Wednesday, June 01, 2005


Real estate is an ugly business.

When we first met with our real estate agent, we listed our set of city-approved architectural drawings and mechanical blueprints as an Asset. He agreed and estimated that the fair market value of our house would increase by $15,000 to $25,000 with those plans.

We were later contacted by an interested buyer before we listed our house on the market, and we sent them to our agent for the negotiation. When he met with them, he took the plans to help support our desired price. When he came back with their offer, it was lower than we expected. He said that the buyers liked the house "As-Is" and had no intention in doing the add-on. "The plans are of no consequence, they're out," he emphatically stated. We were stunned, but we lowered our asking price per his guidance...which sealed the deal.

Yesterday, our agent called to tell us that the buyers had changed their minds and could he please pick up the plans for an 8pm meeting that he had scheduled with them?

My inner-Mount St. Helens erupted. I was furious and felt duped, but I said nothing. "Tom, my household is partially packed and I have no idea where they are. Husband has them stashed and I don't know where."

Okay, I may not be courageous...but I'm also not dumb. There was no way in hell that I was going to hand over those plans. When Husband got home, I told him about our realtor's phone call. Husband was so angry, his scalp started flapping and he turned beet-red. "I knew that agent just wanted an easy deal. This is a rip-off, and he lacks integrity. No way is he getting those plans!"

After much consultation with family and friends, Husband called Tom to explain that the plans were not part of the negotiated deal, as per his direction. Tom blew a fuse, as we expected.

I have no idea how this scenario will play out. What I do know is that Tom told us that buyers didn't want the plans and we lowered our price accordingly. If they want them now, they'll have to renegotiate with my Husband.

It's hard to know who really duped who. Did the buyers play Tom, or did Tom play us? I don't know that answer and I don't care. There are moments in one's life when Snidely-Whiplash behavior cannot and should not be tolerated.

Let the games begin.