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VOL. 42 | NO. 34 | Friday, August 24, 2018

Don’t let relief Realtor blow the deal in the 9th inning

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Former Atlanta Braves pitcher Tony Cloninger died earlier this month, leaving behind his record for the most grand slams in one game by a pitcher when he knocked two balls out of Candlestick Park in San Francisco in 1966, the Braves first year in Atlanta.

Coming off a 24-win season in the team’s last year in Milwaukee, Cloninger started the first game ever played in Atlanta Fulton County Stadium. While he made history for starting the first major league game played in Atlanta, what is overlooked is that he finished the game, not an unusual feat for that era other than the fact that the game went 13 innings.

That would not happen in today’s game when pitchers are pulled after achieving a certain pitch count, a number around 100 pitches. Saturday night, the division-leading Braves had pitcher Mike Foltynewicz on the mound. He was leading 3-0 after he pitched the seventh inning and was seemingly getting stronger as the game progressed.

However, having logged 104 pitches, Braves manager Brian Snitker pulled Folty and went to the bullpen. If Bobby Bragan had tried to pull Cloninger with a 3-0 lead in the seventh, he would have had to enlist Cloninger’s catcher, Joe Torre, and right fielder Hank Aaron to drag him off the mound.

By the way, the bullpen pitchers surrendered three runs in the ninth and two more in the 10th, and the Braves lost as the bullpen cost Foltynewicz yet another win.

Unfortunately, the same mentality has made its way into the residential real estate world as more and more brokers and agents are delegating all the post-contract duties to transaction coordinators, the bullpen of real estate.

These coordinators schedule the closings, the appraisals, the inspections and any other communication after the contracts are signed. Even worse, many agents will not return phone calls, texts or emails regarding the sale, even though they have signed a Confirmation of Agency form disclosing they are the agents of record. They refer and deflect everything to the coordinator.

During most transactions, the buyer’s agent and seller’s agent toil through the process of reaching agreement on prices, terms and conditions. Usually, they develop a rapport that proves beneficial in further negotiations such as the painful appraisal process.

When delegating to a third party – one who is handling transactions for various agents across the area – that relationship is lost, taking deals with them.

Many agents have assistants, and the role of the assistant is invaluable, but, unlike the transaction coordinator, the assistant knows the buyers, sellers and properties as well as the agents they assist.

The reason for the bullpen theory resulted from “Money Ball,” and perhaps the transaction coordinator is the same.

Sale of the Week

It is possible to purchase a mansion in Brentwood for less than $200 per square foot, and many buyers consider the price per square foot the one and only consideration to be weighed when buying a home.

The lower the price per square foot, the better for buyers, and 1401 Old Hickory Boulevard would scratch the price-per-square-foot itch for some of those in search of housing.

Many an open house visitor has scoffed at the price of the home after quickly calculating the square-footage price.

“I would never pay $276 per square foot!”

Price per square foot is reduced as the house size expands. Many cannot fathom the reason for that, but it is simple.

The lot is the most expensive ingredient in the overall value/cost of a house. After the lot, the kitchen, the master bedroom and its bathroom are the largest expenditures and value. After that, there are only walls, floors and ceilings.

If the cost of the lot, the kitchen and the master suite are spread over 1,000 square feet, the price per square foot would be higher than if those expenses are spread over 2,000 square feet.

The PPSF buffs are often waylaid by basement square footage, often referred to with the euphemistic term of lower level. Lower levels are more valuable than basements. A basement is a glorified crawl space, while a lower level could be a subterranean Taj Mahal.

Some appraisers have stated that a walkout basement with windows may have as much as 75 percent of the value of the upstairs. A totally submerged lower level could be seen as 50 percent of the upper floors if well finished. The crawl space with floors, walls and ceilings may only receive a 25 percent bump.

With a total of 7,430 square feet, 1401 Old Hickory Boulevard has 1,670 square feet of basement space and an additional 518 square feet in some edifice other than the main house. That means figuring the home’s PPSF was tricky and low at $162 per square foot.

The upper levels housed four bedrooms, five bathrooms, one powder room and a kitchen with a true cathedral ceiling. This ceiling could be in a cathedral. It’s a spectacular cathedral. Arching skyward and built as an inverted ark, as in Noah, the stained, tongue-and-groove hardwood ceiling pierces the heavens.

David Elliot of Remax/Elite listed the house and met the challenge of pricing three distinctly different living areas and establishing a price that would allow for a relatively quick sale. The West Memphis, Arkansas, native has transitioned to life in the Midstate and is among the leaders in the industry.

Representing the buyer in the transaction was Gray Fox Realty’s Mike Grumbles.

Scoring a 7,430-square-foot manse, regardless of the placement of the square feet, for $1,201,500 is a good deal, especially with a three-car garage, central vacuum, three fireplaces and an elevator, none of which are noticeable to PPSF buffs.

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

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