Sarah Beth called it (Apartment Update)
This morning, my lawyer sends their lawyer a draft of the contract, incorporating all changes which they had requested yesterday and which were acceptable to us, and saying that "my client will not agree to any further changes to this contract."
He calls her and says "Oh, you know that clause which says that at the second payment, if the seller does not provide certain documents, that x numbers of shekels will go into a joint account, until she provides them? The joint account which I suggested? I decided that we don't really need that after all. I'll be here when the payments are made. You can just put the money into trust with me. Why bother with a joint account?"
My lawyer says, as any person who is not an idiot would say, "no. Joint account or this is over."
They sent her a fax saying that they cannot agree to our terms and will not sell me the apartment.
Last night, I called Sarah Beth to complain about the proceedings, about all the times that the seller and her lawyer asked for changes, and more changes, and more changes to the contract -- and then said that I keep asking for more changes and she's sick of me dragging things out (as I've said before, I really hate hypocrisy, and it was this that annoyed me at least as much as her repeatedly changing her mind about things we'd agreed upon).
Sarah Beth said "she's never going to sell. She's clearly ambivalent and looking for reasons to back out. And if you do sell to her, you'll just keep having problems."
I was hoping that Sarah Beth was wrong, because after all, we were so close to the end, and Thursday is the last possible day we could sign (because the seller's lawyer goes abroad for a month on Sunday), and we were really closing in on the end.
But, she called it.
But she was right!
I've already called my original real estate agent and asked her to start looking again for apartments to show me. I want to find something before prices go up even further. With the dollar down, apartment prices have risen significantly just in the 2 months that I've been dealing with these other jerks.
Total cost of dealing with the jerks:
Lawyer fee, appraiser, engineer: about $1500
Lost work time: about $2000
Difference between what I would have paid for my somewhere-out-there apartment 2 months ago, and what I'll have to pay if I find it now: as yet unknown.
Payback: Well, I learned a lot about myself.