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VOL. 46 | NO. 14 | Friday, April 8, 2022

Siri, what did the last couple say they were willing to pay?

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The Ring doorbell and similar security and camera devices have ushered in a new era in real estate showings. Often, after viewing a listing, the buyers and the buyers’ agents stop on the front porch to discuss their assessment of the property.

With the Ring system in place, that conversation is often heard in real time by the sellers. Alexa and other monitoring devices can relay the mumblings of the would-be buyers as they are rumbling through the homes.

Buyers with monitoring devices need not ask for feedback from buyers’ agents since they have the feedback as it is generated.

In multiple-offer scenarios, the sellers often review the conversations of the buyers when making decisions on which offer to accept.

For example, one buyer might have settled on the property and wished to tie it up, wait and watch to see if a better home comes on the market, then terminate the contract if something better comes along during the inspection period.

In some cases, the offers come from buyers whose agents toured the house with the buyers viewing remotely. These buyers have not seen the property or the neighborhood.

These two types of buyers will be rejected in favor of a buyer who was complimentary of the house and its features.

Buyers – and their agents – should keep their thoughts to themselves, at least until out of earshot of electronic equipment.

Sale of the Week

And yet another property has sold for $500,000 more than list price, this one at 4006 Dorcas Drive in Green Hills.

4006 Dorcas Drive

Priced at $3.5 million, the home sold for a cool $4 million in the bidding war that ensued. The owner had paid $2,250,000 in 2020.

There is some profit-taking to be had, the only problem for sellers is there is nowhere to go if they plan on staying in Middle Tennessee. Alabama is nice this time of year, but they must go south of Huntsville and north of Birmingham, lest they run into the same pricing issues found in Middle Tennessee.

David Binkley, a longtime top producing broker with Village and a fourth-generation real estate agent, co-listed the house. It’s safe to say the other three generations never experienced a real estate market like the current state of affairs.

His co-listing agent was none other than his brother, Dale, who had previously coached football at Vanderbilt and Lipscomb Middle School.

Dale plays for a different team than David, as his license is with Silverpointe. But that didn’t stop them from coming up with a winning game plan for the Dorcas listing.

Six years ago, buyers were wary of paying a higher price per square foot for properties, citing comparable sales as the gold standard. Over the years, prices crept higher, usually 3% to 6% in Nashville during normal real estate conditions.

This house was listed for $535 per square foot and sold for $612 per square foot, a situation that was unfathomable even in 2016. Today, it is commonplace, the norm rather than the exception.

This sale made it all the way to the closing table, which is often not the case.

In one recent situation, a home was put under contract with language in the contract stating the purchase was not contingent on a loan, nor was there a requirement that the property appraise for the sales price.

The only contingency was pass/fail on the inspection, meaning the buyer could have the home inspected and could terminate for any reason. In this transaction, the buyer cited a broken ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet and broken shingles.

The house in question was 2 years old, and the roof was under warranty. The cost to replace a GFCI plug would run about $100. These were the deficiencies that caused the buyer to walk on the contract, at least according to the termination notice.

In many cases, more than in the past, there is buyers’ remorse since the decision must be made so quickly and for so much money. While there are no statistics to be cited, managing brokers are releasing more earnest money than ever before.

Back to a sale that did close, the Dorcas house has 6,536 square feet with five bedrooms, five full bathrooms and a powder room. Additionally, there was a swimming pool and a screened porch, neither of which is computed in the price per square foot.

The Brothers Binkley noted the property is a “short stroll to Harpeth Hall and Julia Green at the confluence of Green Hills and Belle Meade.”

Veteran Realtor Lydia Armistead and her longtime associate Lila Gray won the Battle of Dorcas for their buyers, who will most likely see a similar return on their investment.

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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