Sunny and 17 degrees! Yay Spring at last
I spent most of the morning on the phone with a sale that should have been dead but is refusing to lie down and keep quiet.
First thing, I ring the head of the agency and she says that because the other agency has signed their buyers and the sellers have co-signed, that any tribunal would go in their favour and my people are too late. I put the phone down and it rings.
It is the seller. She has been talking to the notary I recommended, rather than the one she habitually uses, who only answers his phone for two hours a day. He is really not that busy and needs to look through the window and notice it is the 21st century. The notary has said that my buyers may also have a claim because they made a written offer on the 4th March (wtf? this is the first I have heard of this) and also have had reports done on the roof and the termites (more wtf?). The notary says the situation is grey rather than black and white. I am sure there is a part of the notary’s training on being non committal. It is probably part of the ‘Pass the buck’ module. Both my buyers and the other buyers can state that they have right to purchase and it could go to the Tribunal to decide. The Tribunal means months of delay. The seller is manic. The notary had also told her that if she had gone via me rather than trying to negotiate it herself, then things would have been done correctly. Allowed myself wry smile.
I point out that my buyer has shown himself to be extremely tenacious and she says that he and his wife have been ringing and emailing her for days. I also point out that he has the time and the money to pursue things to the bitter end. Would the other couple, who are young and hopefully less bloody minded, also want the time. anguish and not inconsiderable expense of taking on an avocat. She said she would talk to her partner and they would make a decision. I put the phone down and it rings.
It is the notary. Happily, we have just bought a phone which is cordless so I am able to make coffee, do violent gesticulations at the dog who is trying to head off down the lane, and settle myself down with notepad and pen whilst she is talking. It transpires that the acceptance of the offer of the 4th March was done orally and there is no trace by voicemail, text or email of its existence. She wants to know if I have any emails or anything else confirming that the sellers agreed. I say I only have one email and it says that they do not accept the offer and that I was late on the scene. She says they will have to make a decision and it could end up in court. I put the phone down and it rings.
It is the would be buyer’s wife so I update her with this morning’s conversations. Other phone calls include a very insistent company trying to sell me frozen food because I am such a busy working woman. Someone else who wanted to tell me about how I could better use the pension I am receiving was surprised to learn that I am still working. At your age? She said. Yes bitch. You bet I am.
The seller rings back and says they have just emailed the other agency to withdraw. He rang them immediately and was very annoyed. They had words. He said he would talk to his notary (good luck with that one – it is the one who doesn’t answer his phone) and get back to them. He rang them back later and said that they should get an avocat.
Discover the dog has taken the opportunity to run off and have to get in the car and find him. He is a total moron. For the first 11 years of his life, he didn’t run off. Now he does it at all possible opportunities.
I unplug the phone and we watch Bargain Hunt and have corned beef sandwiches with brown sauce and rocket salad. It is a moment of sanity in an otherwise insane day.
Early afternoon I go to see the English couple who found me in the phone directory (we thought you might speak English). Their phone call was a real surprise as I am just listed under my name with ‘estate agent’ as a label. The first time in 11 years anyone has rung me from this source. The property is in a neighbouring departement and is typical of the regional style with long sloping roofs and a large central hallway with rooms off. It has a holiday home feel. In a full time home, the furniture, fittings, pictures and paraphernalia accrete over a period of time. Holiday homes, everything is bought together and then spread over the rooms. There were pictures that you really wouldn’t want to look at on a regular basis.
It was basic but the rooms were flooded with light and there was a barn which was large enough to convert but not so huge that it is a money pit. Would it do for the clients of last week, now in a state of ‘complete indecision’ because they loved the house but not the road. Stood outside and listened. Road about the same distance away as the other house but shouldn’t carry as much traffic. Discussed the price and they said they would talk to the children and get back to me.
Go for a swim and not very many people in the pool. Bliss. Do my regulation 20 lengths and sit in the bubbles and bob.
Back home and OH has fishing stuff everywhere. My hoard is nothing on his.
There are many messages on the phone but it is time to Skype my Russian clients. They appear on the screen, with angelic golden haired children who say hello and eat large, juicy looking apples. They want to buy the house they drove 3500 kms to see. They want to buy it cash with no messing around. We are all very, very happy. Behind them, through their kitchen window, the light fades and night falls. They say it is below zero. I say it is still light for at least a couple of hours and it is 15 degrees. Mica says not to worry, he has not got cash from criminal activities. This is what you must call Russian humour.
I ring the owners who have been on pins. I tell them the good news and expect to hear sounds of joy. They are shell shocked. They have to move country with a large herd of animals. They are thinking ‘oh crap. This has suddenly got real’. I am deflated at their reaction so OH gives me alcohol, the universal cheerer upper.
He rustles up spicy stir fry chicken and disappears to watch football. It is now late and I feel on my last legs but have to do VAT return. Collapse to bed.