Are you ready to sell your house? Here’s what to know about interest rates, pricing and working with agents | Sponsored: Latter & Blum Acadiana

It’s no secret that the real estate market is in a turbulent phase. If you’re looking to sell your home, figuring out how you fit into this environment can be daunting. To help potential sellers, we spoke to Lori McCarthy, Chief Broker at Latter & Blum Acadiana, about the local market and how homeowners can make the most of it.

We heard a lot that this was a seller’s market. What does it mean?

In real estate, the market is said to be a seller’s market when there is less than six months of inventory currently available for sale. To determine months of inventory, we look at a certain period of time and divide the number of properties for sale by the number of properties sold during that defined period. In Acadiana through April of this year, we have an overall inventory of 1.7 months.

What is the most popular price range for Acadiana homes?

The sweet spot is between $150,000 and $300,000. This year, 56% of home sales are in that range and we have 1.1 months of inventory. The $200,000 to $220,000 range is particularly popular, with only about half of a month’s inventory available.

How do interest rates affect the home buying process for sellers and buyers?

Interest rates don’t really affect the price a seller can ask for their home, but people’s buying power does go down. For example, the monthly bill on a $400,000 house at an interest rate of 4.75% would be approximately $2,087. As interest rates rise, this monthly note will also rise. The note would be $2,271 per month at 5.5% interest and nearly $2,400 per month at 6% interest.

Interest rates are going up and can go up even more. Is it still a good time to sell my house?

It’s still a good time to sell in Acadiana. Housing inventory is historically low, which usually means your home will sell quickly and for more. Although interest rates are on the rise, they are still relatively low. We are at about the same pace as in 2011, when rates were at their lowest. Buyers are ready. They just can’t all find the right home due to low inventory.

What are the factors that determine the price of a house?

A qualified and professional real estate agent considers so many things when helping a homeowner determine prices. They look at prices for homes that are similar in age, size, location, and amenities. Realtors also review the condition of the home, updates since the last sale, and events that have occurred, such as flooding.

What advice do you have for people who want to sell their home but are worried about the current economic uncertainty?

2022 should continue to be a period of high demand and low inventory in the housing market. Buyers are always eager to move, but with low supply and rising interest rates, they know the move needs to happen sooner rather than later. It’s a safe bet that your house will sell. If you’re thinking of selling, find a good real estate agent, get the house in good shape, price it fairly, and get ready to move.

How can a seller present their home in its best light?

Realtors will recommend actions such as decluttering, depersonalizing, and repairing items that may flag them on government loans. We also focus more on taking professional photos. Everyone is looking at homes online these days. If your photos aren’t attractive, a potential buyer will never enter your home.

If your home isn’t getting the attention or the offers you think it should, now is definitely the time to talk to a real estate agent. They can help you confirm that the price is right and that the home is competitive in terms of condition and amenities.

What are some common mistakes first-time sellers make? How can an agent help them avoid these mistakes?

First-time sellers usually think they can do it themselves without hiring a real estate agent. That’s like saying I can pull out my tooth without a dentist! Real estate agents have their finger on the pulse of the market. They know the trends, what buyers are looking for, and how to position a home for a positive outcome. They are also master negotiators who can guide a seller through all stages of negotiations. A good agent facilitates a positive experience for everyone while ensuring that the seller remains the decision maker.

Latter & Blum has local offices at 2000 Kaliste Saloom Road in Lafayette, 209 West Main Street in New Iberia and 220 Prescott Boulevard in Youngsville. For more information or to speak to an agent, visit www.latter-blum.com.

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