Trying to show a house when the key doesn't work.

By
Real Estate Agent 0225218019

Nothing is more frustrating to me than trying to show a house when the key doesn't work.

During my first year as a REALTOR I was showing property near the beach. I had difficulty with several of the locks.  My buyer said he had noticed that keys were not my strong point. 

Since then I've learned a few things that help:

  • Spraying WD40 in the doorknob can loosen a lock.
  • Keys made at a hardware store or by a locksmith are more likely to work.
  • I make a key for a secondary door if there is one.
  • Before putting the key in the lockbox, I test it.
  • I keep an extra key to all listings.

I am a REALTOR listing and selling property in the Amelia Island Florida area. 

 

 

Posted by

Sybil Campbell, REALTOR®, ABR, SFR, SRES

Long and Foster, REALTORS®

(757) 876-0140

WHATEVER THE DIRECTION SYBIL CAN HELP YOU LOCATE THE HOME OF YOUR DREAMS

sybil.realestate@gmail.com

Comments (58)

Sybil Campbell
Fernandina Beach, FL
Referral Agent Amelia Island Florida

Kristin, a locksmith told me about using WD 40 years ago.

Tom, I know keys can be a challenge.

Carla, It always help me.

IRMA, thanks, I'm enjoying the day so far!

 

 

Sep 29, 2014 04:34 AM
Charita Cadenhead
eXp Realty - Birmingham, AL
Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama)

...and don't forget to ask the seller to change the lock to one in which you don't have to slip half way in and then jiggle the left and then turn to the right.

Sep 29, 2014 06:34 AM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

There is little that is more frustrating that trying to show a house that you can't access because of a key problem.  You present a good list to help aleviate the problem.

Sep 29, 2014 08:51 AM
Jason Boone
Duke Warner Realty - Bend, OR
Principal Broker, CRIS, RENE, SRS, PSA

Exceptionally frustrating indeed.  And it's imperative to test the keys that a seller provides.  On the flip side however I've also had frustrations come about from showing Realtors that don't always understand how to operate locks.  It should be a part of the pre-licensing process.

Sep 29, 2014 10:38 AM
Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living

Sybil, great tips, I also keep WD40 in my car and it's saved many showings over the years!

Sep 29, 2014 11:46 AM
Sybil Campbell
Fernandina Beach, FL
Referral Agent Amelia Island Florida

Charita, I know right!

Myri, thank you for the compliment in your comment.

Jason, unfortunately so many things in our profession just have to be learned by experience.

Silvia, it certainly has helped me out of a few jams.

Sep 29, 2014 11:55 AM
Athina Boukas
Virginia Capital Realty - Richmond, VA
Certified Residential Specialist (CRS)

These are good points. There should always be a back up key nearby.  No lock should stop an agent from showing a home to a potential buyer.

Sep 29, 2014 12:11 PM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I always have a spare key to every listing too.  You never know when you might need it.

Sep 29, 2014 12:59 PM
Cheryl Ritchie
RE/MAX Leading Edge www.GoldenResults.com - Huntingtown, MD
Southern Maryland 301-980-7566

Check out the app key.com. It scans a key that can be mailed ir copied by a locksmith. It was mentioned at the MAR Convention. 

Sep 29, 2014 01:14 PM
Sybil Campbell
Fernandina Beach, FL
Referral Agent Amelia Island Florida

Athina, I totally agree.

Tammy, you are right, it comes in handy sometimes.

Cheryl, thanks for the tip about the app!

Sep 29, 2014 02:05 PM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

You're right, keys that don't work are sooo frustrating. I was previewing homes once and I simply could not get the lock to open. I must have tried for 10 straight minutes and I got so annoyed, I just said forget it, this house comes off the list. Geez. The listing agent sounded surprised that I couldn't open it.

Sep 29, 2014 08:48 PM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

PS - and I called her while I was trying to open the door to make sure I was at the right door.  Sigh.

Sep 29, 2014 08:48 PM
Sybil Campbell
Fernandina Beach, FL
Referral Agent Amelia Island Florida

Kat, I know it's her loss, right.

Sep 29, 2014 09:47 PM
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Eighteen Years Experience in Brevard County

Nothing is more frustrating than a lock that does not want to cooperate. I don't like the instructions that include things like "pull the handle toward you and jiggle the key a little!" 

Sep 29, 2014 11:50 PM
Kevin Mackessy
Blue Olive Properties, LLC - Highlands Ranch, CO
Dedicated. Qualified. Local.

It's very annoying when the key doesn't work.  It's even more annoying when the lockbox doesn't work.  I always try to get to an appointment before my buyers just in case something like this happens.  

Sep 30, 2014 06:48 AM
Sybil Campbell
Fernandina Beach, FL
Referral Agent Amelia Island Florida

Gary,  I know if the lock is that difficult, fix it already, right?

Kevin, that's a great idea.

Sep 30, 2014 10:30 AM
Tanya Van Blake-Coleman
Van Blake-Coleman Realty, St. Thomas/www.talk-to-Tanya.com - St Thomas, VI
Improving the Quality of Your Life

Very frustrating indeed! Great tips. I have had this happen on a few occassions. Spare keys and WD40 can be helpful for stubborn locks, but they should be tested prior to getting to that moment with potential buyers you are correct!

Oct 02, 2014 01:20 AM
Sybil Campbell
Fernandina Beach, FL
Referral Agent Amelia Island Florida

Hi Tanya, I know right.  If the listing agent would check the keys it would save everyone a lot of hassle.

Oct 02, 2014 01:40 AM
Scott Gleason, CRS
Coldwell Banker Realty - Westfield, NJ
Westfield NJ New Homes Specialist

Good list, checking the key, so simple. Its a must.

Oct 09, 2014 04:55 AM
Sybil Campbell
Fernandina Beach, FL
Referral Agent Amelia Island Florida

Scott, I know it's so simple and yet some agents miss it.

Oct 09, 2014 11:57 AM