I'd love to show your house...If I could only get in!

Real Estate Agent with Long and Foster Crofton/Bowie Tri-County Sales

First impressions count!  Make sure the door knobs and locks on the front door are in good working order.

Over the past couple of weeks I have had several experiences where I was showing a home to a client and it was nearly impossible to get into the home.  In two instances the keys fit the locks but it took about five minutes of maneuvering to get the locks to open.  In both cases the door knobs were practically falling off.  I also went to preview a property and the keys did not work at all. 

A couple of tips:

  1. Make sure the lockbox is placed in a way that is easily accessable to agents.  We shouldn't have to be a contortionist just to get to the key.
  2. Make sure the keys for the locks are correct.  Check, then check again, that the locks can be opened.
  3. If the locks and knobs are old and don't work properly, suggest to the owner that they replace them before the property is shown.  It could be the difference between the property being seen by a client, or not.  And, it makes a better first impression.

While I'm still on my soapbox... Have your sellers/landlords make sure the front door is painted.  Peeling paint sends a message that the property is not well maintained.


It's the little things that can make all of our jobs a little easier!


Dan Hopper
Dan Hopper - Gold Way RE - Westminster, CO
Colorado Broker / Referral Services

Good advice, Pamela!  We all have our horror stories with lock boxes, keys, and door locks!  Make sure they work!!

Feb 24, 2014 01:36 AM
Tina Parker
EXP Realty Canada Inc. - Halifax, NS
Managing Associate Broker

Sadly, I still experience this. It's unfortunate that an obvious tip has to be pointed out.   

Feb 24, 2014 06:59 AM
William "Bill" and Karen Farragher
EXIT Blue Water Realty, Matawan, NJ 07747 - Matawan, NJ

We too have had many showings where the keys don't work in the locks or better yet, there are no keys in the lockbox to even show.  ~Karen

Feb 24, 2014 07:56 AM
Pamela Rachal
Long and Foster Crofton/Bowie Tri-County Sales - Upper Marlboro, MD

Dan, Tina, Bill and Karen,

Thanks for chiming in. I have to admit that this was a little bit of a rant, but it's incredibly frustrating when you're with a client who is eager to see a property and you're fumbling around with the lock.

Feb 24, 2014 08:16 AM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

This is so true -- I've had to leave homes that I just could not get into.  I struggled with one lock for about 15 minutes and just gave up.  It wasn't going to work.

Feb 24, 2014 07:36 PM
Shannon Milligan, Richmond VA Real Estate Agent/Associate Broker
RVA Home Team - Richmond, VA
RVA Home Team - Winning with Integrity.

This happens a lot here in Richmond VA. Usually I can find a way in through a back door or something but that moment is awkward for all when you stand at the front door, fumbling with the key. And the client starts from "GO" adding up the negatives.

Mar 03, 2014 09:36 PM
Pamela Rachal
Long and Foster Crofton/Bowie Tri-County Sales - Upper Marlboro, MD

Shannon, so true. Here in Metro Washington, lurking around the back of a house will likely result in a call to the police, so if I can't get it open we just move on to the next home.

Mar 03, 2014 10:45 PM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

Those things make a job of a selling agent much easier( not a little).

I also don't get agents who steal the keys so no one else can get inside( really? this is what you think will increase your clients chances to buy the property?)

Apr 17, 2014 03:25 PM
Pamela Rachal
Long and Foster Crofton/Bowie Tri-County Sales - Upper Marlboro, MD

Taking keys from a property is simply unprofessional.  I haven't encountered that yet.

Apr 21, 2014 11:10 PM