Sunday, September 2, 2012

Watering Rocks



                                                            Watering Rocks

             Weeks turned to months and months to years. Three to be exact. Many things happened, that I will not put here. Not just yet. In 2006, I was happily selling houses. Enjoying my independence. Putting myself first for the first time in my life. It was so odd. To wake up and having nothing I had to do. My profession meant that I had hours to myself and then days spent searching for new homes for new friends. I still went to the gun range and I was still a good shot. While there one evening, my estranged husband introduced me to a man he knew. He was a loan officer and we exchanged pleasantries and cards and then I went back to my life. Never thinking how once again, my phone number would change my future. It seems always to be the little things that change the big ones. A few weeks later, while sitting at my desk, I received a call. The loan officer wanted me to take on a new client. A friend of his. He said that he would be a handful, but that he thought that I could handle him. Within the hour my new client called me. He knew what he wanted. I did not have to go looking for listings. He had done most of the work for me. He emailed me the houses he was interested in and we went over everything that day on the phone. Certain things about him were obvious. He was intelligent, and he knew it. Not condescending. Just very sure of himself.  He had a good sense of humor and he was quick witted. We made an appointment for the next day. He met me at my office and we headed out with me driving. He took his GPS out of his pocket and started to put in the address. I had to stop him and try not to laugh. In our area, there were drives, and streets and courts and then came street courts. The roads had been named and renamed. There were three or four with the same name. You had to go by the house number. A GPS only made things worse. He put it away and I set out to get us were we were going.

  He knew all about houses and loans. I did not have to teach him anything about the process. He was funny and a smart ass too. We bantered back and forth as I drove. Looking at one house and then the next. The first was a disaster. It was on an island that was notorious for  having water problems in the summer. It was perched on the side of a cliff and was noticeably leaning towards the water. There were cracks in the yard, you had to jump over them to look at the house, while the rain softly came down, soaking us. The inside was no better than the out and it was easy to let it go off our list. We laughed and joked at that poor little hovel. Then came the next, it was no better. The people had run an animal rescue and there were cage after cage of exotic pets. I believe the man who lived there proudly proclaimed that he had newly rescued 23 chinchillas. There were snakes and rabbits, birds and cats. The smell was godawful. This one would not do either. The third was the last and the furthest from our starting point. I teased him on his choice of houses. I told him he should leave it to a professional next time. It was a nice house, the last one. It was on the water, with a view of Mount Rainier. There were beautiful gardens and a nice yard. It was stuck in the seventies. It would have been quite the show house in it's day. It was owned by a family who's Patriarch had recently died. They had thrown it on the market under value,  in an attempt at a quick sell. He liked it and I suggested we write an offer. He wanted to wait. Now, this is when our market was hot and while we were there others came to look at it. I was nervous for my new ward, but I could not push him. It was his to lose. We went back with the loan officer and his wife. They too wanted to see this house. They were a friendly couple and they loved it too.

    They informed him that if he did not buy it, they would. And again, more people came. I said we needed to get an offer in. My client wanted lunch first. I could have brained him right there and then. But, off to lunch we went. It was one of those long relaxing lunches, for everyone but me. There weren't a lot of waterfront properties on the market and not any at that price point. We finally went off to draw up the contract. I called the seller's agent and announced our great news. He let me know we were the second offer in. He had another offer 8 minutes before ours. Truly, I wished harm on my newest client. The agent asked for my best and final offer and I conferred with this troublemaking man as to what that would be. I knew the agent who had put in the other offer. She had helped train me when I first got my license. She was a nitpicker and a penny pincher and I knew I had her. I told him it should be full price and that he might want to waive inspections and a quick close as well. He agreed and left my office, waiving his hand and telling me not to let him lose his house. I wanted to smack him right there. He had ignored my advice for three days, with people coming in and out of that house and he was in no hurry and now it was on me if he lost it. Dealing with him was like watering rocks and expecting something to grew. This man would not listen to the good advice I poured out. The wisdom I tried to impart was wasted. But, luckily, it was enough, our offer was accepted. We were in escrow by morning. All was well, I thought. A few days into our 21 day escrow, I got a call from the seller's agent, they had an all cash offer which was $100,000 over asking price, which would have been the fair market price. He wanted to bump my client. I called my client and it was a resounding no, this was his house. The seller's agent let me know that there would be no extensions. That they would be holding us to the contract to the letter. Thank goodness, his friend was the loan officer. We got it done. During all our talking my client had informed me that he had another house to list. It was about 50 miles away, in a great market and I wanted that listing. I campaigned for it. There were more lunches and phone calls. He was in the middle of renovating this other house and he wanted my opinion. I met him there at this potential listing and of course he wanted lunch again. This man did nothing but eat. So again, off we went in search of food. He had a friend come from Chicago. They had grown up together and he was a carpenter. He was working on the remodel. He was a large Irishman. Probably three hundred pounds and well over six feet tall. He was loud and rough and he had a good laugh.

   We did a walk through of the house. I gave observations and advice and left him with the paperwork to list the house. I took pictures and did CMAs and sent him all I  wrote up.  He called me three days latter to tell me he had listed it with another agent. I was really not liking this man.

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