Picking The Right Locksmith, And What To Look For

By
Home Inspector with Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC 3380-000723

Picking the right locksmith, and what to look for.

I am reading lots of articles about crooked locksmiths.  This problem has cropped up in recent years.  You need a locksmith and do an Internet search and a local phone number pops up.  And you think you are calling a local locksmith who miraculously says he can come right over.

What may have happened instead is that you have been routed to a clearing house in another state that sends someone to your house who is not licensed and has no idea what he is doing.  And later your house is visited when you least expect it.  And the visit happens with or without a key to your house.

The locksmith industry is alarmed by this trend.  And necessarily!

You have become easy pickings!

The locksmith industry thinks the solution to this is -- 

                        CONSUMER AWARENESS!

Can I cut through the clutter and list some things you can do to be more aware?  These are some things to look for when the locksmith shows up, in no particular order.  If you see some or all of these things, get another locksmith!

  • He shows up in an unmarked car - BIG RED FLAG.
  • There is a local phone number, but no local store locations.
  • He does not have the "right tools for your job."
  • The business has a generic, innocuous name:  Locksmith USA
  • There is only one, or maybe no, local store locations.
  • He demands cash payment.
  • The final bill is substantially more than was quoted over the phone.
  • He doesn't speak English.  Businesses that deal with the public send people who can communicate.
  • The work is shoddy looking.
  • The final bill presented has a business title with an address in another state, or has a generic "INVOICE" with no address or phone number.
  • Instead of picking the lock, he recommends drilling out the old lock set and putting in a new one.

My locksmiths (I use two) have many store locations in many local cities.  I started bowling with one of them in 1987 and have used him often ever since.  They both have excellent reputations and are licensed.  Not all states require licenses for their locksmiths.  Hopefully yours does. **

My recommendation:  Don't get taken for a ride.  And certainly DON'T put yourself in a position to get visited at a later date by someone who is not coming over to help you with your lock problems!  Do research and get a good guy to your house.  Not someone you will come to regret!  And good locks are another layer against the possibility of burglars getting into the house.  Pick a good lock and a good locksmith to install it.

**  Only 15 states require locksmith licensing:  Alabama, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

 

 

 

Posted by

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


close

Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Roy Kelley 03/18/2019 01:00 AM
  2. Gita Bantwal 01/25/2019 07:21 AM
Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Location:
Virginia Prince William County Bristow
Groups:
Dedicated Bloggers
Professional Home Inspectors
Addicted to Active Rain
WeBlog Anything (almost)!
Best Practices
Tags:
locksmith
locksmithing

Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Rainmaker
2,941,251
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents

Locally I have my go to man. But recently traveling across the State in my real estate duties, A bank called for me to list a REO. I was over that way, so stopped by to check. It was vacant and they wanted the locks changed asap to secure it. The lock was elaborate, more than I could handle. I started to search for a local locksmith and found this scenario. a local number, re routed to a national place if it was even in this country, then non English speaking man asking for my credit card, my address etc. No way, no how. After that I actually bought a lock smith supply from an auction. I change my own locks now and can avoid these types of people

Feb 03, 2019 05:34 AM #24
Rainmaker
1,833,904
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Debra - I've never heard of going somewhere to pick up a vendor to help me, but you are in quite a different area!

Andrew - those locks are next to nothing.  See my recent post on bump keys.  I had to get into a locked room just yesterday to examine the furnace and water heater and it took me 5 seconds.

Bruce - in that case the market rules.  The expensive ones who are not hired will lower their prices to get business.

Shirley - I might be able to come up with similar posts for many trades.  It is what it is.

Sure, Scott!  Just give him your info!  Unbelievable.  And I have never heard of buying a vendor at an auction!

 

Feb 03, 2019 05:42 AM #25
Rainmaker
1,093,616
Barbara Michaluk
Weichert Realtors | Silver Spring, MD Phone Direct 240-506-2434 - Silver Spring, MD
Top Producing / Full Service REALTOR in Marylan

As a realtor, I just had the experience to have to call a locksmith to change the cylinder in a defective lock. He was highly recommended by the security office for the community.  That offered some degree of confidence about who we were dealing with.

