JL's Columbia SC Real Estate Blog: Why Can't Builders Use Lockboxes?

Why Can't Builders Use Lockboxes?

 Earlier this evening I received a call from a gentleman who wanted to look at some new home neighborhoods and a few resales that he had seen. I told him that we would go see what we could and set up a place to meet with him.

 I called all the new home neighborhoods that he mentioned, but no one was left in the model homes because it was after 5pm. Most model homes close between 5pm and 6pm here in Columbia, but I called just in case someone was still around.

 We myself and the buyer got together, we first went to the resale houses and checked them out with no problem what so ever. Most of them were vacant which made them easy to get into and out of. Then, we set out for the new home communities. We arrived at the first one, and had no trouble. However, the next three had no lock-boxes on any of the houses. One neighborhood had ten standing homes for sale, and not one single lock-box on any of the houses.

 I understand that the neighborhoods have office hours, and that's all well and good. But my client has a job and this how he intends to pay his house. So, that being said, he does not have time to go to a neighborhood during the regular office hours and he has very little time on the weekends to go around either.

 It is beyond me why on Earth builders do not make it easier here to see available houses. I can say that there are a few builders here who do put lock-boxes on their standing available houses, and for this I am grateful. But the majority have no lock-boxes at all and this drives me nuts. Do any of you guys have the same problem? It just seems to me that if you want to sell houses, you would make them a little more available for Realtors to show to their clients.


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JL Boney, III - Columbia, SC Realtor - Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate

 I specialize in Columbia, SC real estate and the surrounding areas, including Blythewood, SC, Kershaw County, Fairfield County, and Lexington, SC. If you are in the market to buy or sell a home in Columbia, SC or any of the surrounding areas, I would love the opportunity to speak with to see how I can help. Thanks for reading and feel free to contact me if I can be of service to you.

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Comment balloon 9 commentsJL Boney, III • March 28 2008 11:00PM


I agree.  I do new construction here in Forest, VA, and I try to always have lockboxes (until I put them inside while hardwoods are being sanded and polyurethaned).  You're right, sometimes here with new construction, there are more times than not that new homes are shown without any appointments, so you must have lockboxes or lose the chance!  Keep at it!
Posted by Nadine Blakely (RE/MAX 1st Olympic) over 12 years ago
because builders want people to have to speak to their agent, not bring their own
Posted by Rob Muller, Cherokee County Real Estate (ReMax Town & Country) over 12 years ago
Nadine- Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I understand that if the house is having work done to the floor that you don't won't people to walk through, but if they are done then we need the access. Thank you for using lockboxes.
Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) over 12 years ago
Rob- That's a great attitude for builders to take. I mean I can't think of a better way to ensure that general agents cooperate with builders than for the builders not to cooperate with us.
Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) over 12 years ago


I think it's silly to lose a possible sale over the price of a lockbox. These houses should be set up for 24 hour access, as there is no reason to keep a licensed agent out of the house! Perhaps they think it's still 2006!

Posted by Richard Weisser, Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional (Richard Weisser Realty) over 12 years ago
Richard-The price of lockbox here is a $15 fee. Then you can honestly keep the thing as long as you want. If builders can't afford the $15, they shouldn't be building houses.
Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) over 12 years ago
I agree not everyone fits into thier time frame, if you are complaining about it others are too, bad for business, now tell them to get thier lockbox---Bart
Posted by Bart Whitmore, Real Estate Agent (Keller Williams- Louisville) over 12 years ago
Builders in our neck of the woods are great at having lockboxes on houses! Sorry it's such a trouble for you. Maybe they'll read your post and come up to speed!
Posted by Lindsey Hasford, Bringing you home... (Edina Realty) over 12 years ago

Bart- I can assure you that I am not the only one complaining, and some builders in the area have begun to put boxes on their field models but not all have gotten on board yet. Thanks for your comment.

Lindsey-I'm glad that your builders are so cooperative. Mungo homes here in Columbia actually gives Realtors keys to the field models themselves. Hopefully my complaints will have some positive responses from builders who read it.

Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) over 12 years ago