Metairie, LA Real Estate News

By Terez B. Harris, Your Real Estate Advocate
(Keller Williams Realty New Orleans)
 Whenever the words “reverse mortgage” are uttered, any Metairie TV viewer immediately makes the connection with one of several celebrity spokesmen who blanket the airwaves with commercials touting the concept. If you listen carefully, those reverse mortgage ads do actually describe the product with legal accuracy. If you have the standard degree of sales resistance most of us have developed after years of exposure to Madison Avenue pitches, you probably guess that instead of relying solely upon the celebrity spokesman’s trustworthiness, you’d better investigate further before running out and applying. Most people do.So it was surprising when the government’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found it necessary to issue a special advisory on the subject. Potential Metairie reverse mo...
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By Terez B. Harris, Your Real Estate Advocate
(Keller Williams Realty New Orleans)
Loan ApprovalBefore you start making arrangements to move, make sure the buyer provides you with a letter from the mortgage company indicating that the buyer is pre-approved for the amount of loan needed to make the purchase.  This letter should not be confused with a final approval of the mortgage.  The loan is not normally approved until a few days prior to the closing date.Home InspectionBe prepared for a potential buyer to seek a professional home inspection.  Such inspections will identify possible defects in the property.  As a seller you can fix any defects discovered, adjust the price or both.  You can also preempt the process by getting the home inspected yourself.  You can then adjust the price accordingly, fix the defects or both.Final Walk-ThroughApproximately 3 to 5 days pr...
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By Terez B. Harris, Your Real Estate Advocate
(Keller Williams Realty New Orleans)
When it comes to understanding the factors that come into play when buying or selling home— or any practical real estate information at all—Metairie high school (or even college) graduates are on their own. If any real estate information has even been touched upon, it will have been in the most cursory manner: at best, one line item in a Home Economics budgeting discussion.That’s one reason why everyone from first time Metairie homebuyers to itinerant real estate investors can benefit from the best of today’s how-to real estate books. Here are some of the popular oldies—as well as some valuable newcomers:100 Questions Every First Time Home Buyer Should Ask is Ilyce Glink’s compilation of insights from top brokers across the country. Town first time buyers aren’t the only readers who wil...
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By Terez B. Harris, Your Real Estate Advocate
(Keller Williams Realty New Orleans)
Earnest Money DepositThe more money you can get in the form of a deposit from a potential buyer the greater the chance of getting to a closing.  The more a buyer has to lose the more motivated the buyer becomes to buying your home.Agreement to PurchaseDon’t wait until you have a buyer, get an acceptable Agreement to Purchase now.  You can purchase forms from an office supply such as Office Depot, Staples, etc.  You should also get forms related to Counter Offers, Deposits, etc. as well.Seller DisclosuresLouisiana requires that ALL transfers of residential real estate use the Seller Disclosure form created by the Louisiana Real Estate Commission. This form is used to identify all known defects and any history on the property being sold.  You can obtain a copy of this form from any licens...
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By Terez B. Harris, Your Real Estate Advocate
(Keller Williams Realty New Orleans)
 More than one Metairie home sale has resulted from a couple’s chance encounter with a Metairie open house. It still happens that they just drop in on the spur of the moment.         “Oh look! They’re having an open house down the street!” turns into curiosity, then interest, excitement—and ultimately, a life-altering change in where they call home.         Today that still happens, but a good deal less frequently than in the past. Part of the reason is the demotion of the open house in the pecking order of Metairie real estate strategies. At this point, a Metairie open house is simply never the central element in a home’s marketing blitz. The web has seen to that.         Let’s face it: if you can visit any listed home via its online virtual tour, the whole idea is that it requires a f...
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By Terez B. Harris, Your Real Estate Advocate
(Keller Williams Realty New Orleans)
When you read up on the dos and don’ts for selling your home, there is one piece of advice that’s universal when it comes to negotiating a successful deal: don’t let emotions get in the way. It does seem peculiar that something that is so obvious about any negotiation would have to be stated at all—much less repeated so often. You have to conclude that it happens a lot.It does, and there are deep-seated reasons. Although selling your Metairie home is primarily a business venture, it’s one with some of the emotional overtones usually associated with creative endeavors. When an artist or sculptor, jewelry designer or photographer—any creative professional—decides to offer works for sale to the public, it’s nearly impossible for him or her to remain completely objective about how it is rec...
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By Terez B. Harris, Your Real Estate Advocate
(Keller Williams Realty New Orleans)
QuestionsYou can learn a great deal about people and their motives, likes and dislikes by asking a lot of questions.  Learn to stop the selling and ask more questions but more importantly, listen to the answers.NegotiationsTry to avoid discussing or negotiating price until the buyer has decided the home is right.  Remember, any negotiations should be in writing to avoid confusion.Don’t seem over-anxiousThis should be obvious.  Being anxious usually results in a lower offering price.Know your real reasons to sellKnow why you are selling.  Just testing the market?  Need to move?  Need more room?  In other words, what is your motivation for selling?  If you do not have to move, there is less incentive to negotiate.Pre-QualificationReal estate agents/consultants usually have their potential...
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By Terez B. Harris, Your Real Estate Advocate
(Keller Williams Realty New Orleans)
If 90% of home buyers use the internet at some point in their search, the percentage who go to the Metairie listings has to be close to the same ballpark. It’s hard to imagine anyone NOT wanting to take at least a peek at the current listings. Even if they have already settled on a target property, curiosity would send most of us to check out the way it’s described in its Metairie listing.When you begin your house-hunting project online, the chances are you just scan the listings’ major features to narrow down the candidates, leaving out the majority of the finer details until later. Some of that information might turn out to be decisive—but most likely not until you’ve settled on the major contenders, and possible already toured them in person.What can be more important than you’d thin...
