THE SMARTER-THAN-HUMAN PET: My Seller’s tell me how friendly their dog is and will explain they ‘just get excited when you first come in and then they settle down'. From experience the translation of this is really ‘every time the home is to be shown to a buyer and I am not around, then you get to come over before the potential buyer arrives and enter, kennel and bribe our smarter-than-human dog to behave during the showing.'
I WIN: What the owner does not realize is that when this actually happens, their adorable and well behaved pet knows their master is not around and the unsuspecting Agent becomes their physical and mental pawn to jump on and play catch-me-if you-can with. I have learned to out stare, soft talk, and lure with treats many a pet, and usually I WIN. I am sure the owners would enjoy the entertainment! I have also learned to walk in the house with a doggy treat already in my possession as the pantry stash is sometimes too far away, and then the DOG WINS.
SCAREDY-CAT: For some reason, many adults, hence their children, are afraid of cats. The minute the front door opens the feline scampers and hides just until one of the outside doors, the basement or the attic door is opened, and then they seem to appear out of nowhere. I adore cats and they must sense it as they will appear, purr and keep me company, even when the owner tells me ‘don’t worry, you will never see them." Children, however, are intrigued with cat toys, which then keeps their parents busy confiscating catnip trinkets from their little ones instead of looking at the house.
BIG DOG: When I list a house with a pet I try to arrange a pet-playdate WITHOUT the owner home to learn what behavior I can expect. After all, it is the pet’s home and I am the visitor, and they have been trained to protect their territory. I learned this important lesson the hard way. About twenty-four years ago as a new agent I previewed a home on the market by myself with the owner away unaware THE DOG was sleeping upstairs. When I was down in the basement, THE DOG woke up and came to the first floor to protect his home. I had to sit on the top basement step with the door shut for over an hour waiting for THE DOG to go back to sleep. Finally the coast was clear and I bolted for the front door. I learned an important lesson, I was in HIS house! I have no idea what size THE DOG was, but his bark and growl made him a BIG DOG to me. Now when I enter a home, I head for the kitchen and look for pet bowls so I can be on guard.
A VISIT TO GRANDMA’S: The first week a home is listed on the market is the busiest – realtor and public open houses and the most amount of showings. Maybe Grandma would love to have their furry grand-puppy visit for a few days? It would allow the first and most serious Buyers to view your home without any distractions and it might also be easier on your family pet.
(Thank you Bandit for sharing your pet bowls with me – Woof!)