Key West Real Estate Thowback Thursday No 37

Real Estate Agent with Preferred Properties Key West

 from: October 1, 2018

Latch Key Dogs in Key West

Unlike many places across the United States, most houses and condos in Key West are shown by the listing agent instead of by accessing a lock box. This is both a tradition and a necessity as Key West many if not most listings here are viewed as both special and may also be tenant occupied. Special listings can be either very expensive homes that require strict control as to who goes inside or making sure that a potential buyer does not get injured while viewing a house in need of repair.

But all rules have exceptions including the house on Watson Street I showed several years ago. I remember the day and circumstance quite well. The listing agent told me she could not be present. The house was on lock box. She gave me the combination and said the tenant's dog would be in the house. The dog was tame and would not be a problem. It was probably winter as I noticed the light in the living room was turned on. I knocked on the door thinking the tenant was home. No answer. I opened the lock box, retrieved the key, and unlocked the door. I announced myself "Realtor".  No answer. I beckoned my customer to follow me inside whereupon I saw a big done sitting on the sofa watching her afternoon soap opera (or Oprah or whatever) on the television. The dog did some cute dog thing. The buyer probably gushed and talked baby talk.  We moved from room to room and then let the dog go back to its television. (I borrowed the black and white photo above, but it clearly represents what happened on the day I showed the house on Watson.)


This was not a one-time phenomenon. Another time the listing agent who was also the owner of the property I was showing gave me the lock box to his house. He said his two dogs would be present and not to mind them - they were harmless despite their size. Sure enough they were home guarding the bedroom.  I couldn't get them to move. They sniffed and checked us out then plopped their big behinds in front of the door just to make sure we behaved. 

The exception occurred a few years earlier while I was showing a tenant occupied condo on the eastern end of Key West. My buyers and I went inside a two story condo without incident. The tenant's dog yipped as we walked about. My buyers descending the stairs without incident.  I trailed behind, locked the door, and headed toward my car when my buyer said "Gary, you're bleeding". Apparently the little dog snapped at me and bit my ankle. I am glad he was small and not a German
Shepherd - that would have hurt.


I am listing three new properties. Watch the MLS in the next few days. I expect two will have bidding wars. One on open house this weekend. 

Comments (4)

Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Gary. Pets can be a problem that tenants and owners do not want to face. Some buyers just move on. Enjoy your day 

Jan 20, 2022 03:12 AM
Gary Thomas

Hi Wayne, It amazes me that some owners allow pets in rental properties - especially cats which are notorious for odor issues (not all, but many) and really large dogs.  It is getting present cash for potential cash outflow to remediate odor or other issues.

I showed a beautiful home yesterday. The oboe of the recently deceased dog lived on. My buyer was kind inside, but said he could not handle smell even if it could be remediated. He would always have the memory.


Jan 20, 2022 03:49 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Pets, pet behavior and pet odors can ruin a potential sale. One time I showed a house where I was told not to let the dog out. There was no dog. It was a cat and it went flying out the door as soon as I got there. My clients and I spent a half hour trying to coax it back to the house. Then I called the listing agent who claimed this had NEVER happened before - apparently it was all my fault. I claim BS.

Jan 20, 2022 05:38 AM
Bill Salvatore - East Valley
Arizona Elite Properties - Chandler, AZ
Realtor - 602-999-0952 / em:

Good Thursday morning, Gary.

Have a great day and an outstanding week.

Jan 20, 2022 05:52 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Gary - tenants and pets can become issues when real estate is involved.  I have often wondered why some real estate practitioners selling their own property don't understand this.  But then again, I wonder about a lot of things.   





Jan 20, 2022 06:02 AM