Is is Fall Yet?

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We are eagerly awaiting some fall temperatures here in NW Louisiana but are happily seeing other signs of the season! Come out and enjoy the pumpkin patch happening at Provenance. It’s a wonderful place to take photos and help a worthy cause.

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Other Area Fall Fun Events

The State Fair of Louisiana October 25 – November 11 at the Fairgrounds on Greenwood Rd. https://www.statefairoflouisiana.com

TASTE: A Festival of Food and Art November 1 at the Bossier Civic Center benefiting Holy Angels https://www.laholyangels.org/events/taste/

Nestfest: October 20 Renesting Project in NW Louisiana https://www.renestingprojectinc.org/nestfest/

 

Third Quarter 2018 Residential Sales (Caddo, Bossier and DeSoto Parishes)

In Caddo Parish, there were 699 residential properties sold with an average sales price of $174, 188. From January 1 -September 30, 2018, there has been a total of 2,033 homes sold in Caddo.

In Bossier Parish, there were 507 residential units sold with an average sales price of $211,539. From January 1 – September 30, 2018, there has been a total of 1,471 homes sold in Bossier.

In DeSoto Parish, there were 57 residential properties sold with an average sales price of $184, 593. From January 1 – September 30, 2018, there has been a total of 159 homes sold in DeSoto.

Information was gathered from the NWLAR MLS October 5, 2018.

We are looking forward to helping our clients in the 4th quarter of 2018 and thank you for your continued support!

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Half Time Report and Real Estate Reality Check 101

Half Time Scores 2018!

We are in the midst of the dog days of summer here in Louisiana. Lots of triple digits in temperature readings for late July and the real estate market has been hot too! I am happy to report that numbers were significantly higher in residential sales in the second quarter of 2018.

All information provided here was gathered from the NWLA Board of Realtors’ MLS in July 2018. Stats include residential unit sales for Caddo, Bossier and DeSoto parishes.

Caddo Parish Second Quarter Sales 2018

Total Units Sold 802  — Sold price range of $4,200 – $885,000 — Average Sales Price $172,110 — 75% of units sold were sold at a price of $216,900 or lower.

*Compared to First Quarter of 2018 in Caddo Parish**

532 Units  — Price range $4,500 – $1,400,000 –Average Sales Price first quarter $156,521–75% of units sold first quarter were $190,00 or lower.

Bossier Parish Second Quarter Sales 2018

Total Units Sold 583– Sold price range of $3,000 – $800,000 –Average Sales Price $204,595 –75% of units sold were sold at a price of $259,000 or lower.

**Compared to the First Quarter of 2018 in Bossier Parish**

381 Units — Price range $5,000 – $535,000 — Average Sales Price first quarter $185,295 — 75% of units sold first quarter were $250,000 or lower.

DeSoto Parish Second Quarter Sales 2018

Total Units Sold 62 –Sold price range of $25,000 – $899,900 — Average Sales Price $195,895 — 75% of units sold were sold at a price of $269,000 or lower.

**Compared to First Quarter in DeSoto Parish**

40 Units –Price range $12,750 – $349,000–Average Sales Price first quarter $176,138 –75% of units sold first quarter were $279,000 or lower.

Overall, all three parishes saw an increase in the number of residential homes sold as well as an increase in average sales prices. This is good news and hopefully something we can sustain in the third and fourth quarters. As always, you can text, email or call for additional information for your specific area! 318-990-0999 or nexthomeconnect@gmail.com

Real Estate Reality Check 101

I asked real estate agents both locally and nationally to tell me what they thought were the biggest misconceptions that their clients have when it comes to buying and selling a home. I surveyed real estate agents on different Realtor FaceBook groups. Yeah, that was as scientific as I got! But I think their responses are useful. No matter if you are in Pennsylvania, California or Louisiana many people say the same things. Here is what agents had to say. (Agents are anonymous)

Agent B : My Seller said  “We want to price it $15,000 above what the homes are selling for to leave room to ‘negotiate’ ” and when the offer came in $20,000 lower than the asking price my Sellers were insulted and indignant. They wouldn’t “negotiate”. SMH We got two more offers along the same lines. The Sellers ended up about $2,000 under market averages and EXACTLY the sales price I told them I thought we would end up at when I listed it. They could have saved about two months of wasted time.

