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VOL. 41 | NO. 12 | Friday, March 24, 2017

Your listing stinks! No, really, that’s why there are no offers

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Spring break is over, and here come the listings. At least that’s the hope as depleted inventories have left buyers disappointed for the past three years.

As sellers prepare to sell and buyers buy, this spring is set to be the city’s most active ever.

There are several ways sellers can slow the process, even in a strong market, and here’s a big one:

If a house smells, it will not sell. Sellers need to be aware that kitty litter does not mask odor. It covers toxic waste from cats. No matter what the cutesy television ads would have you think, the smell is detectable. Get it out of your house.

Along the same lines, those adorable babies – your sweet, cuddly, loving children – who are not yet potty trained have the same issues as the cats. Diaper Genies are not magic. They are houses of funk. Get the waste out of the house.

Buyers think stink means big problems. Clutter is better than stink. Bad landscaping and décor can be overlooked. Bad smells can rid a house with gagging gaggles of buyers rushing to the door.

Rotting garbage has the same effect. Take out the trash. Having been a single man sharing apartments, houses and condos with other single men, there is the single man odor.

Lately, I have tried sniffing around the single man’s rooms that have this smell and think it may originate in the unwashed bedding and pillow cases.

Plug-in air fresheners can emit some nasally abrasive gases. Try fresh air and real plants. Green brings more green.

Sale of the Week

“I believe in Bellevue” was the slogan and battle cry of the area in the late 1970s, and the neighborhoods along the Harpeth River carried that determination on their backs immediately following the Flood of 2010.

Bellevue was one of the hardest-hit regions, attracting neighbors from all over Nashville into the flood-torn regions wielding shovels, picks, hammers, wheelbarrows and other implements of destruction and construction. It was the recipient of assistance from thousands of volunteers who poured into the ravaged streets and houses.

It was an example of volunteerism that was unparalleled as thousands of people showed up. No one told them where to go, what to bring or how to do anything. Mayor Karl Dean and his staff immediately saw the manpower swelling and began to help.

They brought hundreds, if not thousands of dumpsters into the region and began a process of ridding the homes of their soaked belongings and construction components. When the volunteers saw dumpsters, they immediately began filling them. As soon as one dumpster would fill, it would be removed and replaced by another.

Within a few days, most of the material damage of the residential areas affected by the flooding rested in several sites around the city. It was then that overall effect of the event could be seen as thousands of houses in Bellevue had been gutted, stripped to the studs.

Harpeth Wood felt the brunt of the flood, and many of the homes that had never had a drop of the Harpeth River cross their property lines had water into their second levels or up to their rooflines.

Beech Bend Drive is a long street that rises and drops. Some homes were submerged, others untouched.

The house at 984 Beech Bend Drive is located near houses that flooded. When it was listed, however, Libby Bruno of the Wilson Group, one of the top real estate brokerage firms in Nashville, was quick to assert that this property “DOES NOT require flood insurance.”

Metro bought land in many areas of Harpeth Woods that had a chance of flooding again. That land was converted to greenway space. With these greenways in place, the likelihood houses in the area flooding was greatly decreased.

Libby Bruno, no stranger to creative and aggressive marketing, held an open house on Saturday – as opposed to the traditional Sunday open houses – and received multiple offers on her listing. The house was listed for $269,900, an optimistic price for 1,375 square feet, but she hit the sweet spot as the offers poured in. It sold for $287,000.

Vicki Testerman of Village Real Estate Services reeled in the catch for her clients.

These prices were never seen before the Flood, and Bellevue is one of the best-kept secrets in Nashville real estate. A Marcus Mariota toss or two away from Belle Meade and convenient to shopping, interstates and the Warner Parks, prices are reasonable, and all the houses that flooded were rebuilt in 2010 with 7-year-old everything.

The home that Testerman secured for her buyer has stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, hardwood flooring and a floor plan that features a vaulted ceilings and separated bedrooms creating a ski lodge atmosphere.

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

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