Agent Lady team member Brittany Loeffler writes about the reality of buying a home in Philadelphia through a series of short stories.
Randy looked at his calendar at work and counted down the days to his very first settlement. After months of looking for a home in Philadelphia, he finally found one with the help of his amazing real estate agent, Cherise Wynne. In just three weeks he would be a first time home owner! He could barely contain his excitement. He was tired to renting, even though is landlord was great and would bring over chocolate chip cookies every so often, he was ready to take the next step in life.
Just as he closed his calendar, the phone on his desk rang. Randy picked it up quickly and answered, “Randy Oxford.”
“Hi Randy, it’s Dave. Can you please come see me in my office?” His boss’s voice sounded strained and tight. Randy confirmed and hung up the phone. After eight years of working with the company, he had never heard his boss’s voice sound so strange. As he stood up from his chair, butterflies formed in his stomach.
He knocked on the door with the name Donald Lawson etched in a wooden plaque. “Come in,” Don beckoned his employee. Randy stuck his head in the door first, hoping that this would be a quick and painless meeting.
“You wanted to see me?” he asked, nonchalant.
“Yes, please have a seat.” Don motioned towards the cushioned chair on the other side of his desk. It wasn’t until Randy stepped all the way into the office did he see an HR representative sitting at Don’s right hand side. His stomach sank even further. He tried to think back to the last few months if he had done something that broke the rules of the company and his performance. He couldn’t come up with a thing.
Randy lowered himself carefully into the chair and stared at Don and the HR rep like a deer in headlights. What were the next words going to be that came out of Don’s mouth? “Randy, you know we love having you work at the company,” he started to say. Randy’s heart sank. “You also know that things are getting a little tight on the financial side for the company.” Randy had heard about the possibility of people in his department being laid off, but he never thought it would actually happen. Being in the marketing department, he considered everyone essential to the department.
“I think I know where this is going,” Randy muttered.
“I’m so sorry, Randy. We have to let you go. It was not my decision; you know I fought for you. Unfortunately, the people above me decided this. You’ll get a severance package, of course. I’ll also write you a recommendation letter for wherever you decide to go next.”
Randy’s eyes started to sting as tears made their way to the brim. He couldn’t cry at work. His thoughts moved over towards the beautiful house he was about to put a down payment on and a mortgage he would be paying every month. Now that he lost his job, what would happen? “When should I leave?” Don’s face crinkled.
“We were hoping by the end of the week. Tie up any loose ends and transfer all of your files. I’m so sorry, Randy.” Randy didn’t feel any type of sympathy coming from this man right now. He stood up, shook Don’s hand and made his way back to his desk.
He wasn’t sure what to do with himself. Did he go back to working on his report from before Don fired him or should he just pack up and go home? He decided to take a few minutes and get some fresh air outside. He called his parents and broke the news to them. “You have to call your agent immediately. Let her know the change in circumstances,” his father urged. Embarrassed and angry, Randy didn’t want to have to start telling people that he had just lost his job, but he knew that it was the necessary thing to do.
Cherise picked up the phone immediately, opposite of Randy’s wishes. “Cherise speaking,” she answered.
“Hi Cherise, it’s Randy.”
“Randy, how are you? Getting exciting for settlement?” Her chipper voice was so ironic to Randy’s new situation.
“Actually, there is something I need to talk to you about.” Cherise knew that the next thing to come out of his mouth was not going to be good.
“Is everything okay?”
“No, not really. My company has decided to do some layoffs and decided to let me go. I can’t go through with buying this house.” Cherise was quiet for a moment, trying to decide how to respond.
“I’m so sorry to hear that, Randy. Unfortunately, it happens more often than not. Thank you for letting me know.”
“What are my next steps?”
“You’ll need to call your mortgage lender and let them know what happened.”
“And my deposit? Will I be able to get it back? I could definitely use a couple thousand dollars right about now.” He crossed his fingers as he waited for Cherise’s answer.
“Absolutely. If it had been another situation where you pulled out of the deal, then the sellers would get to keep it, but since this is beyond your control, it will be returned.” The conversation sizzled out and Randy gave his mortgage lender a call.
It was an unfortunate situation to be in, especially since he was so excited. After talking to some family and friends, he realized that this could be a blessing in disguise. Maybe he could relocate to another city and start fresh, looking for a new job. He enjoyed Philadelphia, but maybe it was time for a change. This unfortunate circumstance could definitely be turned around and made into something great.
About Brittany: Brittany is the super organized (and awesome) office and marketing assistant that helps home buying and selling clients have the best experience possible. She also shares her creative side by writing compelling short stories about the home buying process that are loosely based on actual client situations. Expect to receive emails and phone calls from Brittany if you decide to work with the Agent Lady team to buy or sell a home!