Austin TX Real Estate - Hill Country Austin Lakeway Homes for Sale: Bonus DoorKnob with Lockbox

Bonus DoorKnob with Lockbox

Have you ever picked up your lockbox and it had a bonus doorknob attached to it?

I had a closing where I tried to go get the lockbox right after funding, but I was also giving the buyers' agent enough time to obtain the key from the lockbox.  She confirmed she removed the key, and I told her I would be by the house that afternoon for the lockbox and sign.

I get there, and there is no sign, and no lockbox...

This listing was not a hop, skip, and a jump away.  It was a good 20-25 minute drive with no traffic, so I was a little peeved that my things weren't readily available.

I called the buyers' agent and asked what happened.  I reminded her how much those lockboxes cost.  She couldn't get a hold of the buyers.  Each day that went by, I reiterated to her the cost of the lockbox and sign and on this day, I told her that I would expect her to cover the cost.  It's $96 for the lockbox and about $30 for the sign.  I guess she didn't like that, so finally, 3 days after closing, she confirmed that the buyers would leave my sign and lockbox at the back of the house.

I arrive, and my sign was just thrown near a pile of garbage, and I had to look for the lockbox.  It was also with the pile of garage, and not only was it just thrown aside, it had a bonus doorknob attached

I had recommended the buyers' agent tell her buyers to rekey the locks, as that's just common sense. The buyers' agent said she had never recommended that before, but that it makes sense.  Apparently, she freaked the buyers out enough to not rekey the locks, but to completely change all the locks in the house. 

As I looked closer at the garbage, I not only found the backdoor locks too, but the garage door openers.  Did these buyers not understand that garage door openers could be reprogrammed?  Garage door openers can be expensive. The cheapest ones are about $25 each, and with two cars, that's $50, plus the cost of all the new hardware for the doors.

I'm all for getting your locks changed when you buy a new house, but don't ever hold a lockbox and sign hostage from a REALTOR® in the process.  We spend enough money on our businesses, we don't need to spend money to replace things that are in perfectly working condition.

Comment balloon 16 commentsDonna Harris • February 09 2009 10:36AM


Nope can't say as I have.  I sometimes  offer to take the lockbox off the door and bring it to closing for the listing agent.  That way the buyer is not calling me after the closing saying... when is she / he coming to get the lockbox, day after day after day.

We have roundtable closings.

The buyers were either very, very scared of the sellers and / or not real bright.  

Our signs are often held hostage even when you tell people "Do NOT put it in the garage!!!"


Posted by Maureen McCabe, Columbus Ohio Real Estate (HER Realtors) almost 12 years ago

Never had this happen-I don't think people realize how much money we invest in our business.

Posted by Pat Champion, Call the "CHAMPION" for all your real estate needs (John Roberts Realty) almost 12 years ago

Donna - I'm happy to say that this hasn't happened to me........yet.  I'm glad that you got it back, but sorry for all the trouble.  :(


Posted by Debi Ernst, GRI, e-PRO, Broker/Sales Associate (St. Charles County, Missouri - Prudential Alliance Realtors) almost 12 years ago

... hey look on the brightside Donna ... you just gained a free doorknob !!!

Cheers !

Sheldon :o)

Posted by Sheldon Neal, That British Agent Bergen County NJ (Bergen County, NJ - RE/MAX Real Estate Limited) almost 12 years ago

Maureen, We do not have round table closings and I'm so grateful for that! And even though I'll tell agents to just put the sign on the side of the house if it's not picked up quick enough (within hours of closing, not days), they're still put in the garage or even the backyard.  I can't enter a backyard either if there is a pad lock on it!

Pat, I just filled out the paperwork to join a new board, and it was $1079.81... I don't recall spending that much when I joined a board almost 9 years ago!

Debi, Thanks! But what is a story if there is never any trouble... the story of my life!

Sheldon, True, except I just threw it away! It was rusty and gross!

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - almost 12 years ago

Hi Donna... I have had this happen to me before.  It's very aggravating when we have to work so hard to simply collect our signs and lockboxes in a timely manner.  Of course, your scenario is better that when banks re-key my short sales without informing me or the owner and simply throw my lockboxes in the trash.  I have had that happen more than once.  Kind of makes it hard to get the house sold when the agents show up and there is no longer a lockbox!

Posted by Steve Shatsky almost 12 years ago

Steve, I've never had the locks changed without my knowledge.  Actually, once I knew the bank was taking over, they told me to let the 'owners' know they had 30 days to get out and they would change the locks.  I also always get a courtesy call from the bank's real estate agent letting me know to remove my lockbox 'when I get a chance' and to let them know... Interesting that we all have such different experiences with the same things.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - almost 12 years ago

I'm sorry, that was funny. How disrespectful and inconsiderate could one person be!

Posted by Greg Nino, Houston, Texas (RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP) almost 12 years ago

That was downright mean.  What did you do to those buyers? Just kidding.

I have a listing right now that the previous agent still has not removed her lockbox from the door and her sign is in the backyard.  It has been more than a month. It's an older supra box maybe that is why she hasn't gone to get it.

Posted by Angelia Garcia (Pure Realtors) almost 12 years ago

Greg, They were very disrespectful, but ya know, money makes the world go 'round and as soon as I mentioned that she would be covering the expense, a fire was lit and action was made.

Angelia, Me too!  Listed the house last Thursday, and Leonard (my partner) got bolt cutters, with the seller's permission, to remove the lockbox because the sellers couldn't remember who the agent was who even put the box on their door. It was a combo box so no way of looking it up.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - almost 12 years ago

LOL! No that has never happened to me....yet!

your friend for Charlottesville Real Estate!

Charles McDonald

Posted by Charles McDonald®, REALTOR®, Principal Broker®, Owner (Charlottesville Solutions) almost 12 years ago


Were the buyers and sellers at odds during this transaction?

Posted by Brenda Harmon (Century 21 Beal, Inc College Station, Texas) almost 12 years ago

The whole thing sounds absurd to me.

In my realtor days we did a walk thru the day before closing.   I always asked the sellers agent if they wanted me to bring their lockbox to closing AND their sign if it is one that they install.  Many signs are installed by a company and those I don't touch.

My listings,  I would rekey when I listed them becasue I did more estate work.

Sounds like you had a  communication issue with all

Posted by Virginia Tatseos (Stage-Show-Sell) almost 12 years ago

LOL oh my gosh that is a funny picture!!

Posted by Sandra McCarty, Sandy McCarty your Relocation agent for Iowa (Keller Williams ) almost 12 years ago

Charles, Keep an eye out so it never does happen!

Brenda, The buyers closed over 2 weeks late, but my sellers were so gracious to them and were never "rude" about it, even though it held them up from buying their new house.

Virginia, I've never offered to remove someone's lockbox for them as they all have different codes that you don't want people to have, but removing the key is something I've asked the listing agent if I can do after a walk thru.

Sandy, I found it quite humerous when I dug it out last week that I hadn't removed it immediately.  Maybe I was wanting to  keep the doorknob as a momento...

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - almost 12 years ago

Wow... it's just amazing...

Posted by Maya Thomas, Broker, Please see my client recommendations. almost 12 years ago