Metairie, LA Real Estate News

By Terez B. Harris, Your Real Estate Advocate
(Keller Williams Realty New Orleans)
The outlook for owners of Metairie rental properties has been buoyant for some time, but last month a widely-publicized report added to the long range outlook. The study presented multiple scenarios in which demand is likely to outpace the supply of rental properties in the U.S., creating a market bound to reward their owners. Not such good news for tenants, though—or, as The Wall Street Journal summarized, “Renting is unlikely to get easier anytime soon.”The report, which was issued by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies and the affordable-housing organization Enterprise Community Partners, focused on the growing number of U.S. households for whom rent payments present a ‘growing burden’ in terms of the percentage of income they comprise.According to the study, nation...
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By Terez B. Harris, Your Real Estate Advocate
(Keller Williams Realty New Orleans)
Direct Response MailersThis is a form of direct mailing but usually includes a call for some form of action by the recipient such as visiting a web site, asking for a report, or a property description.  Very difficult for owners to engage in Direct Response Mailers to the public because of cost and a lack of target specific addresses.Door KnockingNot many For Sale By Owners ever knock on doors to promote their property.  For that fact not many real estate agents knock on doors either.  Yet, this has and will always continue to be a great way to develop relationships and introduce people to properties that are for sale.  Owners are very encouraged to knock on the doors of their immediate neighbors to give the neighbors a flyer that includes all the specifics of the property they are sell...
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By Terez B. Harris, Your Real Estate Advocate
(Keller Williams Realty New Orleans)
At the beginning of any month, Metairie onlookers can find batches of fresh reports about national real estate market activity. Take October, for instance. We’ve just learned a bunch about what happened across the country. September’s numbers won’t be collected and analyzed for a while, but the fresh real estate market data for August is out, as well as July revisions. Since earlier findings are always being tinkered with as estimates are replaced with hard results, we also get improved readings from the earlier month.This latest batch of real estate market news was upbeat, downbeat, and, uh…sideways. Thursday was the first day in October, which was when CNN Money came out with some good old-fashioned cheerleading. “Americans went shopping for homes in August,” they headlined. The reaso...
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By Terez B. Harris, Your Real Estate Advocate
(Keller Williams Realty New Orleans)
Tips for Selling Your HomeTelevisionTelevision is a hit-or-miss advertising opportunity.  There are real estate channels on which a lot of real estate companies market property for sale.  It is expensive and not what you would refer to as target marketing.  The use of television by real estate agents is more for brand awareness for the company and agent than it is to sell real estate.  It has been estimated that fewer than 5% of all sales come from television advertising.RadioRadio advertising is much like television advertising but far less effective.  Unless there is a talk-radio show that specifically addresses real estate, advertising on the radio is more for brand awareness than to sell a specific property.  Not recommended for owners trying to sell their own property. Direct Maile...
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By Terez B. Harris, Your Real Estate Advocate
(Keller Williams Realty New Orleans)
                                                                Whenever an unplanned and unwelcome financial situation develops, a Metairie mortgage-holder can find him or her in the onerous position of being unable to keep up with the monthly home loan payments. If the unhappy situation continues long enough, the likely result is a foreclosure or short sale. In addition to losing the property, the impact on personal credit then takes years to undo. That means it takes that much longer for a consumer to acquire a new home and start to build equity again.Here as elsewhere, there were rafts of such Metairie mortgage defaults following the global financial meltdown. Even those who had no trouble servicing their area mortgages could have suffered when they found that falling property value...
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By Terez B. Harris, Your Real Estate Advocate
(Keller Williams Realty New Orleans)
With October newly arrived, it’s a time of year when Metairie homeowners can breathe a sigh of relief; relax and take it easy. With summer behind us, most gardens require less attention. The demands harsh winter weather will make are off in the distant future— or are they?This year it might be prudent for Metairie homeowners to mentally remove a month or two from their home maintenance timetables. The reason comes in two familiar words (and they aren’t English): El Niño.According to the government’s NOAA climate forecasters, there is “an approximately 95% chance that El Niño will continue through Northern Hemisphere winter 2015-2016…” Since that is definitely Metairie’s hemisphere, they’re speaking to us.  They answer the question, “How strong is this El Niño now?” with, “it’s pretty st...
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By Terez B. Harris, Your Real Estate Advocate
(Keller Williams Realty New Orleans)
The Metairie real estate listings consist of the lineup of Metairie homes that are currently “on the market.” They’re for sale. Offered to buyers. Available for purchase. “On the market” is a straightforward real estate term; end of discussion. So, you’d think that “off the market” should be equally unequivocal, and it would be, if it weren’t for “off-market,” with which it’s easily confused. And then there’s the fact that what actually happens after a formerly listed property goes off the market can result in a several different outcomes. Sounds like a dose of contradictory Metairie real estate jargon—but it can be sorted out with a little determined effort. Here goes: In real estate, off the market denotes a property that was listed in the past but currently pulled from the market. It...
