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Dogs and Rentals… a Mixed Breed?

Dogs and Rentals… a Mixed Breed?

   So the old saying goes that dogs are a man’s best friend. Well, they may be, but not if you’re looking to rent a place to live. In the age of foreclosures and short sales, this has become a prevalent problem. When people call looking for rentals, they will answer every question that you ask them, and then when you say ask do you have a pet, they tap dance around the topic…  Then the conversation goes like this:

   “Well, I have a dog.”

English: American pit bull terrier (named Tutt...
English: American pit bull terrier (named Tuttle) seated. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

   I ask, “What kind of dog.”

   “It’s a mix.”

   “Well, what kind of mix?”

    “If I knew what kind of a mix it was, I guess I’d be able to tell you.”

   To which is them to text me a picture. (Yes, I am an insane lover of dogs, and I can probably tell you what breed it is) At this point, they start to squirm. One actually said, “I have a terrier.”  To which I finish the sentence with, “Stafford?” (Essentially, it’s a pit bull.) Nine times out of ten, when they won’t come straight out with it, it’s a pitbull mix, or Rottweiler mix, or Doberman mix, or Chow.. Now listen, coming from an owner of giant dogs, I’m only speaking facts here.  I was in the same position once…

   Here’s what most renters don’t understand. We may absolutely LOVE dogs. We may even love certain breeds more than others. But what most potential renters don’t understand, or don’t want to hear, is the liability factor that is involved. If your dog, any breed of dog, bites someone, it becomes a potential lawsuit to the owner of the house. Yes, you will also have repercussions, but ultimately the owner of the home can be sued.  Saying, “Well, my dog doesn’t bite!  He’s a sweetheart!” doesn’t help, trust me.  There can always be that one time that you don’t see coming. In turn, this raises their homeowners insurance, among other things but, it can be even worse than that…

   Case in point: A very good friend of mine that I recently sold a home, learned this first hand. She had an insurance claim for roof damage on her home after a storm. The insurance company sent the adjuster out, and he knocked on the door. Now, my friend is a lover of dogs, so much so that she has six of them(it’s a BIG house). They’re a mixed bunch of all different kinds of breeds, she adopts them. So the guy knocks, she opens the door, they all come running, and he looks down at just ONE of them wagging his tail…

   “What’s that?” he asks. She said, “I think it’s a dog?”  He asks, “What kind of dog?” She said, “He is a terrier.” He said, “No it’s not.” She said,  “Yes, it IS, it’s a Staffordshire.” He said, “No, it’s a pitbull.” Now, where am I going with this? Well, he filed her insurance claim alright, and she got a notice of cancellation of her home owners insurance Fed exed the next day. Why?

   Well, did you know that the insurance company actually has a list of breeds of dog that are not allowed if a home is to be insured with any given insurance company?  I sure didn’t!   Common breeds are any pure breed or mixed breed of pitbull, Rottweiler, Doberman, and a bunch of others. She was told that if she didn’t get rid of the dog, they would not reinstate her policy. Needless to say, she found another insurance company. But, my point is, potential tenants need to understand that when they are looking for a rental, if they own any of these breeds of dog, it is going to be difficult at minimum. The owner may absolutely love dogs, but they are not willing to risk getting sued if your dog happens to bite someone.

   This is not doggie discrimination, its a rule. That’s why when you get an MLS rental listing, it will possibly say “yes with restrictions.” That usually means size and/or breed of dog. There may also be a size restriction within condo association. So please, if you are looking for a rental and you own any of these type of dog, understand that you are going to have a more difficult time finding a rental. More importantly, please understand that you must disclose what breed of dog you have, and be honest about it. Not disclosing honestly what breed of dog you have is considered a violation of your contract. You would end up finding yourself with no where to live before you were ever allowed to move in. As an agent, it puts us in a very bad position if that happens, as the listing agent can blame us for failure to disclose that you had such a breed of dog. So, please, when we ask you: Be honest and upfront with your agent from the start. It is far easier for us to help you if we know from the beginning what we’re dealing with.  There are plenty of landlords that will rent to you, we will help you find one!

