Real estate: great way to meet crazies

Oh, my pretties. The stories I will tell you. The things I’ll be able to spill, once this is all over and done. The tales with which I’ll be able to regale anyone who might be thinking about trying to sell a couple of houses and buy a new one… well, it’ll make you go home and kiss the floor in gratitude, I’m sure.

But right now, a good portion of it will have to wait. Fingers are crossed and prayers are being said and once we are all settled in and I am no longer waiting for the sky to fall—assuming that point ever comes, that is—I will say more.

For right now, I can tell you two things: First, We are not buying Second Choice House. Second, I think the lady who owns it should seek professional help.

My own hubris astounds me, sometimes. After my prolonged dance with the soap-dish-breaking Lowballs I truly believed I had weathered the worst that real estate transactions had to offer. What could be stranger, I reasoned, than people who keep coming back to your house, insulting it, making ridiculous offers, and coming back again?

Oh, little did I know.

So here’s what happened with the Second Choice House. It’s funny, really. I mean, as soon as I stopped banging my head on the desk and took a few moments to eat a bag of cookies, I could really start to see the humor in it.

We made an offer. They countered. We countered. They asked for a day to think about it. They took the FULL DAY and then said they needed to “sleep on it.” That was all the information we had at that time.

It turns out that during the day of thinking about it, the owner of the house realized that we’d been talking about closing in JUNE, not JULY. And to hear the tale (via two realtors and then Otto), she apparently freaked out when she figured this out. She spent the day looking for a new place with her realtor and threw a gigantic hissy fit and then said she’d have a decision in the morning. Oooooookay.

Morning came (today) and we were told that the owner called her realtor, very apologetic, embarrassed at having misunderstood the time frame and having potentially wasted our time, taking full blame for things having dragged out over several days, but reiterating that she just didn’t think she could be moved in time, so no.

It might be worth mentioning here, that of the twenty or so houses we’ve looked at, this one held the absolute greatest amount of STUFF per square inch. This was the House of Knickknacks, for sure. I understand why she felt trepidation about getting packed in just a few weeks. And apparently she’s (recently) divorced and that’s why the house is being sold, and I can certainly sympathize that she must find all of this overwhelming.

Not that any of that stopped me from calling her some choice names when the call came this morning, of course. Ahem.

Anyway, Otto and I were on to Plan B, or perhaps more accurately, Plan Q or thereabouts, and by this time I had really eaten QUITE A LOT of cookies, when Otto called and asked me if I wanted to hear a funny story. I said sure, because I am in dire need of funny stories right now.

Given that our negotiations on Second Choice House were relatively smooth where pricing was concerned, with the sticking point seeming to be the closing date, Otto’s realtor took the liberty of asking the listing realtor to find out when the owner WOULD be willing to close, in case we could do some rearranging here and close later.

It seems that the listing realtor conveyed this query in a phone message to the homeowner. The very same homeowner who had, some hours earlier, apologized profusely for all of the confusion and her inability to go along with the proposed deal.

Upon receiving this message, the homeowner did not return the realtor’s phone call. No. Instead, she elected to drive to the realtor’s office and scream at the two administrative workers who were available (as the realtor was out at the time) about how YOU PEOPLE SHOULD BE ASHAMED FOR TRYING TO FORCE ME OUT OF MY HOME! This apparently continued until one of the berated personnel asked her if she understood what the “FOR SALE” sign in her yard meant.

The listing realtor conveyed this story to Otto’s realtor, who shared it with him.

Otto then asked his realtor if it would be okay to drive over there just one more time, so that he could scribble NOT REALLY on a piece of paper and affix it to her FOR SALE sign. His realtor did not agree to abet him in this plan, but didn’t exactly think it was a bad idea.

Aaaaaaand suddenly, not getting that house doesn’t seem so bad at all.


  1. shannon

    oh for the love of all that is good. this woman is smoking something. you’re better for it not happening (perhaps that is what we are all praying and sending the good real estate mojo your way?).

    i hope this doesn’t happen for us when we sell/buy.

