Real Estate Market

Help and Good news for Buyers and Sellers!

New Louisville Home Sales Numbers and Help to sell!

The new Louisville home sales numbers are out and there's great news for buyers and sellers. Home sales increased 6.5% over May 2016. The number of listings on the market last month increased 1.9% last month. Combined with lower interest rates, it made for a one-two punch for Louisville area home shoppers. Still, the total number of homes on the market was down 16.6% over last year frustrating buyers looking in the price range of $100,000-$400,000.

It’s a seller’s market throughout much of Louisville and Southern Indiana if your priced correctly, staged properly with a home in good condition! You need to understand the home buying season doesn’t necessarily mean your home will go well over asking price just by putting up a "For Sale" sign. There’s still a lot of work sellers must do if they want to get the best price for the current residence

So if your thinking about selling your home here are 50 tips (from our new guide) for preparing your home for sale.

1. Learn the market - Not every home sells instantly! — which is to say every zip code is different. If you want to expedite a sale, your “property has to be marketed properly and be priced appropriately.

2. Avoid over-pricing - Gradual price drops signal to house hunters that more decreases are to come, Plus, if your home sits on the market long enough, prospective buyers will wonder what’s wrong with it. “In the end, most homes that start overpriced sell at a price lower than a home priced correctly from the start.

3. Hire a Realtor - Yes, you’ll have to pay them a commission. (Side note: You’ll be expected to cover the buyer’s agent, too.) Still, a good Realtor can be instrumental when it comes to the whole “learn-the-market, price-it-right” stuff. Plus, they’ll do the heavy lifting when showing the house and negotiating offers. A good agent and their team has experience in getting your home in front of hundreds of thousands of potential buyers. It would cost you an arm and a leg to even come close to getting that type of visibility.

4. Vet prospective agents - Find someone who is in the business full time and who can demonstrate their skill at listing a house. Look at the agents main website and review their featured listings. This will give you an idea of what your home will look like if putting their hands! Pictures, videos and 3-D tours are now the standard, anything less than that is old school and sub-par.

 5. Get a home estimate - Yes, your real estate agent can help you set the right price on your home, but it doesn’t hurt to get a general idea of the pricing in your area on your own. There are plenty of sites online that can help you get an idea of your home’s current value.

6. Pre-listing appraisal - A pre-listing appraisal can help you determine what a bank appraiser would come up with when appraising your property.  But remember, you need to tell the appraiser that you want a value that a bank appraiser would come up with in today’s market. Tell the appraiser you don’t want an inflated price to make you feel good, you want an accurate appraisal that a bank would loan on your home. Believe me they are two separate entities in this day and age. While the appraisal process is never scientific, many sellers do find an independent appraisal to be a credible source for judging a home’s value.

7. Determine how much the sale will cost you - Because there are plenty of expenses associated with selling a home no up front what your costs are.  A lot of sellers are not aware the attorney fees, commission to broker and any other closing costs, including potential repairs before putting the home on the market. Fortunately, your broker or listing agent can help you pin down a rough estimate of what you might have to shell out.

8. Have a Real Estate attorney on standby - In Louisville, an attorney is not needed but if you have specific issues like a neighbor’s fence on your property you will want to discuss legal action with an attorney before listing.

9. Research their reputations (and fees) - Ask your agent, friends and family for recommendations, or do a search online to find an affordable real estate attorney you can trust.

10. Ask for a mortgage pay off quote -You may think you know how much you owe on your mortgage. But it is a good idea to have that information in writing from the bank, especially if the money from your sale is going towards another sale.

11. Build your coffers - Selling your home can be very costly. Be sure you’ve got an adequate emergency fund on hand to cover the costs, moving expenses and mortgage or rent associated with your next home.

12. Check state tax records - Make sure any debts you thought you paid off, were, in fact, posted in municipality tax records [and] satisfied. Otherwise, you will have an arduous task getting issues resolved if faced with either a quick closing or finding out by the title company near the closing deadline.

 13. Consult an accountant - Or a trusted financial adviser before putting down For Sale stakes. They can fill you in on any tax deductions or bills associated with the sale that you’ll be expected to pay next year.

