A Word from Our Realtors
Katie Witry has an impeccable list of accolades to write home about. As a board member of the Preservation Resource Center, a Historic House Specialist, Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR), a Seller Representative Specialist (SRS) and co-owner of Witry Collective, these are just a few highlights showcasing the talent and dedication Katie has put into her career. Whether you’re buying, selling or interested in staying up to date on the market- we asked Katie to share a few tips.
When buying, “New Orleanians (and most humans) want to live in a community, so your neighborhood is important. Ask yourself, where is my community? Where is the center of my universe?” First and foremost, Katie expresses the importance in finding your neighborhood, then consider what your commute will be for work, school, etc. New Orleans has over 72 Distinct Neighborhoods, each one unique as the next. Consider the area and what you have to work with, for instance- Marigny and Uptown will tend to have homes closer together without much of a yard, but Arabi or Algiers will offer a bit more land and may have potential to build. “Look at the surrounding blocks and homes. Try looking for homes with large lots or lots that have potential. Homes with possibilities always fare well in market shifts, do not get tunnel vision!” Ahh, the bittersweet sound of having your Realtor tell you to be open minded. We all have our hearts set on the dream home, the right price, in the desired location, with the perfect layout and size. Although, this may be the exception, it isn’t the rule. Stay open to possibilities and see through to the potential of each property and neighborhood.
When selling, “If your house is not perfect than the days on the market can be long and pricing is everything. Buyers can make a decision from anywhere in the world within 5-10 seconds if they want to view your house further online.” Majority of those in the market are seeking the ease of just transferring their belongings, plugging them in and hanging that home sweet home sign up as soon as possible, in addition to fitting their budget.” Be open to suggestions for pricing, timeline and hear what your Realtor has to share. Take into consideration the time of year you are listing as well, “January through June we have the most buyers, but then the Fall Frenzy is between September 1 to November 1, so if I had to pick exact dates…April 15 and September 15 are the best dates in our local market to place your home on the market.”
In either market, choosing the right Realtor is crucial. Katie and Witry Collective, have a weighted focus on the unique historic neighborhoods of New Orleans. This involves an understating of zoning, HDLC (Historic District Landmark Commission) guidelines and flood maps. These historic neighborhoods make The Collective’s expertise particularly valuable and unique. These houses are hundreds of years old, having access to trusted resources for repairs and renovations is critical! Katie states the following: “Everyone deserves a good doctor, dentist, lawyer, wealth advisor and realtor. You find most of these allies through referrals, if no one has a referral, then search online and interview at least 3 people. You want to ensure you connect with your Realtor and trust them. They are your number #1 wealth advisor. Make sure to work with a Realtor as NOT all real estate agents are Realtors. Realtors are members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) chartered in 1913, 7 years before woman had the right to vote in the United States. NAR members adhere to a strict code of ethics and are held to a higher standard of practice.”
In the market for a Realtor? Here’s what to do first:
- Ask for a referral – 69% of sellers would use their Realtor again and 74% of buyers would use their Realtor again (Source NAR 2018).
- If you do not have a referral, Interview 3 Realtors to ensure you trust and connect the person you will be working with over the next 3–6 months.
- Work with a Realtor that knows your neighborhood, real estate is local, find the expert that knows the neighborhoods you want to live in.