Low inventory creates good opening for reluctant sellers

Friday, November 1, 2019, Vol. 43, No. 44

The next two months will be telling in the world of local residential real estate. There is the possibility that the year will end with a record-setting number of closings. Most real estate brokers say the number would be much higher with more inventory, an issue that has plagued the area since 2014.

There is concern – with the holiday season weeks away – that inventory could shrink even more as many homeowners prefer to await the spring market to sell. This is the year for sellers to sell in what was formerly known as the offseason. There is gold in the hills, be they oak or green or forest.

As the competition is gobbled up by the influx of Turkey Day buyers, home prices could soar. Additionally, the holidays allow even more out-of-town buyers to flood the airports, hotels, Airbnbs and hotels as the pedal taverns slow (we can hope).

Perhaps managing brokers are noticing these trends and will send their troops into the field to garner listings. Unfortunately, managing brokers often have similar traits to the head football coaches in the National Football League.

During the first eight games of this football season, Titan head coach Mike Vrabel has made some calls that have baffled fans and media alike. Vrabel was a standout player in the NFL and helped lead the New England Patriots to several Super Bowl championships, all under the watchful eye of Bill Belichick, who was not a player but has won 69% of the games he has coached.

There are numerous examples of players failing as coaches and managers. The same situation applies to many real estate firms.

Several years ago, one of the nation’s leaders in real estate came to Nashville to speak to a group of brokers and told of a scenario playing out nationally.

Top producers, he explained, are tiring of paying a percentage of their earnings to their real estate companies and are deciding to go into business for themselves. Shortly after opening their firms, they learn their ability to broker real estate does not translate into management, training, recruiting and the running of their businesses.

Rather than finding persons with a sound business background and experience in management, the owners hire another top producing real estate broker. In several months, they, too, learn they lack the skills required to lead a firm. They repeat the cycle.

History has shown that mediocre players often make the best managers, perhaps since they lacked the abilities and skills that the stars had been able to develop or had exhibited since birth. That would not seem to work in real estate.

Dennis Johnson remembered

The Nashville real estate world lost one of its stars Oct. 7 with the death of Dennis Johnson of Worth Properties. One of the leading brokers in the community, he was always fair and pleasant in his real estate dealings, two traits that are rarely present in most transactions.

He battled multiple myeloma for several years, yet even with the disease was quick to return calls and emails and provide the utmost professional service to his clients and colleagues. A recipient of the Award of Excellence from the Greater Nashville Realtors, Johnson brought care, creativity and intellect into the body of his work.

He leaves behind his husband, Fletcher Foster, and he will be missed the community.

Sale of the Week

Sales of $3 million or more are rare. There has been only one in In Belle Meade this year, although there have been three for $4 million-plus and one for more than $5 million.

725 Westview Avenue

Last week, 725 Westview Avenue sold for $3.25 million, or $524 per square foot on a lot with 0.73 acres. Odd how acreage and the vernacular work. This is an example of when the fraction of an acre is plural and the acreage is not.

The new price is a result of the demolition of the original home and new construction replacing it. As purchase of the existing house occurred in October last year, it escaped the moratorium on teardowns in Belle Meade that runs through Dec. 15.

One misconception is that the moratorium is a ban on demolition. It is not. The moratorium was established in order to allow the city to reassess the process in which teardowns are regulated in an effort to protect the structural integrity of the city.

Castle Contractors, one of the city’s most respected and awarded companies, was founded by Alan Looney, who has been recognized by Southern Living as the “Home Builder of the Year.” Under Looney’s leadership, Castle has been received the “Best of Houzz” award for three consecutive years, and all of their homes have Energy Star designations.

In his Realtor remarks, listing agent Brett Wright, who is with Castle Homes, described the manse as a “Beautiful English Arts and Crafts style home located in the heart of Belle Meade.” Wright notes the home was designed by U.S. Interiors and is featured in the November issue of House Beautiful magazine.

The home features five bedrooms, four full baths and two half-baths, a situation which once again defies logic as the two halves do not equal a whole as neither has a shower or tub. Although the home has a Westview address, it faces Harding Place, resting at the southwest corner of the two streets.

Montgomery Turner of Turner and Associates Realty represented the buyer.

Richard Courtney is a licensed real estate broker with Fridrich and Clark Realty and can be reached at richard@richardcourtney.com.