  2. chris

    I triple dog dare Otto….

  3. Lucinda

    That woman could be my mother. ’nuff said. I’m so sorry you have to deal with the crazies.

  4. Mamacita

    Oh,PLEASE let him do it, and film it, and post it on Youtube!

    I’m sorry you’re having such a time, though. Who woulda thought that buying a chunk of the planet should be so difficult?

    Then I remembered about Tim and me (I?) buying our land and building this house.

    Yeah, that’s about par for the course, hon.

  5. Heather C.

    Haha! That is priceless! I suppose you were trying to stuff money in her pockets while you were at it.

  6. I0naFiona

    Divorce makes loonies of us all

  7. Cele

    Is it a full moon? Or worse a new moon? Let me know when the video is up on You Tube :)

  8. Krisco

    I think it’s a combination of mis-directed anger and outright sheer fear. Doesn’t help you any, but the lady probably really felt that way.

    Beautiful question by the admin staff though!

  9. Lady M

    Whew. Glad that you won’t be entering protracted legal arrangements with this lady.

    I totally don’t understand this multiple visiting of house in which you might live for years. It sounds really nice. Real estate is crazy where I live. When we bought our house, we got to see it once, and then had to bid on it with a bunch of other people. If we didn’t like it enough to make a decision after one viewing, there were plenty of others who did and would accept it as-is with no contingencies. Stress!

  10. Judy.

    She really sounds like a loony-tune and, I agree with the other comments… you might be better off! That said, I’m sure she’s all wrapped up emotionally with the house… who knows, maybe she didn’t want the divorce or something and the selling of the house is the final break and she’s just not there emotionally. It still doesn’t make things easier on you and Otto, though.

  11. Karen

    Oh Mir,

    I’m so sorry, and yet not, because by telling you no, she just saved you a whole bunch of agony. I sold my house to Mr and Mrs Gotta-Gettadeal, through their realtor Lowball Lucy. Apparently in real estate, single mom is spelled like this- RUBE.

    After the house inspection they called and said I had a rotted roof. Because the house inspector said that in one place on an overhang the roof was slightly less springy (or more springy? I don’t remember) when HE WALKED ON IT! Ya know–supporting the weight of a full grown man =clearly not rotted to me. I called a the very best roofer in our little town who went up and stomped around and said no, not rotted and wrote me a nice little note for the buyers. Then I had to insisit-once again that I still wouldn’t take any $10,000 off (yikes) and wait until they finally decided that yes they would take it if I could please move out in 3 weeks, and yes they knew it was a 6 bedroom 3 bath house stuffed to the rafters, and no it didn’t matter that I was about to leave for Memphis on business.

    The ending to the story is, that after we cleaned it out (and by we I mean my father who is a walking talking saint), and moved…they called my realtor and wanted me to TAKE IT BACK (um…what?) after they let the toilet run for 3 whole days and ran the well dry. Because they said that I “knew this would happen”.
    (PS in my 7 years there the well never ran dry once.)

    Consider yourself blessed.

  12. LadyBug Crossing

    LOL!!! Better you don’t buy her house. Find something else that is far away from her. You don’t want whatever she has – it might be catchy!!

  13. Brigitte

    I agree that crazy woman may have reasons to be crazy, but also can’t help thinking, she may be why the people from First-Choice-House are moving!

  14. dcfullest

    I will give Otto a dollar if he does it :)

  15. MomCat

    Whenever I read these, I end up in my closet in the fetal position, whimpering and rocking.

    Note to self: Cookies…before sign goes in yard, must have lots of cookies.

  16. kathy

    I will sent Otto and Mir Flor de Cana ron (if you have to ask, don’t bother :)), coffee direct from Veracruz state (we’ll pass through on the way back to the US) and maybe even chocolate from Oaxaca if he writes “not really”. :)

    When we were trying to buy a palapa down here we placed one offer and the very last counter from the seller was to meet our price but tell us that we had to negotiate a loan he had with a THIRD PARTY, unrelated to the palapa, for the sale. At that point I didn’t even answer.

