Real Estate Agent with Weichert Realtors | Silver Spring, MD Phone Direct 240-506-2434



I was the listing agent for the sale of a most unusual detached home located in a normally safe and quiet older neighborhood that featured mature trees and tree dwellers.

The house had proved impossible for two previous agents to sell because of its very unusual floor plan. The house was originally a one level rambler, but the owners had added a complete second story built with a separate entrance for a family member, in essence turning the house into two units. There were 2 kitchens, 2 living rooms, bedrooms and baths. It was like a house on a house. However, because of zoning restrictions the house was not technically a multi-unit property and could not be listed as such.


When a former listing agent wished me “good luck” I had no idea just how difficult it would be to eventually sell the house. Being an eternal optimist, I thought perhaps the third time (as listing agent) would be the charm.


I anticipated the main challenge would be to have the right buyer come along for this type home, but as it turned out there would be another most unexpected complication: a home invasion which resulted in $3,000 damage inside caused by the perpetrator.


It wasn’t long before I received a frantic call from another agent who was attempting to show the house and discovered the crime scene evidence.


Apparently, the back door had been left ajar during another agent’s prior showing just long enough to allow the intruder to sneak inside. When the doors were locked the culprit was trapped and became desperate. Wood shavings piled on several windowsills from diligent scratching and gnawing all around the panes helped to crack the case. Most notably, the large bay window by the front door sustained so much damage that it proved irreparable, and it had to be replaced. The prime suspect, a foraging squirrel, returned to its natural habitat when the door was reopened to facilitate its escape.


Despite these complications, I am pleased to report that soon after the seller had the damage repaired, the right buyer came along, so the third time proved to be the charm after all.


Barbara Michaluk is a top-producing Authorized Agent for Leisure World of Maryland, and ready to serve all of your Real Estate needs.

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My AR banner 2017

Barbara Michaluk, Realtor

Phone 240-506-2434

Email: michaluk@verizon.net  /  Web: BarbaraSellsMDhomes.com

Authorized Leisure World Specialist / Senior Real Estate Specialist /
Internet Marketing Specialist / Certified E-Pro / Certified Staging Agent

Weichert Realtors / 3816 International Dr / Silver Spring, MD 20906

Authorized Leisure World Specialist     Barbara Michaluk Graduate Internet Marketing Specialist Barbara Michaluk Senior Real Estate Specialist   


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Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

Yikes, when animals get into a vacant home, it can definitely cause a lot of damage. I'm glad he was freed, the house was fixed, and that the third time was a charm!

Dec 08, 2019 03:12 AM #8
Barbara Michaluk
Weichert Realtors | Silver Spring, MD Phone Direct 240-506-2434 - Silver Spring, MD
Leisure World Specialist / Full Service REALTOR

Thanks Kat Palmiotti for your comment. Yes, I'm happy to report there was a happy ending to this crazy sale.

Dec 08, 2019 05:45 AM #9
Debbie Holmes
John L. Scott - Boise, ID
Gets the job done!

One of my coworkers found a dead duck in his expensive listing.

Dec 08, 2019 05:45 AM #10
John Henry, Florida Architect
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design

Lovely story!  Maybe you can market that house as a multi-generational find.

Dec 08, 2019 07:23 AM #11
Mimi Foster
Falcon Property Solutions - Colorado Springs, CO
Voted Colorado Springs Best Realtor

One of my favorite expressions is . . . I want to be their first love, their second wife, their third Realtor. Looks like you found out the truth of at least part of this. And little varmints can cause such destruction if left unattended. LOL

Dec 08, 2019 09:58 AM #14
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Hi Barbara,
Oh My Gosh Intruders come in all shapes and sizes, don't they? Who knew such a small intruder could cause so much damage?  Thanks for sharing.

Dec 08, 2019 10:21 AM #15
Barbara Michaluk
Weichert Realtors | Silver Spring, MD Phone Direct 240-506-2434 - Silver Spring, MD
Leisure World Specialist / Full Service REALTOR

Carol Williams thanks for your comment. This story has a happy ending in spite of the destructive intruder.

Dec 08, 2019 12:01 PM #16
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Barbara Michaluk 

It sounds like that was one tough nut to crack but you finally figured it out! 

Dec 09, 2019 06:50 AM #17
Mike Frazier
Carousel Realty of Dyer County - Dyersburg, TN
Northwest Tennessee Realtor

This reminds me of that christmas with chevy chase and the squirrel.

Dec 09, 2019 09:50 AM #18
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Vision Quest Realty - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Glad to read a happy ending to this post!

Dec 09, 2019 02:45 PM #19
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

I'd be more upset with the agent who left the door open just wide enough for the squirrel to enter. That should never happen.

Dec 09, 2019 04:38 PM #20
Barbara Michaluk
Weichert Realtors | Silver Spring, MD Phone Direct 240-506-2434 - Silver Spring, MD
Leisure World Specialist / Full Service REALTOR

Jill Sackler, thanks for your comment. I agree with you! I was not happy with the agent who left the door open.

Dec 10, 2019 03:53 AM #21
Anne Corbin
Long and Foster - Lake Anna - Spotsylvania, VA
Serving Lake Anna & Central Virginia

Did the agent have to pay for damages? Ooops!!

Dec 10, 2019 08:13 PM #22
Karen Rice
Davis R. Chant, REALTORS - Hawley, PA
Northeast PA & Lake Wallenpaupack Home Sales

Arwww the poor squirrel must have been terrified to be trapped inside. Careless agents are the worst!

Dec 11, 2019 04:30 AM #23
Barbara Michaluk
Weichert Realtors | Silver Spring, MD Phone Direct 240-506-2434 - Silver Spring, MD
Leisure World Specialist / Full Service REALTOR

Thanks Karen Rice. The squirrel did escape and hopefully lived happily ever after!


Dec 11, 2019 04:52 AM #24
Janelle Ancillotti
Seneca Home Staging - Syracuse, NY
HSR Certified Home Stager, Syracuse, NY

I wonder if the careless agent who left the door open was held accountable. I can't believe how many times I've returned to pick up my furniture and accessories from a staged listing and found a back door left unlocked and in many cases ajar. Are agents really that busy or distracted that they don't remember that they opened an exterior door and left it open? Drives me mad. $3,000 damage is not funny.

Dec 11, 2019 05:28 AM #25
Steve Higgins
RE/MAX Kelowna - Kelowna, BC

Hi Barbara,

Happy to hear that third time was a charm for you. To bad the squirrel was trapped in the home and doing so much damage.

Dec 11, 2019 06:04 PM #26
Eva B. Liland Century 21 Doug Anderson
Century 21 Doug Anderson - Lancaster, CA
Glad to be of Service 661-714-1643

So glad that it ended on a positive note! The squirrel has some stories to tell. Don't know if this happened before there where electronical lock boxes or not. The agent should have been responsible for the damage! 

Dec 12, 2019 06:11 AM #27
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Congratulations!  Maybe that little squirrel was a good luck charm after 2 failed listings?  

Dec 20, 2019 10:36 AM #28
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

Hmmm...I wonder if my homeowners insurance policy covers damage from foraging wildlife. 

Dec 22, 2019 09:26 AM #29
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Barbara Michaluk

Leisure World Specialist / Full Service REALTOR
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