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VOL. 44 | NO. 12 | Friday, March 20, 2020

Another month of record sales as unknowns lurk

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The Greater Nashville Realtors released its sales data last week with the activity reported having occurred before the acceptance of the fact by most that the COVID-19 virus is among us.

With the virus lurking, but not front of mind, February sales increased 10% as of February 2019, with 2019 being a record-breaking year for area residential real estate sales.

Want more good news? There were 3,504 pending sales at the end of the month compared to 2,974 at the end of February 2019. February had an extra day this year in order to pad its stats, but the increase is significant.

Sales are continuing to close as scheduled, title companies in the area report, but things might change in the last half of the month as quarantining, closures and social distancing intensify.

Anyone active in social media know there is a vocal segment of the population that feels the dangers of the virus are exaggerated, that there is no cause for alarm and are going to go about life as they always have. That could bode well for home sales, even though some companies are recommending that showings cease.

Maria Seigenthaler, a former Nashvillian now residing in New Jersey and my sister-in-law, noticed a real estate broker in her area had posted an announcement last Saturday that was met with positive response:

“I have received some inquiries about why we are still having Open Houses this weekend, and I will say that the situation has been very difficult.

“Our fiduciary duty is to our clients, but also to the community. As Realtors, we are hired to help clients sell homes, so that must continue, so we have our precautionary methods in place: we are asking buyers to walk through a house individually (and the hosting agent can stay outside if they prefer) we are sanitizing everyone, asking everyone to remove shoes or wear booties and we are keeping a distance.”

This agent added that since the mayor in New York City had encouraged patronage at bars and restaurants, that this practice of open houses was acceptable and they were dutiful in their efforts to sell the properties. It is worthy of note, however, that the mayor closed all the bars and restaurants with the exception of takeout orders after this post, so her position might have changed.

Many firms in the Greater Nashville area are asking their agents to work remotely and not to visit the office unless it is necessary. Additionally, they are suggesting that the brokers warn the clients of the potential consequences of open houses and make every effort to cancel any open house events.

With the lag between properties going under contract and the closings – coupled with the fact that many people have no choice but to move – the Nashville area might not feel the impact of the virus if the flattening of the spread occurs within two or three weeks.

As for now, it seems there are more closings and cancellations by the hour, and self-quarantining appears to be gaining traction. Stay safe out there.

Sale of the Week

Laura Baugh of Worth Property fame listed 4354 Chickering Lane for $1.439 million and sold it for $1.245 million in 110 days, but much of that time was during the holidays. Listed in late October, it went under contract in February before closing last week.

4354 Chickering Lane

For Baugh, upper-end homes are her home as she moves a substantial number of properties worth more than over $1 million each year, and has for decades.

People like to say the word decades these days. The word has been around for years, but never enjoyed its current popularity as now many really enjoy saying it. It will never catch literally, but it is gaining on it. It often is the most accentuated word in the sentence, worthy of uppercase letters if quoted.

Baugh is adept at turning a phrase in her descriptions of homes and was brilliant in her depiction of this sprawling manse. “Drive down the exclusive ‘Boulevard’ of Chickering Lane and arrive at this elegant classic Forest Hills home on six private acres,” she wrote.

Conjuring images of Belle Meade Boulevard, but without the price tag, and citing the acreage as private rather than 6 acres described by some cliché such as the overused “park like setting.” You will never see her write “owner says sell” or “owner wants offer” or any of the other idiotic verbiage that litters some advertising.

Encompassing some 4,372 square feet, the house, updated in 2010, commanded $292 per square feet from the buyer. Said buyer was discovered and procured by none other than Ms. Baugh.

This home also includes “five ensuite bedrooms and a screened flagstone porch with a stone fireplace.” Encompassing

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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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 0 0
MORTGAGES 0 0 0
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 0
BUILDING PERMITS 0 0 0
BANKRUPTCIES 0 0 0
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 0 0
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0