Does That Skunk Come With the Home?

Real Estate Agent with Greenridge Realty Oakmont

Does that skunk come with the home?


All was ready to close the home sale the next day, but when we did the final walk-through, we discovered a skunk who had recently taken up residence in the 4-foot-deep window well of the egress window in the basement.  (Definitely was not there during inspections, as contractor opened and closed the window to check operation).


This skunk was indeed alive and well(?), and should have been hibernating, but it stirred and was shivering in the ten-degree cold.  Since there was two feet of snow covered with a sheen of ice on the very frozen ground, he was just huddled in a corner up against the window.  


The soon-to-be-owner inquired about options for removing it (mostly teasing me, I think, as he probably could tell I was wondering if it would delay the closing).  


Finally he revealed that he used to live on a farm, was used to skunks showing up occasionally, and had no problem with it being there - temporarily!


We then found a long piece of plywood and trudged through the deep snow to the back of the home, and gingerly lowered the board into the window well so the skunk could make an exit when he was ready.  Luckily, there was no odor at all - so far!


The closing went smoothly, and the new owner spent a few nights in the home before leaving on business.   Every night he was there, the skunk spent scratching on the basement window in the middle of the night, wanting in!


As soon as Spring came and the weather warmed, the skunk left and has never come back, (that we know of)!

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Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
Arizona's Top Banana!

Lynn Afton love skunk stories! After college I moved to Vail CO and moved in with a friend. She forgot to tell me she had a family of skunks living under my part of the house. I spent many a night sleeping on the sofa - far away from teh skunks as it was soooooo bad smelling. I guess they party at night!  The roomate didn' want to 'part with nature' so I moved on pretty quickly!!


Glad your buyer didn't freak out!

Apr 17, 2015 05:39 AM #3
Lynn Afton
Greenridge Realty Oakmont - Big Rapids, MI
REALTOR® Near Big Rapids, MI, Mecosta County

Anna Banana Kruchten - Phoenix Real Estate Broker - We both thought it was odd that the skunk had been out and about in such freezing weather, and there was absolutely no smell at all!  Made me wonder if someone's pet skunk had escaped.

Apr 17, 2015 05:46 AM #4
Jim Joeriman
Coldwell Banker Riviera Realty, Inc - Lacey Township, NJ
Helping Agents Reach New Heights

That is odd behavior on the part of the Skunk.  Unfortunately for me we had a whole family of skunks take up residence under our deck.  We were forced to trap and relocate them.  We still have a lot of skunks visit, however they only visit.  I have not discovered a method to repeal them - that works.

Thanks for your story Anna. 

Apr 17, 2015 06:09 AM #5
Tom White
Franklin Homes Realty LLC (615) 495-0752 or - Franklin, TN
Franklin Homes Realty LLC, Franklin TN

Oh man, that could definitely cause an untimely stink! I think many buyers would say that the skunk has to go before the closing.

Apr 17, 2015 06:54 AM #6
Lynn Afton
Greenridge Realty Oakmont - Big Rapids, MI
REALTOR® Near Big Rapids, MI, Mecosta County

Jim Joeriman - Hopefully your visiting skunks will not take up residence! 

Apr 17, 2015 06:55 AM #7
Lynn Afton
Greenridge Realty Oakmont - Big Rapids, MI
REALTOR® Near Big Rapids, MI, Mecosta County

Tom White - I was pleasantly surprised that my Buyer did not mind the skunk!

Apr 17, 2015 11:32 AM #8
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

Glad the skunk did not spray the basement.  Lucky you had buyers that were comfortable with the skunk.

Apr 17, 2015 02:32 PM #9
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Lynn Afton And they all lived happily ever after. Great skunk story.

Apr 17, 2015 11:08 PM #10
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

occasionally one wanders past my home and in the area minding its business and me minding far so good

Apr 17, 2015 11:19 PM #11
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

Goodness.  That skunk must have lost a bit of weight before spring.

Apr 18, 2015 12:36 AM #12
Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert
Zion Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Broker/Owner of Zion Realty

No skunks here in my area but there are plenty of stray cats that roam neighborhoods and can take up residence underneath pack patio covers until they get shooed away!

Apr 18, 2015 01:01 AM #13
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!

Sounds like you found the perfect buyer for the home.  Some folks would have taken off right away.  Glad to read that the skunk seems to have found a suitable home for itself as well (hopefully)

Apr 18, 2015 02:48 AM #14
Richard Iarossi
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Crofton, MD
Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate

I know a lot of buyers who wouldn't have been that reasonable with a skunk in the window well.

Apr 19, 2015 02:25 AM #15
Fred Griffin, on leave of absence from ActiveRain
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

Skunks have become rare in Florida... the Florida Wildlife Commission asks that you report them if you see one... because they are trying to determine how many are left in our state.

FWIW, we spent a year at our North Carolina house in 2007-2008, our cats took up with a Skunk during that cold winter.  The skunk moved under the house to keep warm; he would eat off the same plate as the cats!

Apr 19, 2015 11:25 AM #16
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

Thankfully everything turned out well for both the skunk and the new homeowners.

Apr 19, 2015 12:07 PM #17
Lisa Perry - NMLS # 276329
FHA, VA, Jumbo, Downpayment Assistance, Conv. - Fairfax, VA
Northern VA - 80/15/5, 100% Loans - Jumbo Loans

Wow, excitement.  I had a squirrel come make his home in my home before.  Even after we patched up the hole, he chewed through it and came back.  In the middle of the night, I could hear him walking around.  Those pesky critters.  

Apr 20, 2015 02:43 AM #18
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

No photo?  Too bad photos don't come with Smellavision.

Now THAT would be fun to see!

Apr 20, 2015 03:52 AM #19
Lynn Afton
Greenridge Realty Oakmont - Big Rapids, MI
REALTOR® Near Big Rapids, MI, Mecosta County

Joan Whitebook - We were all very glad that the skunk had not sprayed!  I was under the impression that wild skunks smelled bad generally, but this one did not have an odor that we could tell from a distance!

Michael Setunsky - We hope they will live happily ever after!

Richie Alan Naggar author PEARLS FOR THE SOUL .com books - We live ina rural area where skunks wander by - and we usually only smell them but do not see them!

Lenn Harley - The skunk actually looked pretty fluffy! 

Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert - We have a stray cat living in our barn that comes out to play with our cats - it looks like a bobcat and has a stub for a tail!


Apr 20, 2015 05:13 AM #20
Lynn Afton
Greenridge Realty Oakmont - Big Rapids, MI
REALTOR® Near Big Rapids, MI, Mecosta County

Lola Audu - Yes, Lola, I hope that skunk has found such a great home that it never comes back to the window well!

Richard Iarossi - It was very fortunate that this buyer let the skunk leave in his own good time, I think.

Fred Griffin - Did not know skunks are rare in Florida - are the alligators eating them?  You were very generous to let that skunk share your cat food!

Evelyn Johnston - Thank you for stopping by - I'm glad things turned out the way they did.


Apr 20, 2015 05:23 AM #21
Lynn Afton
Greenridge Realty Oakmont - Big Rapids, MI
REALTOR® Near Big Rapids, MI, Mecosta County

Lisa Perry - I would not like to have a squirrel take up residence - they can be so destructive.


Jay Markanich - I did not even think about a photo at the time - sure wish I would have!

Apr 20, 2015 05:23 AM #22
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Lynn Afton

REALTOR® Near Big Rapids, MI, Mecosta County
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