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VOL. 46 | NO. 9 | Friday, March 4, 2022

When sellers hold the cards, it’s hard to get them to fold

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Not since the release of “The Exorcist” has there been as much debate about possession, though the focus now is on real estate.

With offers being accepted for mountains of cash over list price, some of the other terms of the contract are sometimes being overlooked. One of the more important being the possession of the property.

Possession and ownership are two different beasts, and determinations of ownership can be complicated. Sellers are not eager to move out of their homes until the buyers show them the money, preferably in the sellers’ bank account.

With sellers calling the shots these days, it is not unusual for them to want to close, harvest their money and then stay put for a couple of months while they – flush with cash – seek new housing. The seller becomes a tenant, a term that often irks the inhabitants who have poured their hearts, souls and cash into the dwelling.

When the two-month occupancy agreement expires, the sellers/renters/tenants have nowhere to go. Forcing tenants to leave a property is no easy task and can involve the courts and the sheriff.

And former owners often forget to inform their friends in the insurance business that their interest in the dwelling is that of a renter. Granted, they are renters with several hundreds of thousand dollars in the bank based on recent sales, but they are obligated to maintain the residence and to allow the new owners access when they want so the homeowners can get bids on various improvements.

Even the smoothest real estate transactions are filled with emotion, but wait until the new owner insists on entering the home during the tenants’ baby shower and then only to bring in an interior designer who suggests changing every paint color in the home. These colors were chosen by the best designer in town. Perhaps it was 30 years ago, but the décor is timeless, or so the renters say.

Sale of the Week

Another week, more bidding wars and another property selling for $300,000 more than list price, this one on Carnavon Parkway in West Meade.

127 Carnavon Pkwy

Surviva Fischer of Keller Williams netted her sellers an unexpected bonus after listing the home for $1.2 million and promptly selling it for $1.5 million amid a ruckus with scores of real estate brokers clamoring to have dibs on the home.

Surviva noted the house is “architecturally stunning,” an understatement since it was designed by Nashville legend, the late Earl Swensson, who died earlier this year at age 91.

It was with a 28-year-old mind that Swensson designed this home, some seven years after opening his firm in Nashville.

Swensson

A former resident of West Meade, Swensson is one of the most respected and honored architects to emerge from Nashville. He attended Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, where he earned his undergraduate and his master’s degrees. He would later be named as one of the top 100 alumni of the institute.

Swensson was honored by the American Institute of Architects in 1985 when he was accepted into the AIA College of Fellows, the highest membership honor in the ranks of the AIA. Among his many projects are the “Batman Building,” Schermerhorn Symphony Center and Opryland Hotel, along with the redevelopment of the Bicentennial Mall and the Sounds ballpark.

The home at 127 Carnavon Parkway includes heated marble flooring in the main bath along with a steam shower. Surviva noted Swensson has included “Frank Lloyd Wright” features in the home, and Paul Simon would have been happy to know that. Perhaps that could lure him to Nashville.

The Carnavon Parkway property has five bedrooms and three full bathrooms with 4,937 square feet, thereby selling for $304 per square foot after. Fischer listed the home for $243 per square foot. She noted the property features a gunite pool with sight and sound insulating bamboo.

List price is often referred to as “starting price” now, and hitting the number that invites higher offers is not easy. But much can be learned from the Surviva mode of pricing since she accomplished her mission.

Lisa Peebles and her team represented the buyers, who are relocating to Nashville from – you guessed it – California. Peebles hails from Fridrich and Clark, as does her flock of brokers.

Richard Courtney is a licensed real estate broker with Fridrich and Clark Realty, LLC and can be reached at richard@richardcourtney.com.

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