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VOL. 42 | NO. 33 | Friday, August 17, 2018

Art of the deal can mean painting outside the lines

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By now, most are aware that Nashville is an inviting and welcoming city. Whether the number is 85 or 100 or even 50 new people moving into the area every day, it had better be welcoming because they are coming whether they are welcome or not.

For the most part, the masses relocating are documented, so there is no need for a wall around the city or a net in the Cumberland.

With the increase in property transfers, there is always an increase in new real estate affiliate brokers, and this boom is no different.

There have been almost 2,000 new agents that have jumped into the business in the last five years.

Fear not, some of them had their real estate licenses in days gone by prior to transitioning into hospitality management for a bit before re-activated their licenses. Many of the newfound peers of the somewhat newer agents and affiliate brokers, have taken offense to lack of knowledge of local real estate history of those freshly initiated into the industry.

The unindoctrinated are nothing if not trained. Some of the companies around town offer extensive training. Much more training than was available at any time during the past. Their agents are the better versed in the various forms now required for each residential transaction than many, if not most veterans.

They cite the forms by the numbers designated to them by the forms committee of the Tennessee Realtors, at least for now. This is all they know, and they have been programmed not to veer from the forms, lest they slide into real estate hell.

Unfortunately, all of the brokers’ horses and all the trainers’ men cannot teach, train, inoculate or hypnotize common sense, instincts and the drive to make deals happen. Nor is it easy to construct a transaction in a manner that benefits both sides.

There is an art to the deal. From time to time, it is allowable – actually, it’s imperative – that participants paint outside the lines, think outside the box and create an image of the sale. Then they can use all the RF 202s and RF301s they want to memorialize it.

Yet, so many are caught up in inserting the correct word or two into the appropriate boxes that deals go south, sellers eventually lose money and buyers are not awarded the houses they so desired.

A student learning the art of studio recording in a 64-track studio backed with a computer filled to the brim of various sounds and noises might wonder what made the Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band so incredible at the time of its release and for years to come. Then they learn they recorded the album using a four-track machine.

Speaking at a Beatles festival in Chicago last week, Geoff Emerick who serves as engineer on albums beginning with Revolver and Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is feeling the same symptoms in the music business. He said that when the Beatles needed a sound, he had to create one.

Now, the engineers and producers pull sounds off their computers.

One example he used is when John and Paul came to him and said, “We know we are using guitars and pianos and drums, but we don’t want them to sound like guitars and pianos and drums anymore.”

Sometimes in a real estate deal, the buyers and sellers do not want to be buyers and sellers anymore. They want to be homeowners. They do not care about RF201, they want the house.

If everyone is working towards the same end, they will find they can get by with a little help from their friends and that other organ, not the Hammond but the one stored in the skull. That’s right, the brain.

Sale of the Week

Last week a condo at a development called the Park at Melrose sold for $344,900 in three days, and why wouldn’t it? It has a whopping 1,274 square feet with two bedrooms and two full baths and is near 12South and even 8South.

Interestingly, none of the units at Park on Melrose had sold for that much money. When this unit came on the market, one by-the-book agent squawked “It’s too much money!”

They then point to their extensive research showing that the unit is overpriced based on all the comparable sales, cite numbers and issue the threatening prediction: “Even if you get it under contract it will never appraise.”

Not content to end it there, there is always the “I’ll let my client see it when you reduce it in a couple of weeks.”

In fairness to this buyer’s agent, he has numbers on his side showing sales with prices of $295,000, $309,000 and $325,000 from last year. Additionally, he does not want his buyer to overpay.

But past comps are ancient history, and historians do not fare well in an upwardly trending market.

The buyer might have liked this home and, with prices climbing, it would be a better deal than a condo priced under the last years’ comps, which would suggest the development is losing value.

With the market as hot as Nashville’s, you gotta have heart, and that is exactly why this sale went down.

The listing agent was an agent who pumps enthusiasm into every listing and hails from Parks, although, she must have been at Scout Properties as that is the shown listing agency. Her name is Ansley Goodheart.

Utilizing her brain, Ansley took a slight gamble that paid off in spades and dollars. Her sellers can gamble all the way to the bank.

The buyer was beating the door down to get into the listing and will probably see an increase in value of $10,000 by Christmas, while the historian will continue to scratch his head in disbelief.

His buyers are on the lookout for someone who thinks about what can be, not what was.

Richard Courtney is a licensed real estate broker with Christianson, Patterson, Courtney, and Associates and can be reached at richard@richardcourtney.com.

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