. I didn’t want to just look at a house…I wanted to obtain a temporary residence while looking for a suitable home.

    Much continued success.


  • Jonathan Dalton 8 years ago

    Hi, Roxana … actually, I am very glad the other agent was able to get you taken care of. That’s more important to me than who ends up getting the rental commission or even the sale, finding someone with whom you’re comfortable working.

    The rant was somewhat ill-thought out and for that I do apologize. I had received three to four similar calls that same weekend so it was not unique to you. You apparently had good intentions which puts you in a different boat than everyone else I’d spoken to already, all of whom didn’t want anything other than the code.

    Best of luck in your search and take care.

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