Brat house: Sellers see nothing but perfection

Friday, July 30, 2021, Vol. 45, No. 31

Houses are often like spoiled children, the product of loving parents who feel their offspring can do no wrong. Houses are often viewed with the same affection by their owners. They are absolutely wonderful. Flawless. If you do not believe the owner, read the property condition disclosure.

In the disclosure, the buyer will learn important tendencies of the home. It never leaks, except when it rains. There are no screens because that is better, no matter what the buyers think, and they should keep their windows closed because that is better.

No one opens their windows these days.

The knob marked “cold” actually turns on the hot water, and it only takes three to four minutes for it to get there because it is a tankless water heater and they are better.

Their houses are better than other houses just like their children are better than any other children in the world. So what if Junior refuses to remove a semi-nude Britney Spears poster in his room. Britney’s father must have said it is all right. Now there is one dad who doesn’t think his kid is perfect.

Then there are pets. Pets, of course, are often even more beloved than children, often replacements for offspring. Pets and houses often work hand in hand or paw in paw in deceiving their owners.

Pet smell? What pet smell? To many owners, cats and dogs have no odor. Neither do skunks. Skunks should hire the public relations firms of the dogs and cats. Skunks don’t stink unless they feel like it, not the same for dogs and cats.

When houses do not sell – even if they smell – most owners never fault the house. They fault the Realtor, usually. Why is no one looking at their house?

Sadly, it’s the reason their child is picked last – as I often was – for the baseball game or fails to make the team, as I did on occasion. My parents loved me whether I made the team or not.

Same goes for houses. If their house has issues, it will be chosen last or perhaps not even make the team.

When I was in the seventh grade, I attended Whitthorne Junior High in Columbia, and attempted to play various sports. My parents understood why my towering, athletic, classmate Wayne Stacy, who could dunk a basketball, was chosen over my scrawny 5-foot-5 self.

However, my folks never approached the Stacy parents for a trade or insisted that I was better and should start instead of Wayne. Wayne was a 12-year-old Bill Russell with Jerry West’s shot, Babe Ruth’s ability to belt the long ball and Sandy Koufax’s pitch repertoire. He could snag footballs with hands as soft as Lance Alworth and had speed that rivaled Bob Hayes.

Wayne was the perfect house. A brick house. Some parents with talentless, uncoordinated children thought their child was as good as Wayne. These are the same people who cannot understand why their houses do not sell. And they do nothing about it. Nothing to make the house better because it already is better.

It must be lack of marketing, also known as skunk syndrome.

At least my parents sent me to Roy Skinner’s basketball camp in hopes of making me the next Wayne Stacy. But there already was a perfectly good Wayne Stacy.

Regardless of all of the drills I practiced or weights I lifted, I was not going to be Wayne Stacy.

That’s the problem with houses in a competitive market. Like it or not the Stacyian home will sell before Courtneyan version every time.

All houses should be all that they can be and hope Stacy stays out of the neighborhood.

Sale of the Week

Located within the neighborhood officially known as Richland Realty Company, Greenway Avenue is often overlooked by those driving through the Richland-West End neighborhood. Granted, the homes are a bit smaller than many of the mansions that dot Richland and Central Avenue, but there are beautiful, historic homes on the street.

The house located at 317 Greenway sold last week for $650,000 in a matter of hours after Stephanie Kleiner, who hails from Zeitlin Sotheby’s International Realty, listed the 1,884-square-foot dwelling for $625,000. That’s $25,000 more than the already-aggressive asking price.

Mindy Orman, a student of all things historical, represented the lucky buyer who landed the prize while competing against several offers.

The house includes three bedrooms and two full baths along with a two-car garage, a rarity for the area. There is even room for expansion, Kleiner said in her description, as long as the owner adheres to conservation zoning guidelines.

Richard Courtney is a licensed real estate broker with Fridrich and Clark Realty, LLC and can be reached at