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VOL. 41 | NO. 4 | Friday, January 27, 2017

New year, new rules, new forms for real estate deals

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Perhaps it is due to unseasonably warm weather, maybe New Year’s resolutions or the changing of the guard in Washington.

Whatever the case, houses are selling at an exorbitantly high rate.

Real estate veterans are scratching their collective heads – when they have time – as they write offer after offer, many falling by the wayside, drowning in the multiple-offer scenario swamp.

Some say the activity results from the threat of interest rate increases or the uncertainty of a new administration, and these factors are pushing buyers from the fence.

Amid this unexpected frenzy, the Tennessee Association of Realtors has released its new and updated contract and various other forms now associated with the transfer of real property, or real estate. There are numerous changes from the previous version and all result from issues created from the prior document.

Among the forms with changes is the Tennessee Residential Property Disclosure, a document required to be completed by property owners who have resided in the homes that they have chosen to sell.

In the past, the owners were asked to provide the age of the various HVAC systems. That is no longer required, most likely the result of the inaccurate representations made by homeowners.

To further complicate matters, HVAC contractors have been somewhat surreptitious in their posting of date of the units’ creations.

Having come into use after World War II, the owners of the early HVAC manufacturing facilities must have savored spydom and the excitement associated with hidden codes and espionage, consequently hiding the manufacturer’s date in the serial number.

For example, a serial number could read WHC443Y051999Urbd34 with all the numbers other than the 0519999 being mere subterfuge in hiding the May, 1999 date of production of the unit.

Now, inspectors or HVAC contractors will be forced to serve as Checkpoint Charlie to get the number down pat. Or they could go to the HVAC mart in their locale and ask the sales associate how to break the code.

Another addition to the Tennessee Association of Realtors Tennessee Residential Property Disclosure is the outing and villainization of synthetic stucco. As if the poor sheathing did not have enough public relations problems.

Synthetic stucco, aka EIFS, is an exterior insulation and finish system, and Dryvit, the best-known manufacturer of the material.

This change was mandated by the Tennessee Real Estate Commission, the body that governs all things real estate and a group that has obviously tired of hearing complaints over synthetic stucco from its constituents.

TAR is a trade association, while TREC is an arm of the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance.

TREC has suggested via the property disclosure that any person buying a synthetic stucco home should have it inspected for moisture by a licensed professional and that the report should be given to them in writing.

There are significant issues with synthetic stucco in the world of residential real estate, most due to human error. It’s usually not installed and/or maintained properly.

Commercial developers and builders swear and stand by the material, citing hundreds of billions of commercial construction projects that used synthetic stucco as its sheathing and have had no problems.

One of the most popular additions of the Purchase and Sale Agreement is the clarification as to how buyers receive refunds of their earnest money deposits that were changed to trust money deposits in the last TAR contract change.

In the past, the buyer, seller, listing broker and selling broker all had to sign an earnest money release for a buyer to have the earnest/trust money refunded.

As one might imagine, sellers who had experienced termination notices were none too eager to give the buyer a refund.

Sale of the Week

The house at 1008 Montrose sold last week in a bidding war.

Listed for $550,000, it commanded a sale price of $552,000, or $362 per square feet for its 1,524 square feet. It has three bedrooms and two full baths.

Real estate kingpin Allen Perry was the listing agent on this gem that he described as having an “Advantium oven, floor to ceiling cabinets” and “was completely renovated.”

Clay Kelton, a prince of real estate by virtue of being a member of the famous Kelton clan, represented the buyer of this residence, which is located in the heart of 12South.

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