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Your Guide To Appraisals

You've listed your home on the market, and the seller has made an offer. Congratulations! Now, it's time for your appraisal.

This is the part of the home selling process where an independent third party determines the value of your home. The results of your appraisal can impact your final selling price, so it's normal to feel a bit nervous going into it. Are you wondering how an appraisal works and what you can do to prepare? Take a look at these tips.

1. Know What to Expect 

Understanding what happens during an appraisal can help calm your nerves and will also help you prepare. Most appraisals take between one to three hours and involve a professional appraiser thoroughly inspecting your property both inside and out. The purpose is to determine the current market value of your property.

Some of the things your appraiser will consider include the age of your home, its location, the size, and what the structure of made of. They'll also consider the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the layout of your home, and the overall condition of the roof, siding, and interior. Finally, the appraiser will compare your home to the value of comparable homes located nearby.

2. Prepare Your Home for Inspection

Even though an appraiser doesn't value your home based on its cleanliness, it's always a good idea to clean and declutter before they arrive. Sometimes, an appraiser might subconsciously value a home a little lower if it looks like a mess, so it makes sense to take the time to present your home in the best possible light.

3. Gather the Necessary Paperwork

Appraisers will typically ask for information about the home before they arrive. You'll make their job easier and ensure a more accurate appraisal if you give them a list of any major improvements you've made and provide detailed information about the age of your major appliances, HVAC system, and the roof. Whenever possible, also provide copies of the original paperwork.

If your appraiser arrives and finds out there's an addition or something else they didn't know about, all the information they've gathered about comparable homes will be off. This means they'll have to start over — which will delay your results and the closing of your sale. Avoid this by giving full disclosure and providing all of the information upfront.

4. Be Honest in Your Listing

Before your appraisal, it pays to make an honest assessment of what your home really offers. Unfortunately, sellers and their agents are sometimes guilty of listing "puffery." Fudging the numbers, adding square footage, or hoping no one will notice your roof isn't new isn't going to get you anywhere.

While it's sometimes tempting to add a little bit here and there, starting with an honest estimate will make the appraisal process much smoother.

5. Understand the Outcomes 

When you get your appraisal back, there are three possible outcomes: it will be higher or lower than the agreed-upon purchase price, or it will be spot-on. If your appraisal matches the agreed-upon price, you're ready to move forward with the closing, and no additional negotiations are needed.

However, if the appraisal comes in lower, you could have a problem. In this case, you may want to request an appraisal review. During this process, another licensed appraiser will prepare an independent report. This will help confirm the accuracy and completeness of the initial report. If the appraisal is still lower, you may need to re-negotiate with the buyer, and there's a chance they may walk away from the deal.

If your appraisal comes in higher than the agreed-upon price, you can move forward with the closing. However, you also won't have the opportunity to ask for more money. While the buyer will be happy knowing they already have some equity in their new home, knowing you've underpriced yourself may leave you feeling bitter.

This is why it's so important to price your home appropriately from the start. Working with a knowledgeable real estate agent will help you evaluate the value of your home and price it correctly for the current market conditions. This will help prevent you from having unpleasant surprises when your appraisal is done.


Feeling Overwhelmed About Buying A House? These Tips Can Help

Buying a home — whether it's your first home or fiftieth — can make you want to scream. Two-story or ranch... open houses... budgets. So much to do and so many choices. What's a home buyer to do?

You're more than likely making the biggest financial decision of your life. It's natural to feel stressed and overwhelmed until everything falls into place. The good news is that there is plenty you can do to alleviate the stress and keep your focus on the main goal — buying your dream home.

Here are six steps to ease home buying stress: 

  1. Set House Hunting Goals
    Finding the right home for you will be much easier when you have a clear picture of the type of home you're looking for. Decide what is important to you. List out your basic requirements for a home, like the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, yard, neighborhoods, school districts, and anything else that will factor into your final decision.

