Market Wise Q&A: A Buyer's Agent Broke the Key off in the Lock while Showing my House. Who Should Pay for the Locksmith's Bill?

Pat Kapowich for the San Jose Mercury News Q: Recently, during the showing of our home, a buyer's real estate agent broker the key off in the deadbolt. This agent has repeatedly refused to pay the locksmith's bill. The lock had worked fine for years. Who should pay for the locksmith's bill?


A: Do you think the buyer's agent purposely broke the key while he or she was trying to show your home? I don't. Sellers and their representatives commonly expect buyers agents to work with keys and locks that are older than their client.

Access is absolutely critical in showing and selling property. Yet, many sellers/listing agents go out of their way to hinder the showing process. Often, a listing is marked as by appointment, restricted hours or do not disturb occupants. If, after all that, the buyer's agent is met with a note attached to the keys stating, Press in and jiggle to the right, the seller has just lost a customer.

Market Wise column Saturday, June 21, 2008

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