Part 3 left off with us backing out of our new house the first week of June because Sara backed out on us. So, let’s find a new buyer and (eventually) a NEW new house for us, shall we? We expect there to be more traffic because, after all, the day after we lowered the price we “sold” it in May.

6/8/05, 3:27 pm
Gary (realtor) schedules a showing for between 5-7 pm. We go out to dinner to get out of the way.

6/8/05 7:00-8:20 pm
We return at 7:30 and it doesn’t look like anyone has come to see the house. We get a call at 7:51 asking if they can still come. Joelle’s bedtime is 8 pm so I almost say “no, this is ridiculous to be over an hour late” but since we’re desperate I say “no problem, sure!”. At 8:05 Gary brings a young couple to see the house. They seem to like it a lot (just as everyone else has, no surprise there).

6/9/05 1:15 pm
I call Michael’s office to get information about flyers since our house is back on the market – he tells me that the young couple that saw the house last night was putting together an offer. Turns out it is just the woman, not a couple (oh boy, this sounds familiar).

6/13/05 9:45 am
We get the offer from Gary and it is too low – we decide to counter with something that would be similar to what we got the FIRST time we sold the house.

6/13/05 3:20 pm
Curious about which realty company Gary works for, I look him up and he’s not listed in the Houston Area Realtors database. I google Gary. His name shows up on Texas Department of Insurance on a court docket. I call the State and received documents showing that his insurance license was suspended in 1999 for fraud and that he had recently scored poorly on a mortgage broker exam.

6/14/05
Michael calls and says that he has some concerns about Gary after speaking to him a couple of times. I told him “I can do you one better” and forward him the documents. Michael says Gary is a smartass and has been unable to answer some basic questions about the mortgage side of the buyer. I tell him to go ahead and try to work out a deal. In the last week we have had a number of showings and a number of “almost offers” but nothing concrete enough to ignore Gary.

Michael calls me to tell me that Gary left him a message saying “I want to assure you that I have been a loan officer for over 10 years and that there is no reason to worry about the deal falling through. ” We think that’s kind of ironic based on what we found out about him.

6/17/05
Michael’s office calls to say Gary’s offer is going to end up being about 4,000 less than when we had two bidders in May. We say, “go for it”.

6/18/05
Not really related to the house, but demonstrates how our summer was going:
10:30 am – Petie comes in from taking out the trash and says that our neighbor’s dog is loose. Our neighbor (Bill) has had a number of large dogs (mostly pit bulls) that either escape from their backyard or are allowed to roam around from time to time. They are probably not vicious, but are very large and intimidating.
10:35 am – she notices that our other neighbor (Nancy) is trying to lead the dog back into their backyard because her kids are scared of large dogs. I go out to help. He’s really growling and actually EATING the fence. I calmly try to get him to go in and lead him by the collar but he’s not at all interested.
10:40 am – Nancy suggests I go in her house to get a hot dog or something to distract the dog. I go in and her daughter offers me some salami – I take it out and use it to lead the dog into the backyard. We slam the fence shut and block it with bricks and sandbags – the dog is absolutely charging the fence and the bolts are shaking as if they could pop out.
10:45 am – Another neighbor (Shawn) calls Animal Control – they say they’ll be there in 60-90 minutes. We don’t look forward to leaning against the fence for that long. We alternate turns to bang on Bill’s door because sometimes he’ll pretend he’s not there or will sleep through things like this. No answer.
11:00 am – We realize that the dog calms down when we step away from the fence so we go across the yard. Animal Control arrives. He doesn’t have a tranquilizer gun and is by himself so he calls backup.
11:45 am – he gets an urgent call and says he’ll be back later with backup. We all go back to our houses since the dog has calmed down now.
12:20 pm – Nancy calls.
“They were there the whole time!”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“The dog isn’t in the backyard anymore, they were there the whole time and just now let the dog in!”
We are both frustrated. We never liked that neighbor. It has nothing to do with the fact that his kid careened out of control on a motorcycle through our front yard killing a tree and running into our neighbor’s garage (luckily he hit our tree first, actually) or that they set the nearby forest on fire one 4th of July, really.
2:00 pm – I see Animal Control go into Bill’s house – since we had left there is now a car in the driveway so someone else is home now. The Animal Control team comes out empty-handed. I approach them.
“I guess you can’t take the dog now that he’s inside, huh?”
“Uh sir, the dog is dead.”
I’m shocked. “Oh….oh my gosh.”
“Do you know who threw that salami back there? Because we think the dog was either poisoned or had a snakebite.”

FYI, the salami was fine – Nancy’s kids were eating it. I don’t know exactly what happened to the dog but looking back it makes sense that something was wrong with it – trying to bust out, eating the fence, growling when usually the dog is quiet (huge, but usually quiet). Just another day in our Summer 2005.

6/18/05-6/27/05
Over this period of time we have a number of showings and constantly wait on Gary to send an update to the contract, get the buyer’s initals, etc. Each day we figure we’ll go with Gary’s offer if someone else who just saw the house doesn’t come through. Normally this process would take a day but with Gary it stretches into almost two weeks.

So, it’s nearing the end of June and we have Gary’s offer which has been out there for a while but isn’t finalized and a lot of activity but nothing solid.

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