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By Terez B. Harris, Your Real Estate Advocate
(Keller Williams Realty New Orleans)
If you ask anyone doing serious house hunting in Metairie how they are going about it, there are few who won’t point to the web (nationally, 88% use it) as at least one of the top two most useful tools (their Metairie Realtor® is the other one: 87%). Yes, yard signs are helpful, and its first cousin, the Open House, is another (they’re related since it’s hard to imagine an Open House without a yard sign or two). Both come into the house hunting picture a little less than half the time, according to NAR®statistics. A quarter of house hunting expeditions also rely on one or more online video sites, but I think that’s just because online listings frequently link to those to display virtual tours. To a prospective buyer, it may not even be evident that a different site has been used. In fac...
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By Terez B. Harris, Your Real Estate Advocate
(Keller Williams Realty New Orleans)
Overpriced Properties and Related Problems: Buyer’s and real estate agents use overpriced properties to help sell properly priced properties.  Overpriced properties tend to discourage buyers where they think they will never find what they want at the price they prefer.  Then when a truly comparable home is shown that is properly priced it stands out as being the best value on the market and it sells.  Overpriced properties become known as “shop worn” where they have been on the market for a long time.  Sellers then begin to reduce the price over and over again and eventually sell for a price well below what would have been considered as its proper market value when it was first placed on the market.  Real estate agents tend to put the overpriced properties out of their mind and simply d...
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By Terez B. Harris, Your Real Estate Advocate
(Keller Williams Realty New Orleans)
Back at the beginning of 2012 there came a ‘pinch me, I must be dreaming’ moment. This was back in what seemed to be the Bad Old Days, when Metairie homeowners who dared to check the latest in neighborhood home values were apt to spend a sleepless night as a result. Metairie home values had only just begun to creep upward, but the bottom line was still, as truck drivers used to say, ‘negatory.’ The Rip Van Winkle ‘pinch me’ moment was a single piece of polling information that, by itself, seemed to register a hard-to-swallow phenomenon. If believed, it would have the first glimmer of light at the end of a very dark tunnel. It came in the form of a Rasmussen poll reporting some of what people in America were thinking. In part, Rasmussen summarized “Belief among homeowners that home value...
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By Terez B. Harris, Your Real Estate Advocate
(Keller Williams Realty New Orleans)
Know Your Competition The term real estate people use is “absorption rate” which means how many homes are for sale and how many homes have sold in the past 6 or less months.  If you don’t know which homes you are competing with it is difficult to know where to price your home to make it more attractive than the competition.Know Your Expired Competition Another way of looking at expired properties is to consider them as properties that the MARKET REJECTED – they did not sell.  Why didn’t they sell?  Usually because the price did not reflect its condition or simply put – they were overpriced.  There is a price for every property at which it will sell.  The competition of homes for sale, homes that expired and homes that sold will determine what the price is.  The market price is based on ...
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By Terez B. Harris, Your Real Estate Advocate
(Keller Williams Realty New Orleans)
Being able to work within a realistic family budget has become an increasingly important part of modern living for many Metairie residents. Metairie’s cost of living may not have been exploding —but most people are keeping an eye on it anyway.The lingering effects of the last decade’s financial dislocations—combined with the slow-motion recovery from the Great Recession—have made monitoring expenses a practical necessity. The wolf doesn’t actually have to be at the door for that more cautious attitude to have developed. Consumer optimism may be on the rise, but it’s a pretty gentle incline. In any case, it does seem that spending on frivolous knickknacks is becoming a rarer diversion. Into that general climate comes last week’s news item. It’s one that could bring some of the more fruga...
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By Terez B. Harris, Your Real Estate Advocate
(Keller Williams Realty New Orleans)
              In New Orleans real estate, there are happy words (“sold!”) and there are troubling words (“default”). Because of the associations they conjure up, some phrases just automatically make us happier. Two of the leaders in the positive category are the magical words, ‘vacation home.’ All by themselves, they can trigger a smile. Why not? “Home” is comforting; “vacation” is fun. Put them together in “vacation home” and you’ve got a double positive. It’s a real estate equivalent of Jimmy Buffett’s Cheeseburger in Paradise. As the economy recovers, some American families are doing more than just smiling at the idea. The Wall Street Journal says that vacation home sales jumped more than 50% in 2014—up from 717,000 the year before. Quicken Loans reports a jump “in both the number an...
