Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Selling Myself Real Estate

Locust Creek in the clouds

Last week we bought the property adjacent to our Droop Mountain home. We were stunned to discover it was on the market, and were anxious to buy it, as it surrounds us on three sides. It hadn't been sold outside the family since the nineteenth century, and the only existing survey uses large chestnut trees as landmarks. Such extinct boundaries are not unusual in Pocahontas County.

This photograph, taken in October 2004 from my neighbor's yard, plays an interesting role in the purchase. We made a very good offer, and had been waiting two days without hearing anything from the seller. I opened up my copy of the Pocahontas Times, and saw the property listed with a very familiar photograph. There was this picture, taken from my Web page, without permission, and without attribution. When I checked the realtor's Web page, there was my picture again. Not only were they violating my copyright, but they were using my picture to solicit bidders to compete against my offer. Oh, did I mention that the photograph does not show the property in question?

I was rather upset when I went into the realtor's office the next day, between anxiety about the offer and outrage about the picture. The realtors were horrified. The property owner had given them a floppy disk, and said it was his picture, taken from his property. They also said that someone was in their office, making a competing offer on the same property. After a conference out of my hearing, they asked, "Would this problem go away if your offer were accepted?" I told them yes, went on home, and soon got a phone call telling me our offer was accepted. From there on out, everything moved along smoothly, and now we have taken down the fence that separated the new parcel from our old one.


Dave said...

Hey, that's great! That's how my parents ended up with a square mile of mountaintop land. Well, they didn't use legal threats, but they did use every other trick in the book. Mere money isn't enough.

lucy said...

Congratulations! great story, happy ending.