Archive for the ‘Livingston Parish News and Events’ Category


3 strategies to move an overpriced listing

July 5, 2011

Give sellers a wake-up call


Inman News™

You have worked as hard as you can to get this property sold. Your marketing efforts have generated 50 showings but no offers. What can you do?

Recently, one of our private coaching clients posed this question to her coach. She had done everything within her power to place the property under contract. However, the sellers weren’t willing to lower the price any further. They had a great reason. If they dropped the price any further, they would have to bring money that they didn’t have to the closing table.

The challenge for the agent was that the sellers were blaming the failure to sell the property on her and they were angry. How would you have handled this situation?

One of the most powerful ways to address this situation is to do an update on your market statistics. For example, if there are currently 60 properties listed in their area and price range and 10 of them sell each month, this means that in order to sell their property, the sellers must be in the top 17 percent of the properties on the market each month in terms of the price, condition and the location. With this many showings and no offers, they’re continuing to fall in the bottom 83 percent that are still listed each month rather than in the 17 percent that sell.

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The next step is to explain the seller’s choices. Here’s what to say:

“Mr. and Mrs. Seller, as you can see from the current market statistics, only 17 percent of all the listings will sell this month, while 83 percent will continue to be listed next month. Furthermore, most of the properties that are selling are in like-new condition. Given these circumstances, you have the following options:

“First, you can adjust your price.

“Second, you can update the paint and the fixtures to make the house more appealing.

“Third, if you absolutely must get this price, you can take the property off the market and wait for the market to improve.

“It’s your house and it is your decision. What would you like to do?”

Furthermore, it’s often useful to either take the sellers out to look at the competition or to pull together a slide show of the interiors of the properties that went under contract or that are currently on the market. Sometimes the reason a property is not selling is that buyers can afford to be choosy. The agent who sold our last house told me that the only things that are selling where she is working right now are in like-new condition. Everything else, unless it’s way below market value, is languishing on the market.

A third way is to do a price-per-square-foot comparison. Remember to choose comparable sales where the lot size and the improvement size are within 10 percent of the seller’s property. Failure to do this will yield inaccurate results.

The next step is to make three pricing lines: one for sold listings, one for current listings, and one for expired listings. In most cases, what you will observe is that the sellers’ current price falls in the price range where most of the listings are expiring. Here’s what to say:

“Mr. and Mrs. Seller, as you can see from these three pricing lines, the properties that have gone under contract in the last 90 days have all been priced between $135 to $145 per square foot. The properties that failed to sell and currently are showing on the multiple listing service as expired listings were all priced at $153 to $160 per square foot. Your property is currently priced at $154 per square foot.

“Consequently, you have an important decision to make. You can leave your property at $154 per square foot and it will probably still be on the market, or you can reduce your price to $145 per square foot and increase the odds that it will sell. It’s your choice; what would you like to do?”

Now if the sellers are being unrealistic and you’re no longer willing to work on an overpriced listing, here’s a different approach:

“Mr. and Mrs. Seller, you have an important decision to make. You can continue to keep your property on the market at the price where it is currently listed or you can lower the price to the point where the property will sell. Clearly, since we have had 50 showings and no offers, the property is not priced where buyers today are willing to purchase it.

“It’s your choice; what would you like to do? Continue with your current price? Or reduce the price, end the two-hour commute each day, and get on with your life?”

If the sellers say they want to keep the same price, the next choice is really yours. Are you going to choose to continue to work on an overpriced listing or are you going to walk away? In many cases, your willingness to walk away can be a huge wake-up call. Here’s what to say:

“Thanks so much for the opportunity to market your home. Given the current market conditions, I would be doing you a disservice to continue to represent you on the sale of your property when the market data says that you won’t sell in this market unless you drop your price. I have cleared this with my broker and we are releasing you from the listing. I wish you the best in getting the price you want.”

If you have an overpriced listing that is not selling and the sellers aren’t willing to be realistic, walking away is probably the smartest thing that you can do. If the sellers realize you’re serious and reduce their price, it’s a win for you both. If they are unwilling to reduce their price, you have just eliminated a huge energy and money drain from your business.

