Spare Keys…a Suggestion for Realtors

by Jon on November 24, 2010

Instead of leaving a spare key “hidden” somewhere on the premises (such as under the doormat, or on top of the door frame, or under a rock near the front door, etc.), I recommend using a spare lock box with an unpublished combination. This lock box could be located away from the primary lock box where it is out of plain sight. If the key in the primary lock box is lost or stolen, a Realtor wanting to show the property can call the listing agent and find out how to gain access without having to wait for someone to show up with another key. This is especially important if the property is located some distance away. Most thieves know where to look for spare keys in the most likely used hiding places; so this idea might slow them down at least.

Another “trick” is to actually tape a spare key inside the back of the main lock box. Duct tape or masking tape work well for this purpose. If the main key is accidentally removed and not returned, then there is a spare key still taped inside the lock box. If both keys were taken, then you will know it was probably a deliberate act by someone with an ulterior motive – not much consolation; but at least you’ll know and be cautious.  Depending on the folks involved — if they are the kind of people who will cause problems, you might even want to re-key the property and use the spare lock box idea for next time.

By the way, the lock box idea works well for homeowners too.  If you have invited family or friends to your home but won’t be there when they arrive, you can leave a key for them in a lock box and give them the combination.

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