For several years I have been imploring my clients who are purchasing new or used real estate to change the locks. Recently, I had a police officer client who thanked me for my advice. It seems that many times, when the Purchaser does not change those locks, there is a break-in where it appears that a key was used to gain entry.

This is as true for used properties as it is for new ones. A client of mine purchased a new condominium, was assured that the locks had been changed and took possession. The very next morning she was lying in bed and heard a noise in her living room. When she went to check out the source of that noise she found a workman performing repairs to her fireplace, having used a key to enter. Seems the locks had been changed and that all of the workmen had new keys as well.

You won’t have to actually change the locks if you don’t want to. Locksets can be rekeyed for relatively cheap. That lockset can usually be removed with two screws. A service call will cost $65.00 more if you want to go that route.

While you are at it, change the codes for the remote garage door opener. Most openers have a code reset function with instructions shown on a sticker on the outside of the machine. If you will climb up on a ladder to the machine, you can change the code in well under a minute. The reason you’re doing this is that replacement remotes are cheap and they act as spare garage keys. You have no idea how many such spares the Seller or members of his family and their friends may have in their possession.

It seems obvious but taking a few minutes to protect yourself and your new investment by changing your locks and garage door codes is well worth the time!