Life in A Day…or….The ‘Sliver of a Crescent Moon’ Crazies

*This blog was written back in 2010. Not ‘that’ much changes in seven years. The dogs are (sadly) gone, I’m not at the same office, I haven’t used an online voucher in eons and yoga is not a daily ritual anymore. But…the gist of this applies today. I have to say my crazy real estate days aren’t so frequent, but this gave me a good laugh. I hope it does for you as well. It’s long, but so were these few days!


Just yesterday, I was sitting with my mother on her balcony; a beautiful sunny Mother’s Day, drinking mimosas. We had a great eggs benny brunch, I stayed for the afternoon and well, the rest of the day was a pleasant close.
Today? Well, according to sage Kathyrn, Oh Great receptionist at my office, she informed me that today, when the moon is just a sliver of tiny brightness, is when people go cuckoo, not the full moon.
How we got onto this topic is another story, but let’s just say things make more sense now.

I woke up feeling ‘unrested’. I had a strange dream. One of those dreams that isn’t a nightmare, isn’t necessarily ‘bad’, but a dream that started my day off on an uneven keel. After the usual ablutions and coffee, I prepare the beasts for our morning jaunt to the park. Nope. Not today. It’s a beautiful 10 degrees, but George is digging his heels in. I just sighed. This behavior doesn’t usually kick in til the temp hits the mid-20s. I snuck them up there via a different route. Ha-HA. I imagine that’ll last a day or two before George realizes he’s being duped. But the warmer climes hit Gracie with that cheesy, dirty sock neck she had a few summers ago – oh joy! Yeast infection! I don’t think I’ll be having anyone over til the fall. Between George’s cone taking up most of the living room and Gracie’s eau de cologne, it’s too much – even for me at times! But they’re so cute they get away with being smelly and coned.

After our walk, my usual morning begins with checking emails, looking at the MLS and on Mondays, readying myself for noon yoga. I see an email from an agent whose buyer is closing his deal with my client on Thursday. Attached to the message, which in itself is a dismal assessment of their last visit to the unit, is a photo. The vinyl siding on the deck has been burnt. Wow – how could this happen in a ‘vacant unit’? And what to do about it? She maintains he is having it fixed – today. My first thought? Doubtful. My client, a previously mild-mannered businessman who works with families of the deceased, had taken a turn of lifestyle since we listed his place for sale. Although still mild-mannered, he was now greeting me at the door wearing tight jeans, makeup or his blue velour bathrobe, with young men friends in tow. I didn’t ask – until I started getting phone calls during showings that agents couldn’t get into the 2nd bedroom; complaining of male voices and locked doors and more recently a confession by an agent friend that when he showed the unit, he walked in on 2 men in the middle of well, you can guess. Apparently his client squealed and ran from the unit. I made assumptions that things with my client and his wife had taken a sour turn.

As I drive to yoga, I hesitate about going to class. Something is niggling in the back of my mind. Must never ignore those. It’s probably not a good day to indulge myself. I call my client – who has burnt the deck siding – to no avail. Ironically, his lawyer calls as I am hanging up. ‘Have you heard from Bob?’ (his name is changed to protect the guilty), ‘I’ve tried calling him 20 times in the last week.’ As have I. ‘No’, I reply. The deal is closing in 2 days. She informs me that unless he, and the three others on title (that is his wife, now probably ex-wife, his mother who suffers from advanced Alzheimers and his Dad, who is Power of Attorney for his mother) get to her office and sign the papers tomorrow, this deal won’t close. I get in my car and decide to drive to his unit. His phone is out of order and he is totally incommunicado. The door is open. I walk into what can only be described as what a house full of 5 to 6, 16 year old boys must look like. Half eaten ice cream boxes, lamps hung by string from the ceiling, carpets that haven’t seen water or cleanser for their entire existence, stains everywhere, STUFF everywhere, and young men…everywhere. I felt like Nanny McPhee when she arrived at the home of that hunky Colin Firth with those ‘very naughty’ kids running amok. I was stunned. I think if my client can have this place ready for closing in 48 hours with all the necessary papers signed, it will be a miracle and I will go back to believing. I was silenced by the image. And it takes a lot to silence me. Meanwhile, the lawyer ‘needs to talk to him’, so I call her while I have him in my presence and give him my phone. The promises he is making her in their 20 minute-plus-call, is beyond anything I can do in this short time period, and yet he can do it, without a phone or a car. I feel a lawsuit coming on…