 14. Pull your credit reports - The easiest way to do this is get preapproved for your next mortgage with the lender you trust. In addition to liens, look for any judgments because those can go against the title of your home. You can contact AnnualCreditReport.com, but having a mortgage lender you trust pull your credit is more accurate.

15. Get your full credit check on - Because the better your credit score, the more affordable your new mortgage will be. Check for credit report errors, because they may be needlessly weighing you down. If you find one, be sure to …

16. Dispute any errors - You can go here to learn how to handle errors on your credit report.

17. Otherwise shore up your scores - Beyond that, pay down high credit card balances, limit new credit inquiries and address any other credit-score killers to improve your credit scores. You can monitor your progress using your free credit report summary, along with two free credit scores, updated every 14 days, on Credit.com.

18. Set realistic deadlines - It takes a lot of time to prepare a home for sale, Be realistic in what you can do, and consider where you may need help from family, friends or by hiring professionals.

19. Map out your move - If coinciding with a closing and purchase, make sure there is a contingency in your purchase contract, otherwise you owe on two properties or will be in default on new purchase due to lack of proceeds from the sale of your existing home.

20. Get a pre-home inspection home inspection - Sure, it’ll cost you. Still, spending a few hundred dollars on a thorough home inspection can help you get a better idea of what repairs need to be made, and more importantly, what your net proceeds will be from the sale of your home.

21. Make any major repairs - Pay particular attention to roof and air conditioning and roof issues, as buyers tend to shy from expensive repairs.

22. Consider some small upgrades - Replacing old curtains and blinds or even appliances and fixtures will make your home look better in pictures and on showings.

 23. Paint - So long as you don’t use one of these four colors, of course.

24. Carefully consider major home improvement projects -  Fix the roof, sure. Have the AC serviced, but consult with your Realtor or stager before blinging out the bathroom or wallpapering the basement. Certain home improvements that seem like a good idea may not actually bring any value to your home — or, worse, could be a turnoff to potential buyers.

25. Get your disclosures ready - Though there are variations by city or state, some types of seller’s disclosure are generally mandated by law. We can send you local disclosures to fill out in advance at your request.

26. Trim the (furniture) fat - Too much furniture makes a home look smaller than it really is, so sell or move out furniture to make the home feel more spacious. Remove most items from kitchen and bathroom countertops. If they buyer walks in and sees a lot of your items on top of the countertop, their first thought is not enough cabinet or closet space. That may be true, but you don’t need to scream it at the potential buyer. Less is more when it comes to selling your home!

27. Tap a photographer - If the agent you choose to sell your home provides inferior photographs, consider hiring your own photographer.  Solid listing photos make a big difference when it comes to getting buyers over to your house.

28. Clean your windows before showings - Multi-exposure photography (high dynamic range) … will make the photos really stand out, but if the windows are dirty, you don’t get the best shots.

 29. Actually, clean everything - We’re spelling this out just in case you hadn’t taken the initiative to do so already. “Nothing turns buyers off like grime, odor and general dinginess.

 30. Grout and glaze - How does the bathroom look?  Do you need to reglaze the tub or put new grout on the tile? Scratches and dents to sinks and times are a real turnoff. The caulk where the top meets the tile on the wall needs to be need and clean. Any dark spots could be mold and could send a buyer running out the door.

31. Set the stage - Your Realtor can provide some valuable insights into how to organize your (leftover) furniture. Stagers can also help you organize your furniture, and they can bring in just a few pieces that accentuate the positives of your home.

 32. Change the light bulbs - Lighting can be just as important as furniture feng shui when it comes to attracting homebuyers. Never use white light in a home, sure it may save you money on your electric bills, but it leaves a buyer with a cold office feeling. Remember the old incandescent lights, if you have some more can buy some use them!

33. Up your curb appeal - Neatly trimmed bushes, fresh mulch and a colorful pot of flowers work wonders on that all-important first impression. Repainting (or washing) the front door and pressure cleaning the driveway and sidewalks are also simple tasks that provide eye-catching results. If your sidewalk is sinking or the stairs don’t match the stoop properly you need a concrete injection. We have contact information on the right people for that job.

