Area’s feverish home-buying competition has slowed, according to local realtor
Published 7:07 am Tuesday, October 4, 2022
The cost of living is on the rise. The real estate market is shifting. After the pandemic and hurricanes, many described the Lake Charles housing situation as a crisis, a boon for sellers. Amanda Cox, REL, SRES, CRS, RENE, ABR, Latter & Blum, put the current state of the Southwest Louisiana real estate industry in perspective for those looking to get the best price.
“The shortage of properties and feverish homebuying competition has cooled,” Cox said. “Knowledge and experience will continue to play a huge part as realtors exercise our greatest role, which is consumer protection.
She described the last couple of years of the industry as riding in a car speeding down the highway at 120 miles per hour.
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“A home goes on the market, it’s shown multiple times in a matter of days, and sometimes the seller receives multiple offers in that brief period to choose from,” she said. “Today, sellers are no longer solidly in the driver’s seat, a big change from the last few years. The market is neutral.”
In September, the median price for a home was down 4.9 percent, according to a recent realtor.com report, but prices are still higher than they were in September 2021. Interest rates are surging, so the cost of buying a home is very high.
“However, buyers now have a chance to think about their choices, make sure the numbers work for them and go into this major decision clear-minded. In months and years past, the frenzy of multiple offers raised everyone’s anxiety level to an unhealthy level. Appraisers are beginning to be questioned by lending institutions, so it is obvious to me that the underwriters are more risk-averse now than they have been for a very long time.”
Buyers need an agent who will make sure their clients are armed with all the information they need to make a great decision when moving forward with a home purchase. Sellers need an agent who will be honest with them and aware of all the statistics of what the market is doing right now.
Cox has been in the industry since 1995. The Lake Charles native finished her English degree at McNeese State University, working at a variety of jobs while staying active in the theater department.
“Working hard and forming relationships comes naturally to me,” she said.
After graduation, she and her husband moved to the Pacific Northwest. She was offered a job with a title company.
“I started with the commercial division in 1995 and spent 17 years learning and growing, moving into new roles as escrow assistant, escrow officer, executive assistant and corporate trainer.”
Being in these roles for these years was a prime experience for Cox. She discovered what could go wrong without the help of a knowledgeable real estate professional.
As a trainer, she interacted with real estate professionals and decided to obtain her broker’s license in Oregon in 2012.
Then she and her husband moved back home, and she was licensed in Louisiana.
“I haven’t looked back since,” she said. “I’ve helped hundreds of people move into their next chapter and ‘find their way home.’”
The hurricanes impacted more than available housing inventory in Southwest Louisiana. Cox describes it as the hardest chapter in her professional life.
“Being entirely present to attend to my sellers and buyers was all-consuming when compounded with the physical, emotional, psychological and financial stress all of Southwest Louisiana endured to some degree or other. Meanwhile, we were struggling to rebuild our own home. My husband was my rock. He is a REALTOR(R) along with me and handled everything on the homefront so I could be with our clients face to face.”
The American Press asked Cox about advice for a young person entering the profession.
“I think the key skills are problem solving and a true allegiance to the best interest of the client. My English degree has been great for writing property descriptions, but sometimes I think a degree in psychology would have been more advantageous. I do a lot of listening. Being a successful agent calls on every part of your intellect, education, emotions and heart.”
The best advice she has ever received is, “If you help enough people get what they want, then you’ll always have what you need.”
The alphabet soup behind her name stands for special certification in addition to her broker’s license: senior real estate specialist, seller representative specialist, certified residential specialist, accredited buyer’s representative and real estate negotiating expert. Realtor is a federally registered collective membership mark which identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of Realtorsand subscribes to a strict code of ethics.