When he returned from Florida, Daniel, my realtor, was going to talk with the buyers’ realtor about my desire to kill the deal. He said he’d update me (by email). The next morning, a techie friend did a complete system back-up and upgraded my system from Windows Pro 7 to 10. He said to try everything—photos, software, internet, and email. In a critical moment for the contract of my home, my computer crashed.
March 4, 2020: the conference
I went out for groceries, and when I returned, at 10:35, I saw the computer light on. Quickly checking emails, I learned that Daniel needed answers for the meeting at 10:30. I grabbed the phone and called Gina, the boss at Coldwell Banker, who was in a conference room with Shane and Brian, the buyers, and their realtor, Todd. She growled, “What do you want?” I felt their fear and anger.
Stunned, I automatically responded, “World Peace. I’m sorry, I thought you had questions for me.” She didn’t, and I closed with “I’m writing a book about this experience. It’s called The Realtors. People in other countries are following my experience on Facebook and email updates.” (All true.) She didn’t laugh.
Later, I realized they didn’t know I had not seen Daniel’s emails, and so I emailed Gina:
My computer crashed yesterday. A technician upgraded my laptop. I only saw emails about your meeting when I got home from the grocery store and saw the light on my computer. I thought I was supposed to be at that meeting.
March 5, 2020: new information
Meeting with a realtor in a different company, I learned what could close or break a deal:
- whether their mortgage company likes the appraisal,
- whether they got their loan on-time, and
- whether the buyers still wanted to buy this house if they elected to do a final walk-through hours before the closing.
March 9, 2020: Explaining to Gina why I wanted to kill the deal
I didn’t know until two weeks ago how stressful this would be. I’m seventy-four next week, and I have a brain aneurysm; it’s not good for me to be stressed. I didn’t know the consequences of selling my home of 39 years in the town where I’ve lived the last 44. I didn’t have a plan, much less a relocation already in mind. Until two weeks ago, I didn’t know that if I sold my house, there would be no house in Colorado I could afford.
When I listed the triplex, I just wanted to know if my property would sell—as two other people in this neighborhood have done. One of them withdrew his home. I signed paperwork that was confusing and foreign to me, despite having sold other houses in this town. But that was thirty years ago when I only had to make a call to Butch Keller and then show up for closing. Things are quite different now.
That said, I told Shane that I signed the paper, and I will honor the contract.
At this point, I just want to get on with my life.
March 10: Buyers need an extension!
Daniel said the buyers couldn’t get their loan rate because of the stock market and the appraisal, etc. These are the guys who refused my request to stop the deal based on the coronavirus, knowing that I would not be able to find a place to rent or buy due to the fear it generated.
A dear friend wrote my reply by rephrasing Daniel’s email:
Thank you for the update. I understand that the appraisal and recorded rents in the appraisal report were new factors added to the buyers’ obligation. The stock market changes that have recently happened have caused the bank the buyers are working with to change the loan rate they promised the buyers at the beginning of this process.
I also understand that the buyers can still close the loan with two options. One is to switch to a different commercial program that would mean closing next week because the file would be moved to a different person for review. The other is that the buyers could apply through their credit union, which would also necessitate a delay until Mar 27th as a closing date.
As you are well aware,
I have agreed to uphold our active contract as written and signed, which is to close on March 13, 2020.
If, for any reason, we are unable to meet the deadline of March 13, 2020, it is my understanding that this contract is null and void until which time it is mutually agreed to amend.
If this is also your understanding, then my suggestion is that we schedule a meeting tomorrow to discuss the next step. I have appointments in the morning but could meet with you over coffee at a mutually agreeable time.
March 11, 2020: Ball’s in my court!
I met with the local 1031 Expert, realtor, and CPA to learn the consequences if I refused to extend the closing date chosen by the buyers: “Nothing.”
March 12, 2020: It’s still on.
Daniel emailed, “The buyers did not terminate yesterday. Instead, they worked all day and into the evening with their bank to finalize their loan. They will be closing tomorrow morning per the contract. You are still scheduled to sign at 3:30.”
March 13, 2020: the closing
Rain and hail accompanied my walk to the closing. People in the Title and Closing office celebrated selling my home in this intense time—politics, stock market, and COVID-19.
I bought groceries at two organic grocers and was surprised that hoarders were now stripping these stores. I’ve only known Durango as a town full of fearless people who ski, climb mountains, kayak rushing rivers, play hockey, and race mountain bikes. People in their eighties sill play tennis and basketball; they still hike. Maybe it’s the fear generated by what the news is saying about the virus.
Now that it is finished, I could sleep for a week.
(to be continued: Part Four, Living in the Home I Sold)
Till next time,
Please be kind to everyone you meet, for we all have our hidden sorrows.