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By Terez B. Harris, Your Real Estate Advocate
(Keller Williams Realty New Orleans)
Know Your Mortgage TermsMost mortgages do not have pre-payment penalties involved but some do.  Call your mortgage company and ask what is needed to sell your home and what fees may be applicable.  Send your mortgage company an official notification of placing your property on the market and ask for a payoff so you can negotiate from knowledge rather than just guessing.Being Mentally PreparedSellers are attached to their homes.  To be as effective as possible you need to detach yourself from your home and think more of it as a “house”, a commodity that is being sold rather than family memories.  Buyers don’t care about your memories or your lifestyle – they just want to buy a home and then begin building on THEIR memories and lifestyle.  Be prepared for what might be considered as insul...
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By Terez B. Harris, Your Real Estate Advocate
(Keller Williams Realty New Orleans)
ResearchIt is imperative that you know which way the market is flowing.  When there are MORE buyers than sellers, you are in a “Seller’s Market” and sales are brisk.  But when there are MORE sellers than buyers you are in a Buyer’s Market and the limited available and qualified buyers typically “rule the roost” as they negotiate from a position of supply and demand and power.  The market that existed just 30 days prior to today is no guarantee that it is the same today.Scheduling EventsSellers need to be aware of what needs to happen and by what date it needs to happen in order to insure that a scheduled closing occurs when indicated.  Sellers cannot rely upon buyers to do the right thing.  Sellers need to maintain a schedule of events for themselves as well as the probable buyer and th...
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By Terez B. Harris, Your Real Estate Advocate
(Keller Williams Realty New Orleans)
Is your home safe for visitors? Remember that showing your home is going to interfere with your day to day life.  You will need to prepare for some inconvenience and intrusion into your privacy.  Consider the safety of your visitors.  There may be seniors as well as small children walking around your home.   Is there a statue or tall lamp that could easily fall if touched?  Are there wires at ground level that could trip someone?  Are there rugs that tend to slide?  Are stair railings safe for small children?  Could a visitor be bitten by a bird or other animal?  Are the stairs free of small toys?  Are traffic patterns open between rooms?   Also consider your own security and privacy.  Put away valuable possessions.  Do not leave money, guns, jewelry, x rated magazines or any personal i...
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By Terez B. Harris, Your Real Estate Advocate
(Keller Williams Realty New Orleans)
Are you staged and ready? Sellers often ask if it would be best to show their home furnished or vacant.  Of course this depends on how the home is furnished.  If your home is dirty, messy, and poorly decorated, you need to stop and assess the situation. It may be possible to move out, and then stage the home with a few pieces of furniture and accessories.  There are staging services that can help with this.  Generally, some furniture will help to soften the interior and show it in an optimum way.  However, I prefer a vacant house over a disaster. It is important to keep the buyer’s focus on the property, and not on your family.  Remove most of your personal collections, family photos, political statements or artistic expressions of yourself.  These distract from the important mission th...
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By Terez B. Harris, Your Real Estate Advocate
(Keller Williams Realty New Orleans)
In a slower real estate market, sellers cannot afford to ignore any part of the marketing process.  Price, preparation, and presentation must be excellent in order to attract a buyer. The price must be set realistically.  Preparation should include fresh paint, de-cluttering, updated floor materials, and no glaring repair needs.  And, presentation should be meticulous, with drapes open, lights on, lawn mowed, and interior cleaned.  Showing your home is the final step in winning the heart of a buyer.  When a buyer calls for a showing, he or she already has an interest in your neighborhood and may have viewed your home on line.  They are willing to invest time to visit your home.  It is worth the effort to make each showing one that will be remembered.   Here are some questions to conside...
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By Terez B. Harris, Your Real Estate Advocate
(Keller Williams Realty New Orleans)
In Metairie real estate, there are happy words (“sold!”) and there are troubling words (“default”). Because of the associations they conjure up, some phrases just automatically make us happier. Two of the leaders in the positive category are the magical words, ‘vacation home.’ All by themselves, they can trigger a smile. Why not? “Home” is comforting; “vacation” is fun. Put them together in “vacation home” and you’ve got a double positive. It’s a real estate equivalent of Jimmy Buffett’s Cheeseburger in Paradise.As the economy recovers, some American families are doing more than just smiling at the idea. The Wall Street Journal says that vacation home sales jumped more than 50% in 2014—up from 717,000 the year before. Quicken Loans reports a jump “in both the number and dollar volume of...
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By Terez B. Harris, Your Real Estate Advocate
(Keller Williams Realty New Orleans)
When your family needs more or less elbow room, or a neighborhood change is in order, it’s time to start combing the listings for the right Metairie house for sale. At the same time, though, now that prices have been steadily rising for so long, it’s not unreasonable to ask yourself if this a good time to be looking? The question arises from the investment side of a home purchase; so it’s logical to ask what the investors are doing…Those who looked upon any Metairie house for sale only as an investment rather than a place to live tend to fall into one of two groups. The first live by the buy low, sell high school of investing. It’s a philosophy that makes perfect sense—it’s been around since before Wall Street was even paved, and its logic is unarguable. Back when U.S. real estate price...
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