The Sarchasm Chronicles
Offer on the house!
Okay: Let's started with some good (kind of) news.
In November we finally got an offer on the house!
It had been on the market over 100 days and this was the
first nibble. We (Me and Sybil) were really anxious to be
done with this, so we would entertain just about any offer
that would allow us to break even on the home.
The original offer asked for a ton of money toward the
buyer's closing costs (approx. three times the average cost
of closing!) and took a large amount off our asking price
for their offer.
Well, an offer is an offer, so we submitted a counter-offer.
Our offer asked for additional money for the house, and we
offered about half what they were asking for closing costs.
...and the game continued with another counter from the
interested buyer... Our realtor said they MUST be
interested, or they wouldn't have submitted another offer.
He advised tossing them a bone - coming down just a bit on
the asking price, but not offering any additional money for
the closing fees. We did as he advised. We really want to
sell this thing!
Well - as luck would have it - the buyers had until 6pm the
next day to accept (or counter) our latest offer. While THEY
had our offer in-hand, ANOTHER offer was in the making. The
new party wanted to make an offer, but didn't want to go
through the paperwork if the other offer was close to being
See, if our counter/counter-offer was accepted the deal was
done. We'd be in contract. We had to hope our counter offer
was rejected, countered, or they waited until after the
deadline had expired. The new party told our realtor to let
them know as soon as there was a resolution.
Six o'clock came and went... (their deadline had expired!)
at 6:30 we received ANOTHER counter to our offer from the
original buyers - too damn bad! They waited too long and now
we could accept the offer from the NEW buyers! If it
sucked, we could also go back to the original party and play
the counter game again.
But it didn't suck... at 7pm we received the first offer
from the new prospects - They offered almost exactly what we
Their realtor must have impressed upon them that there were
other parties interested and if they *really* wanted the
home to make a serious offer.
And they did.
We accepted their offer, contingent upon a successful house
inspection by the buyer's agent, and now we were officially
This is my year from Hell, remember? There was no way this
was going to go smoothly.
The day of their scheduled inspection it rained.
Rained like hell.
The sky dumped heavy loads of rain in buckets.
Good thing I had been open about the fact the basement
See, the basement leaked from two walls. One was very closed
to the sump-pump and it REALLY had to rain for it to start
leaking (even this heavy downpour wouldn't trigger this
particular leak). But the other leak...
The primary leak came from a wall on the opposite side of
the basement from the sump-pump. It had to cross almost the
entire basement to get to the pump. The ASS who owned the
house before us and never told us about the leak. As a
matter of fact they said they never got water in the
basement. LIARS. This ASS had actually finished most of the
basement. There was drywall, carpeting, everything. And
part of the finished area had linolium-tile flooring. When
we saw the house they had a small dinette table setup in the
area. It looked like a family rec room with a table at which
to play cards. BUT... the tiled area was actually the path
where the water ran! It wasn't carpeted there because it
would have been SOAKED. The water ran under the drywall -
which only went halfway down the wall and then had a "skirt"
made from paneling - that way when the paneling ROTTED from
the water, he would only have to replace the PANEL, not the
entire WALL. ASS!
The water then ran acorss the tiled floor, through the
laundry room and into the sump-pump. It wasn't like there
was standing water in the basement, or that we had to keep
bailng water out of the basement - the water just ran in a
tiny stream (about 6-8" wide) across the basement and into
the pump. I used to jokingly refer to my basement as the
location shoot for the movie "A River Runs Through It."
It rained. And rained. And rained.
I knew it was going to leak during their inspection, but I
also THOUGHT I knew how minimal it would be.
Remember the work on the Gas line I told you about in my
last entry? Well, the area where they dug up the ground to
repair the gas line leak is on the side of the house with
the leak. The repair crew had removed the extension of the
downspout on that side of the house and had not replaced it.
They had also removed a huge fern-like plant with an
extensive root system that had helped absorn some of the
water going into the ground. And finally, the work they had
done had just been completed mere days before this downpour,
so the ground was all still very loose - it hadn't had a
chance get packed down - allowing water to just run straight
Straight through to the leak in the cinder-block wall and
into the basement. My "River" had turned into a White Water
I got a phone call from my realtor saying that the Buyer's
realtor was at the house with the Buyer and the Inspector, I
had a "water emergency." So, I left work and sped to the
house through the downpour.
When I got to the house the realtor told what was going
on... water was leaking in the basement. I still had no
idea how bad it was... until I got to the basement. Oh, man!
Water has travelled it's normal path acorss the floor, but
it was much wider than the normal 6" width - it was more
like 10-12" wide! To make matters worse, the realtor had
been trying to help keep the water away from the carpet by
using a squeegee to push the water away from the carpet
edge. If she had left it alone, the water would have
traveled its normal path and left the carpet dry, but by
making more of the tile wet, she had given the water a way
to stary from its path - she had created tributaries -
spreading the water thinly over a wider area had created
very shallow lake of still water instead of the normal
running stream. This, of course, made the problem look even
WORSE to the potential (now the assumed lost) buyer.
Everything that came out of my mouth sounded like an excuse.
The story about the work on the gas line, the fact the
downspout was dumping water directly into the soil outside
the wall, and the fact there had originally been a plant
there to help decrease the water escaping into the soil -
all these things rang like a big warning buzzer in my own
head. How could it NOT sound twice as lame to the buyer AND
the Inspector who was hovering about? I quickly drove to
the hardware store and bought new downspout extensions and
put the on the gutter's drain. I made a few more feeble
attempts at an explanation and then left with my very wet
tail between my legs.
The next day I got a call from my realtor.
I expected the worst and was ready to ask about contacting
the couple who had originally played the game of
But, I was surprised.
The situation had not been a total bust!
The Buyers had submitted a counter-offer based on their
1. The Inspector had noted there were high levels of Carbon
Monoxide near the furnace. They wanted a certified HVAC
repair company to fix this and stipulate it was safe.
2. They realized the basement leaked, but were concerned
only about the "really bad" leak they had encountered. they
understood about the work down on the ground outside the
wall, and appreciated I had immediately installed the
downspout extension, and only wanted me to "repair the leak"
before they went ahead with buying the house.
3. They wanted an additional $2,000.00 toward reparing the
This was workable!
We countered with a complete "Yes" to item one - we had a
repair company out there the next day.
For the second item, it was clear they weren't asking for
the basement to be waterproofed by professionals, just have
the leak fixed. when I was at the house on the inspection
day, it was very obvious where the water was entering -
there was a small hole in the base of a cinder-block. Our
leaking had always been so subtle, we never actually saw
where it was entering. SO, I said in our counteroffer that
I would fill that specific hole with waterproof sealer.
There was no mention that this would "fix" the leak
specifically, or prevent the water from entering through
And Third, we would contribute an additional $1500 toward
"miscellaneous repairs" -- our realtor thought it best not
to specify "basement" has the deal still had to be approved
by the lending company and pass an FHA inspection.
Much to my surprise, the offer was accepted.
To further help the situation, THEIR realtor had actually
re-worded our counter-offer to say the $1500 was for
additional closing costs -- not for REPAIRS. This would
essentially help the approval situation by not drawing
attention the need for potential repairs. Excellent.
So now we wait for the FHA inspection, the Appraisal, the
Termite inspection, etc.
I think we're almost finished!
Keep your finsgers crossed.