Tuesday, October 13, 2009


We were scheduled to close at 9:00 a.m., Wednesday, September 30th. We’d had this date and time scheduled for over a month and planned accordingly: we would go to the closing, get the check, head straight for H’s parents’ house in upstate NY, thus starting the westward trek. Here’s the Glitch: while I was running errands on Tuesday morning, H received a phone call from the broker saying that the mortgage company and/or the title company was overbooked and wouldn’t have the paperwork done for 9:00 a.m. Wednesday. There was no issue with the loan, the money was lined up fine, and it was just that the paperwork wouldn’t be ready until maybe 5:00 p.m.

H wisely opted not to tell me this until late Tuesday evening so I wouldn’t fret. Instead we fretted all Tuesday night as we pondered our options: (a) sign all the papers in a “dry closing,” which makes for problems if the numbers are wrong; (b) hang out all day Wednesday in case the closing actually happened at 5:00 p.m., which would put us behind a full day; or (c) sign a limited power of attorney for real estate to our broker so he could attend the closing on our behalf, and give instructions to wire the sale proceeds to our bank account. At 10:00 p.m. I was on the phone with a former co-worker, asking if he would prepare a limited POA for H to sign; K wasn’t going to be in the office Wednesday, but he did the work remotely and emailed the document to the office so we could sign it there if we needed it.

Our devoted broker called us Wednesday morning at 7:25 a.m. to say that the mortgage company would cover the attorneys’ fees if we signed their limited POA at 9:00 a.m. at the title company. So we scrambled to load the truck and the car, and load the car on the trailer, and then drove to the title company where we sat, with our broker, for about a half an hour because the title company hadn’t been informed that we were coming and thus were not prepared for us. Finally they pulled the paperwork together – some of which was wrong and needed to be changed – and we signed the POA to our broker and various other documents, and at last got out of there and on our way.

We got the call from our broker at 6:21 p.m. that night (while in a rest area on the New York State Thruway) that the closing went through and our house was SOLD!!! Except that it was too late and we didn’t have any confirmation that the money had been wired to our account. Our broker promised to follow up in the morning for us and we did the Dance of Joy right there in the middle of the rest area.

A couple of times the next morning (Thursday 10/1) we called the bank but the wire had still not gone through because of a math error the title company had made. We called our broker and he said he’d make some calls … finally, FINALLY, we found out that the money – no earth-shattering sum, mind you, but since we no longer owned the property it was important to us that the cash actually show up - was delivered to our account late Thursday afternoon and so finally, FINALLY, we had sold our fricking house.

NOTE: I have absolutely no compunction in saying that if you are buying or selling a house in the greater Portland, Maine, area, and you have the opportunity to work with either RMS Mortgage Services or H&D Title Company, don’t do it. We had a bad, bad experience with these companies, with mistakes where there shouldn’t have been any, and awful communication among all parties.

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