Bernice Ross, CEO of, is a national speaker, trainer and author of the National Association of Realtors’ No. 1 best-seller, “Real Estate Dough: Your Recipe for Real Estate Success.” Hear Bernice’s five-minute daily real estate show, just named “new and notable” by iTunes, You can contact her or @BRoss on Twitter.


Is the Market Turning Around!!

February 12, 2011

We have noticed a tremendous up tick in the amount of calls we have been receiving on our listing inventory.  It seems that a lot of home buyers are now understanding that interest rates are rising and if they would like to get in on the historically low rates they will have to act now.  We have recently, in the last week, put two of our homes under contract that have sat for a while.  We look forward to helping as many home buyers or sellers as we can.  Remember affordability has never been better.  This will be a time when we look back and say wow and if you don’t act now you will be saying I wish I would have.  Take a few minutes to familiarize yourselves with the market by searching our website at:  For home buyers or sellers take a look at our Market Snapshot at either: or

I look forward to hearing from you!!!


Stamp Out Hunger in Hammond

May 5, 2010

Help Stamp Out Hunger in Hammond this Saturday, May 8 by placing bags filled with nonperishable items next to their mailboxes for the mail carriers to pick up.  The items picked up this Saturday will benefit the local Tangi Food Pantry.  But, this is a national event happening all across the country as well.  This marks the 18th year the “Stamp Out Hunger” program has been in effect.  Since its inception in 1993, the “Stamp Out Hunger” program has collected 982.7 millions pounds of food to help stock the nation’s food pantries.  The Campbell Soup Company as well as the US Postal Service and National Association of Letter Carriers sponsor this event every year.  So, please do what you can to help Stamp Out Hunger in Hammond by leaving nonperishable food items in a plastic bag next to your mailbox this Saturday, May 8.  This small act will be helping out the community’s families in need.  Thank you.

Yvonne Martin, The Martin Team for Hammond real estate


Get Ready for the Cold in Hammond

January 6, 2010

With the temperatures dropping, it is time to get ready for the cold in Hammond.  This means protecting your pipes, pets and and plants.  Wrap your pipes up so that the cold temperatures don’t freeze them, possibly making them burst.  Make sure your pets have adequate shelter against the cold temps and plenty of fresh water.  You will need to cover any cold-sensitive plants and give them plenty of water.

In addition to your pipes, pets and plants, check in on your elderly friends or relatives to make sure they have an adequate heat source.  Many of our senior citizens tend to be colder normally than their younger counterparts.  So, dips in the temperature can affect them immensely.  If you find that a senior citizen is in need of help, you can always contact the local government to see what programs they offer for such situations.

Keep any combustible materials at least three feet away from a heat source, especially portable heaters that are so popular this time of year.  Another heat source that people don’t think about is the stove/oven.  Don’t use this to heat up the house because they are not meant to run constantly.  Combustible materials need to be kept at least three feet away from these as well.  Also, keep an eye on children with blankets so that they don’t get too close to a heat source.  Paper is a major combustible that must be kept safely tucked away from any heating source as well.

Getting ready for the cold in Hammond by following the above tips will help you get through the cold weather this year.  Let’s all stay safe and warm!

Yvonne Martin, the Martin Team, Let My Family Bring Your Family Home to Hammond Real Estate


Needy Families Can Count on Livingston Parish for Christmas

December 2, 2009

Needy families can count on Livingston Parish for Christmas.  The Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office is accepting applications from needy families for Christmas toys from now through December 4 and the week of December 7-11.  If you find yourself in need of help to get through this holiday season, you can fill out and submit an application to the Sheriff’s Training Facility in Walker, next to the Woodside Landfill.  If you would like to donate toys and/or money, you can drop them off at collection booths December 3-5 as well as next weekend at the Bass Pro Shop and the Denham Springs and Walker Walmarts from 9am-7pm.  If you wish to mail in a donation, please make all checks payable to the LSPO Children’s Christmas Crusade and send them to:

LSPO Children’s Christmas Crusade
PO Box 850
Livingston, LA 70754

Off-duty Livingston Parish deputies will be delivering toys to approximately 1200-1500 children on the morning of December 18th.  Anything you can do to help is greatly appreciated.  Whether you are in need or able to help, needy families know they can count on Livingston Parish for Christmas.  Happy holidays!

