Replacing locks in a home or condo? Here are 7 things you need to know.

Live in Philadelphia and replacing the locks in your condo? Make sure you use an authorized Mul-T-Lock dealer. Here’s your solution…

When you need to replace the locks in a condo, which often is necessary for investment properties, you just need to follow the same rules you normally would.

The most important thing you can do, according to Vino Mishali of Philadelphia Locksmith Professionals, is to do your homework before you actually need a locksmith. Though this is especially true in emergency lockout situations, it’s equally true for residential lock and key replacement as well. Agents are often pressed for time and may call the first locksmith they find. Not a good idea. When you have some down time, which is rare in the real estate industry, do some research. Philadelphia is full of first-rate professionals that are licensed and insured. A web search will provide plenty to choose from. Dig for information such as current license and insurance. Try to use an authorized Mul-T-Lock dealer. They typically have stronger requirements and Mul-T-Lock doesn’t trust just anyone to represent their name. Then, verify their membership in locksmith organizations like the Associated Locksmiths of America, just to be sure they’re active.

Did you know that many locksmith listings you see online are not locksmiths at all? They’re call centers that send your job out to the highest bidder, often sending you someone who isn’t licensed.

Believe it or not, it’s also necessary to make sure that your new locksmith is actually a local Philadelphia professional. We always suggest meeting them beforehand because many of the listings you see online are not real locksmiths. They’re call centers that send your job out to the highest bidder, often sending you someone who isn’t licensed.

Cash-only providers are also a red flag. If the locksmith doesn’t take a credit card, there’s a good chance there’s a reason. Besides, if there is an issue, it’s a lot easier to get a refund with a credit card than with cash. Your financial institution may also help you if you’ve been a target of fraud.

Should it make any difference how long a locksmith professional has been in business? It certainly doesn’t hurt if they’ve been around for a few years. Their time-in-business, however, is not as big an issue as the kind of testimonials they get. A lock and key professional who has been around for many years will have much more feedback, and therefore, more negative reviews then one who has just been around for a short while. Take into account that all businesses have unhappy customers every once in a while. It comes with the territory. The important thing is to look at the owner response to unfavorable comments. This is an excellent indication of how they will treat you as a client.

“A legitimate locksmith professional will always require clear verification of ownership before they allow you access to a condo or home,” says Vino Mishali. “If they don’t, then they’ve breached the code of ethics of our very regulated industry and in fact, may not be reliable.”

There are plenty of locksmiths in Philadelphia from which to choose. Of course, we hope you choose us, but if not, stick to the rules we’ve outlined and you should have no problem getting those locks changed in your home or condo.