My buyer and I were out looking at homes yesterday, and we were at a house with showing instructions that indicated "do not let cats out." One of our jobs as real estate agents is to follow listing instructions regarding animals. Who knew? I really don't like that particular task, because in one of my early showings, a cat escaped and I couldn't get it back in the house. Since that experience, I am extremely cautious when the instructions have anything to do with animals.
So just to get past the cat-issue associated with yesterday's showing -- In this particular case, the cats were not a problem. There were two, one was sleeping on a bookshelf under the TV, and one was lounging in the sun near a door. Neither one moved a muscle the entire time we were there.
But there still was an animal related issue. After looking at the inside of the home, we moved to the outside to check out the landscaping. There were vegetable gardens, gorgeous flower beds and multiple patio areas. Someone obviously took great care in tending their garden.
As we were standing there, looking around and enjoying the landscape, we heard rustling under some plants in a small garden area. Looking down, we saw a chipmunk doing something. After watching it for a moment, it looked as though the animal was pulling one of those car ashtrays from years ago. We realized it had gotten caught in something and couldn't get out. So we had to help it, of course.
Well, as we leaned over to try to help the frantic chipmunk escape, we realized it wasn't an ashtray. It was a trap. And it was probably there specifically to catch chipmunks so they wouldn't eat the vegetables or other plants. So what to do? Do we leave the animal there in the trap? Let it escape and possibly do damage to the lovely vegetables? Possibly annoy the seller and listing agent if we were being video-taped?
What would you have done? We saw an animal who was in pain, yanking and yanking on its leg trying to get free. We freed it. The second it was free of the trap, it flew out of the area. Hopefully it was smart enough to go to someone else's property and not come back.
Real estate agents are often called upon to take care of animals. It's what we do.
Photo from bing.com/images, in the "free to modify, share and use commercially" section.