34. Find a place for Fido - Sure, your dog is cute and all, but you’ll want your pets out of the house during any showings. Buyers and buyer agents are quickly turned off by barking dogs.

35. Deodorize - Homeowners become smell blind and don’t realize how powerful smell is to homebuyers. The home should smell fresh and clean, not perfumed and not like cats, dogs, cigarette smoke, old furniture, mothballs, mold, old food, gym locker or just plain stale.

36. De-personalize - Pack away those personal pictures and mementos. Removing these items helps buyers imagine themselves in the home. Plus if a buyer sees pictures of you on the wall they typically will come over and tried to decide if they know you. Remember Louisville and Southern Indiana is a small town. Distracting them with personal pictures means there are no longer looking at your space.

37. De-clutter - That goes beyond off loading some excess furniture and your picture words. Bottom line: It’s time to put all those books, toys, video games and figurines away. The more crowded the home is, the smaller it appears.

 38. Detach - Sellers are usually emotionally attached to their homes, which is natural,  remember that any potential buyer is looking at it without the emotional aspect that the owner has for his own property.

39. Clean out your closets - They should look roomy. If possible space out your hangers two fingers apart. Store extra clothing in a box in the basement or in the garage. Two finger rule helps to make any possible bigger because buyers will say ”wow there’s so much room in this closet the clothing doesn’t even touch each other.

40. And your drawers - We all say that one day we will go into all the rooms and drawers and throw out a lot of old items. Well now is the best time to do it.

41. Start packing - You’ll have to do it sooner or later. Might as well get a head start.

42. Store - You don’t have to junk all your belongings. Consider renting out a storage space or keeping some stuff over at a friend’s or family member’s place while you’re trying to sell. If you’re storing boxes in your garage, use the center of the garage and not the walls for positioning your boxes. That’s because the buyer and a buyers inspector will want to see the walls to make sure there’s no water or termite damage. Why have to move boxes twice.

43. Talk to your neighbors - Consider this part of your curb appeal project You want your neighbors to be aware that there will be open houses.  Buyers coming to view your home and see unhappy neighbors because buyers are parking in or alongside their driveway will assume that the neighbors are nasty, and that can affect their decision.

44. Do a final walk-through - Just to be sure there’s nothing you missed with regard to repairs, curb appeal or staging your home.

45. Advertise amply - Some sellers believe that it is OK to not put the home on the local MLS, that the agents in the area will just bring the perfect buyer’s . Sorry that’s just plain wrong.

 46. Host an open house - The truth about open houses is that less than 1% of all homes sell during an open house. Usually an agent holds the house open to satisfy the sellers and to pick up new buyers who are represented. Remember we live in the Internet a where people can see your house 24/7.

47. Be available - Appointments often come with only an hour’s notice. Work as smoothly as possible with your Realtor to accommodate showings.

48. Adjust - If you find you did list your home for more than it’s worth, go ahead and change your listing. There’s nothing wrong with starting a little high and then reducing your price as you go along. The national statistics say that if you have no showings in one month your at least 10% overpriced. If you have 12 showings in a month and no offer your 5 to 7% overpriced.

49. Stay flexible - We’ve seen purchases fall apart over very small amounts of money, over a single appliance and over attitudes. Remember the big picture and how much it will cost to start over finding another willing and capable buyer. Relying on your realtor to help you see the logic of giving up a little to get a lot!

50. Brush up on your home buying skills - Chances are, you’ll be buying a new abode before or after you sell your current one, so you’ll want to go refamiliarize yourself with that process as well. Again a good real estate team can help you every step of the way!

How Much Do You Really Need to Put Down to Buy a Louisville Home?

What would your home look like in 3d?

Contact Information

Photo of The Sokoler- Medley Team Real Estate
The Sokoler- Medley Team
RE/MAX Properties East
10525 Timberwood Circle Suite 100
Louisville KY 40223
502-376-5483
502 992-4137
Fax: 866-807-2933