Thursday, September 18, 2014

Choosing the Metairie or New Orleans Real Estate Agent Who Represents You


When you set about buying a home for the first time, the lay of the land can be a little tricky. It’s worth recalling some familiar sayings, like
All that glitters is not gold; and
Don’t judge a book by its cover; and
Appearances can be deceiving
Likewise, just as “doubletalk” isn’t twice as reliable as “talk,” in the Metairie and New Orleans home-buying vernacular, a “dual agency” transaction doesn’t necessarily involve twice as many Metairie and New Orleans real estate agents—it can involve just one (or two who are working under the aegis of a single broker).
This can become important for home buyers who sometimes make a strategic decision based solely on what seems like common sense. They see a Metairie or New Orleans home or a listing that looks promising, and make the assumption that they will get the best deal by going directly to the property’s listing agent—you know, to get all the information
Straight from the horse’s mouth!

Now in fact, real estate agents are responsible for carrying out a wide array of duties, including staging homes for sale; marketing them; showing the homes to buyers; aiding in negotiations, etc. The real estate agent who listed the property (aka the seller’s agent) is obligated to represent the interests of the seller. Makes perfect sense. And when a prospective buyer chooses to enter negotiations without their own agent to represent their interests, the listing agent remains duty-bound to represent the seller—but now the buyer, also. In the event of a conflict between the interests of buyer and seller, the real estate agent has to represent both—which, as you might imagine, can be tricky.

When you think about how attorneys and real estate agents are similarly duty-bound to their clients, you can see why it usually wouldn’t make sense for a buyer to forego separate representation. It would be like having the same attorney represent both sides in a negotiation. Also, since there is no additional commission charge for employing a buyer’s agent (commissions are customarily split between agents, with both being paid from the seller’s proceeds), most buyers decide that teaming with their own Metairie or New Orleans real estate agent will get them the best possible deal. After all,

No one can serve two masters!

Does that mean you as a buyer should never proceed with one Metairie or New Orleans real estate agent—in other words, make a ‘dual agency’ transaction? Not quite. Remember,

Never say ‘Never’!

In some cases, it does work out. For instance, if the parties are related (and have the same goals); or if every detail has already been agreed to; or if time is such an overriding factor that it trumps other considerations, then everyone can be well-served by a single real estate agent. In any case, as long as an agent is able to remain scrupulous in not violating any confidences, since each party has the chance to make their own decisions at every point in the transaction, nearly one in ten home sales does wind up as a single-agent transaction.

If you will be on the lookout for a new home in Metairie or New Orleans this fall, I’d be pleased to put my experience at your service to help find and negotiate the deal. Call me!




View Homes For Sale in Metairie
View Homes For Sale in New Orleans


Terez B. Harris
Terez Harris NOLA Real Estate Group
(504)297-2619
www.TerezHarris.com
TerezHarris@kw.com


Search the MLS! 
(multiple listing service)


Search Terez's Active Listings!







      








Terez B. Harris   Terez Harris NOLA Real Estate Group   504-297-2619   www.TerezHarris.com
Keller Williams Realty New Orleans 8601 Leake Ave. New Orleans, LA 70118 504-862-0100
Each office independently owned and operated. All brokers and agents licensed in the state of Louisiana.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A Metairie or New Orleans Property Inspection Shows What You’re Getting Into