Yvonne Martin, The Martin Team, Let my family bring your family home to Tangipahoa real estate


Northshore Fuller Center Needs You

May 6, 2009

The Northshore Fuller Center has opened its doors in Hammond.  The Northshore Fuller Center is a non-profit organization spearheaded by David and Tamara Danel that serves the housing needs of low-income families in the parishes of Tangipahoa, St. Tammany and Livingston.
As with most non-profit organizations, the Northshore Fuller Center needs help.  Before you get your checkbook out or look to see if your budget can manage another donation, consider giving your time.  The Northshore Fuller Center needs you.  You are a valuable commodity within yourself.  Volunteers are needed to serve as board members and to serve on various committees.  College students to retirees, you are needed; whether you can pick up a phone or swing a hammer, you are needed.  There are talents that you may not even know you possess; David and Tamara will be happy to help you discover and develop them.
Housing is more than just a building, it is more than just a roof over our heads and it is more than a shelter from the elements.  Homes are more than just sticks and bricks.  Houses are our homes, the place we laugh, cry, love and live.  Homes are refuges for our children.  This is where we express our own personal artistry through our decor and landscaping.  Homes are one of the very basic needs of every human; a place to call their own.  Our homes influence what we think of ourselves and what we can accomplish in life.  Home ownership brings pride and stability to a community.  The Northshore Fuller Center for Housing wants to make home ownership a reality for over 250 families in the Tangipahoa, St. Tammany and Livingston parishes.
The Northshore Center realizes that there is more to home ownership than just owning the home.  For many on a fixed or low-income budget, routine maintenance repairs to their home are more than they can manage.  The Northshore Fuller Center will be helping homeowners to help themselves with maintenance improvements to their homes.  Well maintained homes benefit everyone in a community.
David and Tamara were personally requested by Mr. Milliard Fuller to establish the Northshore Fuller Center, which is the 50th covenant partner for the Fuller Center for Housing and the third covenant partner in Louisiana.  Mr. Fuller’s vision was to provide homes for every family in the world with dignity.  Rather than give them charity, he gave them pride of ownership.  Habitat for Humanity and the Fuller Center for Housing provide homeowners a means to purchase their homes or pay for the needed repairs by giving them loans to match their ability to pay.  These loans are interest free and no financing costs are factored into the loans.
Help change the world one home at a time; call Tamara at 985-507-0732.
Millions For Milliard
Mr. Millard Fuller passed away in February 2009.  To honor his memory, the Fuller Center for Housing has launched an initiative to raise $1 Million for Millard by August 30th, 2009.
To become involved or to learn more visit:
Northshore Fuller Center
Fuller Center For Housing 
Disaster ReBuilders
Faith Builders Program
Global Builders Program
Greater Blessing Program
RV Builders Program
Student Builders
Bike Trip

Yvonne Martin and the Martin Team, Tangipahoa Real Estate


Tangipahoa School System Proposes a New Plan

March 18, 2009

It is still in the planning stages, but the proposed plan to increase educational opportunities in the Tangipahoa Parish are very attractive.  The proposed plan would upgrade our current opportunities by creating a High Tech Career Education Center and specialized training classes in magnet schools.  Classes would provide training in communication, construction, design, medical and performing arts fields.  The proposal includes offering the International Baccalaureate program and the Montessori approach to learning in our Tangi schools.
The High Tech Career Education Center would allow students from all high schools to attend the center for specialized classes and then return to their regular high school for their standard scheduled classes.  Hammond Westside Primary and Roseland Elementary would offer the Montessori learning approach and would be designated as magnet schools.  Amite Elementary, Independence Middle School and Woodland Park would be designated as magnet schools offering communications with the latest technology.  Hammond High School would offer a Medical Professions certified program in various areas of the medical field in conjunction with North Oaks Medical Center.  Hammond Eastside and Kentwood High School would offer a performing arts curriculum.  Hammond Eastside Elementary, Hammond Junior High and Hammond High School would participate in the International Baccalaureate program.

The proposed plan would bring a variety of learning opportunities to Tangipahoa Parish.  As with any proposal, some think the innovative programs would improve the quality of education for our students, while others do not think implementing new programs is the answer.  What do you think?  Will the plan provide better education to Tangi students?
Yvonne Martin, Keller Williams Realty Services
Tangipahoa Parish School System (


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