When it's good to know a "wiseguy"

If you’ve ever watched a show like the Sopranos you know that there is a term out there called wiseguy that has a potentially dangerous undertone.  Well, yesterday, for one of my new listings I was thrilled to know a wiseguy, or rather a Wise Locksmith, Chris Weissman.

While driving from Renton to Bellevue’s Bridle Trails neighborhood, to show this listing, I get a phone call from another agent who has shown up to view it with a client.  He’s having trouble with the door and wants to know if I am aware of any problems or special way of handling the lock to make it turn.  “No, I haven’t had any problem with the lock before and neither have the other agents that have viewed the house already”, I tell him.

Come to find out, after calling one of the sellers, there is a way from the inside of the house to turn a little switch that would lock the home from the interior and it would make it so the master lock wouldn’t work.  Not good.  *Note to sellers – always let your agent know about quirky things like this so we can stop it from happening in the first place.*  Not only was I losing this viewing but the pending showing I was about to do would possibly be lost too.  On top of it, I lost one other possible buyer showing when yet another agent came by while we were working on getting the problem fixed.  My inner MacGyver kicked in.  I wasn’t about to do some fancy trick with a paper clip but I could quickly sort out a possible way to solve the problem.

And here is where my wiseguy comes in.  Chris is actually a former client of mine.  He and his girlfriend, Maridee, sold a condo and purchased a home through me about 18 months ago. I learned at that time that he was a locksmith and I’ve referred him to several clients since that time, with very good results I will say.  So, Chris gets a call from my partner, Michael, to see if he can help and he’s on top of it immediately coming over from the Seattle area during rush hour and actually making it within about a 20-30 minute time frame. I was thrilled.  One of the great things about working with various people and different types of contractors day in and day out is that when you need something fast – most of these wonderful folks will drop everything to come help you.

His first instinct was to try various methods and tricks he’s learned throughout the years to find special ways of opening locks. Unfortunately that didn’t work.  The second attempt through the garage didn’t work but mostly because it is on an electric opener, so then he had to tear off the existing door handle and replace it with a new lock.  I’ll say that it’s a little disturbing to see how easily some of this stuff can be taken off a property – although Chris did say that since he does this all the time he makes it look easy.  He just hates having to destroy stuff.  He didn’t damage the door though and that’s all good.

It ended up that the buyers that wanted to see the house at my scheduled showing ended up coming back (I rang their cell) and we had a successful viewing.  One of the other agents is planning to come back too but I likely won’t know if that 3rd agent comes back.  Either way, the house is accessible again and all is well that ends well.  Since the clients aren’t looking at offers till next Wednesday we should be set but I’ve got Chris on speed dial now, just in case….