Knoxville TN Homes | How to Choose Your New Neighborhood

Posted by Jim Lee, REALTOR® @ 9:11 am, July 10th, 2011  

How to Choose Your New Neighborhood

A guest post by James Kim.

Moving is a strenuous task. Not only do you have to deal with the extremely stressful transition into a new life in a new place, but you have to pack your old life into boxes and coordinate a move. Even more stressful, though, is the process of choosing a new house. One of the biggest components to buying the perfect house is choosing the right neighborhood for you — a task that can become complicated and frustrating if, say, you are perusing Austin real estate but know nothing about the city and its layout. No need to worry. There are several tips to keep in mind that can make your task that much easier.

Familial Situation

A huge component to deciding on an area is whether or not you have children. If you do, you want to look for an area that is near to a school. Try visiting a website like Great Schools to examine schools, their locations and ranking. You may also want to look at real estate property near a park, playground, and local pool to make family activities more accessible. Clearly, if you do not have offspring, you will probably want to steer clear of school zones. However, living in suburbia could have its perks — moving into a location near a school can help you sell your house later on down the road.


No one wants to wait hours in bumper-to-bumper traffic every morning to get to work. When investigating different neighborhoods, always snoop around during rush hour traffic in addition to normal business hours to really get a feel for the traffic you will be up against.  Being close to public transportation can alleviate this problem, so also investigate other means of getting to and from work.

You may also want to see what “amenities” are near your neighborhood of choice. How far is the grocery store? Post office? Mall? Downtown area? Gym? While that quaint house tucked in the quietest part of town may be charming, it may be more isolated than pragmatic.


Most importantly, you will want to consider safety. You can check out the crime rates in your prospective area by visiting sites like Family Watchdog. Ask the neighborhood police force or even local business owners if the area is safe. Will you be able to walk home or take a jog around the area at night? You can’t create a home if you don’t trust your neighbors or your area.


Research only goes so far. After researching on the internet, visit the area under consideration. Take a walk around the block, visit the local coffee shop, mingle with the locals, and get a “feel” for the place. To cover all your bases, visit the neighborhoods at all times of day in different circumstances. Chat with a realtor who specializes in the area and ask them how the neighborhood is at night.

While finding a new place and moving can be extremely stressful, you can minimize your headache by keeping these tips in mind. Your efforts will pay off in a home that could last you a lifetime.

James Kim writes for Austin Real Estate service HomeCity combines powerful online Austin MLS search technology and other online tools with personalized real estate services to provide clients with the knowledge they need to make the right buying and selling decisions.

Knoxville Tennessee | Latest spam alerts

Posted by Jim Lee, REALTOR® @ 8:01 am, June 1st, 2011  

Following are the most recent batch of spam, trogan, and virus alerts sent to my email filter. Be on the lookout for them and don’t fall for any of their schemes.

Your best protection is to keep your computer updated and keep your antivirus program running at all times.

Please keep in mind that all the links below lead not to the virus itself but to the alert.

I thought the eBay alert one was especially clever but a fraud attempt nonetheless.

Be careful out there and always practice safe computing.

Virus and Fraud Email Security Updates

Below are the fraud, trojan and virus alerts that were posted to the OnlyMyEmail Spam Blog during the last month.  Emails reported are chosen due to inbound volume and/or the frequency that end users are resending these emails to themselves, indicating they may mistakenly believe them to be legitimate.

Apple Store Order Notification Spam

Wells Fargo Online Fraud Prevention ? Spam ? Fraud

Critical security patch released! ? Spammed Virus

OnlyMyEmail Receives Highest Score Ever in the Virus Bulletin Spam Challenge

Action Required : Download New Acrobat PDF Reader For Your Windows – Spam

Message from eBay Member Regarding Item # ? Spam/Fraud

Your account has been locked ? TCF Spam

There are many additional posts on a wide variety of email topics.

Feel free to pass these links along to others that may benefit from these security warnings.

Living…er, not large, and loving it | Knoxville, TN

Posted by Jim Lee, REALTOR® @ 7:17 am, July 17th, 2010  

This is an amazing story about a guy that lives in an 89 SQUARE FOOT house!

Yep, that’s 89 square feet.

To give you some perspective a 10 X 10 room is 100 square feet.

Even more amazing is the fact that he’s turned this into a business. Seems the demand for tiny houses is larger than you would think.

To find more ‘normal’ sized houses in the greater Knoxville area visit

For questions or advice on buying or selling a home in the greater Knoxville area Jim Lee is the ‘go to’ Realtor in town.

Got a lowball offer on your Knoxville, Tennessee home for sale? Here’s how to handle it best

Posted by Jim Lee, REALTOR® @ 8:59 am, July 16th, 2010  

Fielding a Lowball Purchase Offer on Your Home

By: Marcie Geffner

Published 2010-06-10 09:53:36

Consider before you ignore or outright refuse a very low purchase offer for your home. A counteroffer and negotiation could turn that low purchase offer into a sale.

When you receive a low offer on your house, the best response is to counter with a price you’re willing to accept.

