VOL. 41 | NO. 46 | Friday, November 17, 2017
Real ‘businessman’ lets his experience do the talking
For my money, Ray Stevens is the most talented man to set foot upon Nashville soil. He is a writer, arranger, producer and musician with an array of vocal talents that surpass anything the city has ever known.
While better known for his comedy/novelty hits such as “The Streak,” “The Mississippi Squirrel,” “Gitarzan” and “It’s Me Again Margaret,” he won the Best Pop Male Performance Grammy in 1971 for “Everything is Beautiful.”
His competition that year included Elton John, Joe Cocker, James Taylor and Brook Benton.
In 1968, the year before he recorded “Gitarzan,” he had a hit called “Mr. Businessman,” another pop hit dealing with serious subject matter. Stevens wrote:
“Itemize the things you covet
As you squander through your life
Bigger cars, bigger houses
Term insurance for your wife
Tuesday evenings with your harlot
And on Wednesday’s it’s your charlatan analyst
He’s high upon your list”
“Spending counterfeit incentive
Wasting precious time and health
Placing value on the worthless
Disregarding priceless wealth
You can wheel and deal the best of them
Steal it from the rest of them
You know the score
Your ethics are a bore”
He ends with “Let’s have your autograph. Endorse your epitaph.”
While most in business have escaped his lyrics, one thing seems to ring true in real estate negotiations. When one of the players – buyers or sellers – boasts of “being a businessman” they usually blow the deal. It’s as if boasting of “being a businessman” gives them license to channel Stevens’ character and achieve better results.
No one has ever heard wildly successful business people beat their chests scream unto the heavens. “I am a businessman” and the reason is that we all know that they are.
Usually, it’s the opposite: “I am the son of a barber,” or “I am just a musician,” what do I know. Plenty. That’s what they know. And that is why they are successful, and they do not need a T-shirt to prove it.
Real estate transactions – on the residential side – defy all logic, all business axioms, and drive the closing attorneys crazy. There are always contracts in place and both sides need to read and understand the verbiage, the essence.
Closing attorney Rusty Moore, wise sage of the real estate closing industry, says the advent of electronic signatures has people merely clicking buttons, not understanding what they are signing.
It is understandable that men would make the declaration “I am a businessman!” to their Realtors because it works in many cases.
Realtors should spend more time being businessmen and women. But tell them not to tell anyone.
Sale of the Week
Even in the interesting market that Nashville is experiencing, there are rarely $5 million sales on lots that include less than three acres.
The phenomenon has occurred twice before last week – once in 2008 and again in 2012, According to Realtracs, and both of those sales were in Belle Meade.
Now there is 308 White Swans Crossing, Lot 2, with 10,075 square feet on a mere 2.01 acres in the cozy Cambridge Downs neighborhood tucked off Old Hickory Boulevard between Granny White Pike and Kingsbury Drive.
Million-dollar diva Laura Baugh of Worth Properties listed the house and provided intricate detail in her overview, in which she describes the property as a “sophisticated Mediterranean estate with exquisite finishes, chef’s kitchen, four ensuite bedrooms” – a hip term that spellcheck does not recognize, but is a term first used in 1812, according to Merriam-Webster. War term, no doubt.
The home also features a theater, exercise room, elevator, a private pool and cabana. The Realtor remarks are of particular interest for those in need of the latest trends, as she notes the house includes Lutron and Creston systems, suggesting the designer was none other than Jor-El.
Any $5 million house will need the four-car garage, a pond, finished wood floors, marble floors, tankless water heater, programmable thermostats and sealed ducting.
If any Realtor in Nashville would appreciate such grandeur and detail, it would be Rick French of French-King Fine Properties, and this property is fine indeed. French represented the buyer and negotiated the sale price of the $5 million, down from the list price of $5,294,000. The $294,500 in savings will pay the tax bill for 10-12 years or so.
Richard Courtney is a real estate broker with Christianson, Patterson, Courtney, and Associates and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.