home buying

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®.

Advertisements

May Stats Show Home Sales Up 11.5%, Inventory Down

The Greater Louisville Association of Realtors® (GLAR) reported May 2016 sales up 4.1% with 1,573 homes and condos sold versus 1,510 last May. Year-to-date, compared with January-May 2015, home sales were up 11.5%. The median price for all areas in January-May 2016 was up 3.3% compared last year, and the average price was up 0.7% versus last year. In Jefferson County, the average price in May 2016 was $208,469 and the median was $169,000. For all MLS areas, the inventory of available properties was 23.6% 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 27.6% lower than May 2015.

GLAR President Greg Taylor commented that, “The limited inventory of homes for sale is not just limited to Jefferson County. Bullitt and Oldham County inventory is also down 21% and 25% respectively. Continued low mortgage rates are keeping affordability intact; however, our members are seeing rising prices in neighborhoods that attract first-time buyers due to the low inventory.”

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors® commented that, “Except for the West, where supply shortages and stark price growth are hampering buyers the most, sales are meaningfully higher than a year ago in much of the country.” He continued by saying, “Looking ahead, with demand holding steady and supply levels still far from sufficient, the market for entry-level and mid-priced homes will likely continue to be the most competitive heading into the summer months.”

May 2016 Stat Report

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

2015 Home Sales up 12%

The Greater Louisville Association of Realtors® (“GLAR”) reported annual sales up 12% with 16,279 homes and condos sold versus 14,540 last year. Sales were also up 12.5% in December 2015 (1,258 units) compared to December 2014 (1,118 units). The median price for all areas in 2015 was up 5.8% compared to 2014, and the average price was up 6.2%. In Jefferson County, the average price in 2015 was $190,764 and the median was $152,500. For all MLS areas, the inventory of available properties was 21% lower than at the same time last year.

GLAR President Greg Taylor commented that, “GLAR members are adapting to the new CFPB rules implemented in October and finished the year with strong December sales results.” At the national level, Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors® commented that, “Home prices rising too sharply in several markets, mixed signs of an economy losing momentum and waning supply levels have acted as headwinds in recent months despite low mortgage rates and solid job gains. While feedback from Realtors® continues to suggest healthy levels of buyer interest, available listings that are move-in ready and in affordable price ranges remain hard to come by for many would-be buyers.”

2015 Home Sales Release

Oct. 2015 Housing in Greater Louisville

The Greater Louisville Association of Realtors® (GLAR) reported year-to-date sales up 12.2% with 13,896 homes and condos sold versus 12,383 at the same time last year. Sales were up 5.1% in October 2015 (1,416 units) compared to October 2014 (1,347 units). The median price for all areas in October 2015 was up 6.3% compared to October 2014, and the year-to-date statistics continue to show a 5.8% increase in values. In Jefferson County, the average price was $189,428 and the median was $155,000. For all MLS areas, the inventory of available properties was 17.3% lower than at the same time last year.

GLAR President Greg Taylor commented that, “Continued low inventory in Louisville means that accurately priced, move-in ready homes are selling quickly.” At the national level, Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors® commented that despite persistently low mortgage rates and a healthier job market, the first-time homebuyer rate remains suppressed. In the recent survey of Home Buyers & Sellers, debt was cited as the primary reason for the delay in home ownership. However, 64% of first time buyers said their primary reason to purchase a home was a “desire to own,” compared to a figure of 53% last year, which could be a positive indicator heading into 2016.

Click here for October 2015 Stats

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.