To: Whomever found my blog with the search query, “how to pick a Realtor’s lockbox.”

From:  Your friendly neighborhood Realtor-blogger.

I hope whoever was searching the Web with the query, “how to pick a Realtor’s lockbox” yesterday is a Realtor who lost their combo code.

Assuming that it wasn’t, though, here is a list of things you may not have fully considered, in no particular order:

–The first thing I tell prospective Sellers is to store their valuables in a secure location, preferably off-premises.  So, should you actually succeed in picking the lockbox . . . don’t count on finding anything valuable.

–Most Realtors — myself included — use electronic lockboxes that are highly secure.  If I use a less secure mechanical or combination lockbox, it’s typically only on a short-term basis, to allow contractors, inspectors, or others access.  So, you should expect visitors.

Watchful Neighbors

–The neighbors know my cell phone number — and don’t hesitate to call it. 

Just last week, I fielded a phone call from a concerned neighbor who saw an unfamiliar car parked in the driveway late at night, when the owner was supposed to be out-of-town.  Unbeknownst to them, the owner came home early, in a rental car (their car was in the shop).

–Just because you can open the door doesn’t mean you’re home free.  Lots of homes, in all price brackets, now have security systems.  And increasingly, they can be armed and disarmed remotely, so that except for a scheduled showing, the home is secure.

–What you’re contemplating doing is a felony.  And if you’re dumb or unlucky enough to attempt it while the owners are home, it’s called robbery — which carries a long, mandatory prison sentence.

So, here’s my advice:  if you want to rip off people, try a proven, less-risky, and perfectly legal alternative:  go work for Goldman Sachs.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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