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Dog Day Afternoon

On a tumultuous work day when nothing was going smoothly, and it was evident that there was too much work for one human being to tackle, things tumbled into traumatic territory after one telephone call.

There was a closing scheduled for my office the next day (I represented the sellers in an “all cash” deal), but the real estate listing agent was calling to inquire if there were dogs in my office.  It seems the buyer expressed concern because he was “deathly allergic.” I do have dogs, and while I promised to have the office dusted and vacuumed thoroughly before closing, I was also open to closing at the agency office if that was better.  It would take phone calls, e-mails and faxes to rearrange, but I’d never want anyone’s health placed in jeopardy.

In the time it took the agent to call me back with an answer, the phone rang twice.  The first time was an inquiry on this same deal--but on another aspect--from the buyer’s counsel’s secretary.  I answered the question, and then related what I was asked about the dogs. “Hmmm,” she said. “I talked to the buyer twice today and he never mentioned anything about dogs.”

The second call was from my client, again on another aspect of the deal. I told him I was awaiting word about whether the closing would be changed, and he hmmmm’ed as well.  “We’ve got a very big dog in our house. The buyer came over and never said he had a problem.”

The agent called back to say that the buyer had consented to the closing remaining in my office.  The day of the closing, I advised the early arriving attorney that the office was practically sterilized for his client’s protection.  Of course, he hadn’t heard there was any issue at all, and at the end of the transaction, he shared with his client “how gracious” I’d been to ensure his allergy-free status.  Want to guess how the buyer responded?  With a shrug and a mumble that he was “maybe just slightly allergic.”

Too bad clean doesn’t last.  If it did, I’d be dust-free for a year.

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