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Competing In A Down Market

by Allen Duhé

 

 

When real estate is rocking and rolling, selling a property is easy.  Give it a dust-off, put it on the market, and sit back and watch people try to out-bid each other.  But when the market goes south - whether due to national or local setbacks, selling becomes more of an art form.  Inventory usually increases, prices often have dips, and properties are all competing for the same paucity of buyers.

First, let's talk about appearance.  First impressions can make or break the interest in a property.  If the front door is faded or mildewed, potential buyers are turned off, and there is no taking back that first impression.  Buyers interpret neglected entrances as a sign of more far-reaching deferred maintenance.   Power wash the entrance, touch up paint or stain, pot a couple of potted plants with a pot of color - red geraniums make a splash - and create a welcoming environment.

Ever Seller thinks their property is special.  Especially in down markets, it's essential for a Seller to think like a Buyer - look at your property as though you were buying it.  Nail holes where pictures once hung, or flat, listless finish on your flooring?  Perk it up!  Don't just try to patch walls and "touch up" the paint - even when applied from the original paint can, the paint will not match; the paint on the wall will have faded, while the paint in the bucket stayed fresh.  Paint the entire wall - quick fixes can work against you.

Don't spend money uselessly.  Ask a professional REALTOR which items will bring you a return on your investment, and which will be wasted money.  Kitchens and bath usually have the great return, while things like swimming pools return perhaps a fraction of their original cost.

Price competitively.  Yes, you do need a little "wiggle room," but pricing considerably above market price is counter-productive.  Instead, stick to your price.  Pricing considerably above market value is a huge mistake.

How do you price your house.   NOT with a "Zestimate" from Zillow or any other free website; most Multiple Listing Systems don't allow such sites to have their "sold" data, so the companies "estimate" what a house might have sold for - more like a guesstimate.  Licensed professional REALTORS have access to that data, and can help you price the house competitively - and have the resources to market your property.  During a down market, it's important to have not just exposure, but the right exposure.  Want that great exposure and the correct pricing?  There's one ready source:  Just Ask Allen.

 

 

 

Should I Buy a Home Now?

by Allen Duhé

I'm often asked if this is a good time to buy a home. Some clients are concerned that home prices may fall down the road, while others are convinced that home prices will go up.

Home prices are one factor in determining your cost of ownership, but so are interest rates and financing availability. Even though interest rates have fluctuated, they are still near historic lows. Since your monthly mortgage payment is a combination of paying down your principal and paying the interest owed, a one point rise in interest rates could cost tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your mortgage!

While a home is a major investment, it is also the center of your personal life. It's important to live in a home that reflects your taste and values, yet is within your financial "comfort zone." To that end, it may be more important to lock in today's relatively low interest rates while they are still available.

Please give me a call if I can be of any assistance in determining how much home you can afford in today's market.

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Allen Duhé
Van Eaton & Romero, LLC - A Latter & Blum Company, ERA Powered
2000 Kaliste Saloom Rd, Ste. 101
Lafayette LA 70508
337-254-7812
337-233-9700
Fax: 337-456-2124