On several occasions in the past couple of weeks I was showing homes to buyers using both combination and electronic lockboxes. The use of these devices greatly improves the homes accessibility for showings which can make the difference between a sale and a stale listing. I highly support their proper use on homes that are for sale!
I was amazed by the fact that at many of the homes the keys in the lockboxes had a tag on them WITH THE HOMES' ADDRESSES ON THEM! If those keys should somehow not find their way back into the lockbox, an unscrupulous person has a perfect "invitation" to come back and empty the home of its contents.
I realize that agents want some way to identify keys, but putting the addresses on them is not the way to go. Yes, it is unlikely that an agent will not replace the key. But like an airplane crash that seldom happens, when it does, it can be horrendous and raise all kinds of liability problems.
On my lockbox keys, I put my OWN name and my company name. Also my phone number. That way if the keys do get misplaced, the person who finds them can give me a call. I actually had Tampa International Airport call me several years ago when they found my keys in their parking garage. To identify the property, I might (but not always) put the last digit of the address on the tag after my name. That can help ME whittle a found key down to just one or two properties in my inventory. At that point I can easily match up the key with my originals in the office.
For the set of keys I keep in my car, they also have my name and address, but the property is identified only by an obscure clue that no one else would be able to figure out, ie "two cat people" or "Violin Lover". But even then, those keys are much more secure and always under MY control, unlike those in the lockboxes.
So, whatever you do, I strongly suggest that you find some other way to label your keys in lockboxes. It will better protect your sellers' properties and hopely reduce your liability.
John Elwell - REALTOR
Bill Nye Realty, Inc.
Licensed in Florida