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VOL. 44 | NO. 43 | Friday, October 23, 2020

Down to the wire: When is a closing actually closed?

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In spite of the most brutal, contentious election in history being held during a worldwide pandemic, all is calm on the Nashville real estate front. At least for the most part.

As in the presidential elections, homeowners are spewing conspiracy theories about those trying to buy their houses and basing negotiations on reconnaissance.

If a buyer has money, then the seller feels the buyer should make the repairs. If the sellers have money, then the sellers should take a lower price. Most wealthy people did not accumulate their wealth by making ridiculous business decisions. Many people who appear wealthy are not.

So far, with Google and all the technology and social media available, assets, liabilities and net income are not available to the general public.

“They are touring Spain and they want us to make the HVAC work? Forget about it.” That was pre- COVID-19. Now it’s worse.

People are home and on their computers more. They are angry at the press, the candidates and the virus. Buyers have turned against sellers and sellers against buyers in a most uncivil war. In a few estate transactions, real estate has, in fact, pitted brother against brother.

Transactions are being scrapped all over town. On Friday afternoon closings, when the buyer’s lender is a bit tardy with the wiring of the funds, sellers are refusing to allow occupancy, and moving vans are resting filled to the gills with furniture for the weekends.

Luckily, for the buyers, hotel rates are at the lowest in years.

Closing attorneys are often asked to referee these scrimmages.

So, the buyer and the seller both signed the closing documents, and the buyer wired the correct amount of cash to the title company. The lender has initiated the wire, and there is confirmation of that the wire is in the Feral Reserve system on its way to the title company, at then comes the confirmation it arrived, but not until after the close of business. The Fed is closed, so the title company is unable access the funds to disburse to the seller.

Is the transaction closed? It’s like a tree falling in the woods and no one within hearing distance. Is there sound?

Is there a transfer of ownership? Whose insurance is in place? When a benevolent seller allows possession, is the person in the house an owner or a renter?

The best advice for buyers and seller is to close on a day other than Friday if possession is an issue.

It becomes even more complicated when House A needs to close in order to fund House B, and that house funds House C. What are the chances of the first buyer’s wire hitting the title company on time and then the lender for that buyer wiring to title Company 1, and then title Company 1 wiring the funds to title Company 2, which needs funds from the buyer and its lender, then transferring that to title Company 3 in time?

The Mamas & The Papas couldn’t trust Monday. Title companies should.

Sale of the Week

There are houses built around Nashville being marketed as historic that are younger than Carrie Underwood. But that is not the case with the house at 1313 Gartland Avenue.

1313 Gartland Avenue

Built in 1894, probably around the time of birth of Carrie’s great-grandmother, the house sold recently within a matter of hours.

Having survived the 1916 fire, when the entire community was set ablaze by a ball of yarn ignited by a wood stove, the house has witnessed the tornado of 1998 and then the savage tornado early this year. It deserves a place in the Nashville Home Hall of Fame.

Martin and Cass Hickman were the listing agents for the property they described as an East Nashville rarity featuring “an eclectic, inviting vibe.” Noting that the house includes a Morso wood-burning stove, office space with built-in bookshelves, two master suites and an oversized garage with barn doors opening into the backyard.”

The house was listed for $690,000 and sold for $705,000. The veteran Village team of Amy Gill and Pete Jones were experienced enough to know the $10,000 more than list would not bring this one home. At $276 per square foot, the sellers did well with the initial investment of $340,000 in 2012, although the house was extensively updated.

It is difficult to find three bedrooms and three full baths in an historic home, but the home on Gartland worked all three into its 2,638 square feet. The Compass listing agents noted the house has all that Lockland Springs has to offer.”

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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