The One That Got Away - She Took a Bite Out of My Sale

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Venture Realty International

Clipart - DogNot only can big dogs take a bite out of crime -- they can definitely take a bite out of your sales. 

Years ago I had a great listing.  Great price and in a popular neighborhood.  My Sellers were wonderful.

But they had two huge dogs. They were Pit Bulls.  The sellers insisted on keeping the dogs in the house, but in their kennels so the house could be shown.

The sellers said Crista was viscous and a little bit crazy.  I think even they were a little bit afraid of Crista. They even locked her up when friends visited.

One day I got a frantic call from another agent. She was at the door but could hear the dog barking.  We set an appointment for the next day - her buyers really wanted this home. 

Next day the sellers confirmed the dogs were locked up tight -- but the same thing happened so I raced over.  I could hear the dogs clear in the back of the house.

I opened the door and leading the way started through the house.  The other agent and buyers were not trusting and stayed way back.  I kept talking to the dogs as I walked. 

Finally, I came around the corner in the back and looked at the kennels --- and then I stared at Crista who was not in her kennel. She was growling and I think my heart stopped. 

Clipart - DogAnyway, I kept talking calmly (I don't know how) to Crista and started backing out. In the same tone of voice I asked everyone to get out first - to stay out of my way and most important - not to shut the door. 

Somehow I made it out with Crista only feet away as we went all the way back through the house.  I have to admit, I slammed the door as I left.

The buyers and agent decided that it was enough and were gone.  The sellers could not believe that Crista had managed to escape her kennel and even more they were astounded that she had not had me for lunch. 

I learned if you want to sell your home - let the animals get a head start on moving because I will not list it if there are dogs in the house.




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Yvonne Burdette-Van Camp
To Buy and Sell Real Estate, see me at Southwest Missouri Realty - Springfield, MO
"Home"work, I have the Answers!

Doesn't sound like a good situation.   Owners are always surprised when their animals don't behave the way think they normally do.

Nov 27, 2011 03:59 PM #1
Gary Coles (International Referrals)
Venture Realty International - Las Vegas, NV
Latin America Real Estate

Yvonne, It was a horrifying situation.  I couldn't believe Crista not attacking me - we decided later that she must have recognized my voice from the many times that I had been there before. And none of us could figure out how she escaped from the kennel. That was a huge surprise to the owners.

Nov 27, 2011 04:07 PM #2
Gary Coles (International Referrals)
Venture Realty International - Las Vegas, NV
Latin America Real Estate

For a fantastic story involving animals you should see the post by Marge Piwowarski:

The One That Got Away


Nov 27, 2011 04:10 PM #3
Mimi Foster
Voted Colorado Springs Best Realtor

I had a very similar situation at one time.  The Seller, of course, always said, don't worry, she's really friendly.  I finally talked her into leaving the big dog with her mother.

Nov 27, 2011 04:11 PM #4
Karen Crowson
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Rancho Bernardo, CA
Your Agent for Change

Yikes, would not want the potential liability of that dog bit anyone. If the owners are a little scared?  Imagine how a stranger must feel. Thanks for entering the One That Got Away Contest.

Nov 27, 2011 04:17 PM #5
Gary Coles (International Referrals)
Venture Realty International - Las Vegas, NV
Latin America Real Estate

Mimi, The potential liability and danger of dogs is unbelievable.  The very nicest pet can attack a stranger and then it is lawsuit time. Plus the damage an animal can do is scary.  I had an agent who years earlier had been attacked by a dog while showing a home. She not only needed a lot of reconstructive surgery but also a lot of therapy. She had always been a dog lover and I am still amazed at the courage it took for her to spend time around dogs and to stay in real estate.

Nov 27, 2011 04:17 PM #6
Gary Coles (International Referrals)
Venture Realty International - Las Vegas, NV
Latin America Real Estate

Karen, Thank you for putting together a fantastic contest. It is nice that we can share bad experiences and try to help others avoid them.

Nov 27, 2011 04:19 PM #7
John McCormack
Albuquerque Homes Realty * - Albuquerque, NM, Albuquerque Homes Realty

Suggested!  Gary I could not agree more!  Preach on you have my full attention my friend!

Nov 27, 2011 04:19 PM #8
Doug Bullwinkel
Academy Mortgage Group - Roseville, CA
NMLS #281609

They don't pay us enough to be chew toys for pets that are out of control.  Most owners are in denial about the potential hazard of their dogs, especially pit bull owners.  I agree that pets need to be out of the area when homes are being shown.  The cost of a good kennel is far cheaper than the price of a lawsuit or lost value in a home with a vicious animal.

