A wise friend once told me that any time he and his wife come across diversity in their lives they look at each other and say "This will make a great story one day." Alex and I are currently in the throws of making a great story. I don't know where to begin other than "in medias res," or "in the middle of things," as great writers (Homer, to name one) have done before me.
The text came in at 6:35pm last night. The seller was back from Colorado and upset that $10K worth of toy trains were "missing" from the casita (the detached studio in back of the house). Alex and I had a chuckle--via text with emojis included because he was working a basketball game in Kentucky last night--and thought it would all be cleared up by closing on Thursday. The real kicker? Those missing trains had been stored in the shower. Let the record show I never opened that shower door for fear of some critter jumping out at me (I swear by it, Austin PD). Let's pause here and wonder who stores $10K worth of anything in his/her shower?
Today during my English class I drop my phone on the floor and noticed I have four unanswered texts from my realtor. The last of which reads "Can you all give me a call?" It turns out that our seller has once again skipped town. This time he's in Oregon and proclaiming he will not go through with the closing until his trains have been recovered. Again, I wonder what is the deal with these trains? But then I snap back to reality and think, "Is this going to screw up our closing?" The rest of the story is comedy. Larry David couldn't write it any better...
It turns out our esteemed seller has, in fact, fled town. He called his listing agent and blessed her out about the missing trains and wants names and numbers of every person who has been at the property since it went under contract (bring it!). The title company, meanwhile, has sent a mobile notary (apparently there are such things--you learn something new every day) to meet up with him at a Starbucks in Salem, OR so the papers can be signed and FedEx-ed back to Austin prior to closing tomorrow morning at 10:00am.
There is no word from the seller.
At approximately 3:00pm our time, the seller sends an email to the title company saying he has to "cancel the meeting." He has contacted the Austin Police Department and the closing will be placed on hold while they conduct their investigation into the missing trains. The seller also notes that once A) the trains have been recovered or B) he has been reimbursed, he is "ready, willing and able" to close. At this point I'm starting to get a little suspicious, aren't you?
Scout had soccer practice at 5:00pm. Between the time I get home with the children at 3:00 and had to leave for her practice at 4:45, these are the things that Alex and I had to accomplish (and Alex did most of the dirty work): cancel the HVAC energy audit that was scheduled for the new house tomorrow afternoon; cancel the rodent "exclusion" that was scheduled for Friday morning; contact the City of Austin and Texas Gas to let them know "our bad...looks like we won't be switching the utilities over to our name tomorrow." In the meantime our realtor had her people looking into crime reports on the property and found a lawyer who represent us if it came to that. I also had to craft an email--for the purpose of establishing a paper trail--stating that we're sorry for the homeowner's loss and are willing to cooperate with the police department in their investigation; however, we must close tomorrow. I have already packed up half of our house, and we have to be out this place by February 29th, per the agreement we signed with our landlord. And if the seller does not uphold his part of the contract we will be forced to seek legal counsel. Thank you and goodnight.
That is the last correspondence that has taken place on this matter. I'm assuming that the seller has not yet signed his papers, which must be sent via FedEx by 9pm PST (if indeed he is in PST right now), in order to make it to the closing tomorrow morning. For our part, Alex and I are moving forward to ensure that everything is aligned with what we laid out in the contract. We will be at the closing tomorrow. We will sign the papers. We will wait to find out what the hell happened with those supposed trains.
I told you this would make a good story some day.