Educate yourself before searching for new home

Friday, March 29, 2019, Vol. 43, No. 13

Spring break is over. It ended for Metro schools a couple of weeks ago, most of the private schools returned to the classrooms Monday and all the surrounding counties have their students back in school.

Over the years, the three Rs have been replaced by STEM which is science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Since two of the three Rs weren’t Rs anyway, it was a logical move.

Now, as buyers wade into the spring market, a bit of STEM should be in order.

As for the science, mold could be in full force this year as the area has absorbed and deflected more moisture than in years past. Testing for living organisms is more important than it has been. Those organisms may include various woodboring insects and moisture-attracting termites and their hungry friends.

Zillow and its competition have seemingly taken over the technology side of real estate searches. While Zestimates is a clever term for the tool that estimates the value of a home on the site, they are not totally accurate inasmuch as no Zillow person has crossed the threshold of the home. But the technology is there.

Once again, as a result of the abundance of precipitation, engineering is more of a factor than in it has been. The grading of many yards has changed and the foundations in most of the structures in town have been altered somewhat.

As any contractor will quickly disclose, “Water is the most powerful force of nature.” In that context, they are not referring to whitewater rapids, rather rivulets that often vanish within minutes of their birth, but can cause extensive damage during their short life span.

Mathematics, of course, must work its way into the equation. Finance is more complicated, and the financial institutions are providing more options each year. The changes in the tax code are affecting some more than others but should be considered when purchasing.

Sale of Week

Last week the townhome at 133A Woodmont Boulevard closed for $788,000 with Karla Frieson of Coldwell Banker Barnes as the listing agent and Renee Puckett representing the buyer.

Puckett hails from the Green Hills office of the Wilson Group and has been recognized by the Greater Nashville Realtors for her volunteerism and success in sales by winning the Award of Excellence for four consecutive years.

No stranger to awards, Frieson was the recipient of the Best in Blue award this year and has worked to balance her life focusing on the five Fs – faith, family, finance, fitness and fashion – excelling in all five.

Puckett is more of a 4-H personality with a daughter who has a youth membership in the Hillsboro Hounds. She also has at least one dog in the house at all times.

It took all the four Hs and five Fs to pull close this sale of this townhome, described by Karla as “an immaculate townhome in an intimate, luxury development.” The effort was not for this home, but another home involved.

In her Realtor remarks, Frieson noted the house was under contract with a “kickout clause” in place. That is where the four H’s and five F’s come into play.

A kickout clause is also known as a right of first refusal, sometimes switched to first right of refusal. In short, the home is under contract with a certain contingency, usually the sale of the buyer’s current residence.

Should another acceptable – and that does not mean a higher price – offer come in, the seller can give the buyer with the contingency notice and, at that point, the buyer has a certain agreed upon-time period in order to remove the contingency, or the contract is null and void.

These kickout clauses are more complicated than they seem. There have been occasions in which the contingency buyer removed the sale of home contingency and agreed to close and didn’t show up with the money.

Additionally, there are numerous examples wherein the new buyer kicked the old buyer out and the new buyer was not able to close. To further complicate matters, the original buyer sold his house in the meantime and settled on another home. He would have preferred the home that he had been forced to terminate and was now stuck with a less-desirable residence.

Some might wonder why a seller would ever consider an offer with a sale of home contingency. When one is presented, the seller must evaluate the sellability of the two properties.

If the buyer’s current home is priced well, in a good location and in better condition than the house they are trying to buy, the seller should accept the contingency.

In many cases, the seller with a house under contract with a sale of home contingency will accept a lower offer from a buyer with no sale of home contingency and use that contract to boot the person with the contract in place.

The person who has the contract nullified is often angered when he learns that the house sold for a price less than his contract price. It happens.

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