Somewhere in the midst of my personal crisis I read about fulltime traveling and Roadschooling and wanted to just go. It sounded amazing... still sounds amazing. To go meant selling our house which I was just fine with because it was too much for me. I hated keeping it clean or constantly nagging the kids to clean up. That's just not my thing.
Originally I had planned to sell our house on my own because I had gone to a local realtor to discuss listing it and that realtor told me that with what I wanted to do it would be important to have as much money in our pockets as possible and that we'd lose money in commission. She chose to give up a possible commission because she listened to why we were selling and was more concerned with us as people than a possible paycheck. Thank you Michelle Williamson for that. It still means so much to me that you did that and says a lot about your character too.
At some point I shared with someone at church about my idea to sell the house and travel and she reached out to a local realtor and told her so that realtor showed up at our house last January (2015) with contract in hand. I shared with her why I was selling and our need to have the money from the sale in order to travel and she wanted me to list right then with her. I don't know how to hurt people's feelings or say no so I felt stuck and we listed it......
By April we had buyers and it was supposed to be sold by the end of the summer but they couldn't get financing. Our realtor also became their realtor and in that our realtor became more focused on their situation than ours because it meant a double commission if they purchased. The delays and extensions with them drug on until Oct but by then I had the interpreting job in Orlando and was driving back and forth and I had rented a 5th wheel for 3 months to see if we could really handle that type of lifestyle. Our realtor said the buyers would be able to close by the beginning of the year because they wanted to buy before the interest rates went up. We had possible renters that were going to pay double our mortgage which would have been helpful so we had money for the adjusted cost of living but since it was only supposed to be for a few months at most, we agreed to let them move in and pay just over the mortgage payment leaving us with nothing after having to pay for storage. We were given a rental agreement that was until Oct. 31st 2016 and when questioned our realtor said she was just making it for a year because it was a typical 12month template. I took her word for it but we did add a clause in the lease that stated if the buyers/tenants were unable to purchase they would move out within 30 days of notice. We thought that was going to protect us and was there because the lease was never meant to go the full year. In the end it did save us but neither the tenants or realtor wanted to honor that clause and it cost us a lot of time, energy and money to get in enforced.
So back to the fall, we embarked out of our adventure and January came and went and we heard nothing from our realtor so I texted and she told me that "they were told they couldn't pull their credit again for 8 months so they will be checking again in April". WHAT?! 8mths back from April is BEFORE Oct so she knew they wouldn't be buying at the beginning of the year and purposely made me believe they would be ready to purchase at or before the beginning of the year when she KNEW that was never an option. She also knew we were depending on the sale to finance our travel and purchase an RV when our 5th wheel rental was up because Chris was still too sick to work. She was distracted with the fact that with these buyers she was going to make a double commission and she doing everything she could to keep this sale going at our expense.
At that point we were stuck and had to extend our financing beyond what we were prepared to in order to purchase an RV but we figured we could give them until April. Well April came and went and we heard nothing so in May we reached out and found out they still did not qualify for financing. At that point decided to cancel the purchase contract but our realtor of course did not want to lose this sale and was very uncopperative and told us the buyers "didn't accept our cancellation". Having talked to multiple realtors and several lawyers I knew that that financing contingencies and deadlines in the purchase contract had not been met by a long shot (the longest being 45 days which was up before the beginning of 2016) and yet they continued to argue that they had until the Oct. 31 closing date to close and until the Oct. 31st lease expiration to move out even if they never got financing. Even if they were correct in all this can you see how screwed we were as the sellers and how our realtor did NOTHING to try to protect us?
Due to all the issues with the house, our financial crisis from this mess and other reasons, we found ourselves back in Arcadia to try to figure out what to do to protect our interests because our realtor certainly wasn't interested in that. We fired the realtor and provided the tenants/buyers with a 30 days notice per the clause. They refused to leave so we proceeded with an official eviction notice. They were served an eviction the beginning of July which the fought. They still did NOT have financing at that point but wanted to argue that the financing deadlines didn't apply to them which meant our cancellation didn't apply to them. I'm not sure why they continued to think they were above the contract but they did. Our fired realtor continued to be rude and make misleading comments and give misleading advice to the buyers. They hired a lawyer to fight the eviction and told me "they had the money and would use their lawyer to drag this out until they believed the lease was up". I was so confident that the clause was the one thing in all this that we had to protect us in this that I continued to fight.
Unfortunately we were a complex eviction case and only got a trial date this past Friday. I presented our case as well as the fact that our realtor wrote on our lease that the $750 security deposit was "already deposited" that NO DEPOSIT was ever made so we have no security deposit to protect us once they do leave. The judge agreed that they were given clear notice in May that the contract was cancelled and they were not going to be purchasing the house and that the clause could be enforced. I don't agree with everything the tenants have said or done but I believe they have just been put in a bad situation and misled along the way like we were so instead of making them move out in 24 hrs, they will have until the end of the month. At that time Chris will be moving back into our old house. And if you're not reading into that too much, it also means that I am not. In an already stressed out time of our lives we should never have had to deal with type of nonsense that was created mostly because a realtor did not listen to the needs of her buyers and became distracted and focused on the monetary benefit for her which she herself has brought up multiple times and feels she is still entitled to.
If you've read all that all I can say is if you are a realtor or business owner, please remember the people you work with have lives and feelings and needs too. And if you're a consumer just know that sadly in situations like this it's becoming more and more important to have a lawyer or second opinion because a person's word is just not what it used to be.