When we last left the smashed up house, Cynthia was working away, scraping and painting the inside of the house. Alice was having tests for liver cancer and things weren't looking good. I was reduced pretty much to buying supplies and staying out of Cynthia's way.
I got a few calls generated by the dyslexic 'For Sale' sign in the front yard. Two separate individuals wanted to see the house, set up appointments and neither showed. Then two Sunday afternoons ago I got two calls. One from my realtor handling another house (I have three) saying we had an offer and then a call from Marion. Marion sounded like 'Mame' and wanted to see the house that Cynthia was working on. Made an appointment and they showed up--three generations of Mame. Marion, her daughter Patricia, and Patricia's daughter.
In the real estate business, you indulge in some rental profiling and can size up your customer pretty fast. Given my track record, I wasn't very good at it but learning fast. Marion, late 50's, loud, no ring, no husband, Toyota, pretty well dressed but not my style. May have a few dollars laying around. Patricia, blond, young, 23-25, four year old daughter, no ring. She was a nanny. Not exactly Bill Gates but then I figured out I didn't really need to care because I was not going to carry the credit risk. No more playing banker for me. If they didn't get financing, no sale.
I stood outside and let the trio take a look around after I told Marion the price. They came out and I told them about everything that had been done within the last three years--new electrical service, basically new plumbing, heating and air conditioning (originally the house had space heaters--stay away from those), new paint in and out, and all new windows. Marion indicated they had seen every house in the neighborhood and the price was right and they took it, full price. Patricia wrote a check for $500 as earnest money and we agreed to sign some document later.
Patricia called three days later and we met. She had a document that basically said everything would be working in the house when she took possession. I xed out a few things and signed. Patricia looked concerned but signed it. Sue assured Patricia that the house would be in order.
Later I told Sue that I think I gave away the store to Patricia. Sue said, "She's just a nervous kid that knows nothing about houses or buying a house. You were pretty nervous when we bought our first house." I said I had a lot of reasons to be nervous.
So that's were we stand. I have a check for $500, a one page contract, and Patricia is working with her lender. The good news is that the lender called yesterday to discuss the closing. We traded messages. So if the whole thing goes through, great. If not, not really out anything since Cynthia is still working. As for the $500 I'll just give it back if the deal falls through--I'm not that big a jerk.
Actually, didn't have to. To my surprise and astonishment the deal went through.
Tomorrow, we'll figure out the financial return.