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VOL. 46 | NO. 19 | Friday, May 13, 2022

Honestly, how do you know if sellers are telling the truth?

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3610C West End Avenue

Very few people have lied one time and then ceased the practice. If they lied to you once, you can expect more falsehoods to follow.

For some, the lie is a creative exercise so as not to appear ignorant. For others, the lie is a means to an end. Some might drop a slight fib in order to make a piece of real estate seem more attractive to an unsuspecting buyer.

In order to protect buyers from fabricating homeowners, the Tennessee Real Estate Commission mandated that sellers complete a form known as the Tennessee Residential Property Disclosure. Realtors who list houses use this form.

In it, the buyer must disclose such characteristics of the home such as when it was built, has it ever flooded, is there air conditioning supplied to all rooms, has any work been performed without the correct permit and other things of which buyers should be aware so that they do not have to beware.

Many of the answers are absurd, other humorous. There are many mistakes and, yes, brazen lies.

One of the favorite answers is to the question of whether the house floods. As the country singer might say, the answer goes something like this here: “It only floods during heavy rains.” I am no meteorologist, but I have never seen anything flood in a drizzle.

Misinformation ran so rampant that sellers are no longer asked the age of the HVAC. Few ever got the right answer on that one. The seller might state the unit was installed in 2012, but the inspector said it was 2010.

Immediately, there were accusations of lying when, in fact, the inspector read the date the unit was manufactured. Perhaps it rested in inventory for a couple of years or was manufactured in late December.

If a buyer reviews the square footage recorded in the Metro tax records for the home and the number is considerably lower than the square footage the seller or his real estate broker has, chances are an addition was made in the home without a permit. In an older home, the addition is often the attic. In newer homes in the suburbs, the garages have often been converted. True Nashvillians do not use garages.

In most cases, the misinformation is innocent, often harmless. In many, the lies are intentional and, in those situations, most likely harmful. Buyers should beware. Sellers should stand their ground when appropriate.

Sale of the Week

Maggie Bond of Village began her career in print advertising and developed quite a talent for being economic, if not frugal, with her words, all the while providing brilliant copy that pleased her clients and moved the product.

Applying her former vocation into her real estate practice, as she has done for the past seven years, has catapulted her into the one of the area’s elite Realtors.

The property at 3610C West End Avenue was the most recent beneficiary of the wordsmithery of Ms. Bond, Maggie Bond.

This being 2022, she explained the ground rules for offers and showings, stating they would begin Thursday with offers due by 10 a.m. Monday. The winner would be announced by 8 p.m. that day. The quick turnaround would allow the rejected buyers to reignite their searches and move on to other properties, assuming there are any left after a weekend of carnage fit for a James Bond movie.

Another delightful instruction in Bond’s detail of the proper procedure for presenting offers is her refusal to accept offers via Dropbox, a ridiculous contraption that Q would never have created for his double-O spies. It is more of a Spectre-like weapon.

The Brownstone sold for $1,462,500, some $162,500 more than list price. Judy Williams of Parks, one of Village’s allies, delivered the offer.

Williams’ buyers were not pound-foolish, but penny-wise with their offer, and Williams’ strategy of adding the $2,500 to the $160,000 worked in this bidding war.

Here’s how this winning strategy works: If the buyers want to offer $100,000 more than list, it may behoove them to go $107,500 over. The extra cash could be what it takes to win the prize.

Now for Bondian prose she used to describe the property:

“Elegant living with unmatched convenience, offering a low-maintenance lifestyle … Beautifully appointed with elevated finishes.”

She noted the Brownstone features “an expansive chef’s kitchen,” and “all bedrooms are ensuite.” There is an elevator to all floors, and the Wolf grill system is on the main-level porch. These COVID-ridden, stock market-dropping, inflation-drenched days, who does not wish to live a life of ease?

Bond added the home includes a “full laundry room with sink and a convenient drop zone to make your busy life easier.”

There is no mention of a park-like setting or anything being a stone’s throw to anywhere. There are no empty adjectives such as beautiful, fabulous, awesome or nice-sized in this listing. At times, “nice-sized” is reduced to “nice-size” as in “This is a nice-size bedroom.” Quite nice. Just right. And there was no mention of “STR” or “short-term rental.”

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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