It’s hard to reason with someone whose mind is made up and is simply not willing to listen to anything anyone has to offer. From the opening comments about how bad a shape the cottage was in, one would think he was doing everyone a favor by taking it off our hands. Then the outright lies about being landlocked, or the inability to do any sort of renovation without having to rebuild within zoning codes.
We tried to offer several scenarios that we felt would work and not even a glance our way, neither he nor his counsel could even look us in the eyes. And the presentation they so painstakingly prepared was a joke. Not sure who they were trying to impress with the poster board, covered with photos. Some were taken with so much snow on the ground you couldn’t see half of the foundation if you wanted to.
So back to court we go, and to our non-surprise the judge, again could not make a decision and ordered us back to the facilitator to work out how to sell the cottage.
For those who are just tuning in let me take a moment to explain what a partition suit is all about. It is a court ordered sale of a property. The person bringing the suit cannot have the court order it be sold to him or her, simply to sell it, for what we assumed would be its true market value. We were wrong…..
So back we went.
If you ever saw deer caught in your headlights then you know the look David and his counsel had when mother, Betsy and I walked in. You never saw two grown old men move so fast to huddle with Mr. Facilitator about this unacceptable situation. In short order we were ushered into a separate room and were told that I could stay by virtue of Katy’s power of attorney, however Betsy had to leave or they would walk out. We debated over this development for twenty or thirty minutes, not that we were going to push the issue, no, just let them stew for a while. I was reminded of the school yard bully taking his toys and going home. We took the high road and Betsy agreed to leave. What a bunch of spoiled brats, and I am being nice.
We were sitting in a conference room trying to figure out how are we going to negotiate the procedure for selling the cottage when the other side is sequester in a separate room and would not come out and talk face to face. This went on for three or more hours, and it seemed like every time we reached an agreement on one issue, they would change their mind on another. At no time were we face to face, heck we never even saw them leave early. We were instructed to plan on being here all day in order to hammer this out. Unbelievable, they simply announced they have other pressing business matters to attend to and left.
Suffice it to say when the written summary was sent out for signatures and it was apparent that many issues remained unresolved; we would not sign it, and responded with an offer to go back and finish what had been started. However…that meant nothing to them and they filed the first of many motions to force the court to accept what they signed as a binding agreement. This time the court did the right thing. The judge ordered we go back and do it again. Oh great, but maybe Mr. Facilitator will have learned from his past mistake and will get us all in a room together, face to face. Yea, I know wishful thinking!
In all fairness, we had reached agreements on a number of important issues, for instance how we would determine the market value that the cottage would be LISTED for, three appraisals, throw out the low and average the high and middle. This is important to mention and you will see why shortly. We also agreed on allowing those from the other associations to have the first right to MAKE AN OFFER before it would be LISTED WITH A REAL ESTATE AGENT. Again, remember this.
The big issue was timing, David wanted this whole thing done in 30 days, and keep in mind the first meeting we had was January 15th. Now common sense tells you that when trying to market and sell a property similar to ours, one would think that making it available during the optimum selling time period of spring and summer would make sense. Ya think! He was dead set in making sure we never set foot in Lakeside again and this needed to be a done deal before camp opened.
So we shall meet again, or do we?