    Good times are on the horizon.

  17. Karen

    As much as I feel badly for you and Otto and your house troubles, OH MY GOD that was hilarious. :)

  18. Sophie

    You are obviously working on the sub-prime sanity market. That’s where you don’t lose your house or good credit rating, but you do lose your mind. I would.

  19. Randi

    MWA HA HA HA – I knew I liked Otto for a reason! Did she have hundreds of crazy cats running around too?

  20. Kimmie

    …..and my mom keeps asking if I’ve been looking at the house listings online……

    HA! Easy question to ask for a woman who has lived in the same house for 37 years.

  21. Jodi

    I think the Real Estate Gods have shined upon you. Dealing with crazy people in a high pressure situation…well, there isn’t enough Xanax in the world. Move on (literally?) to a better place, Mir.

    Hey, if you still get first choice house, you can live RIGHT NEXT to Mrs. ClutterBug BatShitCrazy. Isn’t that a cozy thought? More cookies, coming right up.

  22. Jean

    OMG, you so did not need that house…it would have been a disaster. Keeping my fingers crossed that you find something awesome soon :)

  23. paige


    Oh. My. Gosh. I am so glad that you’re not dealing anymore with that crazy lady. I feel badly for all the real estate agents that have to work with her.

    And, if this is just one of the stories you can tell Right Now, I can hardly wait to hear some of the other ones.

    Sending good real estate juju your way.

  24. Heidi

    Oh my goodness. But if your fingers are crossed and you have something to pray about, does it have anything to do with being Mrs. Crazy Knicknack Collector’s next door neighbor? Because really. Can you be sure she’ll actually move away? Or just be a colorful neighborhood character?

  25. Aimee

    Why is there never a shortage of crazy when you need one? Unbefreakinglievable.

    I… never mind. Words fail me.

  26. The Other Leanne

    ?I thought you were moving to Georgia? Apparently you are moving to Florida and trying to buy my mother’s house…aka “House of Knicknacks”…because that is exactly the kind of thing she would do (I’m ashamed to say it). Fear and anxiety and upheaval combine to turn neurosis into psychosis. It’s worse for her than it is for you, dear girl. Be glad you don’t have to deal with her through the purchase and closing process!

  27. jenn2

    Oh wow. That poor woman. She is obviously millimeters away from a total breakdown. Though, like many other commenters, she does remind me of my mother, who put her house on the market during my father’s mid life crisis and “Divorce Watch 2006,” then rejected 8 offers and cried during a showing. Of course, then my dad’s ALS diagnosis came down and he decided he didn’t really want a divorce after all (you know, since he was dying and all, why not make the marriage work?) and they took the house off the market.

    I am never selling my house. And if Mr. Clairol tries to leave me, I will kill him and bury him beneath the shed.

  28. jenn2

    Oh wow, WAY too much personal info. Sorry. You’re just easy to talk to I guess. And I’ll probably have to ask for an alibi someday.

  29. becky

    okay, i knew real estate could make people crazy, but this is ridiculous. i guess this lady hails from the land of unresolved divorce issues (uh, maybe we all do, but she’s from the crazy part of town).

    wow. hang in there mir. you’re still pretty in the midst off all this stress!

  30. ScottsdaleGirl

    What kind of knickknacks?

  31. ScottsdaleGirl

    Finger quotes were used while typing that last word up there

  32. JayMonster

    C’mon Mir, how can you realistically expect her to bury all the bodies elsewhere in just a couple of weeks? ;)

  33. Jennifer

    It’s been awhile since I have commented!! You are on my Bloglines and I read you everyday!! Its been busy around here!! No excuses but wanted to drop in and say Hello!!

    We are listing our house next week. I am sorry about all the drama that you have gone through with house hunting and selling.

  34. Kelly

    Wow, no wonder the bitch is being divorced. haha.

  35. Sheila

    Suddenly a Van Down By the River isn’t looking so bad, is it? At least it wouldn’t be next door to Mrs. KindaSortaSelling.

