ASKING FOR THE MOON MIGHT LEAVE YOU GROUNDED
by Richard Gordon Courtney
There were 3,226 closings in August, Greater Nashville Association of Realtors numbers show, up 4.6 percent from last August. It could have increased 24.6 percent if there were more listings.
"Inventory is continuing to decrease," GNAR president Hagan Stone notes. "There is demand from buyers."
GNAR stats show the median price for a single-family home increased from $194,000 to $219,000, while the condos increased from $167,834 to $169,000. In short, everything is moving well, with the exception of homes that are overpriced or even slightly lacking the perfection that buyers demand.
While most of the area has become accustomed to reports reflecting this type of growth, the market only started trending upward in late 2011 after beginning its fall with a 27 percent drop in August of 2007.
By September 2008, many of real estate brokers were wondering if and when the market would ever recover.
But recover it has, and that has invited some interesting characters into the real estate business. And bless their collective heart, many of them have unique, if not terminal, negotiating tactics.
Recently a Realtor placed a house under contract, had it inspected and requested $30,000 for repairs. When the owner balked, they countered with $14,000, the owner said "Forget about it."
So the buyer's broker suggested $8,000 would be sufficient. By then the owner had no interest in selling the house and took it off the market.
The buyer then succumbed and said they would take it "as is." The seller rejected the offer. From $30,000 to $14,000 to $8,000 to zero. The $8,000 might have worked if that had been the original proposal.
Another interesting phenomenon now presenting itself across the land is that buyers are asking for more and more personal property. It must assist psychologically for the buyer if they can take some of the seller's stuff since they are now being forced to pay more than list price or an amount higher the previous owner paid.
The mounted televisions are understandable, as their removal and resetting in another residence could be costly, and the TVs are less costly and cover more diagonal inches than before.
Now buyers are asking for tables, chairs, couches, rugs, dining room tables, and sometimes even clothing. I promise.
Along those lines, it is not unusual for the personal property that might sell at a yard sale for $50 to quash a $1 million sale.
The judge, attorney, legislative body or whoever decided real property and personal property, i.e., other people's stuff, should be handled separately and with different laws was brilliant.
Those combining the two aren't.
Sale of the Week
311 Granny White Pike is located in Williamson County, less than a mile from the Davidson County line. $3 million will go a long way there.
About 53 days ago, the property was listed by Steve Mabee and Nathan Weinberg, who form the most unlikely business partnership of all time and are budding superstars in the real estate world. Parks in The Gulch is proud to house the odd couple as they begin their walk of fame.
This house had rock star written all over it with cool angular guitars hanging along the walls along and an assortment of various silver, gold and platinum albums.
The remarks describing the haven included: "Enviable doesn't really begin to describe this."
A darn good line as realty descriptions go.
"The best back yard you have ever seen," which sounds dreadfully hyperbolic unless the viewer didn't get out much. As I said budding superstars. They get excited about big listings.
And this one is a doozy, worthy of gushing.
"Custom lighting and fire features make this an oasis in Brentwood" and it is an outstanding outdoor paradise with a bathroom with granite countertops and a shower, along with an outdoor pavilion, a professional kitchen and swimming pool. These features could make the deck obsolete.
And this one is huge, ginormous as they say these days.
With more than 10,000 square feet of glistening floors and soaring ceilings, massive, artistic mouldings and more decorations dotting the decor than the eye could comprehend.
The house has six bedrooms, seven full baths, and two half baths. Its design is museum meets Hollywood set in Dubai.
Tim Bennett of Fridrich and Clark Realty represented the buyer of manse, who will be able to host a cast party for the cast of a Cecil B. DeMille movie. Perhaps we can meet there.
Richard Courtney is a real estate broker affiliated with Christianson, Patterson, Courtney, and Associates and can be reached at email@example.com.
So, I would like to pass it on and showcase a small business each month I have personally patronized that I love in the hopes it may help grow their business and turn you on ...to someone you may not have previously known about.
This month, that business is Todd Binkley with Erie Insurance. There are plenty of insurance companies out there, and some of them are really good. But what I like about Todd is the personal service coupled with great rates. He's responsive, he's honest, and Erie's rates are terrific. If you need a quote for insurance and want an insurance agent you can trust, give him a call. 615-477-7777.
Homes today are bought & sold quickly, and they are often treated like a widget, just another interchangeable product. But each home has a story. And those details - those intangible & personal specifics - are what buyers often want to know the most. Square footage & bedrooms and bathrooms will always be important. But that's not everything. With each Post & Company listing, clients are sharing specifics that highlight their home's charm & uniqueness.
This month, that business is Bill Crutchfield and Crutch Camp. Bill is a wonderful personal trainer. He has 20 years of experience, is motivating, and is infinitely patient. He takes working out very seriously but he doesn't take himself too seriously which is a nice change from the stereotypical trainer. He works well with all skill levels, and he can help you reach your goals. If you would like a great trainer or a great boot camp experience, call Bill at 957-1668.
Nearly half of all home sales all-cash deals
May 8, 2014: 7:26 AM ET
Want to buy a home? Better be carrying lots of cash.
All-cash deals hit a record 43% of home sales during the first three months of 2014, according to RealtyTrac. That's up from 19% a year earlier and the highest level reported since RealtyTrac began tracking the deals in early 2011.
The jump is due to two main factors: strict lending standards that make it difficult to get a mortgage and intense buyer competition.
"Inventory shortages, as well as lending regulations favor the all-cash buyer," said Chris Pollinger of First Team Real Estate in Southern California.
Even buyers who would ordinarily finance their purchases are making all-cash offers to appear more attractive to sellers, said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.
"If they have the ability to, homebuyers will put up cash bids just to jump to the front of the line," he said.
After all, cash deals stand a better chance of closing on time. Buyers dependent on financing may run into snags due to strict mortgage underwriting standards.
Interestingly, the increase in cash sales is occurring despite a downturn in purchases by institutional investors -- firms that have been active in buying foreclosures and short sales with cash.
"As institutional investors pull back, there is still strong demand from other cash buyers -- including individual investors, second-home buyers and even owner-occupant buyers -- to fill the vacuum," said Blomquist.
Cash buyers paid an average of $207,668 for homes during the first quarter, a 13% discount to the properties' average estimated value, according to RealtyTrac.
Part of that disparity is due to the fact that a quarter of the sales were of homes either in the foreclosure process or already foreclosed on by lenders. Such distressed homes typically sell below market value.
Once riddled with foreclosures, Cape Coral, Fla., had the highest level of all-cash deals at nearly 74% of first quarter sales, according to RealtyTrac. Four other Florida cities followed: Miami (67%), Sarasota (65%), Palm Bay (64%) and Lakeland (62%).
Miami, New York, Boston and coastal California cities are attracting a lot of foreign buyers who are paying in all cash, according to Jeff Meyers, founder of Meyers Research.
In Miami, Latin Americans are putting down deposits of 50% or more on apartments in the early stages of development, enabling builders to self-finance the rest of the building or leverage bank loans at attractive rates. The buyer then pays the balance in cash at the time of occupancy.
In California, Chinese nationals and immigrants are "parking their cash in single-family homes," said Meyers.
In Irvine, Calif., for example, 80% of sales over the past year were to Chinese buyers, he said.