Saturday, April 11, 2009


I took my father in law out Friday to look at a few bank owned properties. As an agent himself, he likes to see what other areas look like. It was also an opportunity for he and I to take pictures of houses so he could continue to teach me. We went to the first house and spent about 30 minutes going through it and taking pictures. I got a lot of great pointers and when we looked through the photos later I was pretty happy with how they came out. As we were finishing up at the first house, we got a call from Mister C saying they were heading to the chiropractor and we needed to meet them there. Okay. That wasn't anywhere in my plan, but I suppose I can do that. So we pack into our stuff into my car and head out.

The chiropractor is about 15 miles away, on a main thoroughfare. There's tons of traffic and we seem to hit every light. But we finally arrive. And then we wait. Evidently it's a busy day there and all three of my companions need to get adjusted. There's questions about why I'm not going in like everyone else and some attempted "shoulding" on me that I basically ignore. Whatever.

We finally finish up and then everyone decides that we need to eat lunch. So we do that. And that takes forever. Did I mention that my mil is on crutches? Yeah, she slipped on a wet floor in a hospital and broke her hip and her foot. The hip healed great, but the foot is still problematic. So she's on crutches. And she's slow. And I would be much more compassionate if she didn't have to make a big production out of being slow and on crutches.

Finally we get done with lunch and I would really like to get back to looking through houses. So we head towards home, and I'm thinking that Mister C will be jumping into my car when we get there and leaving mil at our house. But no. She doesn't want to feel left out. We ALL have to go look at the houses. Fine. Whatever. We head to the first house. It takes five minutes (no exaggeration) for my mil to get out of the car, get her crutches and walk up the walkway. Five excruciating minutes with her yapping the whole way. I should have just gone to the door first and let us in, but I was trying to be polite and understanding and wait for her gimpy ass. Of course, once we all got to the door, I realized that there was a different type of lock box on the house and I didn't have the code because I had printed out the wrong page from the MLS. Great. Shuffle, drag, whine, shuffle back into the car. Another five minute production.

So we move to the next house. This time I'm thinking ahead and I jump out first and go to the door to try and open it. Works like a charm. Five minutes later she makes it to the house. But for some odd reason she decides that the whole front door entrance wasn't appropriate for an old lady on crutches. No, the BETTER way for her to come in is to go entirely around the house to the back door. On sand and gravel. Shuffle, drag, whine, "Oh this is so hard", shuffle, whimper, she finally makes it to the back slider door. Which is evidently smaller than normal and causes her to almost get stuck halfway through. Which causes me to leave the room before I bust out laughing. Cause there isn't much funnier than seeing my cranky mil on crutches getting stuck in a slider door. Anyhoo. I'm trying to take pictures in this house which is difficult to begin with because it's about 850 square feet, made more difficult by my mil wandering into every shot whining about something or other. "What's that smell? I think I'm allergic to something in here. It's so small. I couldn't live here!" To which I really wanted to reply "There is no smell. You're always snuffling about something. It's an 850 square foot REO for $50,000 and nobody's asking you to live here. Shut up and step out of my frame before I knock that crutch out from under you." But I didn't. Because I'm a better daughter in law than she will ever know.

We finally left that house and went on to the next one. I was really looking forward to this one. It was close to where my folks bought their first AZ house. I love this age of house and the huge lots they are all on. So we get there. I'm very excited. I get out again and go up to the lock box Bingo. It's the kind I have the key for. I try my key and it informs me that it's "searching". For a very long time. For long enough that my mil manages to shuffle, drag and whine her way out of the car and up to the gate where I'm trying like heck to get my key to work. And then she stands there complaining about how ugly the house is. Seriously? I just spent the 10 minute drive over here saying how much I love the look of these houses and you're going to insult me to my face?!?!?!? Patience. Calmness. Loving thoughts.

Finally I give up on the key and go get the listing agent's number off his sign and call him. He answers his phone, I tell him who I am and where I am, explain that my key won't work but I see that he also has a standard lock box on and ask for the code. And this is his response: "Well, I could give you the code, but the house is pending as of this morning so there's really no point." I'm stunned. Absolutely stunned. I asked him basically how "pending" it is and he informs me that they have an accepted offer and are just waiting for the buyer's bank to approve it (it's an REO). If I'm understanding this correctly, he's so positive that this deal is tied up that no-one else should even look at the house. Now, maybe he's correct that it will go through and it would therefore be a waste of time for me to go through it. But really, what if his deal falls apart. What if I wasn't just trying to preview REOs and learn to take better pictures? What if my out of town guests were out of town clients that would have loved his listing? What if he just wanted to build good relationships with other agents who will likely come across his listings again? How hard would it have been to give me the code and breed some good will? Shuffle, drag, whine, shuffle back to the car where I whine all the way home. I'll try again Wednesday after they leave.