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VOL. 37 | NO. 30 | Friday, July 26, 2013

Prince Charming might not want your castle

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300 Hillsboro Pike

Buyer: There is a shortage of inventory on the market now. There is absolutely nothing to buy.

Seller: What about my house?

There are 16,000 properties for sales in the area, according to The Greater Nashville Association of Realtors, with more than 3,000 of those selling each month, or about 20 percent of the properties.

So if a home remains on the market for five months, there is a problem, at least statistically. Five months times 20 percent equals 100 percent.

Why, then, does one home not sell while all those around it do?

Many homeowners point the finger, or raise the finger, at the Realtor. Some blame could be appropriate there, especially if the homes went under contract and the contracts fell through, or if there were offers that did not result in a consummated contract.

What is often the case is that the home is overpriced in the beginning. “You can always come down, but you can’t go up” is a philosophy that has cost homeowners millions of dollars over the years.

The fact is you can go up, and it happens with regularity in markets on the rise, such as the Nashville area in 2013. A Village agent sold a home for $85,000 more than list price last year, and there are numerous tales of prospective buyers getting in bidding wars and going offering $100,000 more than the listing price this summer.

Scads are selling for $15,000 to $20,000 more than list every week. The market will price the home up or down.

The trick is to hit a listing price that draws the bidders, i.e., more than one person. That price must be determined without benefit of the market, and chronology dictates the houses must be priced before they come on the market. Missing the list price by a few percentage points can make or break a listing.

900 20th Avenue South

Some sellers price their houses looking for the magic buyer. Some sellers have fashioned the buyer in their abundant imaginations.

This buyer will be beautiful and appreciate every aspect of the home, from the plug covers to the organic fertilizer to the roof and the crawl space. They will even admire their taste in clothing in the closets and food in the refrigerator.

This perfect buyer will insist upon paying list price for the home and have the house inspected for the sole purpose of drawing heaps of praise from the inspector.

He will expect the inspection report should read like a William Williams column. William is one of my dear friends and mentors, by the way, and I hope my family will hire him to write my obituary. Nonetheless.

Over the years, it has been proven time and time again that the perfect buyer exists and that buyer will fall in love with the home.

As is the situation with any loving relationship, timing is an issue. Can the seller wait around for the perfect buyer without falling into spinster status? What if an almost Mr. or Ms. Perfect comes along and was ignored due to a slight deficiency, perhaps the price.

Not everyone wants to marry the homecoming queen or Prince Charming. Sellers should not require a perfect fitting of the glass slipper.

Sale of the Week

There are three sales of the week representing three completely different properties from various geographical locations.

The first sale takes us back to the Adelicia at 900 20th Avenue South, a place where many native Nashvillians had their fist “mixed drink,” or cocktail, most likely a Singapore Sling, Whiskey Sour, or Tom Collins.

300 Hillsboro Pike

Not at the Adelicia, of course, but at Peking Garden, a restaurant that served a delectable fare at reasonable prices and a bartender who was not overly judicious in his reviews of the IDs. However, he gained his establishment a number of lifetime customers.

Back at the Adelicia, Apartment 1003 sold last week for $455,000 with Michelle Maldonado as the listing agent. Michelle, now associated with The Lipman Group Sotheby’s International Realty, worked with the developer during the pre-construction sales and shepherded the buyers through the process of one of the more successful condominium developments in Nashville’s now-storied condo history.

She originally sold this apartment, as the Adelicia calls them, for $307,000 in 2007. This Adelicia apartment has fantastic amenities, including with oak, hardwoods, floor-to-ceiling glass, a kitchen with a nine-foot island, gas cooking (a rarity in condos), a stainless shower and has 1,015 square feet, therefore $448 per square foot.

Emily Lowe who is also with Lipman Group Sotheby’s International delivered the appreciative buyer.

If a buyer trekked into Green Hills and found the Arden Place development, $395,000 would buy 1,125 square feet ($351 per square foot), three-bedroom, two and a-half bath home with a formal living room.

Arden Place has been around since 1978, so there are no tales of yore for its hallowed grounds.

Starling Davis, the revered veteran with Fridrich and Clark Realty, was the listing agent, and there is no buyer’s agent information available.

Starling sells as much real estate as anyone, and is the daughter of Starling and mother to Starling. There also is a granddaughter Starling, a whole flock of them.

About a mile away, as the Black Crowe flies, there is the Versailles, one of the city’s first condominium developments, having been constructed in 1967.

There, $221,500 will buy 1,586 square feet, as Mike Zeller of Village Real Estate can attest after having listed the property for $229,000 and having it test the market for 71 days.

Susan Brown of RE/MAX Choice properties represented the buyer, who bought the three-bedroom, two-bath home with hardwood floors and an open floor plan.

Brown’s client paid half the price of the Adelicia and, at $139 per square foot, a third of square-foot price.

Perhaps it’s the Peking Garden bartender driving these prices. Location, libation, libation.

Richard Courtney is a broker with Christianson, Patterson, Courtney, and Associates and can be reached at richard@richardcourtney.com.

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