Friday, July 25, 2014

A Local House for Sale—Nailing that First Impression!

You never get a second chance to make a first impression.
It’s a saying that job applicants (at least the successful ones) take to heart. It’s why a lot of serious primping goes on before a blind date. It’s why movie directors spend as much time as it takes to light and prepare the first shot that will introduce their lead actress. And if you’re going to have a house for sale in Metairie or New Orleans this summer, it’s why it’s worth it to take pains to make its first impression as strong as possible.
Making any Metairie or New Orleans house for sale’s debut a success doesn’t have to break your back or your bank account. Here are some simple, affordable projects that can be done in a single weekend:
Update Exterior Lighting
For prospective buyers whose first look at your house for sale comes in an evening drive-by, exterior lighting plays a leading role. If your lighting setup is more than ten years old, you may be able to do a quick transformation by replacing outdated fixtures with stylish new ones. If twilight showings are likely, consider adding a lighted path from driveway to door.
Warm Up the Front Porch
There’s an emotional component that goes into making a house for sale—one that’s truly “inviting.” Often, the key factor is whether prospective buyers can easily picture themselves and their family enjoying an afternoon or evening in the place. Think about whether investing in a few pieces of attractive, comfortable-looking outdoor furniture you could place on the front porch (or other outdoor space) could help buyers picture themselves enjoying a leisurely after-dinner conversation…and whether a comfy indoor/outdoor rug and some outdoor decorative pillows might complete the picture.
Invest in Simple Landscaping
Even just a few flower pots or window planters will invariably work to cheer up an otherwise ‘just okay’ exterior. When a prospective Metairie or New Orleans buyer drives up to a house for sale, a few large pots along the driveway and/or porch—sometimes with the addition of a couple of inexpensive window boxes—can make a real difference. Fill them with easy-to-care-for annuals like marigolds, petunias, or impatiens. Don’t freely mix colors in any one box or pot: that can mute the cheerful effect that a solid mass of yellow, pink or red conveys.
Trim Up!
You don’t necessarily have to paint the whole exterior before you list your house for sale—but it is a good idea to spruce it up by painting (or replacing) the front door, shutters, and trim. It’s a quick, affordable way to give the entire house a facelift without spending tons on painters and paint!
Mothball the Mailbox
Potential buyers may be searching for the address, so a mailbox with old, peeling house numbers can sabotage an entire showing. A new mailbox with bright, shiny numbers will waylay that possibility. For brick mailboxes, just replace the old house numbers and flag.

If you are thinking of listing your house for sale in Metairie or New Orleans, July is prime time to start the ball rolling. Call me today to discuss your pre-marketing plan—we’ll develop one that’s designed to fetch top dollar for your property!





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!







      








Keller Williams Realty New Orleans 8601 Leake Ave. New Orleans, LA 70118 504-862-0100

Each office independently owned and operated. All brokers licensed in the state of Louisiana.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

3 Things to Keep In Mind When Negotiating a Home Purchase


Negotiating tactics. It’s a topic that business authors adore. This is perennial best-seller territory…so much so, you could probably fill a moderate-sized home library with titles like The Art of the Deal and Getting to Yes.
When it comes to negotiating a home purchase in Metairie or New Orleans, fine-tuning your offer—finding the balance between writing a winning offer and writing the most advantageous offer—can present a real challenge. Add to that the national headlines that tell us that there are more bidders out there vying for the same properties, and it makes sense to listen to what the experts have to say about the most successful tactics. When you’re negotiating a home purchase in Metairie or New Orleans, some of the most repeated generalities are applicable:
·         Keep your cards close to your chest
Kenny Rogers sings about it, and every poker player agrees: when you’re negotiating, it’s almost always prudent to volunteer as little information as possible about yourself and your home search. If you aren’t considering any other properties, don’t let the sellers’ agent in on the fact. Never lie, of course; but find a polite way to be vague. The less you say about personal connections to the property, the better. Stick to the numbers and terms.
·         Keep Your Paperwork Smart
Likewise, if you are approved for, say, a $350,000 loan, but are writing an offer for $325,000, instruct your mortgage broker prepare a pre-approval letter with the amount of your offer—not your full buying power (that’s just asking for a higher counter offer!).
·         Negotiate for the win, not just to win
If you get caught up in negotiation, it can cause you to lose sight of the big picture, which is winding up owning the property you want. If a seller won’t budge on price, ask yourself if the property is actually worth the price they are asking. Canny buyers keep in mind that this isn’t about “winning” by getting sellers to come down to your bid, it’s about winning by getting the Metairie or New Orleans home purchase that makes sense for you. If the comps support the price (and you know you’ll be delighted with the house) do be open to weighing the merits of the deal…even if it’s not as rock-bottom as you had hoped.

