Riverside Realtor Blog - Alma Dizon

Alma shares her experiences and observations as a Realtor in Riverside California.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Let the Cat out of the Bag

My brother is so allergic to cats that if he walks into a place where a cat lived 10 years ago, he’ll start having an asthma attack. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that he doesn’t like cats. I myself find most cats likable but occasionally run into the psychotic individual. In that respect, cats are very much like people. At any rate, if cats or any other pets have been in the house, the seller needs to disclose this fact on the form called the Seller Property Questionnaire, or SPQ.

A good place to first give a head’s up about the presence of animals is in the remarks section of the MLS. I like to warn agents about dogs and cats by adding, “Don’t let the cats out” or “Call first, so seller can put muzzle on French Mastiff.” (I hate surprises when showing property, such as the time I opened a garage door and met a growling Rottweiler. I quickly shut the door and went on to discuss the pros and cons of carpeted bathrooms.)

In the case of the “casa de los gatos,” as my little girl referred to a particular listing I had, the four beloved felines were micro-chipped and wore body harnesses with tags. I printed up signs that read “Please don’t let the cats out,” and we posted them on all exterior doors plus the door into the garage.

The signs worked very well. We didn’t lose a single cat, and while I don’t know if anyone had an asthma attack, I can say that everyone was warned long before they saw the SPQ.

At any rate, buyers should tell their agents upfront if they don't want to visit any houses where animals and/or smokers reside just in case. It will save everyone a lot of time and wheezing.

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