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VOL. 44 | NO. 34 | Friday, August 21, 2020

Many Realtors in market but few achieve excellence

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The fall selling season is fast approaching, and many sellers who chose to sit out the spring market with the Safer at Home order in place are back in the game and ready to sell.

Many are looking for assistance in choosing their Realtors. The internet abounds with suggestions as the various sites such as Zillow and Trulia allow Realtors to advertise their skills.

With members joining the Greater Nashville Realtors at a clip of nearly 1,000 agents each year, and the Greater Nashville Realtors boasting a membership of some 5,600 members, a quick check of the numbers suggests that some 50% of the group could have three years’ experience or less.

Less than 10% of these 5,600 agents achieve the organization’s Award of Excellence, meaning they were involved in at least 15 transactions and participated in various functions within the association. These opportunities include committees, legislative affairs, conventions and leadership roles.

It is interesting to see the vast number of new agents who achieve the sales and the volunteerism to achieve the Award of Excellence for the first time each year. The first-time winners often comprise a large percentage of those who win.

When hockey first came to Nashville, a person who was unaware of the intricacies of the game observed many goals are scored when the puck is shot from long range by one player and another player is there to get the deflection and put the puck in the net. To him, it seemed scoring was all luck.

Sitting nearby, a student of the game said quietly, but assertively, “If it’s luck, why do the same people lead the league in scoring each year?”

Lois Holt remembered

This one really hurts. Longtime Realtor Lois Holt succumbed to a lengthy battle with cancer July 31.

Lois began her real estate career in the 1970s and was affiliated with John Grimes Realtors when I entered the real estate world in 1979. At that time, she was one of the most successful Realtors in the city.

When affiliated with the firm in 1981, she was a constant source of encouragement and support for me and others in the firm who lacked her experience, a group that included almost all of us.

Later as the Grimes firm folded, Lois moved to Fridrich and Clark, where she along with the late Vernice Bryan created a strong base of top-producing brokers that began to attract other successful agents to the small, growing real estate firm.

Her husband, Ed Holt, owned the family business Harley-Holt Furniture, a fixture on Lower Broadway for 98 years. Lois was often called away from the real estate firm to assist when needed in the furniture business.

A member of St. George’s Episcopal Church, she was a fixture on the wedding and altar guild communities. Many a rowdy groomsman incurred the wrath of Lois as they dressed for weddings in the church. It was not always pleasant. But the encounter was always memorable.

During her real estate career, Lois was decorated with numerous awards and cited with a Lifetime Award of Excellence. For decades, she served in an unofficial leadership role within the firm.

A newer agent who had never encountered a confidentiality agreement once asked Lois if she had ever had to sign one. Lois had worked with many who wished to remain anonymous.

Lois informed the rookie she had recently entered into such an agreement, and the new agent asked if she could take a look at the agreement. At that point, Lois exhibited her patient side and suggested that she seek an example from an attorney.

Having had the privilege of working alongside her for 40 years, I know Lois Holt touched thousands of lives during her lengthy career and her wit and knowledge are irreplaceable.

Sale of the Week

The Bainbridge family has been selling real estate in Nashville for decades, and it’s not surprising when a Bainbridge appears as the listing agent of a Belle Meade estate. Such is the case with the manse found at 415 Jackson Boulevard that was listed by Bill Bainbridge, the son of the late builder and the brother of Jody Hull, who is a broker with Bainbridge Realty Group.

Designed and built by Edward C. Scruggs, the home was described by Bainbridge as “a true stunner” with floor-to-ceiling windows, Calcutta gold countertops in kitchens and bathrooms that had all been redone with the “unmistakable influence of French design.”

A garden area replete with roses and boxwoods features a new limestone patio with a firepit. In his remarks, Bainbridge added, “Please note - no chance to build a swimming pool.”

Belle Meade, even with its relativity new historic/conservation overlay, has restrictions as to what properties are allowed pools.

Caroline Cook, a Realtor with Worth Properties, represented the buyer in the transaction, selling the house for $2.9 million, a mere $534 per square foot.

Cook has been selling real estate for 12 years and should know her way around a construction project, as she is the wife of the esteemed builder West (as opposite of East) Cook.

Bainbridge had listed the property for $3.1 million and teamed with Cook to put the home under contract in 34 days and close 47 days later.

With 5,426 square feet, five bedrooms, three full bathrooms and one half-bath on the 1-acre lot on prestigious Jackson Boulevard, the sale is one of the premier sales in the hallowed community.

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

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