Twas the Night Before Signing…

We expected more drama from the seller of the house, but all hell broke loose today.
We woke up to a glorious warm sunny morning and decided to visit a truffle market in a neighboring village. Midway through, the phone rang, and it was our realtor announcing that the Ex had shown up with her partner, demanding to get into the house to pack up. Surprise!!!
After months of asking if and when someone was going to come and empty the house, she decides it’s okay to rent a truck, show up unannounced, then behave badly. The house is mostly full of trash and moldy furniture. All the chandeliers, drapes, and any pieces of decent furniture have already been removed, but there are a few pieces we could use until we find something better.
Then there’s the Range Rover. The deceased has an older, now mildewy and defunct RR in the garage. The kids didn’t want it, and the Ex never responded, so we thought maybe it would be good to have a truck. Let the weirdness begin. When we visited the property with our first contractor back in August, the Range Rover had the key in the ignition. The contractor was brave enough to climb through the cob webs and try to start it. Of course it was dead. After we had made the offer and signed the Compromis, the issue of the car was raised again. The kids didn’t want it. So were they going to sign it over to us, include it with the sale of the house, or did the Ex want it? When we went back for a closer look at the vehicle in November, guess what? The key was missing. From a locked garage. And the car had been rifled through and the registration papers were gone. Hmmm…
Then there was the lying, manipulating, and eventually, screwing, that came with the whole fosse septic debacle. Remember? The Ex let the kids pay for her €5k contribution that she said she would pitch in.
So, now back to today. We race home from our lovely little market and take the house keys to the realtor. She calls us an hour later and gave us the news that we SO suspected. They were at the house cherry-picking through what was left and had every intention of leaving all the shit behind. Our realtor, brave lion that she is, told them “No. This has to be an all or nothing transaction.” You take EVERYTHING, including the car, the trash, the appliances, the furniture, or you take NOTHING!!! After thinking about it, they agreed that closing up the house and walking away was the better choice. This was at noon.
Since the house is “kind of” on our way into town, we swung by in the afternoon to see that they were still there. By this time, we’re getting pretty pissed and turned into super spies, Mr. and Mrs. Clousseau. We continued to think of errands we needed to run so we could drive by the house and check on their whereabouts. They were still there at 6 pm. If they had ‘agreed’ to walk away, it sure was taking a long time!
What I wouldn’t give to see what’s in the back of that truck. The realtor has arranged walk-throughs for tomorrow morning, before our Notaire appointment at 3. We’ll see what’s missing then and respond appropriately. In the meantime, the Notaire is totally fed up with this woman and her antics, so we’re hoping it will be a no-bullshit experience tomorrow. Time will tell.
UPDATE:
24 Hours Later
We were on pins and needles this morning anticipating a lot of confrontation and drama today. We had a heads up from the realtor that everything looked to be in order from her walk-through with the sellers. We got there at 11:30 for our walk-through and noticed a few things missing. Not items we necessarily wanted to keep, but the ‘deal’ had been broken.
We were signing at 3. What to do? This seller had jerked us around for the past 4 months and we simply weren’t going to take it anymore. The realtor confronted them about the missing items and they were quick to blame it on someone else. Yeah, right. The house has been on the market for over 5 years and someone decides to come and take the items during the 6 hours when they’re there? Right…
And so Theo and I talked it over. It’s just not right. We’ve been proceeding in good faith all this time and have taken on more than our fare share of expense with the property and exercised more patience than any buyer ever should have to. So we said, to hell with the truck, let’s ask them to remove everything in the house, as the Compromis de Vente had stipulated. We KNEW there would be pushback, so we were prepared with what to ask for.
Things were tense at the Notaire’s office, although the Notaire was fully prepared for the drama from the seller and was informed of the events of the morning. The realtor calmly explained that the sellers had promised to leave the property “as is,” but there were items missing. Then my Theo piped up and declared that we wanted the house to be cleared, as the contract clearly stated, and the Notaire quickly added an extra €5k to be withheld from the sellers to take care of it.
Enter the Drama Queen, Stage Left. The seller started sputtering about how she had driven 10 hours to get here and she couldn’t “take one more surprise” and she said “I want to be sick.” Oh my! I had to hold back my chuckles…
The Notaire quickly dismissed the fact that she was throwing a drama fit and basically quoted the two options: get the shit out in the next 48 hours  or we’ll have the crap removed at her expense.
The seller was obviously anxious throughout the meeting to speak her mind, but her partner, her “translator,” kept reminding her that they were at the end of the options and to just keep quiet. There was to be no more manipulating The Loevenichs.
We proceeded to the signing, with more prissiness and attitude from the seller, but the deal was done. We were getting a clean house and didn’t have to deal with all the crap inside. The relief was overwhelming. We celebrated with a bottle of champagne with our wonderful realtor at a local bistro.
We are now the proud owners of “Le Coudeau.” Let the demo begin…
This entry was posted in American Expats in France, Buying a House in France, Expat Blog, House Hunting in France, Renovating a Home in France, Southwest France American Expat Blog. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Twas the Night Before Signing…

  1. Roark says:

    My stomach was churning as I read the story. I need champagne now too!

    • Cindy Loevenich says:

      The first bottle with the realtor was so good, we came home and enjoyed a second bottle full of toasts and relief it’s finally over! Cheers!!!

  2. Alida says:

    Congratulations! What a process.

    • Cindy Loevenich says:

      Thanks, Alida. I have so many design ideas to post. I was just waiting to make sure it was a sure thing. Didn’t want to jinx the deal…

  3. Pat Calderhead says:

    It’s never easy, but this seems to be a nightmare for you. Good you stuck to your guns! Now comes the next set of challenges. Have fun!

    • Cindy Loevenich says:

      It was definitely touch and go the last 24 hours. Now looking forward to the reno and finally settling into our home here.

  4. Paul says:

    What a drama. I was almost sure at one point that you were going to tell us that you finally said “screw it we don’t want your house” and walked, even if just for effect! Well the deal is done, let the next adventure begin.

    • Cindy Loevenich says:

      That was exactly the plan if things didn’t go our way and Theo basically said that in his little speech. Fortunately, the Notaire was extremely fair.

      You know, Paul, the one thing with Theo and me, we always agree to be in “violent agreement” before proceeding with such a plan. Maybe that’s what makes us such a dynamic duo!!!

  5. Donna Dawson-Schwartz says:

    OMG! Good for you for standing firm!
    When we move to SF (South France!) APT (After President Trump), I want you to represent me this time!
    D

    • Cindy Loevenich says:

      It would be our pleasure. If APT happens, we’re SO opening an emigration/real estate office here for the mass exodus.

  6. Rhonda says:

    Good lord what a pain in the butt the seller was. So glad though that you finally have your wonderful home. Can’t wait to see pics of the place when you are done putting your touch on the place.

    • Cindy Loevenich says:

      Yep, this gal has a horrible reputation around town. Since folks have discovered we were buying the place, we’ve heard so many juicy stories…

      Stay tuned for hearing WAY too much about the reno!!!

  7. Congrats Cindy and Theo. I know you will turn this place into something spectacular, just like Hanchett house. Hope we can come see soon. 🙂

    • Cindy Loevenich says:

      It promises to be pretty fabulous. And we’ll have a cute little guest house just waiting for your arrival!

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