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Cruel to Be Kind

The buyer was a rapidly-fraying bundle of insecurity and remorse, and he was visibly shaking at the closing table.

My client, the seller, kept giving me nervous glances, but I slipped him a note that read, “He’ll probably panic more if I remind he about what default means.”

The buyer’s counsel was doing her best to support and encourage her client to finalize the transaction. However, on his umpteenth “Do I have to go through with this [today] [with this bank] [on these terms] [for this price] the counselor had enough.

“Listen, Jumpy Boy. You signed a contract, you gotta close. The attorney over there [pointing at me] is probably 15 seconds away from walking out of here with your downpayment. Do you want to kiss $40,000 goodbye?”

He didn’t, we closed, and only professional dignity kept me from high-fiving that attorney on the way out of the bank.

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