You just received a purchase offer from someone who wants to buy your home. You’re excited and relieved, until you realize the purchase offer is much lower than your asking price. How should you respond? Set aside your emotions, focus on the facts, and prepare a counteroffer that keeps the buyers involved in the deal.

Check your emotions

A purchase offer, even a very low one, means someone wants to purchase your home. Unless the offer is laughably low, it deserves a cordial response, whether that’s a counteroffer or an outright rejection. Remain calm and discuss with your real estate agent the many ways you can respond to a lowball purchase offer.

Counter the purchase offer

Unless you’ve received multiple purchase offers, the best response is to counter the low offer with a price and terms you’re willing to accept. Some buyers make a low offer because they think that’s customary, they’re afraid they’ll overpay, or they want to test your limits.

A counteroffer signals that you’re willing to negotiate. One strategy for your counteroffer is to lower your price, but remove any concessions such as seller assistance with closing costs, or features such as kitchen appliances that you’d like to take with you.

Consider the terms

Price is paramount for most buyers and sellers, but it’s not the only deal point. A low purchase offer might make sense if the contingencies are reasonable, the closing date meets your needs, and the buyer is preapproved for a mortgage. Consider what terms you might change in a counteroffer to make the deal work.

Review your comps

Ask your REALTOR® whether any homes that are comparable to yours (known as “comps”) have been sold or put on the market since your home was listed for sale. If those new comps are at lower prices, you might have to lower your price to match them if you want to sell.

Consider the buyer’s comps

Buyers sometimes attach comps to a low offer to try to convince the seller to accept a lower purchase offer. Take a look at those comps. Are the homes similar to yours? If so, your asking price might be unrealistic. If not, you might want to include in your counteroffer information about those homes and your own comps that justify your asking price.

If the buyers don’t include comps to justify their low purchase offer, have your real estate agent ask the buyers’ agent for those comps.

Get the agents together

If the purchase offer is too low to counter, but you don’t have a better option, ask your real estate agent to call the buyer’s agent and try to narrow the price gap so that a counteroffer would make sense. Also, ask your real estate agent whether the buyer (or buyer’s agent) has a reputation for lowball purchase offers. If that’s the case, you might feel freer to reject the offer.

Don’t signal desperation

Buyers are sensitive to signs that a seller may be receptive to a low purchase offer. If your home is vacant or your home’s listing describes you as a “motivated” seller, you’re signaling you’re open to a low offer.

If you can remedy the situation, maybe by renting furniture or asking your agent not to mention in your home listing that you’re motivated, the next purchase offer you get might be more to your liking.

More from HouseLogic

6 Tips for Choosing the Best Purchase Offer for Your Home

6 Reasons to Reduce Your Home Price

Marcie Geffner is a freelance reporter who has been writing about real estate, homeownership and mortgages for 20 years. She owns a ranch-style house built in 1941 and updated in the 1990s, in Los Angeles.

“Visit for more articles like this. Reprinted from with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.”

Visit to find great homes for sale in the Greater Knoxville, Tennessee area.

Technology dos and dont’s for your listings | Knoxville Tennessee Homes For Sale

Posted by Jim Lee, REALTOR® @ 6:59 pm, July 7th, 2010  

For some strange reason the post below I wrote several years ago popped on a Google alert. After re-reading it I decided it was still very relevant to today and hopefully you will find it worthwhile:

Play VisualTour

BTW, this is a pretty cool listing of mine in North Knoxville just in case anyone has a buyer. This listing is NOT several years old.  😉

I just received my July/August issue of “The Real Estate Professional”, a great magazine sent to all REBAC (Real Estate Buyers Agent Council) members.

A feature story is titled “Technology and Home Sales: How the Internet is Changing the Real Estate Industry”. Boy, ain’t that the truth. 😉

I found some of the technology do and don’ts for using technology in your listings to be especially relevant.

  1. I think a lot of us don’t quite realize yet is that most buyers (and sellers) are way more tech savvy than the average Realtor. Probably something to do with their average age being in the 30s and ours being in the 50s.
  2. The time to make a first impression is shorter than ever before. This is especially important on your websites. You have very, very little time to catch and hold someone’s attention before they’re bored and/or ready to move on to a site that gives them what they’re looking for. In order for your website to be effective it must be:
  1. Easily findable by consumers.
  2. Deliver the content they’re looking for
  3. Have compelling reasons to cause them to contact you to do business.
  • Don’t try to overwhelm consumers with lots of bells & whistles on your site, i.e. lots of flash or downloads, NO MUSIC, and make sure your website is compatible with current popular browsers such as Internet Explorer (still the most widely used), Firefox, & Mozilla.
  • Photos. Some panoramic photos tend to distort a room, so stills only or stills plus a panorama are best to appeal to the lowest common denominator of viewers.
  • 9 ways to make your Knoxville house sell faster without cutting the price.

    Posted by Jim Lee, REALTOR® @ 6:59 pm, June 27th, 2010  

    You hear a lot these days about lower price, lower price, and lowest price as the only way to get a house sold.

