An Electronic Lockbox is a lockbox that is accessible to all Realtors through the use of their key fob or smart phone. The Electronic box is sometimes referred to as a Supra Box or Sentrilock box. (depending upon your area) This is the type of lockbox that would be used by any Full service traditional Realtor with a listing on the MLS. The advantages of using an Electronic box include a more professional appearance during a showing, tracking who goes in and out of the property, tracking how long someone is in the property, and greater security in that a non Realtor(R) can not access the box.
Mechanical lockboxes are accessible via anyone who has the code to that lockbox. This includes Realtors and members of the public. Advantages of mechanical boxes include being able to get contractors in and out of the property easily and a much lower cost when compared to the Electronic boxes. Disadvantages include: They can be much easier to break into. Most banks and REO vendors utilize mechanical lockboxes, which some sellers do not want to be associated with. Anyone with the code has access to the box and mechanical lockboxes will not track activity. Lastly, some MLS’s will not allow a code to be published in the MLS. Thus, each showing agent may have to contact you and speak with you to acquire the code. This could result in missed showings in you are unavailable to answer your phone.
Other notes – For the markets of NWMLS in the Seattle area, Prospector in the Sacramento area, and NNRMLS in the Reno area, the MLS will only allow a mechanical box to be on the property if an MLS issued Electronic box is also on the property. These particular MLS’s claim this is for the safety and security of the property. It is important to note that this is not our rule. These 3 MLS’s enforce this rule for all listings from all agencies who list a property in that particular MLS.