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VOL. 40 | NO. 23 | Friday, June 3, 2016

Unscrupulous agents? In this market? Never

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This market stinks. That’s all the heck there is to it. There is nothing for sale, and when there is it can bring out the worst in people.

In today’s real estate world, buyer after buyer views house after house only to learn that the homes are sold before the buyers can take a moment to recall anything about the house.

As buyers are rushed from homes whose features they are trying to digest, ingest and inhale all the while, others are waiting in the yards, sitting in parked cars on the street, and some are circling the block like the vultures that some agents have become.

Often a house will come on the market late in the week with a first showing on a Friday or Saturday, and the listing agents often set rules of engagement stating, for example, that all offers will be presented following an open house on Sunday. That sounds reasonable enough and gives the buyers a bit of time for reflection, some number running, and old fashioned contemplation.

So if the agent says in writing in the Multiple Listing Service that all offers will be presented Sunday at 5 p.m. and reiterates that point during the showing, then that is what will happen, right?

Nope. Not even close. Don’t bet on it. Don’t count on it. Don’t believe them for a second.

Uh Oh. So now what? Well, the buyer could present the offer early, but those with no scruples could shop that offer in order to obtain a higher offer. Whatever buyers do, they should not expect the listing agent to do them any favors.

What do the listings agents say when they state one thing and do another? Some lines from popular comedy films come to mind during these scenarios. First, Tim Matheson’s character “Otter” from “Animal House,” when he addressed a pledge and says: “You screwed up. You trusted us.”

And the film “Ghostbusters,” with its term “I’ve been slimed,” could certainly apply here.

Shauna Brooks, one of the top producers in the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors, has been slimed twice over the past year. In both cases, her buyer was going to pay more than the offer the listing agent accepted. So the listing agent harmed its own client.

The excuse offered by the listing agents when they break their own rules is “The seller made me do it.”

Perhaps the listing agents need to better explain the process or let them know that many buyers’ agents are sharpening their keyboards preparing to make outrageously high offers. They might even explain they have an ethical and moral obligation to their fellow brokers to execute the strategy as it was defined.

Perhaps they go so far as to explain that when they screw all these people to the wall that the agents will never, ever trust them again and avoid their listings at all costs knowing there is no way to get a fair shake from these people.

It doesn’t matter. It will happen again several times this week.

Who you gonna call?

Sale of the Week

About halfway down Abbott Martin toward Belle Meade is the development imaginatively named Abbottsford. In the mid-1980s, the property – half a mile away from the Green Hills Mall – had a herd of cattle grazing it.

Even after the initial phase of the development was underway, the cattle were still lowing somehow.

But alas, in 2004, when the house at 809 Foster Hill was built, no one remembered the bovine. Recently, Ida Louise Cromwell of Zeitlin and Company Realtors, a no-bull agent of some 25 years, co-listed the house with her daughter, Sallie Cromwell Simmons, a budding superstar in Nashville real estate circles.

The home was listed for $1,249,000 and sold quickly as Debra Beagle steered her client to the property. Beagle is the managing broker of the potently successful Ashton Real Estate Group of RE/MAX, which represents the Titans and others.

Ashton has a unique and dogged approach to real estate with a progressive cyber lead generation and training programs, and Beagle has implemented the program well.

The house – now owned by Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk, a Texan who likely would have been comfortable with cattle grazing nearby – in Abbottsford has 5,378 square feet and reached the $232 per square foot level during its short stay on the market.

With four bedrooms and five and one-half baths, the house is loaded, according to Cromwell, who described the home as a “European brick home with a stacked stone fireplace, and a two-story curved staircase.”

She also noted that the house features a ‘lifetime roof, two new hot water heaters, three newer HVAC systems and a lynx gas grill.” The lynx may explain the cattle’s exodus.

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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