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School Days

You know the saying, “A lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part?” Well, yeah, it does when it comes to buyers getting into new homes in time to register their kids for school.

Since I’ve been in practice for 30 years, I probably have at least 120 stories of fraught-filled weeks in late August or early September (late Labor Days are a blessing), with parents freaking out about closing in time to register the kids.  Some are legitimate melt-downs where the parents are ready and another player in the transaction is not cooperating, but in many cases, the foot-dragging was done by the party screaming the loudest.

In one transaction, the parents didn’t find a house they liked until the first week of August, and flew into their first rage when the seller proposed an October 1 target date for closing. “We have to be in before school starts!” Mom screamed at me. “We know we were picky about finding a house, but now that we have, you have to make them get out!”

I call, cajoled, and even begged on behalf of the buyers, but the sellers’ attorney remained adamant that his clients couldn’t get out any sooner. And besides, he “reminded” me, my clients don’t even have a mortgage commitment yet, and that could take a month or six weeks. I curtly told him that I was aware of that, but needed to do my clients’ bidding.

I called the buyers back to say I had failed to get any calendar movement.  Dad picked up where Mom had left off last time, now accusing me of A) being in collusion with the sellers, B) not giving a damn about their kids, and C) being “completely incompetent.”

I said I did give a damn about their kids, and hope they have a wonderful year in their new school. Then I declared to Mom & Dad that their baseless accusations meant that they’d flunked out as my clients, and I wished them good luck in getting new legal representation.

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