  2. Understand Your Budget
    Understanding your finances is an important part of buying a home. Without loan pre-approval and realistic budgets, you may lose out on your dream home. Before you start your home search, get pre-approved for your loan, secure the cash for your down payment and educate yourself to understand the whole financial picture of buying a home.

  3. Get Pre-Approved for Your Mortgage
    All home buyers should strongly consider obtaining mortgage pre-approval when diving into the real estate market. Mortgage pre-approval will significantly reduce the stress of buying a house because you won't have to worry about financing once you find the right match. Home sellers prefer pre-approved buyers because it shows that you are a serious shopper from the start.

  4. Don't Take It Personally
    Sellers are looking for the best offer, and at times, yours will not be it. Sometimes, sellers just are not ready to sell even if an offer is perfect. Look at rejection as an opportunity to find something even better. You never know what house is right around the corner.

  5. Have a Timeline
    Buying a home is certainly a process, and it starts long before you start negotiating the terms of a sale. In addition to making a list of your desired features for your new home, it helps set a rough timeline early in the process. Having a general idea of when you want to take each step and how you want to see things progress is a great way to limit stress, even if some steps take longer (or shorter!) than you expect.

  6. Take a Break
    Buying a home can consume you. Make sure you are taking time to do something else every once in a while. Take a break to go work out or have coffee with a friend. When it feels like all you're doing is eating, breathing, and dreaming about new houses, it is probably time to go have a little fun.

Buying your first home can be a wonderful journey with the right plan. Following these steps can help you feel calm and confident when closing day comes.


Here's How To Sell A Home When You Have Pets

You love your dog or cat; however, when listing your home for sale, many potential buyers will not be as enamored as you are. In fact, your pet might be the reason some buyers bypass your home entirely and move to another pet-free option.

Here's How To Sell A Home When You Have Pets

The Problem Prospective Buyers Have with Pets

Many buyers will say there are two reasons that prevent them from touring homes with pets:

  1. They are not comfortable around pets--especially dogs — and won't enter a home that currently has one.
  2. Your pet changes the way your home smells. Some buyers won't buy a house they feel has a pet odor.

The good news is that there are things you can do to ensure that your pet and prospective buyers are comfortable.

Relocate Your Pet

You might not like the idea of living without your dog, but it's an option you may have to consider to sell your home.

If you have a friend or relative that is willing to provide a temporary home for your dog, consider their offer. In fact, it will be good for both your dog and prospective buyers. Your dog won't have the stress of strange people coming and going, and prospective buyers will be comfortable while in your house.

Create a Safe Place for Your Pet

If providing your pup with a home away from home isn't an option, provide them with a secure place while prospective buyers tour your property. This can be a neighbor's house, an outdoor kennel, or even an indoor crate. It's important that your pet is comfortable in this area before prospective buyers start walking through your home.

Clean up After Your Pets

First impressions are important during the home selling process. Before prospective buyers arrive, clean your home thoroughly. This includes:

  • Putting toys away
  • Cleaning litter boxes
  • Vacuuming pet hair
  • Laundering pet beds

Make sure your pet looks groomed and well-cared for.

Repair Pet Damage

Go over your entire property and repair any damage your family pet has done. This includes:

  • Filling in holes they've dug in the yard
  • Replacing stained carpets
  • Repairing or removing damaged furniture
  • Repairing or replacing torn or chewed drapes/curtains/blinds

Consult Your Veterinarian

Selling your home is stressful for you and your pets. It can take a toll on their health, particularly if they're a senior pet or one that already struggles with health issues. Talk to your veterinarian about what you can do to make the process easier for your pet.

Throughout the entire process, make sure your pet knows that they're still an important member of your family.


If you want a relaxing sanctuary to luxuriate in every day, it can be found as near as your bathroom door. Follow these do-it-yourself tips to convert your primary bathroom into a spa-like retreat, and your relaxed body, mind and soul will be glad you did.

