Saturday, April 6, 2013

Real Estate in the Movies

I've been meaning to write this entry for awhile but haven't had the brain power to do it.  There's quite a few Hollywood versions of the real estate game.  Here are two of my favorites that come to mind:
Goonies Plot Summary: Kids in search of hidden pirate treasure in hopes of saving their neighborhood from evil real estate developers wanting to build a golf course.
Up Plot Summary: A curmudgeon old man refuses to sell his house to developers after his wife passes away.  Just before he is forced to move into a retirement home, he goes on a long awaited adventure and taking his beloved house with him.

One of the most recent is none other than George Clooney in The Descendants.  

The basic plot consists of George Clooney, a lawyer in Hawaii, who serves as the sole trustee of a family trust controlling a large area of pristine land on the island of Kauai.  Because of the "rule of perpetuities", the trust will expire after a certain amount of time, and will be forced to sell the land.  All the family trust members have differing motives for selling: yielding the most money, preserving the natural characteristics of the land, selling to local developers, selling to develop the best use of land, etc.

Watching this movie, I can't help but think about the Belward Farm debacle and how sellers ultimately choose who to do business with.  It's not always about selling for the most money and it's not always about the easiest transaction.  Sometimes there are unexplained and complicated dynamics that drive seller decision making.  I oftentimes stress this to my buyers because it helps to think like a seller, it influences their offer strategies and hopefully ends in a favorable outcome for everyone.

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