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VOL. 37 | NO. 47 | Friday, November 22, 2013

That’s a lawn, not a grassy knoll: Conspiracy theories of real estate confronted

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CNN is running a documentary this week titled the “The Assassination of President Kennedy.” Having been a conspiracy buff since reading Mark Lane’s Rush to Judgment in 1979, I have watched the show twice and finally, after 34 years, have concluded that Oswald was the lone assassin. The chase was fun.

Vincent Bugliosi – best known for prosecuting Charles Manson and other defendants accused of the Tate-LaBianca murders – appears in the special and notes that he had documented that the “doubters of the lone gunman theory have accused 42 groups, 82 assassins and 214 people of being involved in the assassination.”

As Bugliosi has never been one to act in a helter skelter manner, I found his arguments throughout the show convincing. This show portrays Jim Garrison of Oliver Stone’s JFK to be an irresponsible, grandstanding witch hunter and debunks a number of the myths surrounding the event.

Over the past 34 years in real estate, I have encountered a number of conspiracy theorists in my own world that has laid groundwork for my acceptance of the case made by CNN and Bugliosi. Here are my favorites:

They (the buyers) took my price, but I am sure they are in cahoots with the inspector and appraiser and will beat me down on the price later.

While this is not a sexy revelation, inspectors and appraisers are honest and do the best that they can given the evidence that they uncover.

Appraisals are exhaustive reports detailing at least three main comparable sales and several others that support the price.

With post-Recession regulations in place, the last thing an appraiser wants to do is to provide an incorrect appraisal. They are hired by the banks, and it is the responsibility of the appraiser to protect the banks’ interest.

Soon after the conversion to appraisal management companies following the Great Recession, there were issues with appraisals coming in lower than some sales prices, but that situation seems to have been resolved.

Appraisers and inspectors have guidelines, and all are licensed and must adhere to industry standards.

If I (the seller) lower my price again, buyers will see that I have made yet another reduction and will think that I am desperate to sell.

In fact, most buyers do not keep vigils on homes for sale. They do not stalk listings. If they see a house that is overpriced, they will not buy it. If the seller reduces the price to a reasonable amount, the buyers will come.

Most Realtors initiate searches based on parameters provided by buyers. If the listings fall within data submitted by the Realtor, the Realtor shows it.

No one is going to hold a gun to the seller’s head to take an unacceptably low offer.

Buyers’ agents want the inspection to be clean with no defects found in order to gain a sale, even if the house is loaded with shortcomings and environmental hazards. Therefore buyers’ agents tend to work with inspector’s that will turn a blind eye to all things dangerous.

In reality and realty, no agent lives for the one sale. The lifeblood of all real estate agents is the referral. The worst thing that can happen to a real estate agent is to sell a house to a person who later learns that the home is in poor condition.

The buyers’ agents need sales to breed sales and much prefer a sale to fall through based on inspection than to have their clients purchase a money pit.

An agent with several listings in my price range is paying more attention to the others than to mine.

That one can be true, but in most cases a Realtor with multiple listings in a particular range can refer buyers to Property A, even if they called with questions about Property B.

For example, a person may call a listing agent to see his listing on Elm Street only to find that it won’t work due to the yard being too large.

That same agent can suggest one of his other listings, the one on Maple that has a small yard maintained by a homeowners association.

If a buyer buys a house without a buyer’s agent, he saves money.

Really? The listing agent who has a legal contract to represent the seller is going to give the buyer whom she has never seen a remarkable price reduction since that buyer appeared without representation?

Not really. Any buyer’s agent worth her salt can save the buyer more than the listing agent will give.

The Sale of the Week

For those that are too young – or too old, for that matter – to remember the election of John F. Kennedy’s election in 1960, one of the major issues was that Kennedy was a practicing Roman Catholic, and no Catholic had held the office prior to or since. There were many who voted against him based on his religion.

In the popular myth category, is the belief held by some that Catholics worship statues (graven images) and hold Mary in a position over God in its traditional hierarchy.

Those are not true, by the way.

Yet since Kennedy’s election and the popularity of the Kennedy family, there have been more converts to Catholicism. Granted, this was not an intention, or even the result of the Kennedy clan, but there are more Catholics today in the US than ever.

Consequently, some Catholic terms have worked their way into the vernacular.

One of those terms is the “Hail Mary” pass in football. For those unfamiliar with the term, it is a pass thrown at the end of a game as far and long as the quarterback can throw it in hopes that one of his receivers can wrestle it away from the opposition or that the ball will be volleyed about enough to end up in friendly possession.

The Auburn Tigers won on a 73-yard version of the Hail Mary over the weekend, and the Bengals’ Andy Dalton heaved one that traveled 60 yards in the air to for a touchdown to force overtime the previous week.

These prayerful passes are working with more regularity lately.

The short sale is a real estate version of the Hail Mary. They require a religious dedication to the property with some luck or divine intervention in order to work.

Such was the case for 3211 Holland Lane located in Bordeaux, which sold for $45,000 in a short sale that required the home to linger for 468 days on the market.

Gary Ashton of RE/Max Elite had the listing that started at $89,000 for the three-bedroom, one and a-half bath home with more than 1,950 square feet.

Mike Wilkerson with American Dreams Realty, an apropos name, found his buyer an answer to a prayer, perhaps, and even a dream come true.

Richard Courtney is a partner with Christianson, Patterson, Courtney and associates and can be reached at richard@richardcourtney.com.

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TNLedger.com Knoxville Editon
RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 0 0
MORTGAGES 0 0 0
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 0
BUILDING PERMITS 0 0 0
BANKRUPTCIES 0 0 0
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 0 0
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0