Monday, October 30, 2006

another weekend blows by...and the house is still a pit. I do have a bit of an excuse...saturday morning, about 9, the phone rings. I thought it would be BJ, as we were planning to get together to do some shopping later in the day.

Instead, it was Cinda, our real estate agent in Florida. Asking me if I was sitting down, with a large cup of coffee, a pen and a pad of paper....because we had a contract on the house.

I replied "No, I'm standing up, half dressed and just out of the shower (tshirt and sweater ok for the the outside worldm the rest, no!), and without a cup of herbal tea. Can you ring me back in five minutes?"
So, I hustled off to throw some water into the coffee maker (which I use mainly for heating water these days), threw some sweats and socks on so I wouldn't freeze on the phone, and found paper. And finally a pen. All writers who never have anything to write with at home raise your hands!

She rings back, and tells me the offer. It's about 15% less than our asking price, and about 10k less than the appraisal. But she reminds me that at this time last year, about 80 homes had sold in pelican cover. To date this year? 12. The buyers are from NYC, and are new enroute to sarasota. The already own in the development, but wanted something first floor, and on the water. They've made the offer sight unseen, though they do know the neighborhood.

I tell her we need to talk with RLK and NKK...and that I'll ring Nancy and see if she's available for a 3 way call. RLK lives in LA....too early to call.

I get Nancy, we talk with Cinda, and decide that making a counter offer is a good move. We settle on a price that equals the appraisal, plus the costs of new tile, carpet and painting. All we have to do now is tell RLK about the offer, and make sure he's standing by his fax machine. We hang up with Cinda preparing the counter offer, and us awaiting a long fax with the original contract and the counter.

I proceed to call RLK. Leave a message on his cell. Leave a message on his home phone. And his office. Send an email to his office, which I know bounces to his blackberry.
Call NKK to get the exact prices for the carpet, tile and painting. We remember him saying he was going to Tokyo for a little holiday, and then right to St. Louis for something having to do with his alumni board at WU. We think that trip was last week.

Decide that I should probably try calling Lisa's cell. But I don't have it! NM does, but she's in Paris. What to do? Call Charles!

He doesn't answer, so I leave a messge. He rings back in 5 minutes. From Philadelphia. He's gone to his first homecoming at Penn. Having a great time, and wants to chat, chat, chat. Tells me his dad is in Tokyo until Wednesday. But he does have a skype number (you know, that use your computer as a phone thing...).

I call it, and leave a message. Then , knowing he prefers Starwood hotels these days, I use my powers of deduction, and decide to call the Westin Tokyo. Where it's about 1 am. A lovely voice answers the phone in Japanese. But that doesn't scare travels to Tokyo taught me that most hotels have an english speaking operator on duty. And this woman switches to english without losing a beat.

Lisa answers on the first ring. Starts telling me all about the trip. I see dollar signs, as I calculate the cost. Finally, she tells me RLK is in the bathroom (and we all know about japanese toilets, don't we???), and hands the phone over.
I protest: TMI, TMI! Too much information, but that doesn't stop him from opining about the state of modern japanese bathrooms.

Finally get him to listen to me, and he says he'll call back from the computer link. When he does, I call Cinda, and we've got another three-way call going. There's a bit of a satellite lag, but I (rather sharply, I must say) tell everyone to just speak slowly, and one at a time.
Business finally taken care of, and I repeat what we've decided: Here's the counter offer. Cinda will fax the original offer, and the counter to me and NKK. At this moment, she will only fax RLK a fact he can read the whole thing upon his return. We hang up.

I immediately draft an email to NKK and RLK, repeating the offer, the counter offer, and the next step. Which includes a paragraph specifically for RLK. It says something like : I know you're a lawyer, but here is exactly what Cinda wants you to write in the note. Please use this wording about agreeing with our counter offer.

The fax arrives. I'm out. NKK has to go out, so we agree to meet on Sunday to sign and fax back. RLK emails that he got my note. Great!

Sunday comes and Cinda tells me she hasn't heard back from RLK. I email him. A few hours later, I get a response from him that includes the note he sent to Cinda. In which he states he hasn't gotten the contract, just the fact sheet. And that the counter is ok with him.

Sigh. All I had asked him to do was parrot what I'd written. Because that was the wording Cinda requested. But that would mean reading the email I sent. So, I answered him, explaining again what he was supposed to do...and did a cut and paste of my original note.

Off to NKK's. Sign everything and prepare to fax back. 2 hours later, we end up faxing it to the staples a half mile from CInda, as her fax machine just doesn't get the idea that it's supposed to receive our message.

I hear back from her later that day: she applauds the fact we signed and initialed in all the right places. The first time. That doesn't usually happen.

Now, we wait.


Blogger Mony said...

sounds like herding cats

2:50 PM  
Blogger jk said...

exactly! But more difficult.

2:58 PM  
Blogger nm said...

So freaking funny. I got two offers last year right on top of the other when I was in Atlanta travelling. I ended up going home for a day and flying back to ATL for another meeting that week. I had three phone calls from my realtor while on the ground in DFW, a bunch from him while in my meetings and a 40 dollar fax bill from teh hyatt,where I was no longer staying for receiving that same 40 page fax where you need to initial everything.

I forgot to initial one thing.

I ended up having to come down another 2.5 K, but as TH said, would you rather lose the condo sale for that amount and continue paying all the bills or just get it over with.

I was in Paris the night it closed. My realtor called me, I was soo happy. The market really started to tank after that, I made a smallish killing. (talk to me after I pay my salary in taxes in 2007)....

Get that house cleaned, you are going to need all that room for the K family furniture.


2:06 AM  
Blogger jk said...

I am going to pay the taxes as soon as the check clears.

9:01 AM  

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