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By Terez B. Harris, Your Real Estate Advocate
(Keller Williams Realty New Orleans)
DefectsDisclose, disclose and disclose!  You can sell a home with defects as long as you disclose them.  Knowing about a defect and not disclosing it could prove legally dangerous and may even revere a sale if serious enough. ApologiesNever apologize for the condition of your home.EmotionsDifficult as it may be, you want to remove emotion from the process.  In order to remove emotions, you must first be aware of them.  Always be aware.FeaturesList the features of the property such as double-paned windows, gas fired fireplace, etc.  Don’t confuse features with benefits.BenefitsPeople tend to buy what the features will provide like security, good schools, a place for the family to meet, views, etc.  Sell the sizzle! Keller Williams Realty New Orleans504 975 1033TerezHarris@KW.comTerezSell...
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By Terez B. Harris, Your Real Estate Advocate
(Keller Williams Realty New Orleans)
“Metairie home loan game theory” sounded like an intriguing topic when the phrase first occurred to me. I thought it would mean figuring out whether a mortgage would constitute a financial move that made sense. But the more I studied “game theory,” the more complicated it got. And maybe not as theoretical as I’d thought...As far as the terms themselves are concerned, a Metairie “Home Loan” is exactly what it says it is: a mortgage on your Metairie home. “Game theory” is more obscure. For openers, “game theory” sounds like a lot more fun that it really is. It’s like the bore who wants to tell you exactly why some joke is funny—the explanation isn’t at all humorous. ‘Game theory’ isn’t about playing anything. It’s about mathematics.Professor R.B. Myerson is the authority who tells us that...
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By Terez B. Harris, Your Real Estate Advocate
(Keller Williams Realty New Orleans)
  There is an interesting theory about why some Metairie real estate agents complete so many more home purchases than do others. It isn’t that ‘success breeds successes (although the thing we call “momentum” is certainly real enough). It has to do with being able to harness two somewhat opposing character traits.In any business, there seldom seem to be any irrefutable rules that guarantee prosperity…or if they do crop up from time to time, they don’t work for long. Since that’s the case, it’s odd that there are so many best-sellers proclaiming roadmaps to success. If all those books were simply rip-offs, you would think they’d quickly develop a backlash (which would kill the market for books about succeeding in business).I’d be willing to bet that the answer lies in the commitment it ta...
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By Terez B. Harris, Your Real Estate Advocate
(Keller Williams Realty New Orleans)
Lighting Everyone, at least almost everyone, enjoys a bright and airy feeling when they tour homes to purchase.  Open drapes, turn on the lights, and increase the wattage of the light bulbs if necessary. Religious ItemsYou can never be assured of the religious affiliation if any of the potential buyers.   If there is one thing that can disrupt the process it could be the presence of religious items contrary to the beliefs of the buyer.  You are going to move them anyway, so pack them away and do not take offense. Scents One of the way buyers later describe the homes they have seen is by defects and smells.  You want to eliminate defects such as a  broken window or rotten door casing.  “Oh that was the home with the broken upstairs window.”  Or do you want buyers saying, “Oh, that was th...
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By Terez B. Harris, Your Real Estate Advocate
(Keller Williams Realty New Orleans)
 You know what the “wow factor” is for any Metairie home that’s for sale—it’s the extra something that’s highly desirable and unique to the property. It could be a three-story entry hall, or a game room that’s large enough for a pool table and a conversation pit. It might be a home theater with four stepped rows of velvet-upholstered movie house seats. It might be a bricked backyard barbecue arena, with a step-down standing pit which puts the Chef of the day at eye level with the seated guests.And you also know what a Metairie fixer-upper is. It’s any Metairie property that is up for sale at a bargain price due to maintenance that is left for the new owner to worry about. A Metairie fixer-upper is an opportunity for prospective buyers to become owners of homes that would otherwise be ou...
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By Terez B. Harris, Your Real Estate Advocate
(Keller Williams Realty New Orleans)
Specific Advantages of working with a Real Estate Agent/Consultant First there is a difference between an agent and a consultant.  In any sales profession, only 20% of the people sell 80% of the property.  Most of these 20% people are consultants meaning that they engage the customer in an in depth needs analysis before they try to meet and exceed those needs.  That is why they close 80% of the sales.  The remaining 80% of the profession make a great deal of assumptions regarding what the customer wants and then they hope to meet those needs.  The advantage of working with an agent/consultant is that you are electing to work with a professional who is trained in real estate sales and customer relations.  From a security position, professional real estate agents/consultants normally qual...
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By Terez B. Harris, Your Real Estate Advocate
(Keller Williams Realty New Orleans)
SignsYard signs have and will continue to be the number one reason a buyer looks at a home.  Believe it or not the quality of a yard sign has a great subconscious affect on buyers as it speaks about the owners as well as the house for sale.  A great many buyers, being skeptical about sellers, will only look at homes being offered for sale through a reputable real estate company believing, rightfully or wrongfully, that they will be protected to some degree by the real estate broker/agent/company. Photo Brochure/FlyerNo matter what form of advertising you elect to participate in, INCLUDE PHOTOS.  The more photos, the higher the possibility of making a sale.  A serious consideration to any advertising regards how much information to provide.  If you provide everything a buyer might want t...
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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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