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VOL. 39 | NO. 29 | Friday, July 17, 2015

Beware of potential buyers at your door

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It’s a little early for Halloween, but that’s not stopping adults dressed as real estate professionals from knocking on doors and looking for handouts.

But these little ghouls aren’t asking for candy. They’re looking for a big payday – as opposed to a Payday – and to take advantage of potential sellers in this robust market.

A Realtor recently visited a seller on Piedmont Avenue in the Inglewood area and informed her that her house should be valued at $265,000. He responded that such a price was unlikely as “several real estate people had knocked on her door” offering $135,000, and she had scads of letters with similar offers.

She feared the potential listing agent was suggesting a high price in order to secure the listing before pushing her to sell for less at a later date. A mutual friend recommended taking the agent’s advice, and the house sold in a matter of hours for $265,000.

Another unfortunate situation involves Realtors offering to sell the house at no charge if the buyers will allow them – or their teams – to represent them in the purchase of a more-expensive home. This would allow the listing agent turned buyer’s representative to make money with no work.

The listing agents could then list the houses for less than market value and receive multiple offers, hence giving the sellers a feeling of strong representation. Then, the agents could pass the sellers, now buyers, over to their buyers’ agents and receive 40 percent of the commission.

The buyers’ agents are happy since they had no real business, the original listing agent did nothing and received 40 percent of a commission.

If a person could have three or four agents working for them, and each sells four houses per month at an average of $250,000 with an average commission of 2.5 percent, then skims 40 percent of that, the gross revenues equate to $10,000 per agent.

Not bad work if you can get it and manage to sleep at night.

The sellers are the losers, as was the case in one Brentwood transaction.

The house sold for $35,000 more than list and appraised for $30,000 more than that. In effect, the listing agent missed by at least $65,000 on a $430,000 property.

In reality the house should have been worth much more since appraisers seldom appraise houses for more than sale price.

And this one is even better: There are groups and individuals that will “pay cash for Homes.” Darn right they will – as long as someone will pay them 100 percent more than they paid for yours.

Do not do this. They’re not your friend.

There is a blank space for title companies to be chosen for closings, and that space is most often accommodated by the real estate agent. Some title companies are inept. Even though they are agents for large national title companies, and their title insurance is effective, they cannot close the deals on time.

Let the buyers and sellers beware. Ask your agent if they have ever had issues with the title companies they recommend and what issues they had.

So with 198,438 people moving to Nashville, why shouldn’t you sell your home?

The answer is that there are 198,438 people moving to Nashville.

Consequently, there is no place to go, no direction home, you are a complete unknown, and so it goes.

If you sell for today’s prices, you rent for exorbitant rates and buy at tomorrow’s higher price.

Buy before you sell. Trust the market. It is honest.

Sale of the Week

The campus of Ensworth High School is located on Highway 100 just past Edwin Warner and Percy Warner parks.

Across the road is a quaint neighborhood developed in 1987 and dubbed Devon Park, as in the county in England, and the streets have names such as London Way, Falkirk, Nottingham, Dorshire, Whiteheath and Hampshire.

Last week, a home at 417 Hampshire Place sold for $465,000 after Brent McPherson, the listing savant with Village Real Estate Services, listed it at $469,000.

McPherson described it as a “super clean home in a wonderful neighborhood,” noting it had a great floor plan and a “spacious and luxurious porch that is great for entertaining.”

In other words, the décor was so-so and the master was up, but the exterior was wonderful and McPherson did not understate or oversell.

The legendary Tom Andrews, iconic Realtor with Weichert Realtors, The Tom Andrews Group, delivered the buyer and chiseled $4,000 off of the sales price for this 3,283-square-foot house on .26 acres to $465,000, or $141 per square foot, a most reasonable price for the area. Everything is not $200 per foot over there.

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

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