Nov 27, 2011 04:21 PM #9
Marge Piwowarski
Phoenix AZ Horse Property - Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix AZ Horse Property, LLC


Wow!  Thanks for the recommendation.  Yours is a scarier story, I was never in any danger, all the animals in my story were friendly, the dogs were too enthusiastic in greeting humans but they meant well. 

Being confronted with a loose dog who has a bad rep even with her owners....that is frightening. 

Most Pit Bulls aren't agressive with people.  I think I will bring in my aging (like me) AmStaff  and go to bed. 

Nov 27, 2011 04:24 PM #10
Pamela Seley
West Coast Realty Division - Murrieta, CA
Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA

Gary, thanks for sharing your experience. I will not take a listing with dogs that remain on the property that could be a danger to the public, such as pit bulls, dobermans, etc. It's not worth risking life or limb. Suggested!

Nov 27, 2011 04:32 PM #11
Gary Coles (International Referrals)
Venture Realty International - Las Vegas, NV
Latin America Real Estate

John, Thank you for the suggest.  I think this is a very important subject and it is great to have your support. 

Doug, I definitely don't want to be a "chew toy".  In my case, the owners did have a top of the line kennel for each dog.  They were astounded that Crista got out -- it should have been impossible.

Marge, If properly trained and cared for almost all dogs are OK.  The biggest thing is that the dogs often feel that they must protect the home and even sometimes the owner from a stranger. When we show homes we are strangers to the pets and it is impossible to know for certain how they will react. I have been around all kinds of dogs that have been just great, but I have been bitten twice.  Both times were by friendly dogs and one was a little tiny Chihuahua.

Pamela.  Thank you for the suggest.I think you are being very wise when you won't take listings where the dogs remain on the property.

Nov 27, 2011 05:01 PM #12
Joni Bailey
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services - Anderson Properties - Huntsville, TX
Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR®

Christa is such a sweet sounding name. I think you should have dubbed her Vicious! YIKES! :(

Nov 28, 2011 01:53 AM #13
Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities
Charlemagne International Properties - Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Palos Verdes & Beach Cities Homes in L.A.

I'm glad Crista was in a good mood that day for your sake.  It is foolish indeed to try to show a house with dangerous dogs pinned in a cage or bedroom and barking their heads off at the prospective buyers.  My first rule of staging is to make sure the pets are gone so the property can be viewed without fear of life or limb.

Nov 28, 2011 02:08 AM #14
Gary Coles (International Referrals)
Venture Realty International - Las Vegas, NV
Latin America Real Estate

Joni, It does sound like a sweet name.  I guess names don't really indicate much. 

Norma, My rule now is exactly like yours and that is to make certain the pets are gone. In this situation I learned that even with them caged in good kennels - something can go wrong.

Nov 28, 2011 03:11 AM #15
Maria Morton
BHG Real Estate - Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Kansas City Real Estate 816-560-3758

Gary, that was scary! You were lucky to get out without being harmed.

Nov 28, 2011 03:31 AM #16
Cheryl Dickson
Wichita Falls Association of Realtors - Staff - Wichita Falls, TX
Retired Realtor, GRI / Retired Home Inspector

So, So lucky you made it out in one piece! I have a pit bull bite on my left arm. It was very bad, I had treatment in and out of the hospital for more than a month. Mine was an accidental unintended bite. I can't imagine how bad it would have been if she had really been after me. (She went after my puppy, and I got bit while rescuing him.)

Nov 28, 2011 08:03 PM #17
Brenda Whitman, Live in Laramie Real Estate
Live in Laramie Real Estate, Laramie, Wyoming - Laramie, WY
Broker/Co-Owner, Laramie, Wyoming

Yikes!  I felt like I was right there with you.... you must have done something right that day!

Nov 29, 2011 03:07 PM #18
Kathy Schowe
California Lifestyle Realty - La Quinta, CA
La Quinta, California 760-333-8886

That is a SCARY story!  I have been pretty lucky in avoiding the dogs... and I love the picture of your kitty!  Great post!  Kathy

Nov 29, 2011 05:03 PM #19
Gary Coles (International Referrals)
Venture Realty International - Las Vegas, NV
Latin America Real Estate

Maria, It was scary and I really felt lucky. 

Cheryl, Wow -- It sounds like you had a bad experience. And it sounds like your puppy is lucky to have you to rescue him.

Brenda, I don't know what I did right except not panic.  I realized that no matter what, I had to remain calm and keep talking to Crista in a normal tone of voice -- it worked. 

Kathy, Thank you. I'm glad that you have been lucky.  And thanks for the compliment for Yazmine.

Nov 30, 2011 01:25 PM #20
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