Today I got a call from a buyer’s agent saying she was unable to show one of my Champaign-Urbana listings because the key wasn’t working. The key would turn but not far enough to unlock the deadbolt. If a buyer can’t get into a home, that buyer certainly isn’t going to BUY the home, so to me this problem was as urgent as it gets!
I rushed on over there with my fancy-schmancy lock and key kit consisting of one thing and one thing only: a can of “LokShot.” LokShot is the brand name but it’s simply a can of aerosol lubricant, and if you’re either having trouble inserting a key into a lock or turning the key once it’s in the lock, a little spritz of this stuff will usually fix the problem. Such was the case today.
Here are a few things that I do concerning the locks and keys at each of my Champaign-Urbana listings:
1. I ask each seller to make TWO sets of keys: one for the lockbox and one for me to keep at my office. That way, if a key gets lost, dropped in an unreachable place, or another Realtor® accidentally walks off with it (it happens), I have a backup and can replace it immediately, even if the sellers are out of town.
2. I always test both sets of keys in the locks. In this case, the seller has an attached garage and, therefore, doesn’t even use the front door. So it’s important to test the keys and lock before leaving the lockbox at the house.
3. As I discovered today, the weather can have an effect on the locks over a very short period of time. So from now on, I’m going to use LokShot on each lock at the time a home is listed (with the seller’s permission) to hopefully avoid this problem in the future. Since the seller in my example doesn’t use the front door, we found out about the lock the hard way and I was fortunate that the other agent gave me a call. Lesson learned.
The functionality of your front door lock and key is vital to the sale of your home. If buyers can’t get in, they won’t be buying your property. It’s such a simple thing; don’t overlook it!