Should You Hire a Locksmith?

When you finally receive the keys to your new house at closing, the excitement of moving mounts to a feverish pitch and starts to feel real.  Home sweet home becomes your mantra, and you eagerly await the time when you can arrange your possessions to create the serene feeling of turning a house into a home.  But wait – how many other hands have touched your keys? Sure, the sellers used them, but who else handled them? The previous owners, their neighbors, friends, relatives, not to mention the real estate agent – anyone – even someone who may not be trustworthy.  So should you hire a locksmith to change your locks after you move? The resounding answer? YES!  Here’s how:

Word of Mouth Rely on the good word of your neighbors, local friends and relatives as well as your real estate agent and co-workers who reside in the same area.  Ask them who they would recommend, what the locksmith’s credentials are and their policies and prices.  Usually, those in the know who you know can best help you find a trusted, professional locksmith.

Hit the Books Whether you receive a recommendation or find a locksmith on your own, do your research.  Investigate on the Internet and/or scour the Yellow Pages for locksmiths in your general area who provide the best services.  Visit the Better Business Bureau online https://www.bbb.org/ or call for a review of a potential locksmith.  You may also peruse Angie’s List or other comparable websites for their feedback.  Be thorough to find the best candidate minus any black marks against them. For further information, visit the Federal Trade Commission https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0089-finding-locksmith .

Live and Local Make sure when you decide on a locksmith that they definitely are located in and cover your area.  In the future, if you’re locked out, lose your keys or need to change them again; it will be easy for you to seek them out and for them to reach out to you.  This is also a safeguard, so that you know you’re dealing with a reputable company and not some con artist.  Be aware that some locksmiths operate as a mobile business, so confirm that, too.

Get an Estimate With any service you arrange, before you commit you should gather a few estimates.  Ask for a quote of what the locksmith normally charges for changing locks and providing new keys.  Compare the estimates you receive and pick the most economical choice.  If they’re in the same ball park, select the locksmith who most closely fits what you want and provides the services you need.

Check Them Out Before you hire a locksmith, check to see if they provide insurance and are licensed (some states require this).  If they do not carry insurance, find another locksmith.  Insurance will cover any damage and/or faulty locks resulting in problems that arise from them being changed.  Remember, before allowing a locksmith to enter your home and start working that you verify their identity as the trusty locksmith you hired.

Get Documentation For any work proposed and/or completed, request documentation and/or receipts via hard copy or e-mail.  This is another way to protect yourself from fraud, damage or simply to confirm the cost for changing locks.  If anything happens or you receive a bill differing from the original charges, you can easily dispute them and/or the work done.

Did you hire a locksmith to change your locks after you moved into your new home?