A home purchase in Metairie or New Orleans is a complex, sometimes emotional process—but going in with the right mindset can make all the difference. Good luck hunting! If you’re looking for an agent to help you every step of the way, I’m standing by all summer waiting to lend an experienced hand!




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!







      








Keller Williams Realty New Orleans 8601 Leake Ave. New Orleans, LA 70118 504-862-0100

Each office independently owned and operated. All brokers licensed in the state of Louisiana.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

First Time Home Buyers Resume Strong Buying Patterns

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

The upheaval in global financial markets over the past few years may have been unnerving for almost everyone, but among the hardest-hit group was first time home buyers, in New Orleans, Metairie, and across the country. Many had to deal with the stress caused by an uncertain economy, the fallout on business and job security, and, more directly, a pronounced increase in the difficulty of securing mortgages.
The good news for New Orleans and Metairie first time home buyers is how the national situation has stabilized. It’s confirmed by the increase in the number of people interested in buying a home for the first time—which has climbed out of the slump. The latest NAR (National Association of Realtors®) annual Profile—a yearly report describing home buyers and sellers—shows that new entrants into the residential market accounted for 39%, just 1% shy of the pre-crash mark.
 If you’re selling a New Orleans or Metairie home this summer and have priced it attractively, it could pay to be mindful of this important segment of our market.
So just who are New Orleans and Metairie’s first time home buyers? That’s where the NAR report gives us some important clues. Three-quarters of first time buyers across the nation fall into the category of current tenants —those living in rented accommodations—with 18% still living with parents. As you’d expect, almost all (98%) of that segment hope to fund their purchase with a mortgage, with 81% preferring a fixed-rate loan. Some first time home buyers plan to use personal savings for the down payment, but many others plan to get help from family. (New Orleans and Metairie home sellers take note: one possible incentive to make your listing stand out might be to include an offer to cover closing costs.)
Three-quarters of respondents were aged from 22-42. The single most common reason given for buying a home is to start a family (70%), and of those buying a home for the first time, 51% are married couples. With proportions like those, any home in a family-friendly area should benefit by pointing out attractions like local parks, playgrounds and superior schools.
Maybe the most interesting statistic in the report was that 28% of the first time home buyers were already making plans to move again within five years! It may follow that, at least in many cases, first time home buyers in New Orleans and Metairie may not want to deal with remodeling issues. Attracting them could be the final reason to bring your property into “move-in” condition.

Well thought-out marketing is the key to success with any listing, whether it’s catering to New Orleans and Metairie first time home buyers, or to any other segment. If you are thinking of selling your own home, a call to me and a some preliminary groundwork on a marketing plan that will work for you is definitely in order!



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!







      








Keller Williams Realty New Orleans 8601 Leake Ave. New Orleans, LA 70118 504-862-0100

Each office independently owned and operated. All brokers licensed in the state of Louisiana.