Give a Jacuzzi Tub a Whirl

To transform your bathroom into a home spa, install a modern soaking tub for a total immersion in the therapeutic benefits of bubbling water. If a do-it-yourself bathroom remodel isn't in the offing, convert your tub into a hydrotherapy whirlpool with equipment that fits over the side to whip your water into a healing frenzy. There's also the simple fix of installing a spa-like massage showerhead that melds relaxation with hygiene to make you feel and smell good all over. When you're done, finish the spa experience with a warm wiping, courtesy of you freestanding electric towel warmer.

Speaking of Smelling Good

Scent contributes to the mood you are in, so make sure aromatherapy is part of your bathroom spa experience. Hang eucalyptus from your shower head for a refreshing scent. Place reed diffusers on your bathroom countertop. Or finish up a hard day's work with a treat for the senses by adding aromatic essential oils to Epsom salts for an in-home mineral bath.

Make It Music to the Ears

Spa music should transport you to a Zen-like place of peace and tranquility, and good choices are acoustic tunes and the sounds of nature. Or, go Simon and Garfunkel with your own "Sounds of Silence" smartphone playlist and listen to it through waterproof Bluetooth speakers while relaxing in the tub.

With a sprinkling of ingenuity and a smattering of inspiration, you can easily convert your primary bathroom into a modern-day spa worthy of the ancient Romans!


Need To Sell Fast? These Tricks Will Help

Before you sink the "for sale" sign in your front yard, make sure your house looks its best with these simple and inexpensive home improvement projects that will help make your home sell faster.

  1. Consider Curb Appeal
    You only get one chance to make a great first impression. Your lawn, landscaping, and entrance to your home are the first things buyers see. Make that first impression memorable by cutting the grass, weeding, trimming hedges, and raking leaves. Polishing (or adding new) front-door hardware and a new mailbox can give a visual boost. Some colorful plants and a few bags of mulch can spruce up the outside appearance of your home without breaking the bank.

  2. Step Up Your Storage
    Clutter is the enemy when you're selling a house. If your closets and storage areas are cramped, lighten the load (beyond decluttering) by adding do-it-yourself closet storage systems. Top candidates for storage units are entry closets, kitchen pantries, linen closets, and bedrooms. When all is said and done, your closets will be more organized and functional while you're still living in the home and will attract potential buyers when you're ready to sell.

  3. Give Your Kitchen a Facelift
    The kitchen is the heart of your home. If it looks as if it's seen better days, give your oven, microwave, countertops, and sink some extra "TLC" with a deep cleaning. Buyers typically focus on a home's kitchen; consequently, it should sparkle the minute it hits the market.

    If your kitchen needs more than just a little elbow grease, a few inexpensive cosmetic changes can go a long way. Give it a makeover with a fresh coat of neutral paint, new hardware for drawers and cabinets, and up-to-date lighting and plumbing fixtures.

  4. Spiff Up Your Bathroom
    The bathroom — just like the kitchen — is a high priority for home buyers. Buyers love the idea of experiencing a five-star luxury experience in the comfort of their new homes. Since a complete bathroom renovation may not be in your plans, add the wow factor buyers are looking for by upgrading your sink, tub, shower, and lighting fixtures. A fresh coat of paint and new towels will give your bathroom a new look. A good, deep cleaning can make a drab shower and dingy floors shine again.

  5. Lighting Makes a Difference
    When you're selling a house, poor lighting can detract from your home's best features. Installing new light fixtures can give your house an updated look and highlight the best features of your house for home buyers. Replace old light bulbs with new ones with a higher wattage. You want buyers to see your home's best-selling points as they walk through it.

Buyers typically don't want to think about all the work they need to do in their new home. These fixes can help make your home a showstopper and will help move your property faster.


Pay Off Your Mortgage Early With These Tips

The answer is different for each homeowner. Your earning power, expected future earning power, savings, and even your hobbies will all have an impact on how you choose to pay your mortgage. The good news is that there really are simple, effective tactics for paying off your mortgage early — as long as you're willing to stay committed to the process.

