You’ve decided to sell your Baton Rouge house. You begin to interview potential real estate agents to help you through the process. You need someone you trust enough to:
- Set the market value on possibly the largest asset your family owns (your home)
- Set the time schedule for the successful liquidation of that asset
- Set the fee for the services required to liquidate that asset
An agent must be concerned first and foremost with you and your family to garner that degree of trust. Make sure this is the case.
Be careful if the agent you are interviewing begins the interview by:
- Bragging about their success
- Bragging about their company’s success
An agent’s success and the success of their company can be important considerations when deciding on the right real estate professional to represent you in the sale of your house. However, you first need to know that they care about what you need and what you expect from the sale. If the agent is not interested in first establishing your needs, how successful they may seem is much less important.
Look for someone with the ‘heart of a teacher’ who comes in prepared to explain the current Baton Rouge real estate market to you, and is patient enough to take the time to show you how it may impact the sale of your home; not someone only interested in trying to sell you on how great they are.
You have many agents in our area from which to choose. Pick someone who truly cares.
Baton Rouge Home values have risen dramatically over the last twelve months. The latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors puts the annual national increase in the median existing-home price at 5.6%. CoreLogic, in their most recent Home Price Index Report, revealed that national home prices have increased by 6.7% year-over-year. Here in the Baton Rouge market we are experiencing the same value increases.
CoreLogic broke appreciation down ever further into four price ranges which gives a more detailed view than simply looking at the year-over-year increases of the national median home price.
The chart below shows the four tiers and each one’s growth from July 2016 to July 2017 for national home values.
It is important to pay attention to how prices are changing in the Baton Rouge market. The location of your home is not the only factor in determining how much it has appreciated over the course of the last year. Lower priced homes have appreciated at greater rates than homes at the upper ends of the spectrum, due to demand from first-time home buyers and baby boomers looking to downsize.
If you are planning on listing your home for sale in today’s market, let’s get together to go over exactly what’s going on in your area and your price range.
- The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released their latest Existing Home Sales Report.
- First-time homebuyers made up 31% of all sales in August.
- Homes are selling quickly with 51% of homes on the market for less than a month.
- A limited supply continues to drive up prices for the 66th consecutive month.
There is no doubt that the largest challenge in today’s housing market is a lack of housing inventory for sale. This challenge has been defined as an “overwhelming lack of supply,”and even a “straight up inventory crisis.”
First American just released the results of a survey which sheds light on the reasons for the current lack of supply.
The survey asked title agents and real estate professionals to identify what they believe are the top reasons for this lack of inventory in their markets. Here are the results of the survey:
- 47% – existing homeowners are worried that they will not be able to find a home to buy
- 26.5% – first-time buyer demand is absorbing a large share of available homes
- 11.3% – existing homeowners’ mortgage rates are lower than the current rates
- 10.6% – insufficient or negative equity in the home
- 4.6% – foreign buyer demand is absorbing a large share of available homes
As the survey revealed, there is a shortage of current homeowners willing to put their homes on the market for one of three reasons (see numbers 1, 3 and 4 above).
Is this an opportunity for some Baton Rouge homeowners?
The report on the survey explains:
“The crowd has spoken, and it seems in many markets home buyers and sellers alike are ‘imprisoned’ by the lack of housing inventory.”
That leaves a tremendous opportunity for every homeowner not facing these concerns. If you can put your home on the market today, you are subject to far less competition than at any time in recent history. That will result in your home selling quickly and for the highest possible price.
Real Estate Bottom Line
While many homeowners in the Baton Rouge area are feeling imprisoned for multiple reasons, those who are not handcuffed by these concerns have a once in a lifetime opportunity to sell their houses at a peak selling time.
Your children have finally moved out and you and your spouse now live alone in a four-bedroom colonial (or a similar type of house). You have two choices to make:
- Remodel your house to fit your current lifestyle and needs
- Sell your house and purchase the perfect home
Based on the record of dollars spent on remodeling and renovations, it appears that many homeowners are deciding on number one. But, is that the best long-term solution?
If you currently live in a 3-4-bedroom home, you probably bought it at a time when your children were the major consideration in determining family housing needs. Along with a large home, you more than likely also considered school district, the size of the property and the makeup of other families living in the neighborhood (example: you wanted a block with other kids your children could play with and a backyard large enough to accommodate that).
Remodeling your home to meet your current needs might mean combining two bedrooms to make one beautiful master suite and changing another bedroom into the massive walk-in closet you always wanted. However, if you live in a neighborhood that historically attracts young families, you may be dramatically undermining the value of your house by cutting down the number of bedrooms and making it less desirable to the typical family moving onto your block.
And, according to a recent study, you will recoup only 64.4% of a remodeling project’s investment dollars if you sell in the future.
Your home is probably at its highest value as it stands right now. Instead of remodeling your house, it may make better financial sense to sell your current home and purchase a home that was built specifically to meet your current lifestyle and desires.
In many cases, this well-designed home will give you exactly what you want in less square footage (read less real estate taxes!) than your current home.
If you are living in a house that no longer fits your needs, at least consider checking out other homes in the Baton Rouge area that would meet your lifestyle needs before taking on the cost and hassle of remodeling your current house.