Home Sellers

How to Host a Sizzling Summer Open House

According to the National Association of Realtors®, more than 40 percent of all homes sold last year were between the months of May and August. There are so many reasons why summer may be the perfect time to put your home on the market – families are trying to settle into a new place before the school year starts and buyers have their tax refunds firmly in hand. But with so many others reaching the same conclusion, how do you make your home stand out?

A well planned open house allows potential buyers to picture how life in this home would be, and in the summer people tend to be more relaxed; it’s the time of vacations and lazy days. So making your home’s open house a haven from the heat is the best way to help them visualize that this is the house is where they’ll want to spend all of their summers.

Here are a few tips to help your home’s open house stand out this summer.

Pump the A/C. It’s easy for a house to become stuffy and warm during the summer, especially with exterior doors frequently opening and closing, so make sure that you have the air conditioning running whenever you’re hosting potential buyers.  Just make sure to keep the temperature cool and inviting, not set to a deep freeze!

Curb Appeal. Your home’s curb appeal is its first impression, and the summer months can be harsh on your home’s front lawn. Unlike in winter, where fresh snow in the front yard can appear romantic and enticing to buyers, there is nothing attractive about the dry, dead lawns of summer. Water frequently or update your home’s landscaping to something grass-free.

Outdoor Living. If your home has a pool, a large deck or an outdoor kitchen, the summer months are the perfect time to highlight them.  Put some lemonade out for buyers to enjoy on the patio and keep the pool crystal clean.  Remember, however, that summer means kids are out of school, and they may be joining their parents on open house tours, so make sure that pool gates are kept locked tight for safety.

Embrace the Season. Potential buyers may be hot and thirsty when they arrive, so prepare for it. Have a cooler with ice-cold bottled water ready and waiting for them the moment they walk in the house, and have refreshing snacks, like watermelon or popsicles, available in the kitchen or on the patio. This will help home buyers picture your home as their oasis in the heat.

Following a few easy open house tips can help you quickly find the right buyer this summer.  If you are interested in selling or buying a home this summer, contact a local Realtor®.

Louisville Home Sales Up 12.9%

The Greater Louisville Association of Realtors® (GLAR) reported April 2016 sales up 4.9% with 1,437 homes and condos sold versus 1,370 last April. Year-to-date, compared with January-April 2015, home sales were up 12.9%. The median price for all areas in January-April 2016 was up 3.4% compared last year, and the average price was consistent with last year. In Jefferson County, the average price in April 2016 was $186,887 and the median was $151,500. For all MLS areas, the inventory of available properties was 21.8% lower than at the same time last year. In Jefferson County, the decreased inventory of homes and condos for sale was even more pronounced at 25.6% lower than April 2015.

GLAR President Greg Taylor commented that, “The strong sellers’ market is continuing in Louisville with inventory down over 25% in Jefferson county compared to this time last year. Sellers whose homes are in move-in condition typically receive multiple offers. The median price year-to-date has advanced 3-4% with both low inventory and low mortgage rates.”

The national existing homes sales report for April 2016 is not yet available, but Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors® commented that March’s pending sales increase signaled a solid beginning to the spring buying season. “Despite supply deficiencies in plenty of areas, contract activity was fairly strong in a majority of markets in March,” he said. “This spring’s surprisingly low mortgage rates are easing some of the affordability pressures potential buyers are experiencing.”

April 2016 Stat Release

Louisville Area Home Sales Up 13.6% Year-to-Date

The Greater Louisville Association of Realtors® (GLAR) reported February 2016 sales up 22.3% with 1,062 homes and condos sold versus 868 last February. Year-to-date, compared with January-February 2015, home sales were up 13.6%. The median price for all areas in February 2016 was up 6.7% compared to last February, and the average price was up 13%. In Jefferson County, the average price in February 2016 was $205,126 and the median was $139,900. For all MLS areas, the inventory of available properties was 23.6% lower than at the same time last year.

GLAR President Greg Taylor commented that, “Our Realtor® members saw a continuation of a sellers market with inventory down over 23% compared to this time last year. The lack of inventory was the driving factor in the median price increase of 6-7% compared to last year.”

At the national level, Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors® commented that existing sales kicked off 2016 on solid footing, rising slightly to the strongest pace since July 2015. “The housing market has shown promising resilience in recent months, but home prices are still rising too fast (in many areas) because of ongoing supply constraints,” he said. “Despite the global economic slowdown, the housing sector continues to recover and will likely help the U.S. economy avoid a recession.”