One of the best ways to pay off your mortgage early is to make sure that your mortgage fits your finances well before signing on the dotted line. Free mortgage calculators are very useful when shopping for a mortgage. If you're already locked into a mortgage, don't worry, there's still plenty you can do to more quickly own your home free and clear.

  1. Cut Expenses, Increase Savings – The number one tip for paying off your mortgage early is both pretty simple on the surface but sometimes easier said than done. It's sort of like saying that to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you take in. We all know that it's true, but cutting expenses and increasing savings requires a lot of planning, discipline, and persistence.

  2. Earn More, Save More – One of the best options to cut expenses will come when you earn a raise at work or move to a higher-paying position. It's natural to want to splurge a bit, but you've already proven that you can live comfortably on your prior salary. Keep the same budget when you get a raise and put the difference toward paying off your mortgage.

  3. Focus on Frugal Fun – There will always be little sacrifices when you want to pay off a mortgage early, but that doesn't mean you have to forego fun. You'll just want to be smart about how you invest your entertainment budget. Focus on affordable hobbies, plan vacations on a budget, and try replacing a few dinners out with creative, home-cooked meals. It's all about finding the right balance.

  4. Plan Your Financial Future – If you're not on a first-name basis with a financial adviser, now is a great time to change that. A financial adviser can help optimize your budget, minimize your tax load and identify ways to lower spending that won't cut into your quality of life. Investing some of your extra savings can also help with paying off your mortgage early.

  5. Extra Payments – The ultimate payoff of saving more and spending less is the extra payments you'll be able to make, which will help you pay off your mortgage early. These payments add up quickly, and with a little planning, you can start making extra payments soon after buying a house. Your financial adviser can help you optimize your extra payments to make paying off your mortgage early as efficient as possible.

While the goal of saving more and spending less holds true for all homeowners interested in paying off their mortgage early, there are many different ways to reach that goal after buying a house. Research, experiment, and find the savings tips that work for you. The benefits of owning your home free and clear are worth the effort.


Shrimp is a staple of many Cajun and Creole dishes, and there is no better place to find fresh shrimp than Louisiana. Fresh, Gulf shrimp is the most popular seafood in the state, and for good reason. Shrimp is incredibly versatile. Whether you like it fried, grilled, or blackened, everyone has a favorite style, including many of our real estate agents who are often in search of new local shrimp-based dishes to try.

Whether you're visiting the area or are a local looking for a good new restaurant, here are five popular destinations where you can get some delicious shrimp around Shreveport.

  1. Crawdaddy's Kitchen - 9370 Mansfield Road, Shreveport, LA 71118
    This easy-going restaurant in Shreveport serves a slew of Cajun-style cuisine, including some delicious shrimp entrees that are just packed with flavor. At Crawdaddy's Kitchen, you can order your shrimp boiled, stuffed, or on top of some delicious fettucine alfredo. Don't forget to top off your meal with some New Orleans-style bread pudding for dessert. Afterward, you'll want to be sure to take a look at these Shreveport homes for sale just a few miles down the road.

  2. Orlandeaux's Cafe - 5301 South Lakeshore Drive, Shreveport, LA 71109
    This iconic local restaurant has been serving some of the area's top Creole and Cajun seafood in some form or another since 1921. Orlandeaux's Cafe has some amazing Shrimp Fried Rice, Shrimp & Grits, and Shrimp Creole—not to mention dozens of other seafood entrees, po'boys, and more. You're sure to get the true taste of Louisiana at this classic dining establishment.

  3. THE PORT - 711 Horseshoe Boulevard, Bossier City, LA 71111
    Located inside the Horseshoe Casino, THE PORT takes seafood to the next level. Order your shrimp grilled, fried, or boiled, or if you're a fan of Cajun flavor, choose the Shrimp Etoufee. Love oysters too? You're in luck. THE PORT offers Oysters Diablo, Oysters Rockefeller, and Oysters on the half shell. Stop by after looking at these Bossier City homes for sale.

