Wiggle it ... just a little bit

Real Estate Agent with Lott Realty Group at Rashkind Saunders & Co.

Wiggle it ... just a little bit

Allow me to take a little break from my traditional real estate blog. Rest assured, it's about real estate but with a bit of a twist.  My mother always said, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all!" Well, too bad mom. I can't bite my tongue any longer.

There are so many things that I love about my job. I feel fortunate to have had some pretty amazing 
clients over the years. Many of those clients have become life-long friends. And there's nothing more rewarding than helping a first time home buyer.  So yeah, I love real estate all around.

But then .....

Of course, real estate does have some challenges. Many challenges! But today, it's the little things that have gotten under my skin.  Today I'll share my immense hatred for 



Really Shane ?  Locks and Keys?  Is that your biggest complaint?

Depending on the day, I can open between 5 and 10 locked doors on homes. Sounds pretty simple, right? Wrong! It's never as simple as insert key, turn key and open door. There's always a twist, wiggle, jiggle or is it a shimmy ? Sometimes you have to pull up some ... but then there are times it requires a big shove.  Seems like they never want to work for me.  What's a REALTOR® to do?  There have been times when I've just given up and asked my clients to try to open the door themselves.  You know, it's practice for when you open the door to your new home.  Not the best first impression of a home.

So we are finally we are in the home and have completed our tour.  Now the battle starts over when it's time to lock up. 


A few of my pet peeves, when it comes to LOCKS and KEYS:

♦ You open the lock box and there's 5 keys and none of them are labeled. Sure, I'd love to fight with all these keys, as my client is looking over my shoulder waiting to get in the home.  We've got nothing else to do.

♦ Complicated instructions on how to use the lock. Yes, I love instructions. But if you need 3 paragraphs to explain it, maybe it's time for new locks?

♦  Locks that are over my head. I'm 5'6'' ... so I'd say that's average height. But I occasionally find locks at the very top of the door. I don't carry a ladder in my car, so I have to hope my client(s) is tall enough.

♦ More than 2 locks on a front door. I'm all about home security, but this is getting ridiculous.

♦ And the absolute worst is when I can't lock back up a home. There was one occasion where the door just wouldn't lock. I tried, my clients tried. We wiggled. We pulled. We jiggled. We tried it all. Thankfully the listing agent was able to meet us at the home quickly to lock it back up. What a waste of everyone's time. Ironically, I drove by that listing a week later and saw the front door  wide open (it was a vacant home).  Guess I wasn't the only one who had the same issue.



In full disclosure, I list and sell primarily with older homes in Richmond, Virginia.  I love all the charm and character that typically comes with older homes ... until we get to the locks.  But ironically, I still seem to have the same issues with newer homes too.  Maybe it's just me?



Know what make this REALTOR® really happy .... key pad locks. I don't think they look great, but boy are they easy to lock and unlock. No wiggling, no jiggling and no shoving. And once the home is sold, you can change the locks without a locksmith.


So the next time you see me wiggling the key back and forth, please be patient with me. Eventually, we'll get you inside of your dream home!



Comments (52)

Cathy Perry
RedKey Realty Leaders - Wildwood, MO

I can so relate to this, especially with older homes in the city.  When my son, one of my first clients, bought his home, he said he knew he was meant to buy it because I got it unlocked on the first try.  My staging reports for my sellers now include a standard recommendation to test the new key in the lock to make sure it works smoothly.  

Oct 21, 2015 08:50 AM
Dana Basiliere
Rossi & Riina Real Estate - Williston, VT
Making deals "Happen"


That happens to me more than I like. After I really struggle (and I am a master jiggler) and the buyers are watching I too let them try so they don't think I am a dolt. I have never had one open a lock I couldn't (thank goodness) 

It did not escape my notice that your logo is a KEY  

Oct 21, 2015 09:29 AM
Shane Lott

you are good!  I had a nice laugh when I was writting about keys ... while looking a my logo at the same time.  

Oct 23, 2015 12:08 PM
Jim Harper
Atlanta Communities Real Estate - Marietta, GA

I vote with Kit and Paula here (no politics intended!). FIX the faulty key/lock when you list the property; nad put the lockbox in a logical spot where we can find it. Please and thank you. 

