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This is the toughest market I have seen in over 45 years of real estate brokerage. There are many obstacles to selling. however, the vast majority may be overcome with a knowledgeable broker. The most difficult obstacle is proper pricing. Many property owners are unrealistic as they want to price their property in accordance with the higest prices ever obtained. This is a profound mistake ! Just as the price of gold and stock changes so to does the value of real estate. Prices prior to Katrina are profoundly different than prices in 2011. Many property owners declare when attempting to sell today at an inflated price. that they really do not have to sell. My response is basically that you won't sell unless the price is right. Market value is defined as the price at which a willing seller will sell and the price at which a willing buyer will  buy, neither being compelled to do so and with a reasonable time alloted  to market said property. Notice the emphasis on neither buyer or seller being under any compulsion and reasonable market time. Given these two factors sales should reflect an accurate market value. The fact that  a seller does not have to sell will not usually compel a buyer to pay an inflated price. How is market value determined ? It is determined by analyzing the sales prices of similar properties within the recent past, normally six months, and comparing how these comparable sales compare to the subject property and making plus or minus adjustments for differences in the comparables compared to the subject. This will give you an accurate idea of market value. The fact that your neighbor is asking $300,000 for his house (which has been for sale for 2 years does not determine the value of your house) and is not a consideration in determining value. When and if your neigbor's house sells check the actual sales price-NOT THE LIST PRICE- invariably you will find a substantial difference between the two.

This assumption on an owner's part that a neighbor is asking such and such for his property and that must make mine worth such and such, plus some, is erroneous but I often encounter it. I choose to deal  directly by explaining that asking prices which are too high do not increase the value  of surrounding properties. If you price your property in accordance with overpriced listings in your area, you will wind up just like them.  On the market for lengthy periods of time ( some times for years) with few if any showings, no interest and after a while the feeling that something must be wrong with that house-because it has been for sale for a long time. This is not the way to get your property sold ! Again, it must be placed on the market at what it is worth today, not what it was worth several years ago. If you can not accept this fact, do not attempt to sell as it will be an act of futility. Some unrealistic sellers want to blame difficulty in financing in general as the reason their property has not sold. This is usually a rationalization for overpricing and difficulty in obtaining financing rarely hinders the sale of accurately priced property. If you have a property which you wish to sell please adhere to the following.

1. Hire a competent broker who is knowledgeable in the market in which your property is located.

2. List your property no more than 3-6 % above fair market value, based on recent sales.

3. If within 30-45 days you have had little activity and no offers, consider a reduction.

4. Consult with your broker frequently and ask for and follow advice and recommendations.

5. Incorporate into listing a provision wherein you agree to pay a certain amount of closing costs.

6. Last but not least-BE REALISTIC WHEN OFFERS DEVELOP-and ask your broker for advice

One final word of advice. Hire a professional not a part time weekend warrior. Amen !

This article was written by Loyola Graduate Larry Trunk, President of Larry Trunk,Inc,January 2011




In order to purchase real estate at the best possible price certain fundamentals should be followed. I will outline those fundamentals in this article, however, not all of these recommendations work all of the time.These ideas have been developed over my 24 year career in real estate and some have been learned from those who have in excess of 4 decades of real estate brokerage. They work !

There are exceptions to every thing outlined here, however, most of these ideas are of value most of the time. Nothing works all of the time.

Harahan is a relatively small municipality whose notoriety is totally disproportionate to its size. That is to say that it is in the news more than any comparable size city for its politics and a variety of other issues. In my opinion, this speaks well of the civic involvement of those who reside there as they take pride in this small city. In many instances you will find two or three generations of the same family living within the city limits.
Larry Trunk, Inc. is a full service real estate brokerage firm located in New Orleans, Louisiana. Larry Trunk brings 45 years of experience in diverse real estate transactions. He has proven time and time again that "Everything We Touch Turns To S-O-L-D." Larry Trunk focuses on real estate transactions in the areas of Metaire, Jefferson, New Orleans, Harahan, Kenner, Gentilly, Lakeview, Gretna, Harvery, Westwego, River Ridge and Ormond / Destrehan. His staff can help you with real estate transactions ranging from first time home buyers to four plex and investment properties. It doesn't matter whether or not this is your first or fifth real estate transaction, you can trust the experience and real estate savvy of Larry Trunk.

Larry Trunk, Inc
2412 David Drive
Metairie, LA 70003