February 2016 Statistics Release

August 2015 Home Sales up 11.6%

The Greater Louisville Association of Realtors® (“GLAR”) reported year-to-date sales up 11.6% with 10,951 homes and condos sold versus 9,808 at the same time last year. Sales were up 0.9% in August 2015 (1,532 units) compared to August 2014 (1,518 units). Prices in August 2015 were up 3% compared to August 2014, and the year-to-date statistics show a 6.4% increase in values. In Jefferson County, the average price was $200,058 and the median was $158,000. For all MLS areas, the inventory of available properties was 20.5% lower than the same time last year.

GLAR President Paula Colvin commented that, “Inventory shortages are still contributing to a strong seller’s market in some areas inside the Watterson Expressway. Properties located further out, and at higher price points, are selling at a more normal pace.

“At the national level, Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors® commented last week that, “Demand for buying has drastically improved this year and is propelling home sale to a pace not seen since 2007. As local job markets continue to expand, the pool of homebuyers will increase.”

Click here for August 2015 Stats

Tips for Improving Your Home’s Curb Appeal

Your home’s curb appeal is the first chance to impress potential buyers. Whether buyers are wowed by a beautiful and well-maintained yard or are repelled by dirty exterior walls and an overgrown lawn can significantly impact your home’s sales price if you’re thinking of selling it this spring.

When buyers pull up to a house, they want to be able to picture themselves living in and coming home to it. Dead grass and chipped paint can make that all the more difficult to visualize. Making sure your home is prepared, both inside and out, before you put it on the market could help it sell faster and for top dollar.

Here are a few tips to make sure your curb appeal is making the best impression on potential buyers:

•Clean your house.
It’s not only the inside of your home that needs to be kept clean of dirt and grime, the outside of your home should be just as spotless. Clean your outer walls with soapy water and wash your windows inside and out. According to Greater Louisville Association of REALTORS, washing your house can substantially raise the sale price.

•A new coat of paint.
After you’ve cleaned your home’s exterior, the next step is to apply a fresh coat of paint. A new coat of paint is like a face-lift for your home. But don’t try to make a statement with your home’s color. If your home is a wildly different color from the other homes in your neighborhood, it could negatively affect a buyer’s perception of the home’s value.

•A well-manicured yard.
Your front yard creates your home’s first impression to prospective buyers, so make sure that your lawn is green and trimmed and your shrubs and flower beds are well tended. It is important to keep your yard neat, raking any fallen leaves and pulling any weeds. If there is a barren tree in your front yard, cut it down and replace it with grass.

•Repair the roof.
If your roof is damaged, dirty or missing shingles, it can have a negative impact on the value of your home. If your neighbors’ roofs are well maintained or have been recently replaced, it will make yours look especially ragged. Sometimes a good cleaning is all you need to have your roof look like new. However, that isn’t a project you will want to take on yourself without the proper equipment; hire a professional with the right tools and training, who will be able to clean your roof without damaging it.

By making a few simple changes to your home’s exterior, you can increase your home’s value and hopefully help it sell more quickly this spring.

Realtors® Rate Most Cost Effective Home Improvement Projects

Realtors® from across the country have rated several home improvement projects that will not only add value to your home but will also recoup most of their costs upon resale. The 2015 Cost vs. Value Report helps owners decide if a project is worth the time and financial investments.

Deciding to take on a home improvement project can be overwhelming for many homeowners, and especially if they are trying to choose a project that will give them the biggest bang for their buck. Realtors® know hat features will be most attractive to potential buyers and this report provides homeowners with that insight.

Curb appeal has always been important, so makes sense that the top five remodeling projects from the 2015 Cost vs. Value Report that will give you the highest return on investment are all smaller, exterior improvements.

Steel Entry Door. For the second year in a row, Realtors® have named the steel entry door the number one home improvement project when it comes to seeing a return on your investment. It is also consistently the least expensive project in the report, costing about $1,200 on average; it was also the only project on this year’s list to recoup more than 100 percent of its cost at resale on a national level.

Manufactured Stone Veneer. This decorative building material is made to replicate the look of natural stone for a substantially lower price. This is the first year manufactured stone veneer has appeared in the Cost vs. Value report. On average, the project will cost around $7,150 and will recoup 92.2 percent of your investment.