Oct 21, 2015 09:46 AM
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Shane, I love your title and your post!  I share your frustration with keys and locks.

Oct 21, 2015 10:59 AM
Dorte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Shane,

& then there is the reverse Polish lock made by Anderson, which you have to pull up, while locking. Fun & games, eh?

Oct 21, 2015 11:01 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

I recall trying to get into a vacant church building. Finally the buyer, a preacher, said "Let me try." He spit on the key, and then it worked. 

Oct 21, 2015 03:03 PM
Chris Lima
Turtle Reef Realty - Port St Lucie, FL
Local or Global-Allow me to open doors for you.

I have had countless key issues over the years.  The keys not being in the lockbox, the lockbox not working correctly, the wrong keys being in the lockbox, but the biggest pet peeve when it comes to keys is when they don't work correctly.  What does that show to a buyer regarding maintenance, if the seller refuses to fix something that gets daily use?

Oct 21, 2015 10:20 PM
Marilyn O'Donoghue
Long & Foster Avalon - Avalon, NJ

I work in a resort area and the salt air causes locks to rust over.  It is always a challenge to open doors.  My MLS Board, however, has not approved electronic lockboxes and many sellers prefer keys over standard lockboxes!

Oct 21, 2015 10:55 PM
Theresa Akin

Door is out of kilter. Insert key while turning to left and pushin then pull out and upward to right; reverse to lock upon exit. First item on repair or replacement is new door and jam.

Oct 22, 2015 12:57 AM
Jill Winchel
Royal Shell Real Estate - The Koffman Group - Cape Coral, FL
We make it easy. You make it home.

I agree...if a lock doesn't work easily then get it replaced. Nothing worse than taking a long time to get into a home or not getting in at all due to a faulty lock.

Oct 22, 2015 01:22 AM
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Cute title! Locks hate me too, especially on those older homes. Thank you for sharing. 

Oct 22, 2015 03:51 AM
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Been there and done that with the locks.  Here is a twist I am very tall 6' 3" and I hate it when the lock box is down really low; especially when I have to get in mud or something to get to it.

Oct 22, 2015 07:27 AM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Shane Lott I have seen a few such locks on homes - an easy way to open the door - no worries about the keys. However, to best of my knowledge, they are expensive compared to our regular locks. Am I right?

Oct 22, 2015 01:50 PM
Shane Lott

I think so ... but have never priced them out.  But how can you put a price on my sanity :) ?

Oct 23, 2015 12:05 PM
Kimo Jarrett
Cyber Properties - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

I was trained to lock and unlock the doors while the homeowner observed. If the locks were challenging, we recommended replacing the keys or locks prior to listing.

Can you imagine a buyer considering a home whose locks are troublesome? What else is troubling about the property? Certainly, not a good impression about the value of the property, don't you think?

Oct 22, 2015 09:57 PM
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

I have invented a few words when thwarted by a front door with a bad lock.

In fact, one of the best features about previewing is knowing which home you'll get in an which to DUMP from the showing list when the front door lock is questionable.

Oct 23, 2015 12:36 AM
Belinda Spillman
Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado - Aurora, CO
Colorado Living!

I love this.  I think we each have our stories which we could go on and on about.  Love your humor.  Good job.  


Oct 23, 2015 01:42 AM
Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices
I remember once when the Listing agent gave me a 4-digit code.

The lock, however, was the one with a 3-letter combination. And we still got in... because the lock was not locked

Oct 24, 2015 03:59 AM
Nancy Laswick
United Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ
Your REALTOR® For The Valley Of The Sun

Great post Shane Lott! Door locks are such an easy thing to fix why run the risk of your home not being seen by a potential buyer, just fix the lock. Testing the front door lock is one of the first things I do after taking a listing.

Oct 26, 2015 03:34 AM
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

Shane, I happened upon your post this morning. It's true that almost every Realtor who's ever shown property has come across these hard to open door locks or boxes with multiple keys. The buyer prospect thinks we don't know how to open a door, for Pete's sake! Hope all is well and have a great 2016.

Dec 28, 2015 12:48 AM

oh my gosh that title ... im going to have that song stuck in my head now!

Jan 04, 2016 11:16 PM