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VOL. 39 | NO. 1 | Friday, January 2, 2015

End run gives Realtor a come-from-behind win

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While the sale of 3306 Belmont Boulevard for $350,000 will not make any Top 10 lists, it was a win in which both teams – buyers and sellers – played well with time expiring.

Similar to many college football bowl games, some real estate sales have no relevance in the grand scheme of things. Real estate professionals use the same schemes and game plans that have proven successful in the past, making game-time alterations and adjustments to fit the situation.

Having followed college football for more than 50 years, I can count on the three fingers required to make the James Franklin VU sign – three for the uninitiated – how many times two teams could stake a legitimate claim to the national title at the end of the season. Most of the hoopla is generated in weeks six and seven when there are eight or nine teams whose fans think they should be No. 1.

The same is true in real estate as, in the end, there is usually one buyer and one seller – no need for a playoff.

For those that do not follow college football, there is a four-team playoff in place this year for the first time. This follows 15 years of a system known as the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) that was created to solve this horrific predicament of establishing a true winner.

Even with all of its coaches’ votes, computer analysis and mystic input, it failed once in those 15 years and caused much clothes rending and gnashing of teeth along the way.

Now, four teams are playing, and most think it should be an eight-team playoff as the thing almost derailed completely when TCU darn near slipped in ahead of Baylor, even though Baylor had beaten TCU.

Such armchair quarterbacking and subjective second-guessing goes into any real estate listing that lasts as long as the football season. The fans call in with marvelous insights, each with his or her own opinion as to how to change course.

Realtor Kelly Dougherty of Village Real Estate accomplished an amazing feat last week in the sale of 3306 Belmont Boulevard.

Located a tailpipe blast from I-440 and situated below grade on the lot, Dougherty helped the property bring $209 per square foot.

While the Belmont Boulevard address lured the lookers, the highway noise made conversation difficult. Regardless, Doughterty, in one of the more stellar performances of the season, didn’t leave anything on the field.

In some of the more humorous real estate remarks, Dougherty showed blitz, then dropped back into a zone when stating the sellers were “anxious to sell,” followed by “not desperate but want an offer.” She then added that the washer/dryer do not remain.

In a market such as this, sellers become impatient after a few weeks of showings that yield no offers. They often request feedback from the buyer’s agents, even though the feedback rarely offers anything constructive. It is like asking a person who tried on 30 pairs of shoes why he or she didn’t buy the 29 other pairs.

In the case of the many houses, the reason for its exclusion is often obvious, and “broken record syndrome” occurs. I wonder if the return of vinyl records will re-introduce terms like “broken record” into the vernacular.

Homes that have power lines around them linger, not as much from the fear of exposure, but the concern that – aside from the aesthetics – others would fear exposure upon resale.

Dougherty opened her revised description of the home with “reduced $35,000,” and that is a tidbit sellers often require. Of course, that statement can be translated as “we priced it too high and that didn’t work, so it’s worth at least $35,000 less than that.”

In the sellers’ minds, they are still at the original price. So when the first offer comes in, the sellers’ response is usually “don’t they know we reduced it $35,000,” when in fact the reduction has no relevance other than serving witness to the fact that the house was overpriced.

There are no points given for coaches who forsake the game plan that didn’t work in the first half and make changes in their approach to the second half. Such is true when listings do not sell.

The location cannot be changed and, in many cases, the buyers’ objections cannot be changed, so it usually comes down to a matter of pricing.

The curb appeal of the property at 3306 was lacking, and the home appeared tired, perhaps out of shape, so Doughterty wrote the following, perhaps a suggestion from an assistant coach: “NEW wood floors & carpet, NEW tiled bath... NEW Stainless steel appliances... NEW granite, vanities, lighting, plumbing etc.”

Get the picture. It may look old, but it’s new. It may not have been a marquee bowl, but Kelly pulled an assortment of trick plays and misdirection for the win.

Richard Courtney is a real estate broker affiliated with Christianson, Patterson, Courtney, and Associates and can be reached at

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