Let me begin this message with several disclaimers:
- Some of my best friends are attorneys;
- I, myself, am a recovering attorney, having practiced law in Indiana for over 30 years; and
- It is a rare real estate transaction that does not experience a few bumps in the road from contract to closing.
That said, we finally got a condo closed this week that had more than its share of “bumps”. In fact, it felt like foot deep potholes all along the way. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong. Some of the issues were unrelated to the fact that the one of the buyers practices law in the Midwest, sellers’ son is an attorney in Naples, and he selected one of his attorney friends to close the transaction. Things like:
- The bank hired an appraiser who was unfamiliar with the community, and he proved it with a very weak appraisal. This necessitated a re-negotiation of the contract price;
- The condo failed the radon test, and required remediation at sellers’ expense; and
- Too many mold spores were floating around, requiring additional work and expense to the sellers.
The solving of these unexpected issues required extensions of time to complete the deal. We managed to negotiate these problems without too much difficulty. About this time, however, the heavy hand of the law cast its dark shadow on the process. It was as if someone proclaimed: “Let the games begin!”
As an observer, it reminded me of the old days in the practice. How I miss those tactics! Tactics like threats, intimidation, passive-aggressive techniques, padding fees and charges, and questioning the integrity and ethics of the “other side”.
The next time I have a real estate transaction with 3 or more attorneys involved, I will ask Jan to take over for me. I dislike crowds.