Friday, July 30, 2010
WE'LL CHANGE THAT!
When Mrs. Wead put our house on the market, we were not savvy enough to know that one could "make an offer" instead of just agreeing to the asking price. I would always refer to the Wead house as MY house! We toured MY house but I knew that we could not afford the asking price. It was a huge disappointment because I figured that it would never be on the market again; after all, who would leave MY house once they had it? We decided to buy a house more in our price range.
Gerald and I had both been working two jobs to save for a down payment on a house. He was working at IH and at my cousin's gas station. I was working at Mead and at Steele Data Processing. We bought our house on Albin Avenue and were very happy there for ten years.
I passed MY house daily and when I saw the "FOR SALE" sign I told Gerald that I "just wanted to see what had been done to it since we last saw it." I learned that the house had set empty for four years and had been part of a contentious divorce settlement. I told Gerald, "It wouldn't hurt to talk to the realtor." Gerald insisted, "You know we can't afford it!" When we heard the asking price, I said, "You know we can make an offer--we don't have to pay that much!"
I took an immediate dislike to the realtor because of his demeanor and selling approach. We hired a broker to represent us. I knew the realtor was upset because he would have to split the commission with the broker! As we toured the house, I asked the realtor why there were no drapes or curtains. He said he didn't know but they had been there when they took the listing. I asked the seller and he said, "My ex-wife stole them, but I can't prove it!
Our broker told us that he knew the seller was having financial difficulty and surely wanted to "unload the white elephant". The broker said that we'd offer a really low price to begin with; I said, "I can't believe you have the chutzpah to offer that; he won't accept it!" The broker said, "We'll keep on nudging the price up and end up with the price you want to pay!"
When the broker made the offer, the realtor laughed at him; the following day the realtor told our broker that the seller had refused the offer. Our broker was suspicious and called the seller. The broker learned that the realtor had not given our offer to the seller, which was an illegal act. Imagine our shock and pleasure when the seller accepted our first offer! The broker had told him we would have the money quickly and the closing could happen right away. I had to do some mighty scrambling to make that happen!
However, the most disgusting part happened as we did our final walk-through with the realtor, and he actually spoke these words: "Well, you won't have to worry about colored people being in this neighborhood." Gerald responded immediately, "Well, we'll change that!" I saw the color drain from the realtor's face as he attempted to smooth over his racist comment.
I reported him to the State Board for both the racist comment and not giving our offer to the seller.
After we closed on the house, the former occupant who had NOT gotten the house in the divorce settlement, called me and asked if I wanted to buy the custom-made draperies and curtains which had been in the house. I told her that I didn't want to receive stolen merchandise. For some reason, she became very upset with me. I told her that her ex-husband wondered who had stolen the drapes!