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By Brad Gosslee, President, Coldwell Banker Gosslee

We are coming to a very special time of year as we celebrate Thanksgiving and the holidays with our friends and loved ones. And, of course, as a former football player who played at Byrd High School, I'm also pumped up that it's almost time for the Independence Bowl! I can't wait to see which teams and their fans are coming to Shreveport!

This is also a great time for me to take a moment and once again salute our Coldwell Banker Gosslee agents. For those of you who have worked with them, especially over the last couple of years during the pandemic-fueled real estate frenzy, you saw how dedicated and exceptional they are. Now with mortgage rates rising, their value will grow even more! As our company has been a fabric of the region for more than 60 years and the market leader for three-straight decades, our agents have been through numerous market changes. They are well-trained and ready to support buyers and sellers in a uniquely different market.

The story of rising mortgage rates is everywhere. It's obviously big news. But I came across a quote from National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun that makes a lot of sense:

"More potential homebuyers were squeezed out from qualifying for a mortgage in October as mortgage rates climbed higher. The impact is greater in expensive areas of the country and in markets that witnessed significant home price gains in recent years."

Because our home prices are nowhere near San Jose's $1.4 million, Seattle's $750,000 or Austin's $550,000, the financial challenges may not be as severe for our buyers. While no one wants to pay more, Lawrence's point is valid. It's likely harder to pay $2,700 more a month for a loan than $400.

I say this because the median price for a home in Caddo, Bossier and Desoto Parishes is currently $212,000. Using Lawrence's views as a guide, here is a breakdown of what monthly loan payments would be in several markets – compared to earlier this year - assuming no extra fees or having a down payment.


Median Price

Monthly Payment with 3.5% Mortgage

Monthly Payment with 6.76% Mortgage

Difference in Monthly Payment

San Jose















Northwest LA




+$   416


His theory seems to be true in Northwest Louisiana judging by home sales too.

While the National Association of Realtors reports that home sales are down 28.3% in October nationally, we are down 24%. The reason it is so far off is because we were in blistering times a year ago. And to provide a comparison, I looked at some markets in uber-expensive California. The San Francisco market is off 37.5% and Los Angeles is down just about the same (39.8%).

Locally, for all of 2022 so far (not just October which I just described), there have been 4,475 home sales in our three parishes which is down 12% from the blistering pace of a year ago. But we are still up compared to more traditional times like 2018 (4,074) and 2019 (4,152) prior to the pandemic:

Price Range

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

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

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

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


4,475 (-12%)

1,835 (-10%)

2,842 (-15%)

158 (+0%)

$100,000 & less

671 (-23%)

    166 (-1%)

479 (-16%)

26 (+4%)


1,407 (-10%)

436 (-26%)

925 (-22%)

    46 (-15%)


1,350 (-6%)

671 (-9%)

648 (-11%)

    31 (-3%)


578 (-1%)

351 (+1%)

198 (-5%)

29 (+12%)


251 (-3%)

138 (+8%)

99 (-14%)

14 (-13%)


   1 04 (+25%)

    44 (+13%)

51 (+19%)

9 (+800%)


114 (+14%)

29 (+0%)

82 (+22%)

3 (0%)


As I said earlier, obviously higher interest rates are not what buyers or sellers want. Hopefully as the nation overcomes inflation, mortgage rates may come down. If you want to geek-out, pay attention to the 10-Year Treasury Note which is the greatest indicator of where mortgage rates are likely headed.

But in the meantime, our agents are working closely with our friends at Fairway Mortgage to show prospective buyers that 30-year-fixed rate loans are not the only option. In fact, here are some terms and loan options to understand:

  • You can refinance; "Marry the home…date the loan." I don't know who originally said this, but it's a brilliant line. The belief is that you can always re-finance your loan when they drop. Most economists predict this will likely occur in the middle of 2023.
  • Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs): Because mortgage rates dropped so low during the pandemic, most took 30 or 15-year fixed rate mortgages. But ARMs give you a lower rate for a sizeable time period, usually 5, 7 or 10 years, before readjusting.
  • Buy Downs: Along with having a down payment to lower costs, you can also pay more upfront in your loan. This can lower your interest rate and thus the monthly payments.
  • Other options: There are several loans that aid buyers including those from the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

We have to remember that the need for a home will always be there. This is because life events will dictate moves including happy occasions like engagements and marriages, children and growing families, job promotions and new jobs. If you are considering buying a home, you owe it to yourself to speak with one of our agents. Northwest Louisiana is a very different place than the rest of the nation and having someone who understands our current market conditions will be a huge help to you. I promise!

