If you thought cranky and quirky buyers and sellers presented one of the biggest challenges Realtors face, you may have forgotten about something even more unpredictable: their pets.
Real estate industry experts shared the strangest encounters they’ve had with animals. Some are hilarious, while others are downright scary. All will make you think twice the next time you enter an open house.
1. Get off me, goat!
“Was showing an acre of property to buyers. The sellers had some farm animals — chickens, goats, etc. One of the goats started following me around. Almost aggressively, harassment style, and this was not a small goat. Eventually, well, it tried to mount me. Horribly embarrassing, I ended up running inside while my buyers toured the rest of the backyard. For some reason, it was fixated on me. My clients could not stop laughing.” — Leah Bubb, Realtor® with HomeSmart
2. Dead or alive?
“Came upon a mini schnauzer peacefully sleeping on a bedroom bed. As I got closer, I realized it was not only dead and stuffed but that it had a breathing apparatus in it to make it seem alive!” — Amy Williamson, Realtor® with RE/MAX Integrity
Actual footage above, no lie!
3. Realtor or dog sitter?
“During an open house I was asked to hold a dog outside, but I needed to sing to the dog and rock it like a baby. I was like ‘…What?’ But I did it.” — Pate Stevens, an agent with luxury real estate firm Nourmand & Associates.
4. A wee accident
“I was getting ready to start the open house and the client was cleaning her things so I took the dog in my lap, and when he got back down I noticed it (he was tiny so it wasn’t a lot, but still! Pee!)! Not a great way to start off! It showed visibly on my outfit and the tenant freaked out, she was so embarrassed. Luckily I have a pup at home so I knew that with a tide pen and a hair dryer I could get it out. The tenant was mortified but had both of those things so I got it out and moved on.” — Sam Lazar, an agent with Triplemint.
5. Oh, rats!
“There was a time recently, where my buyer and I were traveling through the home. I am not a fan of unfinished basements. With flashlight in hand, (because in the unfinished ones, the lighting is always horrible) we walked down the long hallway. And we heard the oddest sound. A mixture of a squeak and scratching. At first I was really nervous because I thought there were mice. Then there it was! A big fat rat in a cage. We both let out a screech and got out of the basement real quick.” — Denise Supplee, Realtor®/Investor/Landlord Expert/co-founder and operations director of SparkRental.com / Educator at Snaplandlord.com.
6. These guys weren’t so lucky…
“I had a listing appt and the main showcase of this hoarders home was in the basement. I’m glad I brought an “assistant” as I just knew he might be an odd duck when I got the call. He looked at us with a weird excitement and asked us to come see his most prized possession. (Yes we had a mag flashlight and pepper spray) Turns out it was a mouse museum. Dead mice in jars. He promised to name the next one after me!!!! 😳 I passed on the listing.” — Danielle Mahnken, Agent with Gloria Nilson & Co Real Estate
7. Dog day afternoon
“My clients and I got locked inside an apartment because the door knob wasn’t secure. After not being able to get out for awhile one of my clients climbed out the fire escape and starting banging on windows. He unknowingly knocked on a doggy daycare directly under the apartment and when the employee opened the door, at least 15 dogs ran out and started running around. Once the employee corralled all the dogs back inside, we were able to walk through their store to escape.” — Maggie Fanney, an agent with Triplemint.
