Lessons Learned: Relief in Big Packages

Today we closed on our lake property. Sold. Finally. Who knew that it would take almost a year to sell the place? But then, it was our lake property, meaning mine, my sister’s, and my parents. Our property was special. I’ll indulge more on that in future blogs. For today, I’ll just say how relieved we all are that it’s off our plates, shoulders, and whatever else goes with the saying.

When we had a buyer, a relative of our neighbor, we decided to go with a real estate lawyer. This was going to be a nice, simple transaction.

We should never have thought that…shame on us.

The buyer couldn’t get a bank to loan him the money. Something with co-signing on a loan had sent red flags to all banks. He asked if we would extend the date on the purchase agreement while he put his other land that he owned up for sale. We agreed. This was only a minor setback. Besides, winter was coming, and our dad needed more focus than the property.

In March, we received the call that he had sold his property so he could buy the land. We started the process again. Well…the life estate on our property threw us for a loop when the lawyer provided us with all the closing paperwork. Not what we expected, but we could work with it. And then our dad passed away. We needed time for him, for grief, and for family. And time for the lawyer to re-do the paperwork with his passing.

One step closer became another step back. There were errors in the title. One error in the land description and something about a previous, previous owner not submitting the divorce papers for his ex-wife who had owned the property with him. Huh? That was two owners ago. Nevertheless, the papers/record needed to be fixed. But wait. The title company, even though we had title insurance with them, said they admitted to the error but wouldn’t fix it. They gave us a letter of indemnity. I guess most title companies will accept the letter of indemnity. However, not the title company that the seller chose. Heaven forbid! We either had to fix the errors or find another title company. A new title company was easier.

Okay. We’re back on track once again. Except there’s a slight issue with the trailer that was on the property and sold separately to the future owner. The neighbor said that the tile had split. Mike and I went up to the property to check it out. She was right. The tile in the kitchen and bath had split. Really? It couldn’t wait? After thirteen years of having no trailer issues? Luckily the floor underneath was fine. No water damage or warping. We reduced the price of the trailer to help with the cost of fixing it.

On Friday, we scrambled for signatures, notaries, and Fed Ex delivery. Today, we waited for the buyers’ turn to sign and close. At 1:10 this afternoon I received the call that the closing was complete. Hallelujah. Tonight I’m celebrating.


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