Thursday, July 2, 2015

The one in which I tell the realtor to grow some balls.

Well, we are on the road to closing on the new house, mid-month, and today, the husband brought home 75 boxes for packing.  People, this shit just got real.

Up until yesterday, however, things were in flux.

We had our house inspection and we found most of the usual things that you find in a house approach 90 years old.  Old termite damage that was fixed when Eisenhower was in office, a few outlets with reversed polarity, sloppy caulk (and I hate that) around the shower, squeaky get the idea.

But we also found something unpleasant.

The first floor half-bath had a badly cracked waste pipe vent right under the toilet and the pipe elbow was leaking.

Now to me and the Husband, this was a must fix on the part of the seller, because raw sewage is gross, a vector for disease and sewer gas not only can kill you, but it can explode.

So we submitted our issues (fix the cracked vent and replace the bad joint) and we waited.  The "Seller" (aka Doug and Audrey) said they needed another week to get estimates.  So like Dante we were parked in (moving) purgatory.  We were damned if we started packing, and damned if we didn't.

Like good buyers, we didn't push - let them take their time and do it well, and then Tuesday we get their response.

The would fix this, and fix that, and reroute this and that to conform to building code, however they didn't think that the sewer line was anything they wanted going on around them.


So the realtor called us and said, hopefully, "Well?"

Shall we say that I conveyed to the realtor that all this other little shit was nice, but the sewer was non-negotiable.

"Well, let me see what I can do with their realtor."

Good enough.

Well, the next day I get a call while I am working at the Beef House Strip Club in the gift shop, and my cell phone rings.  I am not to be on my cell phone per Corporate, but it was our realtor so I took the call.

He starts out saying the sellers feel that...and that they really don't want to deal with the mess...and since we all know each other socially, its only going to be a $2,000 repair and do we want to throw a monkey wrench in the deal over such a paltry sum...

And reader, my limit had been reached.

I told realtor, that this was a business deal and not a friendly game of cards.  I reminded him that Seller - no longer Doug and Audrey, but "Seller" - got not only their asking price BUT a couple grand over their asking price.  I reminded him him that Seller tinkered for a WEEK extra getting estimates, and out of everything on the list, that this was the one that is a health issue.

"Well, what if they gave you $500 towards fixing this..."

And I said "Bob, grow some balls."  Go to their agent and tell them that we will pull the deal if that sewer line isn't fixed, and then you tell her that if they don't fix that sewer line and we pull out we get our good faith money back, they have to start from square one. And they will have to fix said problem now that they have been made away of it  No skin off our nose.  "You and I and the husband will find us another house with a better commission for you.  But seriously, dick's out and balls on the table this is a non-negotiable."

"Wow, you seem intent on this."  Think so? Uh, yeah.

So, yesterday we get the Seller's response.  They will fix the sewer, all costs, and that includes the foundation work.  In turn, we, the buyer will agree to pick up $500 of the little shit repairs.


To me, the crapper being in sanitary condition was the point.  And the little shit?  $500 I can swallow.  
And our realtor did grow some balls.  One day I hope to see them in the flesh.  

But as the Husband pointed out, could we have set our selves up for a major karma backlash?  Could be.  But generally, I expect the buyer of this house to want a house in good condition.  That's just the nature of the beast.


  1. We went through a similar case when we bought Casa Bob y Carlos and our Seller, too, waffled on fixing the problem until we said those magic words: "Then no deal."
    And suddenly it was fixable.
    And ours was petty compared to raw sewage!

  2. Shit is shit, and you certainly don't want to be paying your money for someone else's! Good for you, sticking to your guns. Jx

  3. When we bought our flat in Cairo, the seller suddenly and without warning at the equivalent of closing (where you sit in an office and actually hand over the asking price in cash - it's ludicrously primitive) asked for an extra $2,500 for the kitchen cabinets (most flats there are sold stripped to the walls).

    Mr. Muscato had the good sense to sit there and stare for what must have been an uncomfortable few moments before zipping up his brimming knapsack of cash and heading for the door. And suddenly it was all a joke (instead of a particularly noxious kind of chicanery).

    Short story long: dealing with real estate is a horror, wherever you find yourself. Sounds like you're doing just fine.

  4. It’s good that you stood your ground regarding the issue. It wasn’t just an issue of sanitation, but also about the integrity of the sale. If people just let those things go, it would set a bad precedent that selling homes with roughshod repairs is an acceptable practice. Anyway, I hope that the repairs have come through nicely, and that you’ve already settled in your new home. Good day!

    Evon Brow @ Athens Plumbing