Garage Door Replacement. Upgrading your garage door can update the entire exterior of your home, not to mention enhancing curb appeal. The garage door is one of the first things a potential buyer will see. It is part of the first impression your home gives, so it is important that it looks its best. A midrange steel garage door averages $1,595 and will recoup you 88.4 percent of your investment.

Fiber-Cement Siding. This high-end siding is resistant to termites, rot, moisture and fire. It is also incredibly stable and does not flex, meaning you’ll save money on less frequent repainting. This project will average you $14,014, and you can expect a return on investment of 84.3 percent.

Wood Deck Addition. An outdoor entertaining space is a large draw for many buyers. A deck provides a large amount of living area and at $30 per square foot it is a fraction of the cost of an indoor addition. The average cost for this project is $10,048 and recover 80.5 percent of your investment.

Before taking on any of these projects it is important to remember that all real estate is local. According to the Greater Louisville Association of REALTORS, every neighborhood is unique and the popularity and resale value of a specific remodeling project varies from community to community. This is why it is so important to work with a Realtor®. Realtors® have unparalleled knowledge of local market conditions and can help you decide which projects will deliver the most return on investment in your area.

The 2015 Cost vs. Value Report is published by Remodeling magazine publisher Hanley Wood, LLC and is done in collaboration with the National Association of Realtors®. Additional data from the report can be found at NAR’s consumer website, HouseLogic.com.

Louisville Area Home Sales up 6.3% Year-to-Date with 5.5% Increase in Prices

The Greater Louisville Association of Realtors® (GLAR) reported year-to-date sales up 6.3%, with 1,732 homes and condos sold versus 1,629 at the same point last year. Sales were up 0.5% in February 2015 (848 units) compared to February 2014 (844 units), and the average selling price in all Multiple Listing Service (MLS) areas was up 5.5% compared to the same month last year. The median price in Jefferson County was up 3.7% and the average was up 1.6% due to the specific mix of homes sold. For all MLS areas, the inventory of available properties remains 11% lower than the same month last year. In Jefferson County, inventory is recovering slightly, but is still 6.1% lower than February 2014.

GLAR President Paula Colvin commented that, “members saw strong sales in February with multiple offers on properties in several areas of the market, which is something we would typically see in the spring and summer months.” She also added that, “the inventory of homes available for sale has rebounded from 11% lower to 6% lower, and we anticipate more sellers putting their homes on the market in March.”

All MLS Areas Feb.
2014
Feb. 2015 % Change Jan. 1- Feb. 28, 2014 Jan. 1-Feb. 28, 2015 % Change
Houses Sold 844 848 0.47% 1,629 1,732 6.32%
Averages Selling Price $158,929 $172,540 8.56% $160,375 $169,305 5.57%
Median Selling Price $131,950 $144,000 9.13% $130,000 $139,250 7.12%
# of Active Listings Placed into Pending Status During February 1039 1211 16.55%
Active Listings at February 15 6065 5397 -11.01%
Jefferson County Feb.
2014
Feb. 2015 % Change Jan. 1- Feb. 28, 2014 Jan. 1-Feb. 28, 2015 % Change
Houses Sold 578 594 2.77% 1117 1232 10.30%
Averages Selling Price $162,821 $170,361 4.63% $164,032 $166,637 1.59%
Median Selling Price $132,000 $135,000 2.27% $130,000 $134,900 3.77%
# of Active Listings Placed into Pending Status During February 692 845 22.11%
Active Listings at February 15 3518 3301 -6.17%
Oldham County Feb.
2014
Feb. 2015 % Change Jan. 1- Feb. 28, 2014 Jan. 1-Feb. 28, 2015 % Change
Houses Sold 46 51 10.87% 90 97 7.78%
Averages Selling Price $260,324 $249,701 -4.08% $240,216 $260,550 8.46%
Median Selling Price $225,750 $239,900 6.27% $201,000 $240,287 19.55%
# of Active Listings Placed into Pending Status During February 70 65 -7.14%
Active Listings at February 15 382 322 -15.71%
Bullitt County Feb.
2014
Feb. 2015 % Change Jan. 1- Feb. 28, 2014 Jan. 1-Feb. 28, 2015 % Change
Houses Sold 62 50 -19.35% 102 99 -2.94%
Averages Selling Price $138,705 $165,424 19.26% $148,065 $155,717 5.17%
Median Selling Price $128,200 $143,750 12.13% $130,000 $137,900 6.08%
# of Active Listings Placed into Pending Status During February 74 78 5.41%
Active Listings at February 15 420 323 -23.10%