    Here are 9 things you can do that will make your house stand out from the crowd, appeal to more potential buyers, and probably sell faster. None of them have anything to do with cutting the price.

    1. Curb appeal, curb appeal, curb appeal! I can’t emphasize this one enough. Buyers have to be attracted to your home to want to see it. I’ve had lots of buyers say: “Let’s pass this one buy.” when we’ve pulled up to a home that was not attractive from the street.
    2. Bright, shiny, and inviting entry. Once you get buyers out of the car and walking up to your front door, you want to continue to set a good tone for your showing. Make sure your front entry is spotless, sweep away the cobwebs over your door, clean front door, paint if necessary, bright, shiny new door hardware if necessary, a new light fixture if the old one is rusty. All these things go a long way towards keeping the mood for showing positive.
    3. PAINT! Biggest selling bang for your buck possible. Neutral paint is the word of the day, no bright or funky colors. A fresh, uniform coat of paint throughout your house if needed will bring a faster sale and more dollars in your pocket.
    4. Your kitchen. Lots of Realtors and buyers say the kitchen is what caused the sale. De-clutter your counter tops, cabinets, pantries, and storage space so buyers can see it.
    5. DEEP CLEANING! It’s gotta be not just spotless but “white glove” inspection clean. No grease on kitchen appliances, bathrooms including tubs, showers, and sinks spotless and clean smelling, all light fixtures wiped down or washed including  the bulbs, clean the blades on your ceiling fans, cobwebs from along ceilings and underneath. In fact it will likely pay you to hire a professional house cleaner to do the job for you.
    6. Straighten up,  “lean out” and neaten all your storage areas especially your closets. Don’t forget the fresh paint here too.
    7. Let the sun shine in. All blinds and shades should be open for showing even in the evenings. Of course your windows need to be included in the deep cleaning too.
    8. Get a pre-sale home inspection. This will alert you to potential problem areas you might not be aware of and let you fix or repair them at your leisure and also prevent a buyer from using some minor issue as a negotiating tool.
    9. No funky odors or smells. This one is tough because you live there every day and some odors might not be apparent to you. Ask a friend, neighbor, or real estate professional to give your home the “smell test” to see if there might be something there you’re not picking up on. Don’t get carried away with scents to mask odors; too much is almost as bad as the odors you’re trying to cover up. Get rid of the cause of the odor.

    You can find lots selling tips as well as get a free copy of my 52 page e-book titled “450 Ideas To Help Your Home Sell Faster” at www. or just send a blank email to [email protected]

    What’s happening this month in Knoxville, TN real estate.

    Posted by Jim Lee, REALTOR® @ 11:59 am, March 21st, 2010  
    Play VisualTour

    Here’s a marvelous North Hills home that has been extensively updated. Hardwood floors, fireplace, and lots of other great features.

    See all the greater Knoxville area listings of homes and condos for sale at Knoxville Home, just click here and you’re there. 😉

    My apologies to my regular readers for not posting anything in the past 2 weeks but I’ve been pretty busy listing and selling houses which is a good thing.

    The February sales numbers are now available from the Knoxville Area Association of Realtors for the greater Knoxville area and surrounding counties so let’s take a look and see how we did this past month.

    knoxville tennessee real estate and knoxville tn homes for sale

    February to past Februaries comparison

    While this just past February was up 42 homes over 2009 the total volume is still way down compared to the past 7 years or so. According to these numbers we’re basically at around 2001-02 levels.

    Here’s the latest Knox County sales figures for the week just past.

    knoxville tennessee real estate and knoxville tn homes for sale

    From the Knox County Register of Deeds

    I count 92 transactions in the chart above. That’s down considerably from the 150 or so we were averaging in 2009 which dovetails with the sales figures above from the Realtor Association.

    It appears this February is pretty much like January 2010; down from years past but up over last year a little. Modest good news for the Knoxville area real estate market.

    Another way to calculate the current state of a real estate market is by the absorption rate. That means how long will it take to sell the current amount of homes for sale at the current sales rate.

    Currently in the Knoxville Area Association of Realtor’s MLS (Multiple Listing Service) there are 4,021 single family homes and condos for sale. Based on the latest February sales figures for Knox County there were 369 closings. That means it would take 13.3 months at the current sales levels to sell all 4,021 listings assuming no new ones came on the market.

    Those figures tell me we’re still in a very strong buyer’s market in the greater Knoxville, Tennessee area.

    Knoxville median sales prices

    Median sales price is the middle of the price range, half were more, half were less.

    If anyone is thinking of buying this year let me remind you the $8,000 federal tax credit expires at the end of April 2010 and most likely WILL NOT be renewed this time. Here’s some FAQ about how it works, please call or email me with any additional questions or to get started buying your own home.

    You do have until the end of April to have your selected home under contract and then an additional 60 days beyond that to get it closed. Some active duty military personnel have more time under special circumstances; I can help with that as well.

    See all the greater Knoxville area listings of homes and condos for sale at Knoxville Home

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