On the subject of companies to never do business with again

Today was a nightmare. It is one day before we are supposed to close, and I thought it would be a slow one in which my husband packed the storage container and I packed boxes. My husband was preparing for the storage container to be picked up and a new one delivered in its place tomorrow.

First we got a call from the moving company asking if they could pick up the container today. My husband, having procrastinated, had actually wasted the coolish morning doing other things that could be done anytime, so I had to say no. He is out there now working in the heat, rearranging the stuff for the umpteenth time. At some time, he will have to decide that he’s done as good a job as he can, but not now.

Then they called again and asked if they could at least drop off the other container. This seemed odd, but I told them I wasn’t sure it would fit in the driveway with the one that is there now. If I’d known what was coming, I would have said, “Heck, yeah!”

Then we proceeded to be deluged by calls. Some of them were from the different moving people I was trying to coordinate, one company coming to pick up a bunch of stuff today and take it to Goodwill, another company coming on our moving day to help pack and load. So, we were constantly on the phone for our business, but we also got as many calls as we ever did before the Do Not Call list.

We thought the kicker came when our realtor’s company called to say that we needed to do some energy audit required by the city of Austin when you’re selling a home. Why hadn’t we heard of this before, I asked? We’re closing tomorrow! Since our buyer had already done five inspections of our house, our realtor had assumed they did it, even though it is usually ordered by the seller. He also thought it wouldn’t be needed since the buyer intends to gut the house, but the buyer has been the biggest pain imaginable. It was not going to affect the closing, he said. So, I had to get on the phone and get the auditor out. Luckily, he could come today. For a cash sale that was supposed to be easy, this has been the hardest I’ve ever been involved in.

But here’s the kicker. The auditor had no sooner arrived than I got a call from our moving and storage company. I hesitate to name it, as starting tomorrow, they will have temporary custody of half of my worldly goods, but it is a well-known company, a conglomerate of two old-fashioned moving companies, and it’s name has the initials U-MF. It turns out that we can’t have the second storage container at all, because their Austin office just closed. They suggested we call one of several OTHER companies.

When they say "Do it yourself," they mean it literally!
When they say “Do it yourself,” they mean it literally!

Can you believe this? If it was my company, I would get on the horn to Dallas or Houston or some other U-MF office and tell them to get a storage container out there pronto. They did nothing.

So,we had to call another company, and that was also a trip. But the end result is we’re paying about $2K more for the move, because the second container was going to be an add-on and now it is a first container from another company.

The reason I called this company in the first place is that back in the olden days, when people used trucks to move, I used them twice and they were great (the MF part of the merger). Not any more.

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Two days of ups and downs

Well, such a time we have had. It started out Monday, which our realtor had told us was the last day our buyers could make changes to our contract. I had a friend over helping me pack (thanks so much to my dear friend), and I was on pins and needles all day obsessively checking my email.

When no word came in by 5 PM, I shot an email off to our realtor about it and my husband and I went out to Amy’s for ice cream to celebrate. Too soon, as it turned out, for when I came home, I had an email from my realtor that said “Tomorrow at 5. Sorry.” He tends to be succinct.

So, on Tuesday, we had a message at 9 AM saying that “an amendment will be coming shortly.” We waited all day until almost 4 PM only to find out that our buyers wanted us to come down on our price by $80K! They had five inspectors come out over the past 10 days, and the buyer’s agent said that the house was in horrible shape and that everyone who had looked at it had said to tear it down. But they can’t tear it down, because it sits right on the creek, which is no longer allowed by the city. If they want to tear it down, they have to move it back from the creek.

Why it wouldn't be convenient to try to multiple list
Why it wouldn’t be convenient to try to multiple list

Now, we have been living in it comfortably (or, we would have been comfortable if my husband wasn’t a hoarder) for more than 20 years. A few minor things need repair, but I couldn’t imagine it was in that bad of shape. But on the other hand, we had moved pretty far past being able to rapidly put it on the market. Our agent offered to come over and take pictures and get it up on multiple listings by today, and that would have been possible until two days ago, but the past few days we had amassed lots of boxes that haven’t gone out into the pod yet, and we had not had the cleaners come out this week because of the chaos.

My husband was all for accepting their offer, but he has wanted to take every offer they’ve made. I talked it over with our agent, and we decided to offer a $20K reduction. My husband panicked after we decided this and called the agent back to ask him to accept the offer, but luckily, he had already told them our price.

Luckily, because they came back almost immediately splitting the difference, which means that we still made more than their original offer. We accepted that, and we’re still closing on Friday, cash. The main reason I decided to accept it is we would have had to disclose anything the inspections found, which might make it hard to make a higher selling price. We had already decided to move anyway, but we would have moved out to Washington not knowing how long it would take to sell our house, which would have had us being very short until that money came in. Overall, I feel okay about how things worked out, if a little roughed up. And, of course, I would have liked to have the extra money.

On to our next challenges!

 

A fly in the ointment

Since we counter-offered on our house, the buyers changed from just requesting a survey to sending out a series of inspectors. This is obviously an attempt to find something seriously wrong with it so that they can lower the price. As far as we know, there is nothing seriously wrong with it, but because we didn’t fix anything, there are lots of small things wrong with it. But it keeps me on tinterhooks and makes it harder to plan our move and my retirement.

Hans
The devil dog himself

To make things worse, my husband has absolutely refused to crate our dog when people want to come over to the house. He used to be crate-trained when we both worked, but shortly after my husband retired, he decided the dog didn’t need his crate anymore, and took it down. Since my husband is home almost all the time, the dog has gotten to be very neurotic and can barely stand for my husband to be out of his sight. This has gotten so bad that the dog was booted out of the kennel where he has stayed on and off since he was a puppy and now the vet won’t take him either. This was a source of serious stress for me after my husband hurt himself, as I wanted to check the dog into the vet for a week so that I would have one less thing to think about. Instead, I had to go right back and pick him up.

What do we do when people come over? Shut him in the bedroom or keep him on a leash. He is a volatile dog at best.

When the realtor asked if another set of inspectors could come over today and not have my husband there, it was difficult to schedule because my husband has appointments almost every day this week with doctors or physical therapists. The idea of crating the dog came up, and he got very angry. I really don’t understand this, but he seems to think that people wanting to get into the house in a normal way during the selling of it are somehow inflicting themselves on us. How he would have handled people coming to view the house, I don’t know. I’m guessing, not.

Yes, our dog needs training. I have suggested this to my husband many, many times.

Sigh.