All the while, my other listing, my lovely neighbours place, a gorgeous townhome, looking beautiful, big and spotless, is sitting there. No offers, not even any showings of late. I want to cry. But I don’t. Instead, my phone rings. It is an agent from Sudbury. I don’t know him, but soon we are kindred spirits. Both of us (and a third agent colleague of his) had signed up to a real estate marketing site several months ago, for the princely sum of $1500 and promises galore of listings, referrals and leads. None of us have received a single call or any sign of life from this site. We decide to take action. Stay tuned *2017 update – we were scammed*. In the meantime, I decide to take action on another problematic situation. Getting a refund from Buytopia; part of the mushrooming cheap groupon-type groups. I had bought a $99 coupon for $400 worth of goods from The Butchers; promises of organic local farm meat/produce, only to discover that the Internet is full of nasty reviews about the place and that they’ve sold 15,000 of these vouchers city-wide. How could they possibly deliver? All I can manage to do is squeal and tell them that refunding an unhappy client is better for business than force feeding me the product, that at best, sounds inferior to Food Basics. To no avail.

I ready myself for this afternoon’s business. Another client is wanting to put forward an offer on a condo downtown. If he gets it, he’ll list his place tonight. The afternoon looks promising. Registration is at 5pm. I meet my client, sign the offer and register. But I can’t reach the listing agent. It’s 4:59pm. No agent. 3 messages, 1 page. Nada. I sigh. We go for coffee. This is where I have to tell my client I smoke. The day is taking its toll and keeping up appearances is way down on my list. He doesn’t care. I light up. The listing agent calls me back. Oh, registration is at 5pm, but I cannot show the offers to my client til 8pm. Three hours of thumb twiddling and nerve-wracking waiting. We decide that no matter how many offers there are, my client is putting in one price. We do that, and go. My phone rings. Another client of mine in the same townhouse complex as the buyer who is putting in this offer tonight, who was supposed to list his property 2 weeks ago, decides he’s ready to list; tonight! I cannot believe my ears. I tell him the ‘conundrum’ of 2 listings of the same type of unit on the same day with the same agent. It’s inconceivable that this just ‘happened’. It’s opportunity knocking, I say to myself – but knocking on the door the same day? Right now, we await word if our offer is successful. If so, who knows what I’ll do! It’s another beautiful sunny day. I can’t seem to enjoy it – I am stressin’. I go home and venture out to take the dogs on a dusk walk. A gorgeous time of day. George, digging his heels in again, doesn’t want to go.

What next?!  9pm – the phone rings. It’s Steve (aka DangLau Hau) the agent from the 3 hour offer. ‘Ah, Diane, I am very sorry to take so long to get back to you. Your offer was the best, but the seller decided he wants more money’. Mmm, thanks Steve. ‘Why did it take one hour for the seller to decide between 2 offers that he wasn’t going to accept?’ I ask. ‘I don’t know. It took me 40 minutes to tell him that your offer was good’. I rest my face on my laptop and stifle the whimpering.

The good news is…after 12 hours of solid work, I did get a listing out of it. Despite the unsuccessful bid and therefore my client not listing his place, I don’t face the earlier ‘conundrum’. So, as I write, it’s 11:23pm. Vancouver won the series against Nashville. Yippee. I await my Listing Agreement signed, sealed and delivered, so I can keep on working into the night. Just another day in real estate. I hope the moon is getting fat.

Footnote: Several days after writing this blog, three miracles occurred. The townhouse deal closed, my neighbour’s house sold and Buytopia honoured my refund. Oh Great Sage Katherine, from my office, tells me that the lore of Friday the 13th being an ominous day of misfortune, is hogwash. It is, in fact, a lucky day. For me it was.


Featured art pic by Federico Bebber


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