Friday July 10th 2015 and the only thing on my real estate calendar today that involved clients was a closing at 3pm. That left me plenty of time to do some writing, drink some tea, then head off to the property to remove the lockbox. All I needed was the key inside to give to the new buyer at closing, remove any of my business cards and make sure it was tidy and ready to go. I know the seller had been in the prior day so there was no need for me to enter, although I usually do on a vacant house.
I decided to keep my day uncluttered and easy, and after a morning cup of tea set off to retrieve my lock box and said key. These lock boxes are digitally operated with a key card which I have to renew before visiting. Card renewed, I am in good spirits at such a clear schedule for a Friday. It’s going to be a calm day heading into a weekend which I had set aside to spend with family, especially as hubby is about to leave for England and China on business for three weeks. My closing is local for a change, in Lake Zurich, only a few miles away. All is well.
I arrive at lock box and immediately experience a glitch. My lock box is not responding. I try a few times and give up. All I can do is call support. Imaging a lock box at door handle height, I need one hand to try to work that, another hand to hold the phone and the mosquitoes are having a field day with my bare legs! Normally support calls take a few minutes. There are things a lock box can sometimes need, like updating it’s internal clock. We tried this, and we tried a number of other things, nothing worked. I could tell the support guy was getting flustered, he kept going off to check with a manager. After 50 minutes it was deemed we were not going to be able to get the box off or open it.
So what am I going to do, I need the key! My options were borrow a tool from my real estate boards office to see if that could charge the box enough to at least get it off, or call a locksmith. I have 4 hours left before closing, I am getting hot and sticky too. I call the office, who fortunately are in Barrington and yes I can borrow said tool. So I drive 25 minutes through early lunch traffic and a train stop and borrow tool to be returned asap. Now back through the traffic, another train, 23 minutes to property. Call Tiff at the office and she walks me through the process. Bingo, box is off but key is still secure inside. Drive back to her office, again through lunch traffic and food smells, I am getting hungry! I also have a locksmith on standby just in case, the clock is ticking away!
I send about 20 minutes which Tiff gets box open, and then tests it to find out what the problem was. Aside from Mr. Spidey who had set up residence inside, it came down to battery contacts being less than optimum. Amazing that this box had been opened well over 30 times on two homes in the last year and now it decides the contacts are iffy. Two new batteries and voila, box is behaving beautifully. These batteries are expensive too, not your normal Duracell. They last about 5 years in an active box, mine were only a year old.
I come home, have my late lunch, cool down and then head out to closing with key in hand. All I can say is it was a good job I went early and that I had a light day. All in a days work as a Realtor! Thank goodness I did not have to go the locksmith route. $250 for them to take the box off and access my key and $150 to replace my trashed box. That would have been more of a stinger.
Until the next story, give me a call at 847-363-3686 if I can help with your real estate needs.