Feb 03, 2019 05:47 AM #26
Rainmaker
1,833,904
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Recommendations are always good, Barbara.  I grew up in Kensington and my doctor's office was on Fenton Street in Silver Spring.

Feb 03, 2019 06:42 AM #27
Rainmaker
424,006
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

Great post Jay! I will only use a local locksmith that I have known for a long time.

Feb 03, 2019 01:26 PM #28
Rainmaker
1,833,904
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

That would be the best practice, Tom!

Feb 04, 2019 04:24 AM #29
Ambassador
906,634
Frank Rubi
Frank Rubi Real Estate, LLC - Metairie, LA
FrankRubiRealEstate.com

Jay great reminder. Thanks for sharing this vital information.  

Feb 04, 2019 04:59 AM #30
Rainmaker
1,833,904
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Frank - like Robert Baden-Powell said, "Be prepared."

Feb 04, 2019 05:25 AM #31
Rainmaker
1,736,685
Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

I've met with this scenario a time or two when searching for a plumber--I kept searching until I found a legit one. It would be more frightening with a locksmith for the reason you mentioned.

Feb 04, 2019 07:48 PM #32
Rainmaker
1,833,904
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Of course this will happen with any trade, Lottie.  But a locksmith adds a more difficult dimension as they can have access to the house.

Feb 05, 2019 02:10 AM #33
Rainmaker
784,329
Kevin Mackessy
Blue Olive Properties, LLC - Highlands Ranch, CO
Dedicated. Qualified. Local.

Good tips to look out for.  I recommend sticking with a tried and true locksmith once you use their services, to eliminate any potentially costly mistakes.  

Feb 05, 2019 09:51 AM #34
Rainmaker
1,833,904
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Thanks Kevin.  And there's a lot of potential for costly mistakes!

Feb 05, 2019 12:38 PM #35
Rainmaker
966,585
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

GReat post.  I had no idea this was on the rise!  I use the same guy all the time so no need to worry.  I also refer either that company or another for clients, no newbies here!

Feb 05, 2019 04:56 PM #36
Rainmaker
1,833,904
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Then you're covered, Jan!  This post can be written for almost any trade, though.

Feb 05, 2019 05:29 PM #37
Rainer
121,437
Adam Feinberg
ANCHOR ASSOCIATES - Manhattan, NY
NYC Condo, Co-op, and Townhouse specialist

Wow, never really thought about this before- very concerning. That said, I tend to use the locksmith close to my office for key copies or near my apartment- both with commercial space and located in the same space for years. For my building, we also use the same locksmith that the managing agent uses for several of her buildings- so between these 3, I never gave it much thought- but it's great to give clients a heads up (though obviously in the city retail locksmith locations are every few blocks so likely less of concern here than other places- but still a worrying trend as people use google for everything).

Feb 06, 2019 01:46 PM #38
Rainmaker
1,833,904
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Adam - I hear stories from clients all the time about the google locksmith search and local phone number scam.  Glad to give you a head's up!

Feb 06, 2019 02:55 PM #39
Rainmaker
1,135,084
Joyce Marsh
Regal | Christie's International Real Estate - Orlando, FL
Regional Manager Regal Christie's Int'l Realty

This is definitely something to think about and very good information to share. Thanks and have a great week Jay.  

Mar 18, 2019 08:00 AM #40
Rainmaker
1,833,904
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Thanks, Joyce.  Always trying to be of help!

And I had relatives in Daytona and spent a summer there - in 1964 ... just a couple of days ago.

Mar 18, 2019 08:30 AM #41
Rainmaker
3,186,381
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

Interesting...it would not have occured to me to license a locksmith !

Mar 18, 2019 03:04 PM #42
Rainmaker
1,833,904
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Like Realtors, a locksmith can get into your home, S&D!

Mar 18, 2019 03:07 PM #43
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?

Rainmaker
1,833,904

Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
You may contact me anytime...
*
*
*
*
Spam prevention

Additional Information