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VOL. 43 | NO. 25 | Friday, June 21, 2019

Even the haters see some benefits in open houses

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Are open houses a valuable real estate tool or simply a way for real estate brokers to pad their mailing lists?

It’s the real estate equivalent as asking a colleague, “So, what do you think of Donald Trump’s presidency?” You might get a stronger reaction than you anticipated, although there is no political correlation between the two camps in the open house debate.

Many sellers feel open houses benefit brokers at the expense of the property being marketed. Still others will tell you open houses serve as bait to lure potential buyers who would not have shown an interest in the property.

Most veteran agents agree that both arguments have merit. Certainly, there are occasions when a person searching for property visits a house that is not appealing to them. In some instances, the Realtor holding the open house might impress the buyer to the point that the buyer would like to work with that agent. That is neither an indictment of the house nor the Realtor.

As for selling houses, many people prefer to search for houses on their own, unattended by a real estate broker whom they feel is trying to sell them something. They may seek representation later in the transaction, but they enjoy independent tire kicking.

Most real estate agents will agree that open houses during the first week of listing are beneficial. In Nashville, in today’s market, the proactive often spawns the coveted “multiple-offer scenario.”

One aspect of the multiple-offer scenario seldom mentioned is that most of the offers are for less than list price. This practice surprises sellers and Realtors, alike. Buyers making the offers know there are other offers and the house is new to the market, then offer 90 percent of list price anyway.

Another worthwhile time for an open house is when there is a price reduction and, contrary to popular belief and pride, a “reduced” sign does not suggest weakness or desperation. It suggests that the house was priced too high and now is not.

Sale of the Week

There are two houses located on the parcel of land the post office once designated as 838 Clayton Avenue. One is in the rear and one in front of the lot.

When the subdivision was created, the lot could have housed either a duplex or a single-family home, as could almost every lot in Metro until Council members began downzoning parcels.

Through the years, there have been various zoning opportunities that would allow more multifamily structures on the various lots about town. At first, there were duplexes, then zero lot lines came into existence allowing the homeowners to own the land beneath the houses, as well the houses themselves up to the adjacent neighbor’s house. They shared a common wall, but not really. They each had their own wall that abutted the neighbor’s wall.

Then along came Horizonal Property Regimes (HPRs). There were zoning regulations that forced the houses to be attached in the early going, and builder and architects exercised tremendous creativity when adjoining the two structures.

They were often joined by a storage shed or garages. One builder attempted to skirt the rules by connecting the houses underground. Metro failed to find the humor in that enterprise.

Now there are detached HPRs and attached HPRs. Since the Airbnb craze, there has been more discussion of STRs (short-term rentals) than HPRs, although HPRs are often STRs, at least for now.

The house in the front of 838 Clayton was designated with a “B” once 838 Clayton was divided into two building pads. Tax records reflect the property was once owned by Scott Mele. Coincidentally, the house at 838B was listed by a person of that very same name.

The listing agent with the name Scott Mele is with the real estate firm known as Village. In his description of the house, Mele notes that the master bedroom is down, meaning on the main level, and that there are three bedrooms upstairs. One of the upstairs bedrooms includes a “Jack and Jill” bathroom, he states.

He described the house as “Shades of Alys Beach in 12South,” adding the kitchen is perfect for those with epicurean aspirations with its honed quartz countertops and waterfall island.

The house includes a Juliet-type balcony, from which Mele stated he would be practicing his Shakespeare, particular the line, “Love comforteth like sunshine after rain.”

Leaving no marketing stone unturned, Mele enticed Larry Kloess of Compass Tennessee LLC to navigate his way to the listing with buyer in tow.

The house was listed for $869,000 originally and sold for $830,000. With 2,979 square feet and all of the amenities, it would seem that parting would be such sweet sorrow for the builder.

Richard Courtney is a licensed real estate broker with Fridrich and Clark Realty, LLC and can be reached at richard@richardcourtney.com.

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