Real Estate Agents and Animals

By
Real Estate Agent with Grand Lux Realty, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com 10301213186

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.

 

photo from bing.com/imagesAs 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. 

 

 

Posted by

 

Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat

Licensed Associate Broker, CBR®

Grand Lux Realty, Inc.

428 Main Street

Armonk, NY 10504 *

* still supporting Monroe NY, Orange & Rockland counties.

 

914-419-0270 (cell)

email: kat@thehousekat.com

www.thehousekat.com

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Rainmaker
267,624
Mott Marvin Kornicki
Waterway Realty, Realtors® • Broker • South East Florida • - Miami Beach, FL
Waterway Realtors, Notary Public 786-229-7999

It's a tough call - I'd like to think that I would have also released the trapped animal. But then again - on the other hand; the trap was set there by the property owner for a specific purpose...

Jun 13, 2018 05:33 PM #39
Rainmaker
1,175,178
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

Mott Marvin Kornicki - Maybe there was a specific purpose, but that little chipmunk face looked up at me, and he yanked his teensy chipmunk paw that was stuck in the trap, and he started dragging the trap with him as he looked at me for help. I swear his little head was sending "free me" thoughts. Haha. My client and I could not leave him there!!

Jun 13, 2018 06:29 PM #40
Rainer
454,469
Steve Higgins
RE/MAX Kelowna - Kelowna, BC

Hi Kat,

Nice post and very kind of you to save the chipmunk, you did the right thing. I would have saved the little guy too. 

Jun 13, 2018 07:29 PM #41
Rainmaker
884,231
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

You did the right thing  Freeing the chipmunk helped it escape and it will probably never return!  Great post.  Pet reminders keep us vigilant!

Jun 13, 2018 09:31 PM #42
Ambassador
2,530,272
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.AtHomesCharlotte.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

No time to call Animal Control on this one, Kat! You ABSOLUTELY did the right thing...a woman after my own heart! 

Jun 13, 2018 11:04 PM #43
Rainmaker
1,175,178
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

Steve Higgins - Thank you for weighing in. I'm glad you agree!

Jan Green - I hope the little guy was smart enough to stay away.

Debe Maxwell, CRS - To be honest, I never thought of Animal Control, but I've now looked up their numbers in case I need them in the future. I agree about the time... 

Jun 14, 2018 04:33 AM #44
Rainmaker
346,072
John Wiley
Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL Real Estate GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

The instruction to not let the cat out of the house seems to be an unreasonable request. The agent has no idea where the cat is when they open the door, it could be right at the door and bolt out as soon as the door is opened.

The seller does not realize that they have a responsibility for their pets.

It is best not to have visible signs of a pet, some people are alergic.

This puts a lot of responsibility on the showing agent.

As for the chipmunk, thank you for doing the right thing. It is understandable that people do not want animals damaging their plants. But, to leave an animal in pain and trapped is not acceptable.

Thanks for a great post.

Jun 14, 2018 07:07 AM #45
Rainmaker
439,818
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Specializing in Brookside, Waldo, Prairie Village

I understand how pp can get attached to pets. But to those sellers that leave dogs in home during showings--UGH.  Barking, smells, sniffing my butt, poop in the yard, scratches on doors and windowsills....reflects on the seller.

Jun 14, 2018 07:39 PM #46
Rainmaker
1,175,178
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

John Wiley - I agree about the cat/other animal instructions. What I do now is when I open the door, I inch it open and stand right in the way (just in case the cat/dog runs for the door). It's stressful!  

Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR - I am showing a house today and the instructions say "dog in crate - he's a HOWLER!" Ugh. That's going to be a quick showing, I'm sure.

Jun 15, 2018 03:25 AM #47
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

Hi Kat

I would have done the same thing without even thinking further about it.

Pets in houses really CAN be a tough issue. Even worse when you aren't told they are there in advance.

Jeff

Jun 15, 2018 07:41 AM #48
Rainmaker
1,175,178
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

Jeff Dowler, CRS - Pets should always be part of the showing instructions, if they will be in the house. I totally agree.

Jun 16, 2018 03:14 AM #49
Rainmaker
4,605,070
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD
Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs

Thank you very much for your chipmunk rescue. We have chipmunks in our yard and they do some damage to our plants but I would never harm them.

Jun 17, 2018 09:16 AM #50
Rainmaker
1,175,178
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

Roy Kelley - Thank you - I wouldn't want to harm them either!

Jun 17, 2018 10:42 AM #51
Rainmaker
2,710,129
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Oh it breaks my  heart reading this post, I love all animal especially the ones that are four legged... yes I would have released the Chipmunk and thrown the trap away.... I can not understand why humans can be so cruel...Endre

Jun 17, 2018 09:06 PM #52
Rainmaker
1,175,178
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

Endre Barath, Jr. - Thank you for your comment. They were more concerned about the plants than the animals.

Jun 18, 2018 02:57 AM #53
Rainmaker
1,715,897
Patricia Feager
DFW FINE PROPERTIES - Southlake, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Kat Palmiotti - As I started reading your post, I was following along knowing something was about to happen. I have been in homes where I had experienced escape artists and frantically tried to get the cat back inside; then to no avail contacted the Showing Service to alert the Sellers, saying I'd wait until I heard what the seller had to say. In all cases, the sellers were not upset, they knew it happens a lot, and told me to leave the house, thanking me for the call.

But then you got me thinking, what if it was a dog and the dog ran out and got attacked by a squirrel or a skunk! What then? I have never heard of a seller leaving First Aid and/or Emergency Contact numbers for their pets. As Agents, we are following the showing instructions without preparation for "what if," scenarios like you described.

If I had been in your situation, I wouldn't have left the chipmunk hanging in distress. I wouldn't have the heart. I would have called animal control, contacted showing services to notify the owner, and left a message for the listing agent, in that order.

I am very happy to see your post was featured! You gave me thoughts to ponder about animals in houses for sale. Thanks, Kat. 

Jun 18, 2018 07:05 AM #54
Rainmaker
1,175,178
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

Patricia Feager - Thank you for your comment! Animals can certainly add challenges to showings, whether they are pets or wild animals. I hadn't even thought about what happened if a pet got out and was hurt by another animal. That would be a horrible occurrence. 

Jun 19, 2018 03:15 AM #55
Ambassador
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Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®,CRS,
RE/MAX Professionals. - Tacoma, WA
Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority!

I don't think I've ever faced a situation with setting a wild animal free however I think you did the right thing if not the moral thing to do Kat...

Jun 19, 2018 04:01 PM #56
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Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

I don't know what I would have done. I can see it would be painful to see an animal suffering. I haev problems with squirrels and chipmunks destroying flowers and vegetable plants and can't seem to get rid of them.

Jun 19, 2018 06:16 PM #57
Rainmaker
1,175,178
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®,CRS, - Thank you! I wouldn't have been beating myself up if I left him there.

Debbie Reynolds - Thank you for your comment; We have that problem with groundhogs and deer. 

Jun 20, 2018 03:22 AM #58
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