I met with a client today whose house will be listed in a few days; she was worried about security. Who would have access to her house? Would I be there every time it was shown? Robbery used to be a serious concern for real estate listings. Back in the old days ( and by old days, I mean as late as 2003) buyer's agents would access a listing with a contractor's lock box. This would be a simple combination lock box. If the real estate agent was conscientious, she would leave a business card to let the owner and the listing agent know who had been through the house. There was no other record of who had accessed the box.
It wasn't often, but I heard of jewelry, money, even food, being taken from a listing while it was shown. It was always difficult to determine who was responsible, because there was no real log of who had accessed the house when.
I'm happy to report in our technologically advanced age, we now have the ability to know when and who is accessing a listing at all times. Those ubiquitous blue boxes you see on houses for sale send an email in real time to the agent who installed it, letting the agent know immediately who is accessing the listed property.
These RMLS lock boxes have gone a long way to securing properties, but there is still an occasional issue. Just the other day, an agent in our office told me about her client who'd had something stolen. She got home after a day's worth of showings, and opening her refrigerator door, noticed something weird. In place of one of the cans of coke she'd just bought, there was a neatly installed dollar bill.
Clearly the buyer had been thirsty.