Agent S : Just because a property is in foreclosure, a short sale or an REO doesn’t mean the Sellers are going to take your low-ball, half off the listing price offer! These properties are carefully priced to reflect the condition. The Sellers have criteria that has to be met when selling one of these homes. Some of these Buyers think it is a game to keep submitting low offers thinking they will wear down the Sellers. These Sellers are usually government entities and that thinking won’t work.

Agent N: Sellers will say “this _______ (dishwasher, roof, HVAC system etc.) is old or doesn’t work but it’s good enough for us. The Buyers can’t expect to buy a brand new house.” In reality, if it’s old, worn out or not working you will end up replacing it or losing money on the sales price.

Agent D: My Sellers don’t want to replace stained worn out carpet using the excuse that “we don’t know what color the buyer will want” or “we will give them a carpet allowance”. The reality is no buyer wants to make an offer because of the worn-out carpet, or if they make an offer it is much lower than what it would cost to just have replaced the carpet to start with. Lenders won’t let you put an “allowance” on a contract.

Agent C: It kills me when Buyers want to start looking at houses but they have 10 months to go on their apartment lease! Do they really think the house they fall in love with today will be there in 10 months?! Realistically, if you are stuck in a lease don’t start looking earlier than 90 days out.

Agent W: The Buyer sees that the house has been on the market for 6 months and automatically thinks the Sellers are desperate. “Let’s make a low-ball offer and see if they will take it.”

Agent R: If you don’t like stained cabinets in the kitchen and the pictures online clearly show stained cabinets in the kitchen, don’t waste everyone’s time by asking to see that home.

Agent C: My Sellers think that their antebellum historical home for sale is “Steel Magnolias” in reality it’s “Animal House”.

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Smile For the Camera

Smart home technology, devices and environmentally friendly features of a home are becoming increasingly popular with sellers and their potential buyers.  Remotely controlling automated systems and optimized functions such as lighting, temperature and security with a phone or tablet are appealing selling tools. What is even better is that many of these devices and systems are becoming more affordable.

A wireless home security and surveillance kit can be bought for as little as $99 on the internet. From doorbell cameras to indoor and outdoor cameras, many homeowners now have access to a little more peace of mind in keeping themselves and their belongings secure.

But what happens when they are ready to sell their home in regards to recording potential buyers? What should buyers keep in mind when they are looking at homes to buy? Below is a recent article put out by Louisiana Realtors.

Who is Watching Me? — LA Realtors

By: Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC
-Patty McMurray and Natalie Maples

Many homes and buildings are now equipped with video and audio surveillance.  Property owners may have video and audio cameras at their front entrances.  They may also have security cameras inside the building or home, or on the perimeter of the property.  For example, they may have a doorbell, a security system, a “nanny cam” or baby monitor that records video or audio, or, in some cases, all of the above.

Generally, a property owner has the right to monitor what happens within the four walls of his or her property.  A prominently displayed surveillance system and/or conspicuous signs alerting visitors that a system is in use can deter would-be criminals from taking an owner’s personal belongings.  However, in the context of selling a home, they can also provide negotiating advantages to sellers: these surveillance devices may allow sellers to intercept conversations between prospective buyers and the buyer’s agent.

What obligation, if any, does a property owner have to notify their REALTOR® of the recording devices?  What obligation, if any, does a REALTOR® have to notify potential buyers that video or audio equipment may be recording them while they are viewing a listing?

STATE AND FEDERAL LAW

Both federal and state laws apply to audio and video surveillance.  Louisiana is a “one party consent” state.  This means that a person may intercept communications in two instances: 1) if the person recording the communication is a party to the communication being intercepted, or 2) if the person doing the recording is not a party to the communication, one of the parties to the communication has given prior consent to the interception of the communication.[1]  However, the recording is not permitted by Louisiana law if the audio or video recording is being done for the purpose of committing a crime or a tortious act.[2]

Video surveillance without an audio recording has a different standard than recordings with both audio and video.  The federal standard for evaluating video-only surveillance is whether an individual would have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the location where the recording is taking place.  Although a homeowner enjoys a “zone of privacy” in their own homes, a prospective buyer generally does not have an expectation of privacy in someone else’s home.  There are limits to this, however, as a potential buyer would not expect to be recorded while in the bathroom, where a reasonable expectation of privacy exists in any circumstance.

