If you have been considering listing your home or are actively looking for a new home to purchase, you may notice a change at the front door!  A new lockbox system has been introduced to this area as of August 2008.  Homeowners and agents now will have a new secure electronic box to potentially use when selling their homes or showing those properties.  Introduced the first week of August, this box replaces the old gray Supra boxes that were so widely relied upon in this area for many, many years.  

This new box, SENTRILOCK, introduced to the brokerage community by the National Association of Realtors is spreading nationwide with the majority of Realtor Associations in the Chicago metro area selecting it as their first choice for secured electronic lockbox application, including the North Shore-Barrington Association of Realtor (www.NSBAR.org ).   Conversion to the new lockbox system which included turning in all old gray boxes was a successful event that took place during the first half of August and the new lockboxes are now showing up throughout the area.

As with the old boxes, to access these boxes, one must have an active keycard that is tied directly to them and identified by a key number with a password that is needed to make it work and provide security.  The keycards are the size of a credit card and expire each and every day, so that agents who wish to use them, must diligently update their cards daily.   One issue in the use of these boxes is that not all of the Realtor Associations have selected this box as their box of choice for the members, so those without a keycard in this area can actually also call in and receive a one-time code that can be used to obtain keys for access.  This assures that those using these boxes will be able to provide and monitor access by all agents, something that is not available to those using the newer generation of Supra boxes (the "blue" Supra boxes).    We are still seeing an abundance of our solid and trusty non-electronic boxes that do not record access such as the combination, pin push or other simple code-type boxes that have been commonly available for decades.

Allyson Hoffman, RE/MAX North

Image courtesy of tales of a wandering youkai/Flickr.com