You’ve successfully located the home that fits your wish list! The listing agent says the home is in “great condition!” Financing is pretty much a done deal! Time to relax!
Er—maybe not just yet.
When you are buying a home, among the scores of thoughts that might be racing through your head (“Is this the best one for the money?“Will everyone be comfortable in it?” “Will it be enough house over the long haul?”), one you definitely don’t need is “Will this house become a money pit?” 
The home that looks perfect may well be exactly that—but if not, you certainly don’t want to find yourself pouring hard-earned dollars into repairs that become apparent only after you have signed. Surprises are fine for birthday parties, but to avoid the sort no home buyer needs, getting a professional Metairie or New Orleans property inspection is the most direct way to tell if there are any significant underlying issues.
To alleviate the worry, you should make any offer conditional on a home inspection…then order up a professional Metairie or New Orleans property inspection done by an experienced Metairie or New Orleans home inspector.
When a home inspector arrives at the property, he or she will invite you along on the tour. However, you don’t have to accompany the inspector to some of the less-accessible areas like the roof, attic and crawl spaces (unless you want to). The inspector will likely start outside, checking for any suspicious areas that may allow water to penetrate, then move indoors for a thorough investigation of each room in the house. As the inspection moves along, definitely feel free to ask questions as they crop up: after all, inspector works for you!
It’s important to remember that any Metairie or New Orleans property inspection is not 100% certain to uncover every possible defect: a home inspector, no matter how experienced, is not clairvoyant. But you will receive a thoroughgoing assessment of the potential likely problems with the home’s systems—as well as an opinion on the condition of the home. You may be able to renegotiate your offer should conditions warrant it.
Metairie and New Orleans property inspection costs tend to differ depending on the size and condition of the home, and usually take anywhere from 2 to 6 hours to complete. Often, the verbal assessment made at the time will be very informative. Later, you’ll get the fuller detailed written report. If the inspection reveals a deal-breaking flaw, you will have saved yourself from a bad investment. Less commonly, more detailed property inspections could be in order—especially if you are also ordering sewer line, pool, fireplace or other specific inspections. Most inspectors offer discounted rates if subsequent inspections are in order.
Property inspections are not intended to offer warrantees or guarantees, but an experienced Metairie or New Orleans home inspection is the next best thing. It’s something most homebuyers find makes their purchase a lot less stressful. If you’re looking at buying a home in Metairie or New Orleans this fall, call me today to discuss the market. And once you find a likely new home, I can recommend several of our most experienced and reliable property inspectors. 




View Homes For Sale in Metairie
View Homes For Sale in New Orleans


Terez B. Harris
Terez Harris NOLA Real Estate Group
(504)297-2619
www.TerezHarris.com
TerezHarris@kw.com


Search the MLS! 
(multiple listing service)


Search Terez's Active Listings!







      








Terez B. Harris   Terez Harris NOLA Real Estate Group   504-297-2619   www.TerezHarris.com
Keller Williams Realty New Orleans 8601 Leake Ave. New Orleans, LA 70118 504-862-0100
Each office independently owned and operated. All brokers and agents licensed in the state of Louisiana.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Metairie and New Orleans Foreclosed Home Market Echoes National Trend



If you’ve been following foreclosure news, you already suspect that cashing in on foreclosed home opportunities in Metairie and New Orleans must be getting more difficult. According to CoreLogic’s Insights report at the end of last month, foreclosure inventory across the nation had dropped 35% from a year earlier. Whenever the number of available bank-owned homes shrinks, the tighter market produces some predictable results: the best deals are usually snatched up quickly with multiple offers and/or higher-than-asking prices, while questionable deals—foreclosed homes priced over market or requiring too many dollars in repairs—seem to predominate.

If you are investigating the market for foreclosed homes in Metairie and New Orleans, that doesn’t mean you will have to settle for a dubious acquisition. It does mean that you should plan to do some tough-minded calculating (with a freshly sharpened pencil)!  

If you are newly interested in buying a foreclosed home in Metairie and New Orleans (and some good ones are still coming onto the market), experienced foreclosed home buyers tend to agree on some basic precepts:

 1. Factor in All Costs
A very low price tag on a Metairie or New Orleans foreclosed home is a tempting opportunity—and a signal that you’ll need to do more than the usual amount of investigating. Especially in a tight market, a price that’s lower than expected often signals a high degree of disrepair that will require a great many improvements—ones the previous owners weren’t able to make. Such a deal can still be worthwhile, but requires doing the research to determine what kind of time and money it will take to make the place livable.   

2. Offer Your Best
Whenever the foreclosure market tightens, the properly priced offerings begin to sell quickly. If so, when you find a foreclosure you know is one you want, be prepared to write your best offer earlier rather than later. If the home is attractively priced, it’s risky to go in low, hoping to nudge the banks’ price lower. It will be worth spending the time to double-check the comps and fine-tune your initial offer. If you don’t, it is increasingly likely that someone else will.

3. Work with a Specialist
Since all real estate agents don’t have the same amount of experience, if you’re looking to purchase a Metairie or New Orleans foreclosed home, there’s no substitute for working with someone who is well-versed in these specific transactions. Not only will an experienced agent be able to help you identify prospective buys, but dealing with the bank to successfully nab a foreclosed home isn’t always a cut-and-dried process. It may take more than one attempt before you succeed in writing a winning offer—but whatever it takes, it’s certain you’ll be ahead of the pack when you have a knowledgeable pro by your side.

Thinking of buying a home this fall? Whether you’re specifically searching for a foreclosed home in Metairie or New Orleans—or simply looking for your next home—I’m here to provide the resources and up-to-the-moment information that helps create winning offers!

