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VOL. 37 | NO. 25 | Friday, June 21, 2013

Don’t let agent stand in way of your dream deal

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“I hate your company!” A slurred voice blurted from the shadows.

It was Oyster Easter, an annual fun fundraiser for the Community Resource Center held the day before Easter, and it was several years and companies ago that these words blew through the Lenten breeze.

As I wandered into the shade of the stables in the Carriage House of the Belle Meade Plantation, I met the person with the beef. She was tanked and angry, perhaps even mad.

I approached her and inquired what could have caused such a reaction.

“Remember your listing on Cherokee (not the actual address) that you sold eight years ago?” she challenged.

Having had less exposure to the assorted beverages than she, my memory was functioning well enough to recall the listing and the sale of the home, and I informed her of same.

“Well, my agent would not let me buy it!” she hissed. “She said she was protecting me.” She did her best to form quotation marks while maintaining control of her cup of brew.

“I do recall that day, and we sold that house the first day on the market.” I reinforced.

“I heard my agent Xylo (not her real name) call you and tell you that you had overpriced the property and that you should accept my offer, and you told her that you felt the house would sell at the price you countered.

“And you sold it right out from under us!”

I explained that I worked for the seller and that we did sell it for the higher price, but that she could have had it as we countered her first.

“But my agent wouldn’t let me.”

She went on to explain that she had monitored the property for the next few years, and that the owner had sold the property for a profit of nearly $100,000. To make matters worse, the property her overly protective real estate agent had sold her had barely allowed her to break even when she sold.

Buyers should not allow their agents to keep them from buying the houses they desire. Certainly, their opinion should be sought and any information delivered should be digested. In this case, the agent was quibbling over $5,000.

Today, such scrutiny is rampant, as it usually is in a market moving as rapidly as the summer of 2013. With all of the social media available, Realtors have flocked to Facebook pages begging their cohorts to share information on upcoming listings.

One Realtor posted a request for a house for less than $615,000 with three bedrooms, three baths, a pool and an acre lot in a particular area. She lamented that her buyers had been looking for months and could find nothing like this. To repeat, her buyers have been looking for this precise property for months and have seen nothing like it.

Another agent replied she had just the thing and that hers would be $615,000.

The agent showed the unlisted house, and her buyers loved it. She called the listing agent and told her of her clients’ interest. At that point, she blew it.

“What are you using for comps?” she asked. “I can’t find anything that would support your price.”

Let’s see. She has been looking for months and cannot find anything close to this house. She gets her wish and she wants previous sales of similar properties in order to support the value before allowing her buyer to make an offer.

If they, through their intense research and strong networking locate a house their buyers want, let the buyers buy and let the appraisers appraise and let the lenders lend. This market is not for the faint of heart.

The agent that found the perfect home for the perfect buyers with the imperfect agent placed the house on the market and sold it the first day.

Never a pender be.

Sale of the Week

The condos known as Bristol West End are not on West End. In fact they are located at 300 Vanderbilt Place a block off of West End. They are closer to Vanderbilt than they are West End, but they are called Bristol West End nonetheless. Across Vanderbilt Place from Bristol West End (BWE) is Vanderbilt.

In essence BWE is the closest non-dormitory dormitory to Vanderbilt’s football stadium. As soon as head coach James Franklin takes VU football to Alabama, even Ole Miss, status, BWE will be a tailgate hub. In short, this is one of the most desirable locations in the area for investors or homeowners alike.

Why, then, have they not developed as quickly as the football team? There was the recession that hit about the time that the units began to close. When buyers that were flush with cash is 2005 and 2006 when Bristol was taking orders were broke in 2007 and 2008, it caused a bit of a bottleneck as buyers left the building.

Then, it settled, and this settling was not the good kind of settle. It was the ground that settled, dropping a few inches. To make matters worse, the homeowners and the developers began to litigate the matter.

For those unfamiliar with lending practices, when an underwriter at a bank sees litigation and structural in the same paragraph, the loan will not be approved on the merits of the real estate alone. So, some BWE owners lost their units to foreclosure and others sold before the falling of the sky.

Those remaining are seeing profit. The lawsuit is settled – settled being a good word now – and the work is under way to correct the structural issues. Prices are rising as fast as the foundation.

Seeing this development, the owner of unit 425 decided to sell her unit. Agent Sara Milligan – M-I double L I-G-A-N spells Milligan, a tribute to George M. Cohan as July 4 approaches – made her client aware that she could sell the two bedroom, two bath 1,039-square-foot unit for $300,000 this year.

The owner had bought in 2011 for $255,000. Milligan is one of Crye-Leike’s best and served her client well.

Many mispronounce Crye-Leike. Remember the old Box Tops tune “Cry Like a Baby?” Rhymes perfectly.

The seller shed no tears on this one, nor did the buyer, who was represented by Bernie Gallerani of RE/MAX Choice Properties. Most can pronounce her firm in better fashion than her name.

Richard Courtney is a partner with Christianson, Courtney, Patterson, and Associates and can be reached at Richard@richarcourtney.com

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 0 0
MORTGAGES 0 0 0
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 0
BUILDING PERMITS 0 0 0
BANKRUPTCIES 0 0 0
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 0 0
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0