Let's now get into the nitty gritty of what IS occurring on the real estate front in our wonderful area.

The first thing we have to understand is that home prices are slowing their pace of appreciation. You may remember that I've always referred to Northwest Louisiana as a "Steady Eddie" market where we would usually see a 2-3% increase in home prices each year. But because of the recent historically-low mortgage rates, the ability to work from anywhere and our amazing affordability, we saw demand far exceed supply and therefore home prices went up locally in dramatic fashion over the last couple of years.

We are now starting to slow down. We have had back-to-back months where prices were less than they were at the same time a year ago. This could be expected because we could not sustain such a red-hot market and the price declines are off of record highs.

In fact, if you compare the median home price we had in October 2021 of $218,500 to this year of October-only sales, we are down 17%. But remember that even at this reduced price, we are still ahead of 2018's $165,000. While I don't have a crystal ball, I don't see prices dropping to those levels.

Even with the slowdown, our annual price appreciation is 7% for all of 2022

But here is the rub. We still do not have enough homes for active buyers to consider. Sure our buyer pool has decreased and we don't have multiple bids at the same levels we had last year and into the early part of 2022, but we still have only 1,072 homes on the market which is 51% less than we had available at this time in 2018.

While I am excited to see our inventory increase, we do need more homes to come on the market. This is why the monthly supply stat is valuable. We know that over the last 12 months we have been averaging 447 sales a month. Therefore, as you will see in the next chart, our 1,072 homes on the market would only last 2.4 months.

And while buyers don't have to choose a home at the same quick pace they did previously and have a little more negotiating wiggle room today, we are still in a sellers' market.  A balanced market locally – where neither buyer nor seller has a negotiating advantage – is about 5-6 months. You can see we are still a long way from that mark:

Price Range

October 2022 Available Homes/Month Supply

October 2018 Available Homes/Month Supply




$100,000 & less



















We are especially tight in the mid-tier price ranges. And, if/when mortgage rates retreat and more buyers came back into the market, we would see our supply dwindle further. This is why we also encourage potential sellers to talk with one of our agents. While we have moved past the top of the market, you may be surprised to know how your home has maintained its value.

One of the reasons for the market's slowdown is that higher rates pull out buyers at the lower end of the market. Also buying power dwindles and therefore others are forced to purchase less expensive homes. That appears to be occurring in Northwest Louisiana.

We saw 95 October sales at the $100,000 or less price point, the strongest October in this range since 2019. We had 18 more homes sold in this price range this year than last year, which is one of the main drivers for our lower median sales price. Remember, the median is the middle of all 1,072 homes sold last month. We also had 11 fewer $500,000+ homes. Therefore, our median price may be a bit skewed.

Here is a look at how we compare to the overall U.S.



(change over October '21)

Northwest LA

(change over October '21)

Median Price


$181,500 /-17%

Number of Sales

4.43 million/-28.5%



1.22 million/-0.8%


Month Supply



Median Days on Market




I want to close by reminding you that the last two months of the year are normally two of the slowest in real estate. And while many buyers will take advantage of less competition, this is normally a time where families don't make changes and instead plan for the following year. In this case, a potential move.

I encourage you not to overwhelm yourself with everything you read on the web, including what we see on the national sites like Zillow and Realtor.com. It might create "paralysis by analysis." Instead, I encourage you to spend time talking to one of our agents. Get comfortable with the buying and selling process and what is occurring in your neighborhood today.