 

Whether you’re looking to buy a home, or trying to sell a home, I can help! We have the best real estate marketing to get your house sold, best realtor services ever! I cover Atlantic County, NJ, Cape May County, NJ, Ocean County, NJ, Cumberland County, NJ, , Gloucester County, NJ, Camden County, NJ and Burlington County, NJ, too! Pick a town, any town! Need some suggestions? Ok! Absecon, Galloway, Egg Harbor Township, Northfield, Linwood, Somers Point, Ocean City, Sea Isle, Hammonton, Williamstown, Sicklerville, Mullica, Tuckahoe, Middle Township, Upper Township, Lower Township, Rio Grande, Seaside Heights, Seaside Park, New Gretna, and Port Republic. Any you don’t see here? CALL ME! I’m sure I’m on it!

Chris :0)

Christine Gerbehy

Berkshire Hathaway Fox and Roach Realtors

Northfield Office

1001 Tilton Rd. Northfield, NJ 08225

609-646-1900

Life With Giant Dogs, or, Whose House Is It, Anyway?

Life With Giant Dogs, or, Whose House Is It, Anyway?

They say that there’s no love like the unconditional love that at dog will give you. Well, if that’s the case, there’s a whole lot of love in my house. Life with a dog is one thing. Life with a giant dog is another. Life with TWO of them? Well…

We have a Bull Mastiff and a French Mastiff, aka Dogue de Bordeaux.  One “See Spot Run,” and one “Turner and Hooch.”  “What do you feed them?” is the common question of the day. Answer?  Anything they want. “Where do they sleep?” Answer? Anywhere they want. Do you see a common thread here? You see, dogs have their own set of rules. Whether or not they apply to you, well, that’s irrelevant. Actually, no it’s not, they all apply to you, and whether or not you fit in with that plan, well…

Nick and Reilly
Nicky and my 8 year old, Reilly

Now don’t get me wrong, my dogs may be spoiled, but they behave. Well, most of the time they behave. Well, one kind of marches to the beat of his own drum. Wow, that kind of sounds like the rules when we got said dogs. “Ok, the dog is allowed in the house, but not on the furniture,” which turned into, “ok well only the old furniture.” Which turned into, “ok all of the furniture but not on the bed.” Which turned into, “ok but only when I say it’s okay to be on the bed.” Which turned into every waking moment that we were not in the bed, and jockeying for space, trying to beat the dogs getting into said bed. That usually turns into me on the edge of one side of the bed, my husband on the edge of the other side of the bed and the dogs laying long ways in between. You see, a giant dog already weighs about 140-160 pounds. It’s hard enough to move that dog when he’s standing. I have TWO of them.  When they’re snoring snarfing dead weight?  Have you ever tried to move a boulder??? That couch is really starting to look good right about now.

Gunner
Gunner, 7mos. and growing…

Oh, yeah, about the couch. We bought a nice 4 recliner Theater Seating couch. Nicky likes to curl up on the far left chair. Usually, my husband takes the right, I take the middle with my son. Well, now that we have Gunner, things have changed a bit. Nicky stays on the right, Gunner takes the middle two, and it’s a race for the last spot that’s left, and that’s usually my 8 year old that wins. My husband and I end up going in the bedroom to watch TV on the bed. And what do you think happens 2 minutes after we get comfortable? You guessed it, here come the dogs…

Is it a pain in the butt? You bet. Do we get frustrated? Absolutely! Would I trade any of it for anything? Not on your life (well, the jury’s still out on my husband…). Both of my legs may fall asleep as one or both are resting on my lap. I may freeze my tail off when one of them hogs all the blankets. But there’s a whole lot of love in my house, & I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

Whether you’re looking to buy a home, or trying to sell a home, I can help! We have the best real estate marketing to get your house sold, best realtor services ever! I cover Atlantic County, NJ, Cape May County, NJ, Ocean County, NJ, Cumberland County, NJ, , Gloucester County, NJ, Camden County, NJ and Burlington County, NJ, too! Pick a town, any town! Need some suggestions? Ok! Absecon, Galloway, Egg Harbor Township, Northfield, Linwood, Somers Point, Ocean City, Sea Isle, Hammonton, Williamstown, Sicklerville, Mullica, Tuckahoe, Middle Township, Upper Township, Lower Township, Rio Grande, Seaside Heights, Seaside Park, New Gretna, and Port Republic. Any you don’t see here? CALL ME! I’m sure I’m on it!

