All In The Family…..EPILOGUE!

Condos | April 10, 2008

I often take for granted the feelings and emotions associated with buying real estate.

I do this every day, of every week, and it all just sort of blends together for me.

Since I wanted to explain how yesterday’s story ended, allow me to explain the emotional ups and downs of Kurt’s day…


I remember during the tech-bust of 2000, sitting in front of my old clunky desktop-PC in my apartment down the street from McMaster University, and constantly clicking “reload” on the old

I was the proud owner of three hundred shares of Nortel Networks, purchased at an even $50.00 per share.  The idea was simple: the stock had bounced back and forth between $50 – $60 twice in the last two weeks, and my broker with THIRTY EIGHT YEARS EXPERIENCE told me that I could make a quick profit.

He took a kid of twenty years old, and advised him to invest $15,000 of his $18,000 life savings in ONE SINGLE stock.

One week later, I sat at my computer nervously clicking the mouse fifteen times per minute to get the latest stock quotes on Nortel as I constantly bit whatever was left of my fingernails.  I was devastated that the stock was trading at $48.50….$48.42….$48.61….

Who knew that I’d hang on to the stock until it hit $4.00???

My broker with THIRTY EIGHT YEARS EXPERIENCE never told me to sell it.  Not at $40, not at $30, not at $20…

When my clients engage in the multiple offer process, it can make for a long day.

Offers are usually presented at night, and thus they must get through the entire work day before they can enter the offer process, let alone find out if they are successful.

But it starts before offer day; the days leading up to offers are riddled with excitement, nervousness, second-guessing, hopes, prayers, and perhaps the sacrifice of a small lamb or even a virgin……..lamb.

I can’t imagine what Kurt went through on Tuesday night as he tossed and turned in bed, trying to get to sleep.  Many of my clients tell me that they don’t sleep very much, or that they give up trying, and go watch TV until they tire, then try to get back to sleep.

Since I know Kurt is quite in love with Poppy Montgomery from the hit drama “Without A Trace,” I can almost guarantee he was watching BRAVO at 1:00AM early Wednesday morning.  You hit a point eventually where your body is so tired, but your mind is still spinning like Tiger Woods’ golf ball on the 18th green of Augusta…

Yesterday morning, Kurt woke up and put on his pants one leg at a time like most days, but he undoubtedly looked at himself in one of his many mirrors and asked, “Is this the day my life changes?”

That’s the tough part about our market place; you don’t always know IF you’re going to buy a property.  You can TRY, but in a red-hot real estate market, where multiple offers abound, you just never know.

I exchanged many emails with Kurt during the morning, and that number of emails grew once he read what I had wrote on this very blog.  It seems he was worried what “people might think” both in his workplace and his family circle.

Kurt sent me emails such as “Gah! I can’t take this!”  And my favorite one, “I’ve changed my mind…this blows.”

Kurt went out to get his certified deposit cheque at the lunch hour, and I called him periodically to inform him how many offers there were.

“Hey bro, there’s four offers so far.”

“Four including ours?  Or four not including ours.”

“Ummm…….four total.”


Kurt was a little wound up.  Don’t get me wrong, he was surely excited at the prospect of buying this one-of-a-kind loft in Kensington Market, but the nerves were certainly on edge.

I believe I talked to Kurt on the phone at least ten times before I finally went down to meet him.  In our last email correspondance, Kurt told me to change our offer amount to include the numbers 08229, which represents his birthday.  I could tell Kurt was doing some deep soul-searching at this point, but there was nothing wrong with using the emotional appeal to his offer.

I drove down and picked Kurt up at 6:30PM outside his workplace.  We parked on Baldwin Avenue at 6:45PM, and went to some hippie-style coffee shop where a guy with hooks for hands (seriously) was enjoying a warm beverage on a luke-warm day.

I ordered a Caramelachinno, for the first and last time in my life, and Kurt had some sort of green coffee concoction that took only one sip for him to proclaim, “This isn’t very good at all.”

We signed the offer, Kurt gave me his cheque, and I went to present at 7:15PM.

We had a clean offer with no conditions and the only clause was the “Buyer agrees to pay the balance of the purchase price” that is standard with all offers.  I was in and out in no more than five minutes.

Then, we waited.

And waited….

…and waited.

Kurt took me to the “Good Times Cafe” where I devoured a beef shwarma in record time and Kurt drained a few pints of organic beer.  We tried to pretend like we were just two guys out for a beer on a Wednesday night, and that we weren’t really waiting on pins and needles to find out if his life was about to change.

I tried to keep Kurt as light and carefree as possible.  At about 8:30PM, when they turned the lights down low in the Good Times Cafe, I asked Kurt, “Sooooo……you wanna make-out, or what?”

At about 9:00PM, which was 30 minutes past the time the listing agent said he would be finished, my blackberry buzzed.

Kurt and I looked at eachother with eyes wide open—could this be IT?  But alas, it was my friend Pete, who emailed me to ask, “Did Kurt get the condo?”

“GAAAAAAAH!” Kurt yelled as he looked up to the Heavens (or faulty plumbing on the restaurant ceiling…) and cursed the invention of the Blackberry.  I wrote Pete back and said, “Pete!  We both thought your email was the listing agent’s phone call!  Damn you!”

Three minutes later, the Blackberry buzzed again, and for the second time, Kurt and I wondered if this was the call we’d been waiting for!

But no, it was Pete, AGAIN, emailing “Oh…sorry man.”

I can laugh about it now…

FINALLY, at about 9:30PM, my phone rang, and it was the listing agent.

He said, “Hiii….David,” and I knew immediately that we didn’t get the place.  I could just tell by the tone of his voice after only two words that Kurt would not be living in Kensington Market and visiting the Hot Box Cafe anytime soon.

“David, thank you so much for your offer,” the listing agent said in a way that implied that we helped bump the sale price up.  “But we’ve decided to work with another offer.”

By “work with,” they really mean “force to pay even MORE.”  They were working with “several” offers that were “substantially” higher than ours.  This basically meant that 2-3 people who were clustered together would all be asked to improve their offers before one of them emerged victorious.

Kurt was disappointed, but relieved both that the entire ordeal was over, and also that his offer was “substantially” lower than the others.

While I don’t have a sale price at this time (and since I’ve been in much, much hot water lately for doing things I should be, ie. divulging sale prices on an open forum such as a blog!!), I can tell you that Kurt’s offer was probably $20,000 lower than the eventual sale price, which is way out of his range.

It’s back to the drawing board for Kurt, but at least the emotional strain is overwith.

I’m sure Kurt slept like a baby last night, probably the best sleep he’s had in 3-4 days…

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