Buyers, sellers will blow you away with crazy ideas

Friday, July 6, 2018, Vol. 42, No. 27

Art Linkletter wrote a book years ago titled “Kids Say the Darndest Things.” Linkletter had hosted a television show that always included a segment during which he would interview, one on one, a group of children. Linkletter spent decades in the entrainment industry and always said he preferred to interview women 80 and older and children under 10 and younger.

He could have saved some vetting if he interviewed those buying or selling homes.

One seller felt the need to craft his own information sheet to be placed in the house for open-house attendees, writing neighboring houses would be destroyed if a tornado touched down. His would not.

He had a good point in that it was a magnificently constructed home, but he chose to add a sentence to explain why the strength of the home is important: “This is tornado alley, folks.”

Just in case the buyers were on the fence, that should bring them home.

Another seller was responding to a list of repairs requested by the potential buyer. “I have lived with things like that for 16 years and they have not bothered me at all. I call it ambience.”

One person’s defects, another person’s ambience.

Recently, a neighbor accosted the listing agent of the house next door to suggest that the home was listed $200,000 less than market value. By selling at such a low price, the value of the neighbor’s home would be diminished.

“You think I missed this by $200,000?” the broker asked.

“At a minimum!” the neighbor exclaimed.

“Then you should buy it and flip it and make $200,000,” the broker suggested. “At a minimum.”

That was the end of that.

Another tool some sellers think valuable is to provide architectural plans for renovating the listing so that those who are considering the home will be able to observe the shortcomings and a means to improve upon those.

Identification of a home’s weakness is not necessarily a good way to market a home, although there are exceptions. Often, when there are numerous showings and countless open houses and those surveying the homes all have the same objections, something must be done.

If the statement “I like the location and the house, and I just cannot seem to make the floorplan work” is heard over and over, then a floorplan with a solution to the issues can be helpful. Most people have no vision. Hence the need for architects, and theirs is the most valuable profession in real estate.

There are few things as sad as walking into a home with a $300,000 renovation in which the owner saved $10,000 in architectural fees only to make the house unsalable or a tear down. It happens all the time. Owners do the darndest things.

Sale of the Week

Released in 1989, the movie Driving Miss Daisy was nominated for 10 Academy Awards and received awards for Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Makeup and Best Adapted Screenplay. Jessica Tandy won the award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Daisy Werthan, a resident of Atlanta whose niece owned the Werthan Bag Company.

1350 Rosa Parks Boulevard was known in the 1870s as as Morgan and Hamilton, a bag producing company. The Werthans acquired the property in the early 1900s. The Werthan bag company manufactured burlap bags and provided the armed services with the sandbags used in World War I and World War II.

Real estate developer Charles Jones purchased the property in 1998. Eventually, it was developed into what are now known as the Werthan Lofts.

Last week two condos in the development sold, one listed by Chris Hulsey, an energetic and wildly successful Realtor with the Wilson Group.

Hulsey and the Wilsons noted that unit #255 had been updated with new flooring, custom window treatments and high-end appliances, and that the development boasted two pools, grills and a fitness center.

By providing the tax information required by Realtracs, the Multiple Listing Service, more information was available than the other unit that sold last week in the development.

The seller of unit #255 had bought the condo in 2015 for $188,500 and sold it last week for $309,000, or $443 per square foot, while the other unit sold for $422 per square foot. Michael John Maslowski of Cloud Realty represented the buyer of the Wilson Group unit.

A quick check to see who assisted the buyer of the other Werthan sale last week revealed that the winner is the venerable Jennifer Claxton. It must take more than a village to enter all the information into MLS.

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