Having spent a career in real estate, I was not unaware of the trials and tribulations of selling and buying a home. In fact, we had put off selling and buying our own home precisely because I knew what a trauma it could be.
We started out okay, picking an experienced and competent local real estate broker to represent us, both as sellers and buyers. We also were represented by a very competent local attorney on both sides of the deal. Within a short period of time, we had a price agreement with a "buyer from heaven," which relieved us of much of the usual stress of selling your home.
The buying side was a little more difficult, mainly because we were looking to downsize from a two story colonial to a one story ranch within the same town we were already residing, so that limited the number of choices available to us, but eventually we did locate a property that met our needs and, as with the purchaser of our home, we "lucked out" with the sellers who were also a pleasure to deal with. In addition, both closings went without a hitch
, except for the fact that the bank attorney was an hour and a half late for the closing on our purchase.
All did not go as well on the day before Thanksgiving, the stormy, cold, day we were moving out of our large house into our smaller house with much of the stuff from the larger house being transported to the smaller house. The situation was further exacerbated by the fact that the expected four movers turned out to be three, and the anticipated six hour move turned out to be nine. It also didn't help when my daughter, driving out with my two grown granddaughters to help Mom to turn over the house "broom clean," called from the gas station four miles away from our house to tell us the car had broken down. I drove to the gas station, where the people who worked there let me hang out to wait for the tow truck while my daughter and granddaughters took my car to go help out Mom.
About an hour and a half later, I met the movers at the new house as they moved the furniture and other personal belongs from the larger old house to the smaller new house. I saw clearly illustrated a principle of physics I was taught in high school: two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time. And of course, that took more time, hence nine hours instead of six.
At the end of the day, we found respite in a local restaurant recommended by our real estate agent. Since then we have returned several times alone and with family.
The next day was Thanksgiving Day. My other daughter invited us to her house to celebrate the holiday. We did some major unpacking in the morning, more to find things rather than out of choice. When we stepped outside the house to get into our car to head off, my wife discovered that she had left her pocketbook in the house. I didn't think she needed it, but knowing that it is not a good idea to try and separate a woman from her pocketbook. I said nothing, which turned out to be fortuitous. When she tried to get back into the house, we discovered, you guessed it, we had locked ourselves out.
Now, a little background on our buyer, the moving company, and our rescuer: The fellow who bought our home is a Town of Southold Police officer. So is the fellow who owns the moving company. What do you do if you are locked out of your home on Thanksgiving Day? You call the police! We did, and he did get us into the house. Too say the least, we were much relieved. I would also expect that we were the cause of great entertainment at the precinct house the next day.
John is a St. John's University graduate, licensed Real Estate Broker, DOS Certified Instructor, and real estate consultant. He previously taught at NYU, LIU, and The Cook Maran Real Estate School, which he helped found.