Hanging in the Closet
Sooner or later I guess I have to get into the stories involving properties where people had hung themselves. In and of themselves they are naturally not happy stories. That they usually involve the use of drugs is of no comfort to the grieving families, but life goes on and as a real estate agent it is not my job to bury the dead or console the families, but to sell the property and allow them to move on.
That said, the peripheral stories of buyers can be quite amusing. I guess enough time has passed to make them so. Here’s one such story. Just to look at them was enough to put a smile on your face. He (Stuart) was a long streak of humanity, a very pleasant man with a natural curiosity about everything. She (Molly) was about half his height, also very pleasant to talk to and with more than a casual interest in everything around her. I immediately got the distinct impression that she wore the pants in the family and he went along with whatever pleased her. It was certainly a nice relationship.
I don’t remember exactly how we met, but being that he was an old railroader is enough of a clue. Mind you, he was on disability for whatever reason I never knew. What he did to amuse himself was to buy and repair clocks of all sorts, making more money at that than his disability money. Well, we won’t go into that. Molly was a teacher with plenty of time off in the summer.
They were living in an apartment, just the two of them and wanted to move into the country; some place with a picturesque view where they could relax and enjoy one another. Given that information, I began scouring around and wouldn’t you know it, there was a place right near Scotty Macgregor’s old place that had come up for sale. It was a nicely treed property on five acres with a fabulous view. The only problem was that one of the teenagers who lived in that house had hung himself in his bedroom closet while his parents were away on a weekend.
We looked at a number of properties, but that one caught Molly’s eye and she zeroed in on it. She immediately wanted to know which bedroom the hanging had taken place, under what circumstances and how long he had hung there before he was found. She basically took a cursory view around the house but honed in on the bedrooms to see if she could find signs of the hanging. I’m sure if I had asked what the living room was like, or the bathroom, she wouldn’t have been able to tell me. Perhaps it had something to do with her being a teacher that tied her to the situation and the plight of the dead boy.
Nevertheless, that was the house she wanted. As for Stuart, well, there was enough room for a workshop for him so – go for it Molly, he said to her. So they did. Well it was not so simple. It appeared that the whole family was more than dysfunctional. There were gazillion liens against the property to start with. There was a conflict with Hydro who had cut across the corner of the lot, restricting their access and causing them to drive on Hydro property to get to their place. Yurofsky, the lawyer I had recommended to them (luckily) had no idea of what he was getting himself into when he took the case on. But he knew it was going to be a long haul.
It was indeed a long haul. Every time the lawyer found one thing to hold up transfer of title, he found another thing. In fact, there were people suing people who were suing the owners. I imagine at some point the owners threw their hands up and went on living, ignoring all the legal issues and leaving a total legal mess. Yurofsky certainly earned his fee in this case.
Ultimately, as the legal issues unraveled, conditional possession was given to Stuart and Molly and they took up residence while waiting for the rest of the issues to be resolved. At that point I lost touch with them and the only communication I had was with Yurofsky himself reporting on the extremely slow progress. Finally it was all done and so was Yurofsky. He sadly died a short time later and the world lost a good and honest Real Estate lawyer.