Entering and…Cleaning?

I recently listed a new property for sale. It seems to be one of those funny experiences that I hope goes well for my client.
He’s an old favorite – even though he’s young – but is one of my first clients and has become a friend since we started wheelín’ and dealín’ together back in 2003. Not because he’s bought and sold several properties with me (although that’s a bonus!) but because he’s easy going, fun and a pleasure to work with.Okay, now that I’ve overdone the pleasantries… his latest venture started off on a bad foot. He is now living in Vancouver and wants to sell a townhouse he owns in downtown Toronto. Easy enough. Well… so it would seem going by my last several buys/sells with him. For some reason everything went awry with this one. We both got the listing date wrong for starters. Or did I get it wrong or he? Either way, we weren’t ready for the listing date I proposed. I had booked a photographer to take photos on Monday. We arrive, and the place is nowhere near ready. “Mmmm, wasn’t the handyman coming in to do some work?” I thought. It wasn’t done. I remember being there and going through the list of ‘must do’ before listing. I was a bit distracted by my client’s father, who appeared to be flirting with me. He was very funny I have to say.  And being flirted with was a distant memory, so perhaps I missed a few things where the handyman was concerned. Regardless, I can multi-task and remembered the specifics. Well, they were not done. I also recall being told by my client all the work would be done by Feb 15thth. Hmm, it’s now the 18th. Where did the time go? Or more, where did the handyman go? As I’m pondering this question while shifting bags of junk and garbage around so the photographer could take some pics, one of the tenants comes out of his room. ‘What’s he doing home’ I thought? He rubs his eyes and explains how awful his experience with the handyman was. Oh gawd, I better call my client. He’s pretty cool about everything and tells me his tenant is a ‘drama queen’. Ok, so I carry on with the photographer.  I notice the hole is still in the door, the runner isn’t laid and the place is a bit like dust bunny heaven. Not happy. Even unhappier when I go out to my car to see a $30 ticket on the windshield. I was there at 9:57am. No parking til 10am. Clearly the traffic cop was hiding in the bushes. Bastard.

So, a few hours later, my client calls from the townhouse. ‘Hey Di, the handyman actually DIDN’T do anything!’. Well, I did say that, but he didn’t believe me. As it turned out, there was some bad communication all round and then he had to flee from the job one day for a family crisis. Ok, so we reign the handyman back into line. All is organized to go for Wed. ‘Wed?’ Aren’t we listing that day? I say. Originally I thought we were listing Tuesday, so I’m a day behind already. ‘Wednesday?’ my client says…I thought we were going to list Saturday before the Open House? ‘We can’t list Saturday’. ‘That’s the day of the Open House. So, meanwhile, my client is on a course in Toronto, but his phone is dinging all day – mostly me and then his tenants, and the handyman. I hope the poor guy learns someting at his course!

It’s now Wednesday. The day before listing. We finally agreed we will list Thursday. I get confirmation Tuesday night the cleaning lady will be in all day Wednesday. Just in time for the place to look fab for Thursday moring’s listing on MLS. Wednesday morning comes and goes. A frantic call from my client comes. The cleaning lady was supposed to be at the unit at 9am. It’s now 11:30am. He had given her the keys the day before. Where could she be I wondered?! At 11:45am another call that she has finally arrived. In between the laughter and shock, my client tells me the cleaning lady got into the complex, but went to the wrong unit. By some miracle the door of the other unit was open, so she strolled in and began her clean. Much to the owner’s shock,  he awoke to the sound of a vacuum cleaner and a little woman in his townhouses cleaning away. Too funny. Clearly he must’ve thought he was dreaming…

I wish I had those kinds of ‘real’ dreams; waking up to someone cleaning my house. The ultimate treat. However, I heard a few days later via my client that the other townhouse owner was going to press charges for breaking and entering! More like ‘entering and cleaning’. Not exactly a felony in my opinion.  If that were me, I would’ve bowed down and hailed the woman. Perhaps even offered her lunch or some money. Pressing charges?? What is wrong with us inner city folk?

Needless to say, this story has a happy ending; for my client, if not the cleaning lady. She did a stellar job on the right unit in the end and it did sell. In a few days. The moral of this story is… it’s not over til the fat lady sings. Or….when the shit is ABOUT to hit the fan, it can sometimes miss.

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