  4. Herby-K's - 1833 Pierre Avenue, Shreveport, LA 71103
    For some of the best fried shrimp in town, swing by Herby-K's, a tiny family-owned and operated bar and restaurant known for its delicious Louisiana seafood. Don't be fooled by the modest appearance; Herby-K's has been serving up the delicious World Famous Shrimp Buster since 1945. It's a unique take on a shrimp po'boy with a secret dipping sauce. You have to try it!

  5. Zuzul Coastal Cuisine - 1370 East 70th Street Suite 1100, Shreveport, LA 71105
    Zuzul Coastal Cuisine
    is a local seafood destination with some great local Louisiana classics with a Latin American influence. Try the Shrimp and Grits—it's Louisiana gulf shrimp, heirloom grits, verjus cheese, and bacon-demi. The bar serves a variety of tasty tropical drinks. Enjoy your lunch or dinner on the cool, covered patio.

  6. Sam's Southern Eatery - 2910 Barksdale Boulevard, Bossier City, LA 71112
    While Sam's Southern Eatery has grown to locations in nine states, the restaurant got its start in Shreveport. The Bossier City location serves up a variety of po'boys, including one loaded with four jumbo shrimp. If you prefer lighter fare, consider ordering the Shrimp Salad, or savor the flavor of Sam's Special 25 Baby Shrimp in the restaurant's signature sauce.  

There's no place better to enjoy authentic Cajun and Creole seafood than Lousiana. If you're considering a move to the Shreveport and Bossier City area, contact us today.


By Brad Gosslee, President, Coldwell Banker Gosslee

This is my May blog. And it's also an article that will use the word "may" over and over. That's because there remain a whole lot of unknowns about what may occur in housing over the near- and long-term future. But there remains one certainty…we are still in the one of the hottest and tightest times in real estate history that is especially challenging in Northwest Louisiana.

Let's start with today. We continue to see strong buyer demand met with a limited supply of available homes, causing continued rising prices.

I want to explain a bit more about the current market while I also look into the future of what may occur.

As you can tell from my blogs, I love digging into the statistics associated with the housing market. I believe the numbers give us insight into what is occurring and what may be coming down the road with prices, sales and the pace of the market.

One of the most telling numbers that indicates a down-the-road shift may be coming is in the number of home sales. The National Association of Realtors just came out with its Existing Home Sales Report looking at April sales and shared that the U.S. was down 5.4% in sales over last April. This was the third time in a row that the sales figures were below the previous month. And locally, our sales in April were down 8% over last year.

That rationale for a decrease in sales likely has a lot to do with the following:

  • Mortgage rates have ticked up. Locally, as I write this, we are around 5.3% for a 30-year fixed mortgage according to our friends at Fairway Mortgage.
  • Home prices have risen to record levels.
  • Prices and mortgage rates may be pulling some entry-level buyers out of the market.

At the same time, we are continuing to see the repercussions of a record low number of homes on the market. If there aren't enough homes for sale, logic would indicate we can't sell as many homes.

The buying frenzy of these last several years, which was fueled by historically low mortgage rates and the "work from anywhere" phenomenon, has never allowed for an already dipping pre-pandemic supply of homes to keep up. If we continue to see fewer buyers, we may start to see homes stay on the market longer, with fewer multiple bids and therefore prices would stabilize. After all, double-digit percentage increases are not sustainable.

But for now, we remain in dire need of more listings. I am hopeful that potential sellers who may have waited to "time the market" and sell at the peak, may recognize that we may be at that point and decide to list.

The inventory challenge has been exacerbated by another phenomenon of modern times – aging in place. The older generation, those 65+, have the highest homeownership rate according to the U.S. Census, with just under 79% in this age group owning their homes. This figure more than doubles the 38.8% reported for those under 35. But these older homeowners may not be selling. In fact, AARP reports that more than 90% of them want to remain in their homes.

It's just another piece of our inventory concerns. We entered May in Caddo, Bossier and Desoto Parishes with only 667 homes for sale. This was just a 1.3-month supply, and off nearly 78% from just four years ago. Even though 606 new listings came on the market in April, they are being sold really quickly. In fact, the median days on market locally for all sold homes was a ridiculously fast nine days, which was almost twice as fast as the national figure of 17.

