Sunday, August 5, 2007

If I only had a brain

The aggravation with my broker continued as the week progressed. With the crap she pulled the first time I got my cashier's check, I made sure to confirm everything with her before my sister arrived with the second one - name, amount, etc. But oh boy the adventures were not over.

My sister got to my office around 4 PM and we headed straight to the realty group office. I sat down with the office manager - the same woman who had talked me through the lease signing - because once again my broker could not make it. The first issue of fun was that my sister had to get her signature notarized and the realty group does not employ a notary. Super! The broker had originally promised to take us to a bank to get it notarized so of course with her not there we instead had to do it ourselves.

Where do you get things notarized? The only place I know of is town hall, and there was no way we were making that trip in time. The office manager suggested a bank. Fine, whatever. First we tried Fidelity one block up. At first they said 'only if you have a Fidelity investment account' which luckily both my sister and I do. Then the woman said we had to wait. We waited 10 minutes only to be told that the notary actually couldn't vouch for us because the paperwork wasn't Fidelity-related. Really? Because I don't think the law says that. It would have taken 30 seconds to help us, but it was like pulling teeth or something. Normally I would have argued until the little shits knew who they were dealing with, but we didn't have time.

The woman at Fidelity suggested the Post Office, 7 blocks away, but my sister vetoed that. Instead we tried the Chase bank three blocks away where the notary was nice enough to help us out. Since my sister has a Chase account, she even waved the fee.

Back to the realty group, notarized leases in duplicate in hand. Next step - hand over the second cashier's check and be on our way. Except of course it wasn't that simple. We gave the office manager the check. She started writing out the receipt and asked what it was for. The second half of the security and the broker's fee I told her. Oh no, she said. Oh no?!!? The following exchange between her and I:

- You can't have the broker's fee made out to the landlord.
- Huh?
- The broker's fee needs to be made out to the property group.
- But...this is what the broker told me to do. I had to go get another damn check on Tuesday because she gave me the wrong name, so I double-checked to make sure all the info for this one is right.
- Look, it would be different if I knew the landlord personally, but I don't. You need to get two separate checks. I'm going to kill [broker].
-You've got to be kidding me. My sister just flew in from Colorado. There is no branch of her bank here. What are we supposed to do?
- I'm going to kill [broker]. How long is your sister here until?
- Monday.
- Ok, she needs to go to her bank the second the she gets back, get the two checks and then overnight them to me.
- I'm not going to lose the apartment, am I?
- I don't know.

She was using a figure of speech when she said she was going to kill the broker of course, but at that moment I wanted to die. My sister was freaking out because she wasn't sure if her bank would void the first check (which I knew from my experience that they would) and I was freaking out because this group was as flaky as they come.

The office manager suggested that since my sister was with me, we could try going to my bank and see if they'd let her sign the check over to me, cash it into my account and write a new one. The chances were slim but it was worth a shot. I didn't want to wait until Monday and stress my sister out. Not to mention me.

So we cabbed it from 23rd and 5th to 19th and 7th, giving the cabbie a huge tip. Back to Wachovia, my knights in shining armor from Tuesday. We explained our deal to the banker and then to the manager. Unfortunately, they could not let my sis sign the check over as the office manager had suggested. Sis and I were not surprised. But the bank did help us out in a huge way - my sister wrote a personal check which they cashed immediately to write out the two separate cashier's checks. That's right, Fidelity, a bank helping someone out! Take note. We probably said thank you about a million times. Kyra Sedgwick, eat your heart out. It was 5:30, so I called the office manager to make sure she would still be there. She would for another half hour.

We grabbed another cab and tipped him well too. Back upstairs, where the office manager asked us how we'd managed to do it. Ah, so she knew her plan wouldn't work. We told her about the kindness of strangers, got our receipt, and FINALLY we were done. My sister is a bit concerned about her bank voiding the first cashier's check, but I'm sure she'll be fine. What a freakin' nightmare.

...but wait, there's more! On Friday afternoon, I got a phone call from the broker. I thought it would be to set up a meeting with the landlord or super, but no. Actually my broker's fee check was short. WHAT. THE. HELL??!? 13%, she said. No way, I said, we agreed on 12%. No, 13% she said. I was so incredibly mad, but she caught me right before a client meeting and I could not argue. After all the shit she'd put me through, not to mention her not being around since she showed me the place, she had the audacity to ask for another $230 dollars?

Wait, here's the best part. I sighed and said it would take me awhile to get the extra money, so she said 'well, just give me $200, my present to you.' Oh, wow, really? I plan on fighting this, I know she said 12%. Unfrickinbelievable. I HATE BROKERS.

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