    Keep taking deep breaths and ingesting cookies. The solution is out there for you. Hang in there…

  36. HamIam

    Seems to me the mystery of her divorce is pretty cut and dry.

    Maybe these crazy, “adventures,” shall we say, keep happening to you not because God knows you’re STRONG enough to handle it, but that you’re FUNNY (and PRETTY) enough to handle it and brighten everyone’s days with your sardonic slant in the telling of the story? (And, knowing this, God is basically sending you money by supplying your readers with material to keep coming back here)

    I hope that He sends you a home and buyers for the two you need out of very.very.very.soon.

  37. Janis

    I got it! A guy here at work was just telling me about the really FANCY motor homes you can get now. He’s selling his $400,000 house and buying one that him, his wife and their many dogs and cats will live in and travel wherever they want on weekends and vacations. Just a thought… maybe you could plop one somewhere in the desirable school district and go from there. (Ok, maybe not.) I’m glad you didn’t get the crazy lady’s house because closing would have probably been a nightmare.

  38. Daisy

    After Mrs. 2nd Choice House gets back on her meds and reconsiders, you may have a house. A month later than you need it, but at least a decent house.
    Or maybe not. The vibes are just not quite good on this one.

  39. Beth

    I would SOOO pay a buck or two if Otto would go put that sign up!

    I’m so sorry, pretty Mir! What a dreadful experience. Gotta love the nutjobs. They’re so much fun. NOT!

  40. Loving Annie

    I love yur blog — only been reading for a few days, but it is really fun ! Ah, the agonies of buying — and selling — houses !
    But why don’t you have any links ??? I noticed that quite a lot of people comment to you. No reciprocity ? Or did I just miss your links area (which is possible, I’ve been known to ask the grocer where the garlic is as I’m walking right by it)

  41. Loving Annie

    oops, typo — your !

  42. Woman with Kids

    As a kid, we bought a house that was being sold because of divorce. The wife got to life there while the husband paid the mortgage, until it sold. She trashed the place – literally – and stalled on closing with everything she could. Perhaps thats the case here?

  43. Melanie

    Ummm…. psycho much?? Apparently she’s not taking the divorce-moving-etc. thing so well.

  44. Rachel May

    Just do it, Otto. :P

    Sending you the best house-finding vibes I can find!!!

  45. Single Ma

    LMAO @ NOT REALLY! HA HA Your whole family is friggin hilarious. Even the new hubby. He’s a perfect fit. Glad you decided to keep him. ;-)

  46. Zee

    This apparently continued until one of the berated personnel asked her if she understood what the “FOR SALE” sign in her yard meant.

    HAHAHAHHAHA! That is the funniest thing I’ve read all day, and it has been a droll day. Thank you for the giggle.

    I too am sending good-house-hunting and good-house-selling and good-moving vibes your way! There is nothing worse than moving to a new home, except moving to a new home in a new place. Hang in there – you’ll get through it!

  47. ChristieNY

    Oh Miss Mir, you are too much! I’m so sorry you’ve been through this, it’s tough! Hang in there, everything will work out, it’s all part of the year of living changerously. I promise, next year will be a sweet settling-in year. I think you need to go buy some cast iron pots now so you can start cooking like the Southern Belle you are soon to be! And then you can womp some of these crazies if they get a little too close for comfort, too. ;)

  48. Kristen

    This is a great story. Not for you but for the mere fact that real estate in general is one of the most cheezy unorganized line of work I have ever had the “not” pleasure in dealing with! The sellers, the buyers, the agents, what a joke. Not you all of course. The industry is just a joke. Thank you for making me laugh and I am sure that you will find something even better and it was just a sign that this woman’s house was not meant for you.

  49. HamIam

    Loving Annie…well, funny you mention not being very observant, b/c Mir’s Links happen to be called “Observation” at the top. ;-)

  50. JamieLee

    Oh my. People really ARE nuts!!!
    I agree that you should be glad you didn’t get that house. I think there’s probably some bad mojo going on there.

  51. daring one

    Could you imagine if your lives were further complicated by being permanently entangled with that poor woman? Yeesh.

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