We remain in the greatest "seller's market" of all-time. As this next chart shows, because inventory levels are so low, sellers have a huge negotiating advantage. You can see that by comparing back to 2018.

Four years ago, we had a very balanced market at our lower price points – at or near the six-month supply. In this environment, neither side has a negotiating advantage. The script flips to the buyer's advantage when there are more properties available than buyer demand. Taking a look at the chart below, this is evident in the higher price points in 2018. You can also see how severe today's lack of inventory is:

Price Range

April 2022 Available Homes/Month Supply

April 2018 Available Homes/Month Supply




$100,000 & less



















Now let's address sales and demand. While we are off a bit from last year, remember a year ago our frenzy was at full capacity. There were 469 home sales in April in Caddo, Bossier and Desoto Parishes. The drop of eight percent was off a record 510 a year ago. But if you look at our five-year April average of 426, we are actually running 10% ahead. So the demand is still there!

What's also interesting locally is that if we were selling more at the lower price points, we would be at record level pace. As this next chart shows, the move-up segments above $200,000 continue to show incredible sales strength.

Price Range

YoY Number of Home Sales NW LOUISIANA
(% change over April 2021

YoY Number of Home Sales in Bossier Parish (% change over April 2021

YoY Number of Home Sales in Caddo Parish (% change over April 2021

YoY Number of Home Sales in Desoto Parish (% change over April 2021


1,723 (-4%)

649 (-10%)

1,021 (0%)

54 (-11%)

$100,000 & less

281 (+5%)

    66 50 (0%)

208 (+9%)

8 (-27%)


573 (-18%)

173 (-25%)

308 (-12%)

15 (-42%)


530 (+5%)

233 (-6%)

285 (+17%)

    12 (+0%)


194 (-1%)

112 (-2%)

74 (0%)

8 (0%)


84 (+12%)

48 (+55%)

32 (-22%)

4 (+100%)


34 (+21%)

    11 (-35%)

17 (+55%)

6 (+400%)


27 (0%)

6 (-40%)

20 (+25%)

1 (+100%)


This is also the second straight month where we are not seeing dramatic increases in the number of sales over the previous year. In fact, because 2021 was such a strong sales year, we are even seeing large swings to the negative. But I urge you not to read into these shifts too much since they are compared to record levels. I am more focused on the price points that are still showing positive increases. A few months ago, we were seeing most of these in the plus 50-80% ranges. We are not seeing those same dramatic increases today. This may be an indicator that we are entering a more normalized market.


As you would expect with demand (buyers) still high being and a lack of supply, prices would continue to rise. And that is exactly what has occurred here and throughout the U.S.

Nationally, home prices have risen to a record median price of $391,200, up 14.8% over last year. For comparison's sake, it was $255,300 at this time in 2018. Locally we saw a similar April increase of 11% to $218,000. Thankfully our median priced home is $172,000 cheaper! Once again, the affordability of Northwest Louisiana is visible.

This next chart shows how we compare to the U.S. As you can see by what I've highlighted, our supply and pace is drastically lower than the nation:



(change over April '21)

Northwest LA

(change over April '21)

Median Price



Number of Sales

5.61 million/-5.4%



1.03 million/-10.4%


Months Supply



Median Days on Market




I wanted to close this month's blog with a portion of the actual script from our radio ads that run on our local radio stations. It addresses a seller's needs:   





This is not just marketing speak. It is the truth. Sellers face different challenges today than they ever have, including managing the nearly daily changes in prices along with the ability to properly choose and negotiate with the right buyer.

I am confident that our agents are the most skilled in the region and I applaud them for continuing to train, learn and grow.

Remember, there are no silly questions. If you have any, please reach out to one of our agents or feel free to reach out to me at bgosslee@cbgosslee.com.

Hope you have a great Memorial Day start to summer!





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