Louisiana law does not expressly prohibit the video recording or recording the image of someone unless that video or image is recorded without consent and the video is to be used for a lewd or lascivious purpose.[3]  Accordingly, a videotape without audio is generally permissible under Louisiana law without providing advance notice or obtaining the consent of the parties.

There are no Louisiana or Federal cases on point wherein an unsuspecting homebuyer’s conversation has been recorded and used in negotiations.  There have been some cases where conversations of buyers and/or their agents are intercepted through “pocket dialing”[4] but these cases are distinct from the issue of a property owner’s right to maintain video or audio recording on his or her property.  However, out of an abundance of caution, and to avoid a potential claim that an illegal or unethical recording was made, or a claim that ethical obligations were violated intercepting conversations of buyers, homeowners may want to disclose the presence of video surveillance devices on the property to potential buyers prior to a showing of the property.

[1]      La. R.S. 15 § 1303(c)(3)

[2]      A tort is a legal wrong committed upon the person or property independent of contract.  It may be either (1) a direct invasion of some legal right of the individual; (2) the infraction of some public duty by which special damage accrues to the individual; (3) the violation of some private obligation by which like damage accrues to the individual. In the former case, no special damage is necessary to entitle the party to recover. In the two latter cases, such damage is necessary.

[3]      La. R.S. 14 § 283(a)(1)

[4]      Huff v. Spaw, 794 F.3d 543 (6th Cir. 2015)

[5]      Finley Maxson, “Window to the Law: Video and Audio Surveillance,” National Association of REALTORS® (available online at https://www.nar.realtor/videos/window-to-the-law/window-to-the-law-video-and-audio-surveillance-issues).

 

What the Hail?

Our weekend weather was one for the books! I was waiting for Jim Cantore to show up in his Weather Channel issued garb at any time.

Friday evening the Shreveport-Bossier area got hit pretty hard by hail, rain and wind. It was the hail that got our attention the most. According to stormsite.com*, there were reports of 1″ to 1.75″ sized hail stones falling in various locations. We were pummeled pretty well in south-east Shreveport.

Did you know that the American Meteorological Society and the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety did a study from 2012-2014 on hailstones? They studied everything from the size, shape and spherical ice spheres. (Yeah,  I am not sure what spherical ice spheres are either.)

The largest hailstone they measured in the study was a whopping 4.2″ in diameter.  I am hoping that this particular stone landed somewhere insignificant and not on someone’s head.

At any rate, with the storm that happened on Friday, I would like to encourage my friends to check on the condition of their roofs. Hail damage can be serious and roof issues can completely shut-down a sales contract. Now is the time to see if you need to have work done.

#1 Record the date and time of the storm. Many of you posted on Facebook so that will help track this.

#2 Scour your property for damage. Take photos or video of leaks or leaking roofs, leaks around chimney and fireplaces inside the home. Damages to outside appliances such as AC units, dents in the roof, missing shingles or torn shingles. Sheared off tree limbs, torn shrubs, trees and plants. Broken and damaged windows, trim and railings should also be noted.

#3 Find licensed roofers and licensed contractors to evaluate your property and give you written estimates. This service should be absolutely free so, beware of signing anything that holds you to pay for their services. Having an inspection will make your life easier when it comes time to make a claim with your insurance company. If you can, get more than one estimate. Please know that most legitimate local roofing contractors do not knock on doors after a storm. Take your time in selecting a reputable contractor. Contact the state licencing agencies and the Better Business Bureau if you aren’t sure.

#4 Get in touch with your insurance carrier to file a claim. After you’ve submitted your claim, they will likely send an adjuster to your home to assess the financial damage. It’s not uncommon to have your contractor meet with the adjuster.

We are always here to help you with anything you need when it comes to your home. Give us call, text or email anytime!

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http://www.stormersite.com/hail_reports/shreveport_louisiana/2018