March 22, 2020 was the day that for many people in Louisiana, the world stopped.
Governor John Bel Edwards issued a Stay at Home Order on March 22, directing all Louisiana residents to shelter at home and limit movements outside of their homes beyond essential needs. For a while, at least, real estate activity was not deemed “essential”.
Some sellers were fearful of letting strangers into their homes and some real estate agents were uncomfortable getting out and interacting with others. It was a strange time indeed as a number of sales fell through due to job loss, furloughs, and uncertainty.
Thanks to historically low interest rates, the market has responded well and has helped move inventory that literally came to a grinding halt. Virtual tours and virtual open houses became the norm as well as client zoom meetings and more digital transaction platforms that limit the need for close contact and paperwork.
Looking at the Numbers
In the 2nd quarter of 2019, the Bayou Board of REALTORS reported that 552 residential properties were sold. In the 2nd quarter of 2020, that number was 497.
Taking a look at the 3rd quarter of 2019, there were 552 sold and in 2020 we closed on 594 properties.
(These numbers are residential single family homes primarily in Terrebonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, and Assumption.)
As we look optimistically into 2021, our hope is that the interest rates remain low and that a proven COVID-19 vaccine will prevent us from having to go through something like this again. Of course only time will tell. In the meantime, our focus remains assisting our clients achieve their goals of buying, selling, or investing in the most proven investment in history…real estate.
1. Hire a professional with a proven track record of success. For Sale by Owners statistically net less for their home and experience longer days on market. Time lost = money lost.
2. List your home in the spring. The market starts to heat up in March/April as buyers and sellers start thinking about school changes.
3. Price your home competitively. The market determines the value of a home based upon the principle of supply and demand. Have your agent run “comps” and set attainable goals as well as a realistic timeframe for days on market (DOM).
4. First impressions are lasting impressions. Professional photography and videography is a must and your home should equally impress in person, so pressure washing, landscape, and fresh paint is a necessity. Remember, it takes money to make money!
5. De-personalize and reduce clutter! It’s ok to have a few family photos up, but remember, you want the new family to picture themselves as the new owners. Also, maximizing the space is vital! Remember, you are moving anyway so start getting rid of stuff.
6. Pets need to go bye-bye for showings. While the fur baby is a member of your family, a barking dog or aggressive cat can make a buyer uncomfortable ESPECIALLY if they are allergic or sensitive to smells.
7. Leave all the lights on, bake some cookies, and make a welcome sign for the potential buyers. It’s a little uncomfortable walking into a strange home so anything you can do to reduce the fight or flight response, the better opportunity you have to sell it. Trust me! •