Fer Chrissake . . . sell me your house already!!

OK, I’m just teetering on the edge of sanity here, so bear with me. I’m buying a 3-family Dream House with two other people and it’s been the most excruciating month of my entire life. Oh, we knew it was going to be stressful, lots to do with realtors, lawyers, inspectors, banks, and nosey parents. We were ready to deal with it, though. We handled everything with such efficiency that we thought this was going to be easy. Such cocky fools were we . . .

After accepting our off in writing, the fucking seller (who also happens to be a Reverend in the Episcopalian church - at first I was relieved to hear that thinking she’d be nice!) decides she doesn’t want to sell the house anymore. Wha? Huh? But . . . you said . . . we . . . I mean . . . how the . . . huh? In order to illustrate the entire situation more precisely so as not to exclude any of the torment and to keep it entertaining at the same time, I’ve decided to take a cue from the dramatic audio performance of Left Behind on CD I just purchased (well worth it on long car trips if you can drive and laugh hysterically at the same time). Firstly, this is how I thought buying a house was generally supposed to go:

opening scene:

SELLER: Hello. I would like to sell my house for a specific amount of money.
US: Hi there. We’d like to buy your house for even more than that!
SELLER: Neat! Let’s get it on! I’ll sign this legally binding paper. You can trust me, I’m a woman of God, after all.
US: Super! So it looks like we’ll close on July 16th! Hooray!

–fast forward to July 17th

US: We love our new house!

The End
Seems pretty simple, right? Wrong. Replace the last two lines with this:
SELLER: I changed my mind. I don’t want to sell.
US: No, you can’t!
SELLER: You’re right, I do want to sell.
US: Phew!
SELLER: No, actually I don’t.
US: D’oh!
SELLER: Hey! I can get even more money from someone else! They just made me an offer! I really DO want to sell, just not to you! I’m so glad my lawyer knew some people who wanted my house more than those other suckers did.
US: Hey!
SELLER’S LAWYER: What other offer? I never heard about another offer. (thinks to self, “Crap, how did they find out about that other offer?!”) (the answer to that is the seller’s realtor told us)
SELLER: There IS no other offer. I’m just afraid to sell my house. I don’t have any money. How will I buy a new house. It never occurred to me before now!
US: But we’re going to GIVE you money. A bunch of it!
SELLER: OK, I’ll sell, but I’m still scared. I want to live there forever after you buy it. For free.
OUR LAWYER: I’ll handle this. Give me a bunch of money.
US: ok.
SELLER: . . .
US: I wonder what’s going on?
OUR LAWYER: Looks like you can buy it, but not in the very near future. Whatcha doin’ in September? Or October?
SELLER and SELLER’S LAWYER (in unison): Not moving, that’s for sure! HAW HAW HAW!!
US: :frowning:

. . . this is an unfinished work. Perhaps the author will die tragically of a stress-induced seizure. Perhaps she will spend life in prison after unleashing a murderous rampage on a small city neighborhood, spraying her potential new home with bullets from a high-powered weapon. Perhaps she will continue her work on this play for the next year, without much change in plot, embark on her killing spree, THEN die of a stress-induced seizure. Shortly thereafter, someone will buy the rights to the play and make a tidy sum with a small, independent production of it. Ironically enough, the producers will use the money they bring in to buy the very house that inspired the tormented author’s decent into a dark spiral of self-destruction. Oh the HUMANITY!!! I’m DOOOOOOOMED!
And so now, we’re waiting. Waiting like we’ve been waiting for the last month. You see, she hasn’t signed the Purchase and Sale Agreement yet. She’s “supposed” to sign it today (been there, hasn’t done it yet, why should today be any different?). Haven’t heard anything yet. She signed the offer, so we can litigate if she refuses to sell, but damn! That would cost a lot and be a pain in the ass. This wouldn’t be a problem if we weren’t so smitten with the House. It’s so perfect that we can’t bear to just walk away. Fucking BITCH!!! I’ve bitten all my nails off already and have resorted to jamming a thumbtack under my fingernail to pry out extra skin to chew on - THAT’S how stressed I am!!!

Geez, I’m really sorry to hear that. Yes, house buying can be painful.

One word of caution, though: (You’ve probably already considered this) Be VERY careful when/if the deal does go through. Make sure your lawyer is earning his/her money. Don’t be afraid to open doors and appliances (like the dishwasher) during the pre-signing walk through.

I’ve heard and seen horror stories of hesitant sellers basically doing some really cruel stuff to the next owners via the house.

That said, BEST OF LUCK, sincerely!