This story was submitted by a Green Tree, PA Real Estate Agent . Keep this in mind if you plan to hold an open house.

Wow, it was a gorgeous day in April--which is rare in Pittsburgh. I was a new agent with only 4 months under my belt, and I was due to have my first baby in 3 more months. I was holding an Open House for the top agent in my office. I went prepared - the weather was nice and there were lots of other houses open in the area. I put up the signs, the balloons and I opened the front door. The owner was already gone. Just as I walked in, the listing agent called my cell. "Oh, the way, their dog is there. Don't worry. He's just an old Cocker Spaniel. He usually just sits in the entryway."

OK, fine. And he did sit in the entryway...for a while. People started pouring in the house. We'll call it controlled chaos. There were 2 couples in the baement, 2 on the 1st floor and 2 upstairs. Then it happened. One couple was coming in the house, another was just leaving. They paused to be polite to each other, and out went the dog.

Now, I don't know if the dog is supposed to be outside or not. But I'm guessing that he should be in the house before I leave. The Open House is over at 4:00 and it's about 3:15. I decide that the potential buyers will have to fend for themselves in the house. The dog is sitting in the front yard. My heels sink into the mud as I slowly approach him. Another couple is leaving. They see the pregnant girl trying to coax the dog to come to her. They decide to help. The dog runs to the back of the house.


Now all the potential buyers can see what is happening. "Look at that poor pregnant agent trying to get that dog!" They come to help. We have all stepped in mud. I finally got a hold of the collar while the buyers cornered him. I get him into the garage and the dog is safe.

The house that is for sale, however, has slipped everybody's mind. I try to re-focus. I ask the buyers if they have any questions. They just want me to rest. Did any of these potential buyers purchase that home? No. Would they if there was no dog fiasco? I have no idea.

The lesson learned is this... If you are trying to sell your house, remove all possible distractions. These buyers will forever remember the dog that got out of that house. Not the house.

Heather Downey
Howard Hanna Green Tree
412-919-6155 ext 226

Thank you Heather for your contribution! Anybody else have an open house horror story they'd like to share?