Friday, July 18, 2014

National Rent Increases Reward Real Estate Investors

Last year comprised a decision point for many a local investor who had been holding back from the Metairie and New Orleans real estate market. There’d been a number of good reasons for them to hesitate.
First, there were memories of the pervasive price drops that followed the global financial meltdown. Not exactly what a prudent investor was looking for—even given the real estate’s traditionally invincible long-term record. Then there were fears that the economy’s slow reverse out of the Great Recession (a term that was in itself enough to freeze many a checkbook!) would hamper apartment and single family unit rental increases. A landlord could get squeezed by inflation…if therewere any inflation…who could know for sure?
But as 2013 began, some positives that were at last beginning to provide a degree of optimism. Last year’s Metairie and New Orleans real estate investment decision was looking a little less risky when the historically low mortgage loan rates were taken into account. They penciled out to what looked like a potentially rosy cash flow outlook. And even the more hesitant investors had been noticing for a while how institutions had been pouring their own cash into residential real estate—you had to wonder why so many of the larger investment concerns suddenly seemed to want to become local landlords…
Now we can look back at 2013 and realize what a fantastic year it was for Metairie and New Orleans real estate investment. First, there was the rise in real estate prices, which was nationwide. According to the S&P Case-Shiller Index, U.S. real estate prices increased 11.3%—the highest rate of increase in many years. By the end of the year, website Zillow was predicting that the rise would continue through 2014 at a steady (and less superheated) rate. That tempering was attributed to the gradual rise in still-low mortgage interest rates—and to the inevitable fact that the most extreme bargain properties had been snapped up.
 The latest news on multi-family dwellings shows that fears of inflation outpacing landlords’ ability to increase rents were exaggerated (to say the least). National research firm Reis has just reported that for the 12-month period ending in June, rents rose 3.4%—the 18thconsecutive quarter of rent increases! “You have definitely seen the recovery now spread to all of the major markets around the country,” according to Reis economist Ryan Severino. Single-family home rentals are on the rise also. According to Zillow’s latest Year-over-Year Rent Index, “increase renter demand is driving rental appreciation” even though rent affordability continues to be low in terms of percentage of incomes.
What does this mean for today’s investor deciding whether to enter the Metairie or New Orleans real estate market? That’s always a choice individuals make for themselves—although, as a not-entirely neutral observer I tend to side with landlords throughout the ages whose reliable backstop has always been the real estate “they aren’t making any more of.” One thing is for certain: checking out the values to be found in this summer’s Metairie and New Orleans real estate offerings is the only sure way to gauge the opportunities that are out there. In other words, give me a call.
It’s only prudent!





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!







      








Keller Williams Realty New Orleans 8601 Leake Ave. New Orleans, LA 70118 504-862-0100

Each office independently owned and operated. All brokers licensed in the state of Louisiana.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

1720 Old Metairie St. - What Our Sellers Say

1720 Old Metairie St.
Metairie, LA 70001
$249,000

Beautiful town home living! Quaint neighborhood in Old Metairie with easy access to down town and Metairie. Totally renovated kitchen and bathrooms. Hardwood flooring throughout the downstairs area. Over sized master bedroom with plenty of closet space. Flood insurance not an issue hear, only$567 annually with full coverage! Off street parking with attached garage. Enjoy the beautiful oak trees in the neighborhood!

or
Call Terez B. Harris at (504)297-2619




 What originally attracted the owners to this home was the desirable location and easy maintenance.




The owner's favorite aspects of the home are the hardwood floors and high ceilings on the first floor. They have spent a lot of time in the living room with the family.




While in the home, the owner made several improvements including redoing the roof, installing new leaf-guard gutters, and remodeling the master bathroom.




Even though they are happy to start a new chapter, the owners will miss the easy maintenance, since they will be moving to a larger home with more land. 




They will also miss the quiet and friendly location. They have felt very safe in this neighborhood. They love the perfectly placed tree in their front yard, that provides shade to driveway. 


or
Call Terez B. Harris at (504)297-2619




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!







      








Keller Williams Realty New Orleans 8601 Leake Ave. New Orleans, LA 70118 504-862-0100

Each office independently owned and operated. All brokers licensed in the state of Louisiana.