Fri, 8/5/05 4:15 pm
Michael calls – he spoke with Gary’s manager again. She had spoken to Yolanda and found out that Yolanda is freaking out about not being able to get the house anymore. She doesn’t want to put up an additional $1,000 in earnest money because she is afraid Gary will blow it again. Kim said she would order Gary to bring her the file and take him off the account.

Sun, 8/6/05 afternoon
We still don’t have the earnest money from the new people and now we get a COPY of a check from Yolanda for $1,000. Too little, too late.

Mon, 8/8/05 morning
Michael’s assistant says that some additional paperwork came in from the new couple – it was held up because they didn’t have easy access to a fax. I ask her to ask about the earnest money.

Mon, 8/8/05 afternoon
The title company expects to get paperwork on Wednesday (8/9) to close on Thursday (8/10) for Gary’s buyer (Yolanda).

Tues, 8/9/05 9:50 am
The title company says they are ready to close tomorrow with Yolanda. They would call me back shortly to firm up an exact time.

Wed, 8/10/05 10:50 am
The title company calls to say that they can’t close until tomorrow. Meanwhile, the realtor for the new couple decided to MAIL the earnest money check and we should be receiving it “today”. We’re glad that she has been slow to respond to paperwork just in case Gary/Yolanda really do close. (I know, what are the odds?)

Wed, 8/10/05
The title company sends me our settlement statement for a closing the next day. Unfortunately it is for a property being purchased by Fiona (our old realtor and Sara’s realtor). Nice. I e-mail them back and they send me the correct settlement statement (this is a statement that details all the inflows and outflows of cash to/from realtors, buyer/seller, taxes, etc. on the transaction).

Thurs, 8/11/05 8:15 am
Our appointment to close is at 11:00 am. I get a call from the title company they tell me that the electricity is out in their building and they expect it to be out until noon.

Thurs, 8/11/05 9:15 am
Electricity is back on, we’re still on for 11:00 am.

Thurs, 8/11/05 11:00 am
We close, about 6 months after listing our house, at the fourth? (we lose track since after the first two we stopped believing) scheduled closing. Gary’s manager says that if we write them a letter they will be able to take a portion of Gary’s commission and give it to us to offset the costs we had of moving out even though there was no hope of closing. Long story short after going through the process of writing letters and requesting payment they pretend that they never said that. (We’ve ceased to be surprised)

Thurs, 9/1/05-9/7/05
Moving in. The first couple of days we receive a couple of “wrong number” calls and then we get one asking if this is the “escort service”. Apparently our new number used to be for “Cindy’s Centerfold” and still shows up in some older phone books.

Fri, 9/8/05
Petie receives a call at home. “I know this is kind of weird” the person says. “My name is Mary and my husband and I are closing on a house on Woodthorpe next week.” (the one we had a contract on) She wanted to know why we really backed out of Woodthorpe. They wanted to make sure there was nothing wrong with the house. Apparently they heard a story from their realtor that they just couldn’t believe and wanted to see if it was true.

Mary, you don’t know the half of it.

The End (for now)

Update 12/1/05: we filed a TREC (Texas Real Estate Commission) complaint against Fiona (for not delivering the earnest money replacement in a timely manner, for advising her client that she did not owe us the earnest money, etc.) which is currently pending. We will be filing a complaint against Gary shortly.

Update 12/15/05: last night we get a phone call from a neighbor down the street. “I just got a letter that says you own our house” he says. I forget his exact address so I look up my name online on the Harris County Appraisal District (HCAD) site. Our name brings up 16 houses on our street – all on the other side of the street. Looking at the account numbers for our “new” houses they all are in sequence (e.g. 97001, 97002, etc.) There are a couple of breaks in the sequence so I look to see who they list as the owners of those houses. It’s us – just with our last name misspelled. So now we own 18 houses (that we know of). I called HCAD and they said they would fix it. I asked for a call back to explain how that happened, but I’m not holding my breath.

Update 12/27/05: Apparently our title says something about our lot being replatted from a group of 17 lots in the 1950s, so the data entry people naturally thought we were purchasing ALL 17 lots. Sigh, back to one house again. Not complaining!

Update 5/15/06: The TREC investigator called to follow-up with a couple of questions about our complaint against Fiona. She found violations for both her and Michael and will be sending a report to the attorneys in Austin around June 1. After that it will be another few months before we hear what will happen – ranging from “nothing” to a hearing in Houston.

Update 8/17/06: Speaking with the staff attorney assigned to the case, she said her caseload still includes files from 2004 and she didn’t see getting to it “anytime soon”. When I suggested it would probably be early next year she thought that sounded accurate.

Update 2/26/07: Still no update on our case against Fiona – the Austin attorney still has it in her “stack”.

Update 6/8/07: It’s official – there is “insufficient evidence to establish that Fiona has violated any provisions of the Real Estate License Act or the Rules of the Texas Real Estate Commission.  Accordingly, we will not pursue disciplinary [sic] against her at this time”.  About what we expected.