View Homes For Sale in Metairie
View Homes For Sale in New Orleans


Terez B. Harris
Terez Harris NOLA Real Estate Group
(504)297-2619
www.TerezHarris.com
TerezHarris@kw.com


Search the MLS! 
(multiple listing service)


Search Terez's Active Listings!







      








Terez B. Harris   Terez Harris NOLA Real Estate Group   504-297-2619   www.TerezHarris.com
Keller Williams Realty New Orleans 8601 Leake Ave. New Orleans, LA 70118 504-862-0100
Each office independently owned and operated. All brokers and agents licensed in the state of Louisiana.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

School Districts Rate Highly in Home Buying Survey


Metairie and New Orleans residents don’t have to have children at home to know when we’ve gone through the familiar back-to-school rituals. Just turn on a radio or TV, step into a retail store, or drive past a school and the calls to educational muster are evident. At the same time, it’s hard not to be reminded how significant education is when it comes to Metairie and New Orleans home buying—how likely it is for schools to be on the forefront of many buyers’ minds.
Most people know intuitively that top-notch schools carry significant weight in the searching and home buying processes—but the result of a survey done by realtor.com has spelled it out in black-and-white. Their research reveals that more than 60% of buyers consider school district boundaries during their home buying process. It’s a surprisingly weighty number.
The depth of interest that buyers registered was also illuminating. The same survey uncovered the fact that prospective homebuyers are willing to spend more—and give up other features—in exchange for a house located in a preferred school district. For example, many buyers said that they are ready to ignore access to shopping malls and parks to be in a district where their preferred school is located.
Prospective buyers are likely to also factor in the impact the same phenomenon could have on a property’s resale value down the line. That could be part of the reason why more than 23% of respondents said that are willing to pay 1-5% over their budget to be in a preferred school district boundary. Another 20% said they would pay 6-10 % above budget, while 9% would pay as much as 11-20% more!
When queried about which factors weigh most heavily on their home buying preferences, over 90% said that school district boundaries are either “important” or “somewhat important.” Only 7.4% said that school districts are “unimportant” or “very unimportant,” while 2% classified them as “neutral.”  
This level of unanimity should be of interest to anyone about to embark on their own Metairie or New Orleans home buying expedition—whether or not they have children of their own. It’s hard to ignore the proposition that when you go to resell a house in the future, its school district may carry the same importance to home buyers down the line. If today’s buyers give such importance to school district boundaries, it may not pay (to borrow Wall Street’s famous phrase) to “fight the tape.” In any case, it always pays to ask questions, do some neighborhood research—and to call me when you’re looking to buy or sell in Metairie or New Orleans!  


View Homes For Sale in New Orleans


Terez B. Harris
Terez Harris NOLA Real Estate Group
(504)297-2619
www.TerezHarris.com
TerezHarris@kw.com


Search the MLS! 
(multiple listing service)


Search Terez's Active Listings!







      








Terez B. Harris   Terez Harris NOLA Real Estate Group   504-297-2619   www.TerezHarris.com
Keller Williams Realty New Orleans 8601 Leake Ave. New Orleans, LA 70118 504-862-0100
Each office independently owned and operated. All brokers and agents licensed in the state of Louisiana.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Should You Invest in Home Staging?


“If you are selling a Metairie or New Orleans home this fall, engage a Metairie or New Orleans staging professional to make your house look its best.”
If cost weren’t a factor, most everyone would agree with that advice. But is staging really worth the price? Can staging in Metairie and New Orleans actually help you sell your home? Of course, without being able to predict the future, a definitive answer isn’t possible. But there are at least three convincing reasons why a Metairie or New Orleans home seller should at least consider making the investment:

·         Money  

A recent study by a leading national real estate company found that staged homes sold for over 6% more than did unstaged homes. We’re used to seeing this kind of statistic offered by staging professionals themselves, but this time it’s confirmed by a less-interested source. One reason could be that a staged home feels like more than an empty box. A Metairie or New Orleans staged home can help buyers to imagine themselves living in the home. The result is higher perceived value—the key to more motivated offers.

·         Time  

The same study showed that staged homes sold twice as quickly as their non-staged counterparts. Well-executed staging can subtly communicate the kind of professionalism that instills trust: these people know what they’re doing. Chalk the swifter sales up to eager buyers whose sales resistance is lowered by the staged home environment.