Chris :0)

Christine Gerbehy

Berkshire Hathaway Fox and Roach Realtors

Northfield Office

1001 Tilton Rd. Northfield, NJ 08225

609-646-1900

BEWARE THE DISCOUNT REALTOR

BEWARE THE DISCOUNT REALTOR

Discount Brokerages: RUN!

Have you decided to sell your home?  After a long three years, interest rates are up to 4%, and housing inventory is down 5.24% for the second month in a row.  National median listing prices increased 5.27 percent. The market IS coming back, and it’s a better time to sell.

That being said, BEWARE THE DISCOUNT REALTOR.mort

When you hire a Realtor to sell your home, there is much work involved to get your home sold.  How much work we, as Realtors perform, will determine how quickly your home gets sold.  Pricing your home accurately.  Advertising your home.  Open houses.  Internet presence.  Accessibility.  CONTACT with your agent.  The list goes on…

You should interview any potential Realtor that you consider.  You will need to come to an agreement with your agent as to his or her commission for their services.  An average rate of commission is 6% of the sales price of the home. You will negotiate a commission that is agreeable to you both.  Make SURE to confirm with your agent what he/she will do for you to facilitate the sale of your home, before you hire ANYONE. Why?  Because you may experience the Discount Realtor…

The Discount Realtor will come in and tell you that they’ll take your listing for 2 or 3%.  They’ll tell you the will “get your home sold for you, just same way that a 6% Realtor will.”  But when you ask them what they will do for you, the conversation will shift…  “Well, for 2 or 3%, I can put your home in the MLS.”  They will tell you they will do it cheap to get their foot in the door.  Now, ask them these questions:

Will you advertise my home? WHERE?

Will you create a website for my home?

Can people access information about my home from their smartphone?

Can other agents schedule showings at any time, even later in the evening AFTER your office closes?

Will you do open houses at my home?

Will I get a list of the times my house has been shown?

Will you provide me feedback from each showing?

How often will I hear from you until my home is sold?

Chances are, you will get either one of two or three responses…  A befuddled look, ALOT of stammering, or a bunch of head nods, yesssing you to death.  But don’t bet on it.  Not one bit of it.  These Realtors will take your listing, put it up on the MLS and walk away.  Somebody will buy your home.  Eventually.  But don’t expect your Discount Realtor to be proactive about it…  He or she probably has 50 of 60 other listings, if not more.  How much attention do you think YOUR home will get?  ASK your agent how many listings they have.  Look online to confirm on Zillow.com, it’s easily found.

Here at BHHS Fox and Roach Northfield, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, we can do ALL of the above for you.  We have systems that will create a website for your home, virtual home tour videos, smartphone apps that people can get access to info on your home while they’re parked at the curb!  Showings can be scheduled by phone by any agent until 11pm, long after the office closes.  No missing ANY potential buyers.  We can give you feedback from showings of your home when the showing agent submits it.  We can do open houses at your convenience, and give your home the attention it deserves.   Call me at (609)646-1900, and let me show you how to get YOUR home sold quickly!

-Christine Gerbehy

About the Author: Christine Gerbehy is a Realtor for Berkshire Hathaway Fox & Roach Realtors in Northfield, NJ. and is e-Pro certified. Realtor, writer, blogger, wife, mother and zookeeper, I LOVE what I do. ALL of it. Let me help you to buy or sell your property, ’cause This Mama Sells Real Estate!

Need to see some MLS listings?  You can use mine! Just go to http://www.buynjshorehome.com/ and click on “search homes.”

http://www.buynjshorehome.com/general/beware-the-discount-realtor-168/