December 28, 2018 | Middleton O'Malley Middleton O’Malley One of the biggest changes in our greater New Orleans marketplace is the proliferation of new agencies. Engle & Volkers, a German real estate company, bought a large Metairie based agency. Another, Berkshire Hathaway recently moved in to start new branches on the north and south shore, and there are solo entrepreneurs who have obtained a brokers license to do their own thing. Others like Reve, and McEnery, sprang to life due in part to the mass exodus of approximately 100 experienced agents in the wake of an internal management melt down at Keller Williams New Orleans, and many of those agents wound up in, or started, brand new new companies. Old-line companies like Latter & Blum, KW, Sotheby’s, and Gardner, are fighting to retain agents due to serious competition from new agencies, and the lure of doing one’s own thing. What’s interesting about this proliferation of new agencies is that the market is nowhere near as robust as it was a few years ago. That means, same pie, smaller slices. What does this mean for the consumer? It’s difficult to say because we are in a period of transition. But it would make sense to think that if more people are fighting for the same business, something has to change. And that change could see smaller agencies not being able to financially compete, as well as solo agents not being able to afford their overhead, and all agents competing with one another in ways that they have not previously had to face. In the wake of the Bull real estate market of 2013-2016, the usual group of people who thought they could make money by simply obtaining a real estate license came out of the woodwork . Think about this combination of ingredients: a new, inexperienced agent, representing a first time buyer, or an elderly couple. Not good, but all clients of any age deserve well trained, client centered, competent, and experienced agents. Some Trends & Conditions… the $150K – $400K market is active, $500-$750K is slower and there are a lot of price reductions before sale. $750K-low 1m’s is slower still. Location is still King. Banks are very interested in your credit rating. All homes must be staged to the max, and priced right in order to have an equal shot at being competitive. Sellers will need to be more willing to negotiate. By the end of the year, interest rates are forecast to be higher, 13% higher than current rates for a 30 year conventional. In 2020, look for the beginning of a buyers market. Sellers will be forced to negotiate with buyers, and both buyers and sellers will need top shelf agents who have been there before, and know what to do. If you are hiring an agent, hire experience and competency. There is a difference between having 20 years of experience, and having one year of experience 20 times. Interview multiple agents, make them show you why they should be selected, and make your selection based on a tangible evidence of competency…because the new market will not tolerate anything less. We are at your service, and we offer you our years of competent experience. Our excellent reviews from satisfied clients are available for your consideration. We are real, real estate agents, and we have but one thing in mind…your complete satisfaction.