Truth is stranger than fiction (and funnier too).
Last week I encountered a situation that is too funny not to share with my readers. The story begins about a year and a half ago in the spring of 2006 when I helped a young couple find a parcel of land that they would soon prepare for construction. They took every precaution to get the perfect piece of real estate, one that they could build a home on that they were proud of. After about 6 weeks of looking we finally found it. I spoke to them two times after closing, and as things go, we all got busy with our lives.
Fast forward to July of 2007. The gentlemen of the former mentioned couple walks into my office at about 6:30 one evening. We’ll call him Jody. After exchanging pleasantries and catching up a bit he tells me that he would like to try and purchase the property adjacent to his. I can help him with that. “It’s what I do” came my feeble attempt at weary comedy. As he was leaving my office I assured him that I would do my homework and have a direction for him to make an offer in the next few days.
After dialing the phone number that I came up with for the neighbors acreage I got a series of beeps which lead me to believe that she, we’ll call her Ms. Spacey, was using her phone for a tandem fax set up. Ok, I’ll try a call again tomorrow…same story. I then checked every reference I could find to come up with an alternate number to reach her. No good. Plan “B” I’ll draft a note and fax it to her. I did this by hand so that it would not appear to be a sales scam. Two faxes later I have nothing. Plan “C” send her a letter. Sent the letter and waited with nothing in return. I decided to keep trying these three methods until something turned up. Days turned into weeks and then a couple of months until this project slid off my radar.
Then last week I get a phone call from the feminine counterpart of my young couple clients ( we’ll call her Jackie) priming me again to get this land for them. I did not want to let them down. I rolled up my sleeves and with great determination went back to the fax machine with a barrage of hand written notes. Then …the call. It was Ms. Spacey herself. She seemed very surprised that her phone was rolling over to the fax. When I told her it had been for months she laughed and said “I’m not really in the twentieth century yet”. ( which I found hysterical in and of itself) As she started reminiscing about the piece of property I flipped open my laptop to discover she had owned it since 1979. She told me of weeks of camping, motorcycle riding, soaking in the springs (the old school version with cross ties) bonfires, birdwatching and on and on about the good old days and her “Pagosa paradise”. Ms. Spacey and her family it seems have spent countless weeks enjoying their little piece of heavenly vacation property. After all of this, to my surprise, she still said that she would sell it! Not wanting to pressure her on the spot for a purchase price I discreetly dismissed our conversation with a promise of a return call.
Two days later I have two faxes from our Ms. Spacey in my in-box. This is strange to me because I left her with all of my contact phone numbers, and I have not received any calls. The first one tells me that she thinks “I must have the wrong property owner”. Even though I used her first and last name several times in our initial conversation. I dismissed this to being confused about street address vs legal lot and block number, a pretty common occurrence. It was the second fax that still has me a little worried about what I have gotten myself into. You see, in order to make a successful transaction occur between two parties who are approaching one another in this manner, there has to be certain elements in place. Trust, understanding, intent, solid communication…and maybe sanity? After all of the fond memories of Ms. Spacey’s past with her little piece of land and the countless summer trips, the second fax says: “Mr. Chris Liverett I so much appreciate our conversation about my land in Pagosa. I want to visit it soon. Can you tell me how to get there?”
I’m not sure where this leaves us in our pursuit of a real estate transaction, but I know that some things in life are too funny to make up.