8. Reptile Room
“Showing Instructions: Locked door in basement is reptile room. Do not attempt to open, as they are uncaged. If buyer is interested, seller will open room for 2nd showing. Needless to say I didn’t show the house.” — Jessica Thomas, Former Professional Development Chair at Kansas City Regional Association of REALTORS® and Realtor® at Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate- Kansas City Homes
9. Horsing Around
“Here I am, fresh off the licensing train at the ripe age of 18. Meeting a new potential client, I show up early open up the house. It’s a cute little bungalow in a small ‘historic’ town. I walk around the corner and there is a horse in the living room! (vacant home) It’s just chilling there! To be honest, I’m not sure how it even got in there. But you could tell it had been in there a while. I called the listing agent and he had no idea how it happened or who the horse belonged to. So, I called up a family member who runs a rescue and after doing some footwork, we got it home. Almost a decade later and it’s still one of my favorite stories.” — Danyl Winderlin, Realtor® with Realtypath
10. Hogging all the attention
“While I was showing a vacant home, a massive hog wandered up to the property and started eating grass. He stayed the whole time we were showing. When I told the listing agent about the hog, she stated that it was negotiable.” — Emily Isbell, Realtor® at The RealTeam Homes & Land
“I was photographing a home and the homeowners had left. I was on the third floor and heard a bunch of noise on the main level like furniture was being moved around. I thought they were back home, but when I came in the living room there was a GIANT turtle in the center of the room. I mean like the size of a big round coffee table. He was banging into the furniture and causing quite a ruckus! — Angela Romano, Realtor®; at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach
12. Hamster mishap
“During a showing, I was in the hallway turning on lights while my clients were checking out the hall bath. I stepped into a child’s room to flip on the light at about the same time the pet hamster escaped from his plastic exercise ball,apparently the child had forgotten to take the hamster out of the ball and put the little guy back into his cage. Before I knew it, the hamster had rushed passed me, down the hall and into the hall bath, where my client proceeded to stomp on him! He did not die right away, so we gently placed him back into his cage but I cannot imagine that he lived much longer… That was an awkward phone call to the listing agent but I was sure glad that I wasn’t in the listing agents shoes, having to tell the family before they came back home. My clients did not buy that home.” — Brenda Miller, REALTOR® at eXp Realty
13. Monkey business
14. Creepy Kitty
“My partner and I were showing a precious little townhouse to a client. A beautiful solid white fluffy cat lived there. The cat had a pure evil expression the entire time and followed us around the house. When we got to the master bedroom, the cat jumped up onto the bed, looked us dead in the eyes and peed on the bed never breaking its glare at us. Pure evil!” — Danyalle Friday, Realtor® at Montgomery Metro Realty
15. Just ducky
16. Just Batty
17. Butting heads
18. Polite Parrot
“I was showing a house once, and I arrived before my buyers. I rang the doorbell just to be sure no one was home. When no one answered, I opened the door and heard, ‘Hello?! Who’s there?’ Startled, I started to apologize and explain that I was a Realtor® who was there for a showing. I got cut off again with another, ‘Hello?! Who’s there?’ About 30 seconds later, I finally realized it was a parrot and not a person.” — Kara Pagliarulo, Attorney at Law at Attorney Support Solutions, Kara Pagliarulo, Esq.
19. Squirrely showing
20. Magic carpet
“I was showing a home and the owner was there. There was an empty glass tank. I asked what used to be in the tank and he said it was a snake. When I asked where the snake was he said he wasn’t sure but he knew it was around somewhere. When I looked in the corner there was a lump moving under the carpet.” — Heather Bennett, REALTOR® at Hunt Real Estate ERA
21. Pig contingency
“The sellers had a pet pig, and for unknown reasons, they had decided to leave the pig roaming around inside the home when they left. Just as the buyers arrived, ‘Stella’ came swaggering out of a bedroom to greet everyone. She was a medium-sized pig, quite charismatic, and friendly, although noticeably aromatic if you catch my drift. That pig stayed right by my buyers’ sides during the entire showing, walking from room to room, occasionally squeaking it’s approval while looking up at the young couple. I could tell that these folks were becoming more attached to the pig than to the house itself. They had fallen in love!
As we were departing the home, the buyers were non-committal. I thought to myself, ‘They really love this pig, and I also knew that the sellers had a dilemma to solve that the buyers didn’t know about. They couldn’t bring their pig with them to the new apartment they were moving to. So just before entering our vehicles to leave, I said, ‘You seem to have taken a real liking to ‘Stella.’ They nodded in agreement. ‘If you decide to place an offer on this home I could write a contingency into the contract that the pig would go with the house. I think the sellers might just go along with that!’ They smiled and said, ‘You’re kidding with us, right?’ I said, ‘No, I’m serious! I’ll write it right into the deal if you want!’ The young bride looked squarely at her husband and said, ‘Hon, Let’s do that!’
Back at my office, I placed the contract/offer in front of Gene, my then manager, for him to peruse and approve. He smiled while staring down at the clause, ‘The pig (Stella) conveys with the property.’
The deal was made, and everyone was happy. Everyone at my office got a big kick out of this unique contingency which I included in the offer. We had lots of fun in those days at the office. All the agents were like family and friends. After the closing, one of my colleagues, Raylene, presented me with a little statue of a pig that really resembled Stella. I still cherish that statue to this day, and look at it when I need a smile.” — Tom Cirignano, author of The Constant Outsider
I’ll leave you with a viral video that’s making its rounds on the internet (trust me, it’s pet related — just wait for it). No word on whether the woman is a door-knocking agent or not. Let’s just pretend she is.