If you want to get even more insight, you can click here to get our Coldwell Banker Gosslee October 2022 Monthly Market Report

Please reach out to one of our agents or feel free to reach out to me at bgosslee@cbgosslee.com.


(November 18, 2022) Sarah Ramsey has joined Coldwell Banker Gosslee, the #1 Real Estate firm in NW Louisiana.

"As a recent first-time homebuyer, I really look forward to helping others learn the process of home buying, take the fear out of it, and just be there for them for their first and biggest purchase of their life!" -Sarah

Sarah is from Haughton, Lousiana, where she graduated high school. She then went on to earn a Bachelor degree in Mass Communications. She is self-motivated, organized, and well-versed in marketing and mass communications - which she feels will all be perfect for a successful career in real estate. 

"I enjoy the creative aspect in everything I do. With real estate, I would love to be a part in improving our area. A goal of mine if to invest in neglected homes and bring them back to life. I would love to help my clients along that journey as well. I would also love to put my artsy side to work by helping my clients stage their homes."

When Sarah isn't making real estate dreams come true for her clients, you'll find her creating handmade jewelry, reading, painting or traveling.

You can contact Sarah at 318.747.5411 or you can email her at sarahramsey454@gmail.com

To find out how Coldwell Banker Gosslee has remained #1 for the 29th straight year, go to cbgosslee.com.


Meet Your Neighbors with these Three Party Ideas

If your strategy for meeting the neighbors is a quick hello while walking the dog or picking up your mail, you need a better approach. Here are three ideas for neighborhood get-togethers that are easy to organize, inexpensive and a lot of fun. 

  1. Progressive Dinner – Organize a progressive dinner party that involves traveling to several homes, each serving up a different course to the meal. Start with hors d'oeuvres at the first home, then move on to soup or salad at the next, an entrée at the next and then end with dessert at the final home. Leisurely pacing out the evening in this way is the perfect way to encourage lively chit-chat between bites and en route to the next destination. And because everyone chips in, no one host is burdened with the cost, preparation or clean-up for the entire meal.
  2. Progressive Party – Put an engaging twist on the traditional cocktail party by applying the progressive concept to adult beverages: each stop can feature its own signature drink. There are all kinds of ways to spice things up, such as establishing an imaginative theme to the evening or having each home come up with a quirky name for its individual concoction. Once the creative juices start flowing, so will the conversation!
  3. Game Night – A small group of eight or fewer can meet up for a rousing game night. Everyone has their favorites, whether it's trivia that tests your knowledge or a drawing game that gives you a chance to exhibit your artistic prowess. Teaming up and encouraging a little bit of healthy competition among friends (and soon-to-be-friends) is a sure way to get further acquainted while having fun in the process.

Since you already share a neighborhood, you may as well find out what else you have in common. This spring, assemble the troops and plan some creative festivities to mix and mingle.


6 Tips For A Stress-Free Home Closing

Whether you're buying or selling a home, closing day can be a stressful part of the process. The closing day is when everything related to your real estate transaction becomes finalized. Luckily, closing often goes smoothly — especially when you have a great real estate agent working with you throughout the process.

Once the sale is final, there are often still a few things you need to do. None of these steps are as big or as complex as what you've already been through but making sure they are taken care of will go a long way toward protecting you from last-minute hiccups.

Let's review some of the most important considerations you shouldn't forget:

  1. Take Utilities Out of Your Name – Fast!
    Remove your name from all utilities as soon as possible after closing. Contact every utility and service provider, preferably on the day closing takes place. It could be much more difficult to get this done once you move out. Don't forget about insurance: You may be eligible for a refund of any prepaid premium on your old homeowner's policy.

  2. Change Your Address
    Change your address with the post office about two to four weeks before your closing date. If you forget or decide to wait until things are really final, don't forget you can file your change of address with the USPS online. The IRS also offers an address change procedure. Check in with your local DMV to ensure your license will have the correct address, too.

  3. Make Moving Out Easier
    Take a close look at any moving company estimate, especially before a long-distance move. Most movers will only insure what they pack themselves, so consider supplemental insurance for anything else. Be present during packing to ensure a higher quality of service. Excessive packing material can raise the weight of your items, leading to heftier charges.

  4. Double-Check Your Settlement
    Even in a detail-oriented situation like closing on a home, mistakes do happen. To be certain everything is accurate, get out a copy of your closing disclosure and compare it to your loan estimate. You might save hundreds or even more if you happen to spot a discrepancy. The best time to do this is right away, so you can report any problems within 24 hours of the closing day.

  5. Your Closing Documentation
    The worst-case scenario is this: A tiny typo leads to a situation where mortgages that should be paid off aren't. Reread all closing docs to ensure mortgages are fully paid and payoff amounts are correct. Also, keep your eyes peeled for any additional fees added by the title company. As closing approaches, fees become easier to estimate and should be disclosed well in advance.

  6. Empty the Escrow Account
    Don't forget: Unused funds that you placed in escrow belong to you. There are two situations where this can cause headaches. More commonly, the title company fails to release escrow-held funds in a timely manner so you can access them. Occasionally, sellers make the mistake of leaving sales proceeds in a new escrow account, leading to complications down the line.

Closing day is a huge milestone for anyone — it marks true success in selling your home. To maximize your profits and minimize frustration, plan on two extra days to manage these last six issues. You'll be glad you did!


7 Factors to Consider When You're Selling Your Home

When you've made the decision on selling your home, the fun really starts!

Selling your home involves a lot of different moving parts. When you take things one step at a time, however, it all gets easier. Going into the selling process with a clear idea of what you need to do will reduce your stress and prevent you from overlooking key details.

Here are seven things you need to consider while selling your home:

  1. You Need a Real Estate Agent
    First and foremost, you'll need a terrific real estate agent to help make your goals a reality. A local real estate expert will help you manage and accelerate the process: Pricing the home right, finding motivated buyers, and getting you to closing without a hitch. By contrast, sellers who try to go it alone often spend many extra months on a sale and get a much lower final price.
  2. Gather Your Paperwork Early
    You'll need a ton of paperwork to make sure your sale goes forward on schedule. That includes lots of things you may not think much about: Warranty paperwork for your roof and major home systems, instruction manuals, details of home improvement projects, permits and certificates of compliance, mortgage information, and more. Get started early to get it all together.
  3. Get a Professional Inspection
    A pre-sale inspection will save you time in the long run and put you in a superior negotiating position. An inspection is intended to help you uncover problems with the home. Things like the roof, septic, and electrical issues can make potential buyers wary. Having the information in front of you, however, allows you to work on repairs or adjust your approach to selling.
  4. You'll Need to Prepare the Home
    When you're finally ready to sell a home, you can't simply open the doors. Cleaning it from top to bottom is imperative. That should include steam cleaning carpets and drapes and remove about half of the items from closets. Sometimes, it's also a good idea to remove certain furnishings and to make lighting a bit brighter. This can make the space seem larger and more inviting.
  5. "Price it Right" from the Very Start
    Pricing a home correctly is one of the most challenging things for a homeowner to do. When you try to price a property after living there, your own feelings inevitably play a role. A real estate pro will produce a research-based price after looking at recent sales in the area and other factors. This is the best way to ensure you reach your goals on the timeline you want.
  6. Perform Staging Before Showings
    Staging isn't the only aspect of selling a home, but it is very important. Your real estate agent should be versed in staging techniques or use an expert stager at no additional cost to you. The purpose of staging is to make your home show better, and there are hundreds of little ways to do this: From simple things like opening the blinds to more complex tactics like baking cookies.
  7. Yes – Hold Weekly Open Houses
    Forget about any "controversy" you might've heard: Holding open houses is the most effective way to meet motivated buyers fast. Yes, your real estate agent should still be marketing your home proactively online, and yes, a vacant home is more challenging to show than one that's still occupied. Even so, the time and effort of weekly open houses are almost always well spent.

Selling your home starts with a firm decision. Once you've made that choice, give yourself every advantage you can by reaching out to a local real estate agent you can trust.


The Best Tips For Buying A Home In Your 20s (Or Early 30s)

The follow-up to the Millennial generation, the eldest members of Gen Z are aged 25 today. Research shows most of this up-and-coming cohort see buying a home as a major goal — one they plan to achieve earlier than their parents and grandparents.

Although they're an exciting new generation, Gen Z is in some ways a blast from the past. They think of homeownership as an important way to build wealth, just as their grandparents did. On the other hand, many Millennials remain wary of buying, especially among the older set.

Both older Gen Z and younger Millennials made a strong showing in the seller's market of 2021. There are many would-be buyers aged 25-35 who haven't settled on a property just yet, but their dreams are within reach. They just need to take the right steps to get there!

So, how can you buy a home in your 20s or early 30s?

Start with these tips:

  • Handle Debt with Care
    Mortgage lenders use the debt-to-income ratio as a crucial factor when deciding what loan package you qualify for – so the debt you accrue along the way makes a big difference. Always pay bills on time, and do your best to avoid taking on new debts within six months of applying for a mortgage.

  • Develop a Household Budget
    A household budget can help you save the money you need to pay off debts and accumulate a down payment, which is usually not less than 10% of a home's sale price. It will also come in handy when you need to decide whether the fixed costs associated with a given home are right for you.

  • Find the Right Real Estate Agent
    The right real estate agent is your best ally as you navigate the housing market. Remember, it's okay to talk to several agents before choosing one. An agent should help you clarify your goals and put you in touch with the right resources to make an informed decision at every fork in the road.

  • Connect with First-Time Homebuyer Programs
    First-time homebuyer programs provide buyers like you with the inside insight to make the most of the process. Check out government-backed mortgage programs such as those offered by the VA, USDA, and FHA. These often offer favorable lending terms and lower down payments.

  • Prequalify for a Mortgage
    In prequalification, you submit income information to a mortgage lender and get a firm commitment on a funding package you then have the option to use within 30 or 60 days. This empowers you to make a move on the home you want as soon as you find it, helping you be more competitive.

  • Set Your Priorities from the Start
    In general, it's a good idea for everyone who will be living in a home to set 1-3 "must-haves." This makes it easier for you to know when a home does or doesn't meet your needs. It also ensures your real estate agent can support you with listings that really work for you, potentially accelerating the process.

  • Negotiate with Care
    It won't be a seller's market forever. As buyers gain clout, it becomes easier to negotiate for better terms. Never be afraid to walk away from a home, and be wary of properties sold "as-is." A mortgage lender usually won't fund a home with serious issues, so you'll need to have it inspected anyway.

Buying a home might seem intimidating, but your real estate agent is in your corner from start to finish. Use these tips in conjunction with your agent's advice, and you will be on your road to homeownership.


Are You The Reason Your Home Isn't Selling?

If you thought your home would sell quickly, but you haven't had a single offer so far, could you be the reason?

That's a hard reality to consider, but it's important if you're serious about selling your home. You should examine everything you did or did not do before and after your listing went live. Sometimes a single change can make a big difference.

When you've lived in your home for a long time, it's easy to miss conditions that might be obvious to a home buyer. That's why it's important to seek other opinions when re-evaluating your home. Sometimes you simply need a second pair of unbiased eyes to pinpoint obvious issues. Other times you may require professional input. Use this list of questions as a guide.  

Did you price your home unrealistically?

The selling price is a primary consideration for most home buyers. If your asking price is unreasonably high, buyers may just move on to the next listing. You can still recover from high pricing expectations.

  • Adjust your asking price. 
  • Be more flexible in negotiating a deal. 

Is your home ready for the market? 

If your home lacks the curb appeal that draws buyers to your door, do something. When you're selling your home, do whatever you must to make it a home buyer's magnet.

  • Re-Landscape: Have a professional redo your DIY landscaping.
  • Repair: Fix exterior and interior areas in need of attention.
  • Repaint: Brighten interior rooms with lighter walls.
  • Declutter: Remove unnecessary stuff for a less junky look.
  • De-personalize: Remove personal photos, artwork, and mementos so homebuyers can visualize themselves in your home.
  • Restage: Consider hiring a professional to rework your interior spaces.  

Is your home not quite clean enough?

When you're giving home buyers free rein, they'll find whatever you missed in your spotless home. Before putting your home on the market, have a professional do a deep cleaning. It will cost you, but they will eliminate problems you might not have noticed.

  • Lingering odors: You might be "nose blind" to smells like mildew, pets, and garbage.
  • Dust: Soil accumulates on surfaces high and low.
  • Windows: Dirty windows keep natural light from entering.   
  • Pet problems: Little Fluffy's litter scatterings and carpet stains may disgust a potential buyer.

Are your listing photos a turn-off?

Buyers respond to great photos. If your home has curb appeal, beautiful landscaping, and bright, spacious interiors, your listing photos must show it. It's worth the cost to have them done professionally.

Do you have bad Open House etiquette?

If you've scheduled only a few private showings and had no feedback from your open houses, eliminate yourself as a cause.

  • Be available: Say yes to all private showings, even on short notice. Tidy up, leave, and let your real estate agent handle it.
  • Open up your home: Establish an Open House schedule. Publicize your events to buyers outside your neighborhood.
  • Ge out!: With you hovering and watching, potential buyers will feel more like trespassers than future owners. 

Your Real Estate Agent Matters

Most of your problems wouldn't be problems if you'd vetted your real estate professional. When selling your home, you need a real estate agent who will work with you throughout the process.

  • Inspect your home
  • Make recommendations
  • Recommend stagers and photographers
  • List your home only when it's ready
  • Market traditionally and on social media
  • Work with buyers and their representatives
  • Execute bid, buy, and closing documents

While no real estate agent can make magic happen, a professional will work hard to minimize problems so you can sell your home.


5 Decluttering Hacks to Get Your Home Buyer-Ready

If you're thinking about selling your home, the next few months may be a great time to do it.

Selling a house requires presenting it in the best possible light. For some, that means spending time, money, and effort on cleanup and repairs. For others, the project starts with decluttering. Don't cringe... decluttering your home doesn't have to be a headache. These cleaning hacks will get you well on your way to a home that anyone would be happy to call their own.

  1. Work on one room at a time. If you try to clean your entire house at once, you're likely to wind up feeling overwhelmed and defeated. It's much better to break it up into manageable chunks. Tackle one room per day until your whole house sparkles. If you don't have time to polish every square inch to a high shine, focus the bulk of your efforts on the most important areas – kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms, and entryways.

  2. Focus on horizontal surfaces. One shortcut to making your home immediately feel less cluttered is to zero in on horizontal surfaces like counters, shelves, tabletops, kitchen islands, mantels, and dresser tops. Clear off these surfaces, leaving only a few basic decorative items. You'll be amazed at how much more open your house feels after performing this one simple trick.

  3. Look with a buyer's eye. It's hard to emotionally disconnect yourself from a place that has been home to you for years, but it's important to do so. Look at your house dispassionately, and ask yourself, as a potential buyer, what do you see? Chances are, you'll notice little things to clean or fix that had gone unnoticed for ages but would jump right out at someone who had never been in your house before.

  4. Clear out personal items. Sellers often leave lots of family photos and other personal items on display, with the idea that they make the place look more lived-in and homey. Unfortunately, that's not usually a good tactic. Your house should appear to the buyer as a blank slate for their future life. Hard as it may be to pack up all your personal belongings, remember that the buyer should be able to envision their family photos on the walls and their kids' drawings on the refrigerator, not yours.

  5. Don't forget the yard. The first thing a potential buyer sees isn't your clean kitchen or your perfectly organized entryway. It's your front yard. So it pays to make sure the outside portion of your house is just as thoroughly decluttered as the inside. Make sure the porch is clear, put kids' toys away, and stow all your garden tools in the garage. A clean front yard makes a lasting first impression.

When the time comes to sell your house, remember that presentation counts. Making repairs and improvements can definitely increase your home's resale value, but these simple decluttering tricks will go a long way toward presenting your home in the best way possible.


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