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VOL. 39 | NO. 14 | Friday, April 3, 2015

One (day)-and-done home sales drive buyers nuts

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With the dismal winter behind us, and trees beginning to glow with greenery, many are hoping the spring will sprout some listings.

In the past few months, the lack of inventory and the market’s avaricious appetite have driven frustrated buyers to the point of anger. March Madness has a new meaning with buyers at wit’s end.

Each listing that enters the market is devoured immediately. Though a host of buyers flocking to each home, there can only be one buyer.

Kentucky Coach Calipari’s one-and-done theme has pervaded the real estate market.

There are many houses selling before they hit the open market as networking among Realtors has become a significant part of the 2015 Realtor business model, more so than at any time in the 35 years that I have participated.

One aspect of real estate transactions is that the sellers’ agents – aka the listing agents – have listing agreements with the sellers that allows them to receive commission on the sale, and provides that the listing agents may pay fees to the buyers’ agents.

In so doing, Realtors list the properties in the Multiple Listing Services, Realtracs in this area, and even though sold, the properties hit all of the various web sites such as Trulia and Zillow.

On these sites, the properties are presented as new listings to the general public.

Potential buyers fall into deep depression when they learn the houses are under contract and not available.

Many buyers have persuaded their agents to canvas certain neighborhoods, going door to door begging people to sell their houses.

As this practice can excite some homeowners who have missed the news of the city’s real estate boom and are dumbfounded by the values of their homes, the fact that there is nowhere to go after the sale gives sellers pause.

Not only is there nowhere to buy, but the rental market is barren, as well.

And while paying exorbitant rents, property values continue to climb. Therefore, the house sold for the big number in the spring is worth 10 percent more in the fall, all the while the people who cashed out for big money are padding their landlord’s bank accounts.

Although it seems somewhat Yogi Berra-esque, the success of the market is impeding the market ala the Berra quotation “That restaurant is so crowded that no one goes there anymore.”

There are so many sales here that there are no houses to sell.

Come on spring. You can do it.

Sale of the Week

With the city’s newest, hottest condominium development towering over The Gulch, some were curious as to how its success would affect sales in the previous Gulch favorite, the Icon.

In this case, the rising tide theory has prevailed. Icon’s ship has risen with the 1212 tide, as evidenced with the sale of unit 537 in the Icon last week.

Purchased for $398,000 in 2010, the condo sold for $535,000 last week.

With its 1,323 square feet, that equates to $404 per square foot, which is slightly less than the 1212 prices per square foot. Rita Rediker of Viva Properties listed the unit and described it as a corner unit with windows on both sides and a balcony overlooking the Gulch.

As the elevation of the first floor of the Icon is lower than the 1212 building located slightly up the hill, the fifth floor in the Icon is a couple of floors lower than the fifth floor of the 1212 building.

As the Icon entered the market, parking spaces were sold for $10,000 each, and unit #537 had two of them.

Those spots now sell among homeowners for as much as $20,000, while 1212 included assigned spaces with their homes and those cannot be sold separately.

Joanne Gauthier of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Woodmont Realty – that’s a mouthful – represented the buyer in this transaction and sold the $539,900 listing for $535,000. Marketing and branding real estate firms does not appear to be Warren Buffett’s strong suit. Fortunately, he fairs well in other areas, so he will be alright.

As for 1212, the sales team boasts it has closed 180 of the 289 units, and all indications are they are selling several each week, as the conference rooms seemed to be perpetually filled with buyers, Realtors and 1212 staff.

John Eakin’s office tower, which is being built adjacent to 1212, was seen as a deterrent by some but is situated in a manner that allows the 1212 units alongside to be able to have an angular downtown view, and its parking garage will provide 500 much-needed parking spots at night after the office inhabitants head home.

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