·         The Online Factor

Imagine this: You are comparing two online listings for homes. Although they have similar features in the same price range, one seems sterile and empty, the other well-maintained and impeccably designed. Which home would you want to buy? With the prevalence of online listings, it’s becoming more and more important to have a photogenic home—one staged to draw attention to features like fireplaces, or that showcases kitchens or beautiful windows. These features might otherwise fade into the woodwork if they lack the bit of furniture and the few artistic touches designed to draw the eye.
By personalizing what would otherwise feel like empty space, a well-staged home can appeal to the emotional side of buyers, inviting them to imagine their life in your home. And a staged home is obviously well-kept—an important cue that will help it stand out in a crowded market.
Whether you decide to stage the home yourself or invest in a Metairie or New Orleans staging professional, the evidence is clear: a staged home is more likely to become a sold home. If you will be listing your home this fall, why not contact me today for information on reputable home staging companies?  I can also offer a host of other current marketing ideas to put a ‘sold’ sign in front of your property!



View Homes For Sale in New Orleans


Terez B. Harris
Terez Harris NOLA Real Estate Group
(504)297-2619
www.TerezHarris.com
TerezHarris@kw.com


Search the MLS! 
(multiple listing service)


Search Terez's Active Listings!







      








Terez B. Harris   Terez Harris NOLA Real Estate Group   504-297-2619   www.TerezHarris.com
Keller Williams Realty New Orleans 8601 Leake Ave. New Orleans, LA 70118 504-862-0100
Each office independently owned and operated. All brokers and agents licensed in the state of Louisiana.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Using an iPhone to Create a Metairie or New Orleans Virtual Tour


A newly-updated NAR survey confirms that 51% of agents with smartphones use iPhones. This fact is hardly startling, since these phones have been such a boon to the real estate business. Today’s agent can use apps to quickly scan and electronically sign documents, instantly get property details for clients, access key boxes—it’s almost hard to remember how we got along before!
But what about the 9% of homeowners who choose to go the FSBO (For Sale by Owner) route? As many a do-it-yourself home seller has learned, just planting a sign in the front yard does not constitute much of a marketing campaign. For those who will be selling an area home this fall, creating a virtual tour is an all-but-indispensable way to take advantage of all an iPhone has to offer. For anyone who would like to shoot a virtual tour as a market aid, here’s the lay of the land:
  • A Metairie or New Orleans virtual tour doesn’t need to be an all-out professional Hollywood production. You can keep matters as simple as possible using nothing more than your iPhone’s camera.
  • More ambitious self-producers can invest in devices like the GoPano. This attaches to your phone: its curved mirror collects light and streams it into the camera as you walk. The free app converts the image into a moving scene which allows viewers to pan in any direction.  
  • If your Metairie or New Orleans virtual tour will be assembled without any add-on equipment, it’s still possible to meld your photos into panoramas using one of the many apps devised for that purpose. Just make sure the results meet your quality standards—not all apps are created equal.
  • Follow the conventional tips for video shooting: in motion, walk slowly, keeping the iPhone as steady as possible. For stills, an iPhone tripod is a valuable addition. Not only does it prevent hand motion blurring; it also allows you to rotate the camera for a 360-degree view.
  • Free or low-cost apps allow you to assemble your virtual tour from stills and video. Search for “real estate virtual tours” in the app store for a comprehensive list. Look for apps that have high ratings—especially those that score well on the ‘user-friendly’ scale. You can also find services through the app store that will take your uploaded images and create the tour for you. 
  • After you have made your Metairie or New Orleans virtual tour, if at all possible, preview the result on an iPhone, iPad, PC, and an Android device. It’s an unfortunate fact that a virtual tour that plays well on one device does not necessarily display the same way on the others. If you used an app to create panoramas, you should definitely watch it on a PC before releasing it to be sure the image quality is adequate on a larger screen.

Virtual tours in Metairie and New Orleans listings are just one part of an effective Metairie or New Orleans real estate marketing effort. Of course, the easiest way to have a professional-looking production is to forget about FSBO altogether and just call me! After all, it’s my full-time job to create and assemble a comprehensive marketing plan that gets your home sold for top dollar.


View Homes For Sale in New Orleans


Terez B. Harris
Terez Harris NOLA Real Estate Group
(504)297-2619
www.TerezHarris.com
TerezHarris@kw.com


Search the MLS! 
(multiple listing service)


Search Terez's Active Listings!







      








Terez B. Harris   Terez Harris NOLA Real Estate Group   504-297-2619   www.TerezHarris.com
Keller Williams Realty New Orleans 8601 Leake Ave. New Orleans, LA 70118 504-862-0100
Each office independently owned and operated. All brokers and agents licensed in the state of Louisiana.