I had my home for sale (one that was an investment property with tenants), and it was scheduled to close yesterday.
I got a call in the morning from my lawyer telling me that the courier company (Purolator Courier) had left a note with the buyers lawyer saying that they were there at 8:30 am. Purolator had the key to the property. A Separate issue is the relationship between this lawyer and the Purolator company.
I called my tenants, who had moved out the day before, and they told me that they locked their keys in the garage, which they closed on the way out.
Purolator was to try to deliver the key later in the day.
I had a very busy day and trusted that the key would be delivered that day. At about 4:45 pm, my lawyer called me and said that the Agreement called for vacant possession and that the buyers wanted to "possess" the property. That they would call a locksmith and bill me for the expense.
I freed up some time, delaying an evening appointment and I chose to look after the issue myself and called a local locksmith. He was busy and now it was "Plan B" time.
I told my lawyer I would hire a locksmith (and ensure I was not overcharged). He called the buyer's lawyer, who conveyed the information to the buyer (with my cell phone number).
I arranged for a locksmith who said they were available to come to my property. The owner said the charge would be $29.95 for travel and $25 or up depending on time and complexity. A technician called me and told me he would meet me at the property at 5:45 p.m.
The Buyer called me and I told him of my arrangement and he agreed to meet me at the property at 6:00 p.m.
At 5:40 p.m, the technician called me and told me he would be there in 20 minutes. I met the buyer at the home, and we introduced ourselves. He seemed genuinely happy with his purchase and was looking forward to making a few improvements before he moved in at the end of the month.
The technician called at 6:15 p.m. and told me he was just leaving a job in Brampton and would be right there. I was a little annoyed, because if the technician had told us an accurate time, we would not be waiting outside a locked house for so long.
We made "lemonade out of lemons" and I took the time to introduce him to his new neighbours. At 6:45 p.m, the technician finally arrived, and opened the side garage door in less than 3 minutes.
Now, he tried to hold me up for ransom. With the picks in the lock, he told me that if I wanted him to open the lock without damage the fee would be $125 plus the $30 travel fee. The buyer and I had watched him, this was as easy as it got... I told him of the quote his boss gave me, and he told me that this was the fee.
I called his boss, and told him of the charge. He backpedaled and told me that the technician was on site and knew how hard it was... My blood was starting to "boil".
The boss told me he would reduce the fee to $100. I asked him if it included the travel charge. He said that would be extra.
This is where things got interesting...
The buyer told them they were thieves... and I was feeling like I was being held up.
The game changed in an instant.
I offered the buyer $70, explaining to him that I would rather give him the money than paying ransom to the locksmith. He said he was going to replace the locks anyway, and could easily break the lock on the side garage door.
The technician made a call to his boss and offered to open the door for $100. I said, thanks, but no thanks, paid him $33.84 ($29.95 plus HST), and gave the buyer $70. The locksmith was very annoyed and finally left.
After blowing my "fuse", I actually felt good. The buyer was happy that I handled this situation in this manner, and so was I.
I now know of two local locksmiths, Lovett's in Alliston and Avendis in Tottenham, and will never deal with a locksmith like this again.
If you ever need a locksmith, I would highly recommend that you STAY AWAY from www.tolocksmith.com, do NOT call 647.980.5222 and tell your friends to stay away from these people. To hold you up for ransom, when you are in need, is unconscionable.
If you need a local locksmith, call:
Lovett's in Alliston @ 705.435.6881, or
Avindis Locksmith in Tottenham @ 416.460.8670
Chris Smith CSSBB
Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage