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Date Archives: November 2021

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November
29

If you're ready to sell your home, but are wondering whether you should hold off until after the new year, think again. Serious buyers want to move forward, regardless of the season, so why postpone your plans?

Here are a few reasons to list your property during the holiday season:

Lower inventory. Traditionally, housing inventory is leaner during the holidays, so you'll face less competition from other sellers, making your home stand out and attract more attention.

Motivated buyers. House hunters this time of year are often highly motivated because they might be starting or transferring to a new job in January, which means you could have a better chance of getting a solid offer. These buyers may also be motivated to close quickly so their kids can get settled in their new school after the break.

Faster closings. With the end of the year approaching, everyone involved in the transaction is eager to wrap up the closing process as soon as possible.

Selling your home during the holidays gives you a chance to create a cozy, cheerful and inviting environment, but if you're decking the halls, keep it simple and tasteful. Buyers need to be able to see the space and get a sense of how it might work for them the rest of the year, so aim for minimalist decorations that aren't distracting.

Don't miss out on a fantastic opportunity to list your property this holiday season and find a serious buyer who may be ready to offer a good price and close quickly.

November
29

We are coming to the end of the year and I hope everyone had an incredible, relaxing and joyful Thanksgiving. As I sat around the Thanksgiving table with my family, I definitely paused a bit to reflect on this past year. The pandemic has changed our lives, behaviors and values. It also brought about one of the most enjoyable and hectic years in my career. There has been absolutely no letdown in the pace of housing sales and activity.

And while normally at this time of year, we would be able to gather our breath and relax, this is not a normal year.

If you have considered selling your home, I urge you to speak with any of our 150-plus agents. While the holidays are usually a slower time in real estate, this was not the case last year nor will be this year. I can't tell you how many conversations I've had recently with those who are considering putting their home on the market simply because of the increase in prices leading to increased equity. While you might be hesitant to sell during the holidays and you might not have your next home picked out yet, our agents can guide you properly on how best to proceed.

You are going to see throughout this article that we do not have enough supply of available homes to meet demand. Thus prices continue to rise. We are still seeing multiple bids. And for those considering selling before Spring, there is no doubt that your home will attract even greater interest in months once described as "quiet."

To show how different a real estate market we are in, Coldwell Banker Gosslee hit the milestone of $500,000 million in sales volume earlier than ever. And we will set a record by the end of December! Sales volume is the combined sales price of every home we were involved with on the buy or sell side. This success shows not only how great our agents are, but also how busy the real estate market has been.

Want more proof? October was the seventh month this year that had more than 500 combined home sales in Caddo, Bossier and Desoto Parishes. There were 526 sales which is dramatically higher than the rolling five-year October average of 419. This equates to about a 25% increase in October sales activity in Northwest Louisiana. But here is an odd fact. We were actually down 1% in October sales over last year! That is because last year at this time the housing market was in the midst of taking off as all-time low mortgage rates, desire for more space and amenities along with work-from-home options had so many looking to buy.

But just because we had 5 fewer sales than a year ago, it would be incorrect to assume that home prices have leveled off. In fact, our median price for a home here – the middle price of all 526 sales – was $218,500, up 14% over a year ago. This is a stunning increase.

The reason is the continued supply vs. demand imbalance. While mortgage rates have risen a bit, they remain at near historic lows. Therefore, demand remains strong. But buyers currently have only 911 homes to choose from here, an incredible 24% reduction over October 2020 when there were 1,193 available homes. Back in 2017, we had 2,240 homes for sale, about 150% more than today. And homes sold extremely quickly in October – 10 days! That is a 63% decline over last year's already fast pace!

What I just shared is a look at October only. Now let's take a look at the entirety of 2021 through the first 10 months. There have been 5,107 homes sold in our three parishes, an increase of 13% over 2020 and 23% over 2019. And that includes Desoto Parish which is down a total of 19% in sales largely because of its incredible shortage of available homes (only 32 on the market today). It also includes a 15% decrease in sales of homes at $100,000 or less.

But these numbers don't tell the entire story. So many have taken advantage of all-time low mortgage rates, along with equity in their home (how much they have made since they bought it minus what they owe), to "move up." This is why we have seen a 52.7% increase in sales in the $300,000-plus levels, a total of 1,024 sales or 20.0% of the entire market. Bossier Parish is even stronger in the upper-end with a 66.0% increase. The $300,000-plus market has made up 26.6% of all Bossier sales.

Our supply of homes remains really low but it appears we hit the bottom back in May when there were only 774 homes for sale. Our current 911 figure is about 30 more than last month, but almost 280 fewer than 2020 and 2019 at this time of the year. Our month supply is just 1.8 months. This means that if no homes came on the market, there would be nothing available in that short time frame. This is incredibly low! A year ago we sat at 2.8 months and were at 5.0 months in 2019.

It doesn't appear that things will improve dramatically anytime soon. There were 574 homes that came on the market in October. With so many of those being gobbled up quickly and another nearly 700 homes in the sales process, demand will likely outweigh supply for a while. This is another reason why those interested in selling should consult with one of our agents.

Our first chart this month shows how we compare to the rest of the U.S. after the National Association of Realtors released its Existing Home Sales report:

 

U.S.

(change over Oct. '20)

Northwest LA

(change over Oct. '20)

Median Price

$353,900/+13.1%

$218,500/+14%

Number of Sales

6.34 million/-5.8%
(annualized)

526/-1%

Inventory

1.25 million/-12.0%

911/-24%

Months' Supply

2.4/2.5

1.8

Median Days on Market

18

10

 

You can see that the most glaring differences we face in our amazing part of the country compared to the nation is in the supply. While the U.S. is down 12% in the number of homes on the market, we are down 25%. And homes here are selling 44.4% faster than they are nationally! And – here is a stat we can really be thankful for – our median home price is $135,000 less than the national number!

This chart shows what is occurring with our supply. Notice how tight things are in the mid-range where we have seen only minimal increase in supply over recent months. Also note in that range how sales better supply (or are really close):

Price Range

# Homes That Came on the Market in October

October Sales

Current Inventory

Month Supply

Total

574

526

911

1.8

$100,000 & less

104

78

254

3.3

$100,000-$200,000

218

158

296

1.6

$200,000-$300,000

145

181

151

1.0

$300,000-$400,000

57

53

84

1.5

$400,000-$500,000

26

30

44

1.8

$500,000-$600,000

24

26

83

4.6

 

Now that we've addressed supply, let's talk about demand. This next chart shows how many more homes we are selling today. Outside of the $200,000-or-below price point, our sales are dramatically higher today than in 2017:

Price Range

October 2021

October 2019

October 2017

Total

526

425

391

$100,000 & less

78

122

107

$100,000-$200,000

158

148

170

$200,000-$300,000

181

97

82

$300,000-$400,000

53

38

17

$400,000-$500,000

30

10

8

$500,000+

26

10

7

 

And here is how these sales break out for the year in each of our three parishes. Outside of Desoto Parish, you see a lot of large percentage increases especially at the mid-to-higher end:

Price Range

YoY Number of Home Sales NW LOUISIANA
(% change over 2020

YoY Number of Home Sales in Bossier Parish (% change over 2020

YoY Number of Home Sales in Caddo Parish (% change over 2020

YoY Number of Home Sales in Desoto Parish (% change over 2020

Total

5,107 (+13%)

2,038 (+12%)

2,913 (+17%)

158 (-19%)

$100,000 & less

759 (-15%)

167 (-18%)

567 (-13%)

25 (-43%)

$100,000-$200,000

1,828 (+9%)

589 (-3%)

1,185 (+16%)

54 (+8%)

$200,000-$300,000

1,496 (+19%)

739 (+9%)

727 (+40%)

     32 (-44%)

$300,000-$400,000

582 (+40%)

347 (+62%)

209 (+28%)

26 (-35%)

$400,000-$500,000

259 (+62%)

128 (+71%)

115 (+55%)

16 (+45%)

$500,000-
$600,000

83 (+32%)

     39 (+44%)

43 (+23%)

1 (0%)

$600,000+

100 (+82%)

29 (53%)

67 (+86%)

4 (400%)

 

I know I've given you a lot of numbers, but there is one stat that really makes me smile. Coldwell Banker Gosslee will finish the year as the top real estate company in Northwest Louisiana. This will make it 29 straight years! While there is no way to know it, this has to be one of the longest streaks of any company in any market in the U.S. And it happened because of you and our agents.

We celebrate our clients who have put enormous trust in us. Your home is likely your largest asset. But more importantly, it is the epicenter of your life. That is why we continue to invest time, energy and resources to provide the best-of-the-best for our agents so they can exceed your expectations.

Our Coldwell Banker Gosslee agents are truly amazing. Not only do they consistently go above-and-beyond in assisting their clients, but they are immersed in their businesses. They want to learn and consistently engage with our training team. They never hesitate to learn new skills. I've marveled at how they have met the demands of today's market and achieved so much!

 

On behalf of my dad Jimmy Gosslee, our managers Kris Darwin, Jeff Free and Sarah Drysdale and our entire support staff, I want to once again THANK YOU for your trust as we also thank our agents for being the VERY BEST!

If you have any questions about buying or selling a home, please reach out to any of our amazing agents or give me a shout at BGosslee@cbgosslee.com.

November
24

October 2021 Market Overview 
Shreveport/Bossier, LA – (Caddo, Bossier, Desoto Parishes only)

To view or download the full report click here.

October Summary:  Sales picked back up.  Average price climbed higher.  Inventory levels grew slightly.

Sales:  After a slight dip in September, closings picked back up in October with another 500+ month, making it the 7th time this year we've had over 500 sales. There were 526 sales posted this October versus 474 last month and 531 last year.  As a point of reference, the 5 year average for October is only 419 so we were about 25% above our normal sales average as we have been pretty consistently all year.  Year over year comparison is starting to narrow though as the second half of last year's numbers start to get figured in.  Sales year to date for 2021 are now up just +13% compared to as much as +29% back in May.  Compared to 2019 though, sales are up +23% YTD.  These results differ though when you drill down on each parish.  Sales in Desoto parish are actually down –19% this year due to the very low inventory available for sale. Currently, there are only 32 available listings on the market in all price ranges in Desoto parish. Caddo has the most available homes for sale at 677 while Bossier only has 227. This larger availability of inventory is primarily the reason Caddo has seen a larger % increase in sales this year.  

Unit Sales YTD by price range vs. last year:

Inventory:  Listing inventory bottomed in May of this year at 774 and has been gently rising ever since.  There are now 911 active listings on the market versus 881 last month, 1,193 last year, and 1,991 in 2019.  With 524 homes sold in October and only 911 currently on the market, the Monthly Supply (using the 12 month trailing average) of homes is now 1.8 which is unchanged from last month. This is incredibly low though for the Shreveport-Bossier market.  Just 12 months ago, the monthly supply was 2.8, and two years ago it was 5.0. There were 574 new homes that came on the market in October in all price ranges but the majority were put under contract shortly after hitting the market.  There are currently 689 properties in pending sale status.  This pending and new listing activity have been important metrics to watch as the remainder of the year and next year unfold.  Normally these will slow down during the holidays but 2021 has been anything but normal.

PricesWith the continued low inventory and strong sales activity in the higher price ranges, the average home price continues to climb. Year to date, the average home price through October is $221,205 versus $198,958 last year. On a price per square foot basis, sale prices thru October averaged $112.27 per sq.ft. versus $99.29 last year. 

October 2021 Comparative Market Statistics
Shreveport/Bossier, LA – (Caddo, Bossier, Desoto Parishes Only)
October 2021 Absorption Rates
Shreveport/Bossier, LA – (Caddo, Bossier, & Desoto Parishes Only)

The following figures are through the month of October 2021 

Currently, there are 911 total homes for sale in Shreveport/Bossier.
Over the last 12 months, 502 homes have sold per month on average.
That's a 1.8 month supply of homes if no more homes come on the market.
Last month 574 homes came on the market.

Currently there are 254 homes priced below $100,000 for sale in Shreveport/Bossier.
Over the last 12 months, 77 homes have sold per month on average in this price range.
That's a 3.3 month supply of homes if no more homes come on the market.
Last month 104 homes came on the market in this price range.

Currently there are 295 homes priced between $100,000 and $199,999 for sale in Shreveport/Bossier.
Over the last 12 months, 180 homes have sold per month on average in this price range.
That's a 1.6 month supply of homes if no more homes come on the market.
Last month 218 homes came on the market in this price range.

Currently there are 151 homes priced between $200,000 and $299,999 for sale in Shreveport/Bossier.
Over the last 12 months, 146 homes have sold per month on average in this price range.
That's a 1.0 month supply of homes if no more homes come on the market.
Last month 145 homes came on the market in this price range.

Currently there are 84 homes priced between $300,000 and $399,999 for sale in Shreveport/Bossier.
Over the last 12 months, 58 homes have sold per month on average in this price range.
That's an 1.5 month supply of homes if no more homes come on the market.
Last month 57 homes came on the market in this price range.

Currently there are 44 homes priced between $400,000 and $499,999 for sale in Shreveport/Bossier.
Over the last 12 months, 24 homes have sold per month on average in this price range.
That's a 1.8 month supply of homes if no more homes come on the market.
Last month 26 homes came on the market in this price range.

Currently there are 83 homes priced above $500,000 for sale in Shreveport/Bossier.
Over the last 12 months, 18 homes have sold per month on average in this price range.
That's a 4.6 month supply of homes if no more homes come on the market.
Last month 24 homes came on the market in this price range.

Important Note: A 6 month supply is considered to be a balanced market.
Under 6 months is a seller's market.
Over 6 months is a buyer's market.

Data Source: Northwest Louisiana Association of Realtors MLS, Inc 11/15/2021
Author: Brad Gosslee of Coldwell Banker Gosslee
Information believed to be accurate but not guaranteed.
November
22

After the recent U.N. climate change report, we are all asking ourselves what can I do to stop climate change? We're looking at our homes, our recycling practices and the behaviors we are modeling for our children. We are looking for greener solutions for everything. No more, "I will do this tomorrow." Now is the time to get our green game on, by getting busy preserving our one and only beautiful Earth.

Learn how to combine your commitment to living greener, with your upcoming move. Like record numbers of Americans, you may be planning to move in the coming months. You're part of the "Great Re-Shuffling." The pandemic stay-at-home protocols forced us to evaluate our homes and as a result, millions of people are moving.

Unfortunately, when we move, we can create more waste than any other time of our lives. We finally, clear out those closets, garages, attics, etc. We throw away the most stuff. We use lots of boxes and plastic. But, there is always a green solution, if we just take a deep breath and be mindful.

Here are the top 5 ways to make your move green:

1. Create Less Waste: Use Recyclable Materials

Moving creates a lot of waste that contributes to our landfills. When you think about moving, what comes to mind first? Boxes, boxes and more boxes.

From boxes to bubble wrap, use 100% recyclable materials on moving day.  Look for boxes that are certified to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Certified Sourcing standard, which means their fiber comes from responsible and legal sources. And use biodegradable eco-bubble instead of bubble wrap. Old fashioned bubble wrap can take hundreds of years to decompose. In a much shorter amount of time, Polycell eco-bubble will biodegrade into carbon dioxide, water and biomass. Go ahead, pop away guilt free!

Not only can you use recyclable boxes, you can save money by asking moving companies for used boxes made of recyclable materials. Some green moving companies will even give you a refund for returning your boxes at the end of your move. Cha-ching!

2. Give Back: Recycle Your Stuff

Because you are moving, finally, the garage and closets get cleaned out. Hurray! Now is the time to get rid of what you don't really need. But, don't just toss things out.

You know the drill: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Look to your local charities to donate furniture and clothing you no longer use, as well as domestic e-waste recyclers to dispose of your old computers, microwaves, etc. This will ensure that your electronics are  recycled in facilities that follow U.S. environmental regulations and not shipped off to unregulated third world environmental disaster dumping grounds. You can also hire a mover that takes care of the donations for you. A green mover can connect you with charities who can really make use of all those old clothes, and food banks or Move For Hunger that can use those Costco-sized cans of tuna, and the recyclers that will dispose of your unwanted items in an eco-friendly way.

3. Breathe Easier: Seek Biodiesel

Trucks that use diesel fuel emit harmful toxins into our air and are responsible for the majority of outdoor air pollutants, contributing to the risk of cancer.

Choose a moving company that runs their trucks on biodiesel fuel which is a cleaner burning fuel made from natural renewable sources such as vegetable oils. Also, inquire about their lift gates on their trucks. Moving trucks with battery-operated lift gates insure there is no need to leave the trucks idling at your curb while the move is taking place. If they have a government regulated weigh station installed and monitored at their headquarters that is a green bonus, as it saves unnecessary and costly fuel expenditures to off-site weigh stations.

4. Save Land: Use Warehouse Storage

Old fashion self-storage facilities with inefficient garage type self-storage facilities employ poor land use practices.

Earth-friendly storage is warehouse based and not long paved rows of self-storage "garages." Your belongings are stored inside the warehouse in recyclable and reusable wooden vaults. Not only is this storage greener for the environment, it is greener for your wallet. You only pay for the space you actually need.

5. Green Conscious = Customer Conscious: Choose an Eco-Minded Mover

Many companies think of moving as a one-time transaction. They don't care if they ever see you or your neighbors again. Yikes, how do you think they will treat you and your stuff?

When using a moving company that is environmentally friendly, you are also gaining movers that go the extra mile in providing top-of-the-line client service. Chances are if they care about the earth, they care about the folks that inhabit it too. They care about lasting relationships.

So, use your "green" to influence and encourage green habits by hiring companies that use environmentally-friendly practices in their offices and warehouses. Green moving companies' eco-awareness usually radiates throughout the entire organization. They care about their entire environment and they practice giving back to the community. It's a great big green win – win!

If we follow these eco-friendly steps, we can reduce moving day waste dramatically. From responsibly clearing your clutter; donating it to those in need; and giving your green business to a company that cares about our earth and you; there is really no better way to start a new green life. Just think…if every one of the millions of Americans moving put their green thinking caps on, the millions of "biggest trash days" would turn into millions of mini "earth days."

Laura McHolm is a home organization, moving & storage expert and co-founder of NorthStar Moving Company. NorthStar Moving Company is an award winning, "A+" rated company, which specializes in providing eco-luxury moving and storage services.   www.northstarmoving.com

November
16

Should You Accept or Reject Their Offer?

Receiving your first offer is an exciting moment when selling your home, but how do you know when to accept an offer? The details differ with every transaction and seller, but plenty of common factors can help guide your decision. The more information you have, the easier it becomes to decide whether an offer is the right one for you.

  • What Is Your Timeline?
    If you're moving for work or need to close the deal quickly, you may be willing to accept an offer for less than you might receive if you had more time to wait. However, that doesn't mean you have to take the first low-ball offer to come across the table! If a buyer makes a reasonable offer and has the funds ready to close the deal quickly, it may be worth seriously considering the offer.
  • How Does the Offer Fit within the Current Real Estate Market?
    No matter the circumstances that lead to selling your home, your local real estate market's condition will play a significant role in the offers you can expect to receive – and in which offer is worth accepting. In a seller's market, you may be able to hold out for the best possible offers. It may make more sense to take an offer in a buyer's market if it's close to your asking price.
  • How Many Offers Have You Received, and of What Quality?
    Ideally, you will receive multiple offers when selling your home and be able to choose the one that best fits your needs. If you receive multiple offers, it's wise to consider more than the overall price they're offering. 
  • Is the Buyer Willing to Cover Closing Costs or Offering an All-Cash Purchase?
    If two offers meet or come close to your asking price, which should you accept? That depends on what else the buyers are offering. For example, a buyer may be willing to cover all closing costs, waive certain contingencies, or offer a straight cash purchase. Factors like these can make up for an offer that comes in at a below-asking price.
  • Are You Willing to Assume the Added Costs of Keeping the Home on the Market?
    No matter what other factors influence whether you accept an offer, remember that keeping your home on the market comes with costs as well. While that shouldn't be enough to make you accept a truly substandard offer when selling your home, it's a good reason to be open-minded when a buyer makes an offer close to your asking price.

Ultimately, the decision on whether to accept or reject an offer when selling your home is a little different for every seller because it depends on your unique circumstances. Selling your home is much easier with the help of an experienced real estate agent who can help you make informed decisions based on all of the data available.

November
16

How Home Equity Fuels Your Next Move

Selling your home is as much of a lifestyle decision as it is a financial decision. Like any other investment, you want to make sure that you're making financially responsible decisions every step of the way. One option that you have when selling your home is to use your current equity to finance your next move. Research shows that more and more homeowners are gaining equity in their homes regardless of state. By paying the equity in your current home towards purchasing a new home, you can achieve your real estate goals sooner than later.

What is Home Equity?

The equity in your home is its current value minus the remaining mortgage debt. As you pay your monthly mortgage, you grow the equity in your home. For instance, If you purchased your home for $200,000 using a mortgage loan and only have $50,000 remaining on the loan, your home equity is $150,000.

How Can I Use My Existing Equity?

As you consider selling your home, you likely already have another real estate goal in mind. Whether you're downsizing or purchasing a home for your growing lifestyle needs, you'll need to create a plan for how you're going to buy a new house. Instead of using your savings for another down payment, you can leverage the existing equity in your home to fund the purchase of your next home. There are a few ways that you can use your existing equity when selling your home:

  • You could use the existing equity as collateral for your next home.

As you search for a lender to secure a mortgage for a new home, they may allow you to use the existing equity in your current home as collateral. One advantage of this option is that many lenders will match the rate of your original mortgage.

  • You could use a cash-out refinance.

The option allows you to pocket the equity as cash to put towards the new home. Prior to selling your home, you may have refinanced your mortgage. This option works similarly, allowing you to use as much as 85 percent of the home's appraised value in equity.

  • You could take out a HELOC.

A HELOC, or a Home Equity Line of Credit, gives you a set balance that you can use as much as necessary. For instance, if your HELOC is for $20,000, you can choose to only use $10,000 of it. This is beneficial because you'll only pay interest on what you use, not the full amount.

  • You could finance all of your new home's purchase price with your equity.

A mortgage lender may allow you to accept a loan for 80 percent of the purchase price and then take out a home equity line of credit for the remaining 20 percent. After selling your home, you'll then use the profits to pay off that home equity line of credit.

Is using your equity to fund a new house purchase the right decision when selling your home? That depends on how much equity you have and how much you need to finance for a new home. Speak with your real estate agent to determine if leveraging your equity when selling your home is right for you.

November
16

How To Stage A Home You Still Live In

Selling a home while you're still living in it can be inconvenient, to say the least. From last-minute showings to constant cleaning — there is a lot of work involved. However, professionally staging your home while you're still living in it can be a whole new level of difficulty, especially if you're not prepared.

While it might be inconvenient, home staging is a vital selling technique that is proven to lead to a higher sale price. By taking the right steps, you can manage to pull off home staging even if you're still living in your home. The good news is home staging can also help you sell fast, which means you hopefully won't be in the situation for too long. Here are some tips to help you:

  • Start By Preparing Yourself Mentally
    Once you've decided to list your home on the market, try to get used to the thought that the home is no longer yours. In order to stage the property, you're going to need to remove any personalized decor and create a neutral setting. Try to practice imagining the home and space belonging to someone else. It won't be long before you're in your new home anyway.

  • Relocate About One-Third Of Your Things 
    Decluttering is important. While you may still be living in the house, you might need to start moving some things out in order to properly stage the home. Aim to remove about one-third of your belongings prior to listing your home. Focus on relocating things you don't use very often — boxes, holiday decor, and clothing you don't wear very often.

  • Rent A Storage Unit
    Temporarily renting a storage unit for a couple of months can really help the staging process. You'll not only have an easy way to relocate your belongings, but you can also temporarily relocate furniture that doesn't fit your staging plans. Storage units are usually a couple hundred per month and the convenience they provide during the moving process is well worth the cost.

  • Spend More Time Outside Of The House
    The more time you spend in the house, the more difficult it will be to keep it staged and clean. Consider taking a vacation or plan activities that keep you and your family out of the house as much as possible. The less time spent in the house, the easier it will be to maintain.

  • Seek Help From A Professional
    Staging your home can be tricky, so it might help to seek out some professional help. Your real estate agent is a good starting point — they likely have significant experience. If you really want to create a popping scene, consider hiring a professional home stager. This investment will lead to some fantastic listing photos and will really impress buyers when they tour your listing.

Staging your home while you're still living in it can be a bit uncomfortable, especially if you have kids or pets. Just remember, the pain is worth the gain. Staging can help net you a higher price and sell your home quickly. Then, you'll be well on your way to moving into a brand new home of your own.

November
9

Make Buyers Fall In Love With Your Home

Many buyers decide if they love a home during the first few minutes of a tour, which is why it's so crucial to make a good first impression. Buying a home is very emotional, and the secret to a quick sale and good return is making the buyer fall in love with the property.

As a seller, there are so many easy ways to attract buyers and make your listing stand out from the competition. The best part is, many of them are inexpensive. Below are some simple tricks to delight buyers when they tour your home:

  • Start With Your Curb Appeal
    Your home's curb appeal is the first thing buyers notice, so take some time to spruce things up. Painting your front door, power washing your facade, and trimming your landscaping can really make your home shine. Even simple things like new address numbers or a new mailbox can create a welcoming look.

  • Spruce Up The Bathroom
    Want to know what room buyers often love the most? The master bathroom. If your home has a decent-sized master bath showing it off should be a top priority. Upgrade to nice plush white bath towels, add a stylish shower curtain and a beautiful bathroom mat. Repair any damaged countertops or floor tiles, and add some nice flowers or bathroom decor to the sink. The goal is to create a nice, spacious, and relaxing vibe.

  • Let There Be Light
    Big, bright, open rooms are always attractive because light makes rooms appear larger and more welcoming. Do everything you can to maximize light exposure in every room of the house. Pull up your blinds and open curtains. Trim any outdoor trees or shrubs that may be blocking windows. If your rooms still don't receive enough light, consider investing in some decorative lamps. Adding mirrors or reflective surfaces is also a good way to increase light.

  • Show Off Your Storage Space
    The trick to showing off your storage space is to actually clear out about 30% of your belongings. When your closets are overflowing it can look like your home doesn't have enough space, but by only partially filling your closets (a little more than halfway full), your storage space can actually appear a lot larger.

  • Freshen Up Your Paint
    If it's been a while since you last painted, it's a good idea to do so before listing your home. A new paint job can really make your interior pop. We recommend going with a neutral color (avoid anything bold). Nice off-white colors can brighten up the room.

  • Evaluate Your Appliances
    Figuring out what to do with outdated appliances can be tricky. On the one hand, investing in brand new stainless steel appliances just before you leave your home may seem counterintuitive. On the other hand, kitchen appliances are so often at the center of a buyer's attention, so if yours are old and broken, they can be unattractive. Keep in mind, if you do invest in beautiful new stainless steel appliances, you could very well recover those costs in the sale price. If your appliances are dented, missing knobs, or making noises, you should invest in repairs at the very least.

  • Clean From Top To Bottom
    Buyers are far more likely to fall in love with a spotless home, so deep cleaning is critical. Before you list your home, you'll need to do an extensive, thorough cleaning of every room of the house. Every nook, cranny, baseboard, and ceiling fan needs attention. If you're not up to the task, you might want to consider hiring a cleaning company. 

A little work can go a long way. By taking simple steps to make your home more attractive, you can make buyers fall in love at first sight.

November
9

Comps Are Great... Except When They Aren't

Good fences might make good neighbors, but when it comes to evaluating real estate transactions, there is no separating your property from others in your neighborhood. Both buyer's and seller's agents use comps as a key metric for determining both asking price and offer price.  As a result, your neighbor's market activity as well as the condition of their properties can drastically influence the outcome of your home sale. The good news is in most cases, comps are a positive thing; however, there are some circumstances where comps can hurt.

What Are Comps?
"Comps" is short for comparables, which are nearby properties that are similar to yours in terms of size, age, rooms, and style. Your agent will use comps to help you determine a listing price, and potential buyers will use comps to determine their offer.  Comps can be found on a comparative market analysis (CMA) that is usually pulled together by a real estate agent. They are usually a good indication of real estate market trends at the local level.

Comps Can Work To Your Benefit
When comes to a home appraisal, comps play a meaningful role in the end result of the valuation. Consequently, they can also go a long way towards maximizing your sale price, especially when the market is hot and home prices are rising. If you notice similar homes in your neighborhood are selling for top dollar, it could be a good indication that you could achieve a similar price.

A good comp will include a property that recently sold and is similar to yours in terms of size, age, condition, rooms, and style. It should be located within a one-mile radius of your home, in the same school district, and in the same zip code.

When Comps Can Hurt
Foreclosures or short sales within your neighborhood can negatively skew the results of a CMA in a big way. In this is the case, your agent may try to widen the search radius or timeframe when pulling comps for a CMA when determining your sale price. However, buyers may leverage the recent data, which includes the foreclosures, when trying to justify an asking price. 

On the flip side, if a neighboring home sold for way over asking price, this could also skew the data, in which case, you may end up pricing your home too high and be forced to decrease the asking price over time. Declining home prices are often a red flag to buyers.

Also, when the market is cool, comps are not as effective when used as justification for a higher sale price. In a buyers market, there is still a good chance offers will come in low regardless of the details of the CMA.

Comps play an important role in the home sale process. They can influence your asking price, the offers you receive, and the sale price. Working with an experienced real estate agent is the best way to leverage comps to your advantage.

November
8

COLLEEN CHARPING JOINS COLDWELL BANKER GOSSLEE          

(Shreveport, LA – November 8, 2021) – Colleen Charping has joined Coldwell Banker Gosslee, the #1 real estate brokerage in Northwest Louisiana.

 

"I like to win," says Colleen, who brings her experience in the hospitality industry to her real estate career.  "When I take on a job, I just do it.  Being purpose-driven, my life is a list and keeps me focused on the goal.    

 

I love how real estate can create a home, with your own style and feel, and build a community.  Working with you, getting to know you, helps us both match you with your perfect place."

 

Colleen, a Shreveport native now living in Bossier, graduated from C.E. Byrd High School, then went on to pursue a nursing career before finding her place in the hospitality industry.  She is a proud parent of Colton (17), who attends Bossier High School's virtual school, and Caden (12), a student at Benton Intermediate School.  She has been active in their PTO and Bossier sports programs but, when she can find time, she enjoys repurposing vintage furniture, crafts, decorating and just making things better.

 

You can reach Colleen at her Bossier office (318-747-5411), on her cell (318-572-8068) or email her at Colleen.Charping@gmail.com.  

 

To know why Coldwell Banker Gosslee has been #1 for the 29th straight year, go to CBGosslee.com.

November
8

Need To Sell Fast? Here's How You Can Expedite Your Sale

Selling your home can be a stressful process, but when you're up against a deadline and need to sell fast, things can get a bit hectic. However, selling your home quickly is definitely achievable — you just might have to put in a little extra leg work up front. If you're up against circumstances that require a quick home sale, your real estate agent can help. Here is a quick list of five things you can do to reduce the amount of time your home sits on the market:

  1. Make Basic Repairs And Upgrades
    Buyers will be quick to notice broken doorknobs, chipped paint, or non-functioning light bulbs. A lack of home maintenance can give your home a worn, lived-in appearance which can be dissuasive to shoppers. Prior to listing your home on the market, be sure to take care of the basic home maintenance tasks.

  2. Focus On Home Staging
    Putting in some extra effort when staging your home can really help reduce the amount of time your home sits on the market. Preparing for staging includes decluttering, decorating, arranging furniture, and maximizing light exposure all in an attempt to create an environment that enables buyers to imagine themselves living in the space. Going above and beyond can really help capture buyers' attention. Hire a professional or work with an experienced real estate agent to maximize the effectiveness of your home staging.

  3. Seek Professional Listing Photos
    Most buyers begin the home shopping experience online. In order to draw clicks to your listing, you need eye-catching listing photos. Your real estate agent will be able to help capture stunning photos of your interior or facade, which may involve hiring a professional photographer.

  4. Accurately Price Your Home
    If you're looking for a quick sale, an accurate sale price is important. Use comps (recent sales of similarly sized homes within a one-mile radius) to determine what the market is willing to pay for your property. If you price too high, you'll reduce your eligible market and most buyers won't even consider a house that is priced significantly higher than the appraised value. Bottom line — your home price needs to be competitive with the market.

  5. Schedule An Open House
    Open houses don't always lead to immediate home sales, but they're a good way to generate a lot of foot traffic and visibility in a short period of time. After your home hits the market, consider holding an open house. You never know if it might lead to a quick home sale. Just make sure to work with an experienced agent who can promote the event effectively.

People need to sell quickly for a variety of reasons. Perhaps you've found the home of your dreams or maybe you need to move for your career. Regardless, be sure to work with your agent on the best approach to selling your home quickly.

Call us today to get the process started! 

Bossier City Office (318) 747-5411

Shreveport Office (318) 861-2461

November
4

How To Price Your Home

When listing your home, you want to do everything you can to maximize your sale price. However, when it comes to setting a figure, finding the sweet spot is vital. You don't want to leave money on the table, yet setting the high price tag can number of buyers and ultimately keep your house sitting on the market for far too long.

As a result, the best strategy is to use available facts and figures to come up with an asking price that can be supported by real data. Below are some important factors to consider when setting your sale price:

  1. Look At Comps
    Here is where it can pay off to be a nosey neighbor. Nearby real estate transactions involving similar properties within a small radius of your home can serve as a great proxy for setting your own asking price. In fact, buyer's agents will pull comp reports, short for "comparables", to get a sense of the market on a hyper-local level. Your listing agent can also provide comp reports to help you set a reasonable asking price. If your neighbor's home sold for a good price, you can easily use it as leverage.

  2. Learn From Other's Mistakes
    While you're looking at the local real estate market, pay special attention to homes that are either expired (meaning they didn't sell) or withdrawn (meaning the seller is no longer listing it). Take a look at the home itself, the asking price, and whether or not the seller dropped the price while the listing was active. This can give you a good indication on what the market is willing to pay.

  3. Factor In Recent Upgrades
    If you invested in significant upgrades prior to listing your home, such as new floors, insulation, or appliances, you likely will want to see a return on your investment. Work with your real estate agent to help price the expense of recent renovations and upgrades into your asking figure, so you can maximize your return as much as possible.

  4. Consider The State Of The Market
    The state of the market also plays an essential role in setting your sale price. If there is low inventory, low interest rates, and high buyer demand, you stand a good chance to maximize your profits. Just keep in mind, in many cases, buyers still aren't going to pay significantly more than what the property is actually worth; however, a hot seller's market does give you negotiating leverage on many things, including contingencies.

Nearby real estate transactions, the state of the market, and the expertise of your real estate agent are all important tools when it comes to setting the right asking price. Use a combination of all three to ensure your listing is set up for success.

November
3

Selling A Home Comes With Its Own Maintenance

If you're planning to sell your home in the near future, it might be tempting to leave repairs and upgrades for the next owner. But neglecting maintenance in the weeks and months leading up to your sale could have some major consequences.

Minor issues, such as broken doorknobs or chipped paint, can leave a bad impression on buyers. Even worse, minor issues can turn into big problems if they're not taken care of. If a major repair is needed at the wrong time, it could derail your closing or drastically impact your sale price.

If you want to sell soon, here is a quick list of home maintenance tasks to perform ahead of time:

Service Your Heating System
If you're selling soon, we recommend a thorough cleaning and servicing of your heating system from top to bottom. Have your furnace, ductwork, and chimney inspected and serviced. Replace filters and clean out all your vents. Major issues with your heating system will have buyers quickly running in the opposite direction.

Schedule A Roof Inspection
Your roof should be inspected at least once a year, but definitely before listing your home. Minor roofing problems are notorious for compounding into larger issues when left untreated. If you're experiencing any leaks or notice any warped or cracked shingles, you'll want to make the necessary repairs as soon as possible. If you need a replacement, keep in mind that a new roof is a big selling point, and you'll be able to recover costs in your sale price.

Maintain Your Landscaping
Your landscaping has a major impact on your curb appeal, which is a term used to describe how your home appears from street view. Curb appeal is important because it attracts buyer attention in your listing photos and is also the first thing shoppers see when pulling up to your home. Make sure your lawn is treated and trim all shrubs and trees. Also, make sure your driveway and walkways are well maintained.

Wash Your Windows
Light exposure is an important part of the home staging process, so you should expect your windows to be visible when buyers are touring your home. Be sure to thoroughly clean them and remove any dirt, grime, or muck prior to listing your property.

Resolve Any Plumbing Issues
Plumbing issues can range from leaky faucets to major pipe cracks in the basement. Either way, they're likely driving up your water bill and potentially causing mold growth. Buyers will be quick to notice any extra water in the basement, which is often a major warning sign. If notice any signs of leaks, be sure to have a plumber come take a look.

Cosmetic Upgrades
To sell your home fast, you'll want it to shine inside and out. If your home has worn carpet, chipped tiles, peeling paint, fixing these items can go a long way. A home with a "lived-in" look can be very unappealing, so you'll want to really pay attention to minor cosmetic details.

Investing in a home that you want to sell might seem counterintuitive, but major problems can lead buyers to pull out at the last minute. By taking care of some basic home maintenance tasks ahead of time, you can help ensure a smooth and successful closing.

November
2

Sellers: Prioritize These Living Room Upgrades

Renovations, upgrades, and staging make a world of difference when it comes to listing your home on the market. While the kitchen and bathrooms are often top selling points for many buyers, you don't want to forget about the living room.

The quality of the living room is an important selling point, and as a seller, you'll want to create an environment that enables buyers to envision themselves relaxing and spending time with family in the room.  To help you achieve this, below are some important living room upgrades that you may want to prioritize before listing your home:

Add A Fresh Coat Of Neutral Paint
A fresh coat of paint can make an outdated living room shine. It quite literally will help to reflect light, which in turn will make the room appear bigger, brighter, and more welcoming. A fresh coat of paint is a great way to impress buyers. When choosing a color, just be sure to stick to a neutral tone: off-white or light gray shades are probably your best bet.

Create An Open Space
A cramped living room can appear stuffy and uncomfortable, so you'll really want to open things up if you can. Make sure there are clear, accessible paths so it's easy to walk around the room. Also, avoid any overly large furniture, as this will also make the room appear small than it actually is. If you have the ability to remove walls, an open floor living room is an increasingly popular feature for many buyers.

Update Your Floors
If your living room has old carpet or dated wood or tile flooring, you'll want to address it before listing your home. Old carpet or tiles can give the room a "lived-in" look, which can be a major turn-off for buyers. After you remove your carpet, consider replacing it with some less-expensive wood-like vinyl flooring.

Try A New Coffee Table
Coffee tables receive a lot of wear and tear over the years, so if yours is dented, scuffed, fading, or covered in watermarks, an upgrade may be in order. When choosing a new coffee table, be sure it matches the rest of the decor and comfortably fits in the space. Try to avoid any wild or overly trendy or artistic designs — aim for nice and neutral.

Add Some Extra Storage
Storage is always a major selling point, so adding some additional shelving or drawers is almost always a good idea. Shelves and drawers in the living room make it easy to display family photos or pack away blankets and electronics. The best part is shelves and extra storage are fairly inexpensive.

Let There Be Light
Maximizing light is so important when staging a home. Buyers are attracted to big bright rooms, and natural light really helps living rooms appear larger. If your living room could use some extra light, consider adding some new decorative fixtures to keep things bright.

The living room is often one of the first rooms buyers encounter, so it often sets the tone for the rest of the home. Making the proper upgrades are essential for creating an attractive listing and maximizing your sale price.

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