Fix Door Lock Problems Before Going on the Market

fix door lock problems

Yes, I know it sounds elementary that sellers need to fix door lock problems before going on the market, but you would be amazed at how many people get used to non-functioning doors. They will say, Oh, we always go out through the garage. Or, we just pull the key out slightly, jiggle it, spin around three times, howl at the moon and it works. But a professional Sacramento Realtor will find it very frustrating when showing your home if the lock doesn’t work.

This past winter, I had a seller give me a key that required a bit of finesse to work. I always check out the keys when I take a listing. When the seller hands me the key, even if I just watched her open the lock, I do it myself. The reason I use the key is to figure out whether we need to fix door lock problems before going on the market. Besides, it is added ammunition when an agent calls to say the key doesn’t work. I know it works because I used it.

In the case of the seller who had to finesse the lock, I asked her to fix the lock. But she insisted it worked fine. OK, after the first agent who showed complained about it, I just took matters into my own hands. The seller was at her vacation house at Lake Tahoe and in no rush to drive down the hill. So I just went over, met the locksmith, paid for it, and changed the locks.

If an agent can’t open the door, she can’t show the house. It’s that simple. If she can’t show the house, we won’t get any offers.

But now it seems I am facing another situation. In retrospect, we should have fixed the door lock problems before going on the market but I did not realize there was a problem. The lock had worked fine. Lately, over the past 24 hours, half a dozen agents accessed the lockbox. All of the male agents could open the door, but the 3 female agents could not. What the hey? We are not the weaker sex here.

The seller’s solution is she won’t lock all of the doors, but that is not a good idea. Do not compromise security. We just need to fix the locks. I feel that if just one agent cannot get inside to show, that could be the one buyer we needed. Fixing the door locks is a huge priority for me. And for any seller, really.

Elizabeth Weintraub

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