home selling

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®.

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 Area 2014 Average Price up 2.7% with Home Sales down 2.8%

Members of the Greater Louisville Association of Realtors® (“GLAR”) recorded 12.2% fewer sales in November 2014 compared to November 2013; however, this is coming off of October sales that were up 11.7% compared to the same month last year. On a year to date basis, sales are down 2.8% and the average price is up 2.7%. In Jefferson County the average price year to date is up 2.2% to $182,353 and the median price year to date is up 0.6% to $145,000. The inventory of homes available for sale remains tight with approximately 11% fewer than last year.

GLAR President Paula Colvin commented that, “although sales were down in November, we are still on track for a similar volume of sales compared to last year, combined with a positive bias for home prices.” At the national level, Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors®, recently remarked that despite a modest decline in sales, “contract signings have remained at a healthy pace for six straight months.” Continued low mortgage rates have facilitated steady demand, “but it would be more robust if it weren’t for lagging wage growth and tight credit conditions.” Yun also highlighted a statistic from NAR’s recent survey in which the typical seller has now been in their home for 10 years, representing an all-time high for the survey. He expects the national median existing home price to rise 4% next year and in 2016.


Sell Your Home This Summer


Selling your home can be no easy feat, especially during the hot summer months.  However, there are a number of reasons that this summer could be the best time to put your house on the market.

According to the National Association of Realtors®, fifty percent of homes are sold during the summer months. In summer, the frenzy of the spring buying season has ended, so you may have fewer houses to compete with for buyers. Also, potential buyers will have received their tax refund checks by summer and that may be just what they need to pull together a downpayment. Selling in summer also gives families time to settle in before school starts. All of these reasons make summer a perfect time to market your home for sale.

Here are a few tips from the Greater Louisville Association of REALTORS (GLAR) to make sure your house is sold for the best price and in plenty of time for fall:

Air Conditioning. During the summer, your house can become hot and stuffy. Keep the air conditioning at a reasonable temperature; not so cold that buyers will be searching for their jackets, but cool enough that they won’t want to go back into the heat outside.

Summer Plans. Plan your annual vacation in advance so that you can list your home accordingly. Timing is everything when it comes to selling a home, so make sure that when offers start coming in that you aren’t out of town.

Landscaping.  Your front yard is the first thing people notice about your house, so make sure your lawn and flower beds aren’t suffering in the summer heat. Keep the grass trimmed by mowing often, plant fresh flowers and remove any debris from the lawn.  Also, clean your deck, porch, patio or outdoor kitchen and repaint or make any necessary repairs. This is your outdoor space’s chance to shine, so keep it in top condition all season.

Provide Refreshments.  Make sure to greet potential buyers the way you would guests and provide drinks or snacks. During the hot summer days, bring out a cold pitcher of lemonade or a cooler full of bottled water for the buyers. Set out some fruit or other light snacks that are seasonally appropriate. Anything you can do to make visitors linger a little longer could help you sell quicker.

Work with a Realtor®. Finally, GLAR reminds sellers that all real estate is local, so it’s important to work with a Realtor® who is familiar with your community. These professionals know the pricing strategies, buyer preferences and marketing approaches that will achieve the best results in your area.

Keeping these tips in mind will help you increase your chances of quickly finding the right buyer for your home this summer.

What do Millennials Want From A Realtor?

The numbers are in and Millennials take the top spot as the largest group of recent home buyers in the U.S. According to the 2014 National Association of Realtors® Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study, which evaluates the generational differences of recent home buyers and sellers, Millennials (those age 33 and younger) comprised 31 percent of recent home purchases.

“Millennials are the largest generation in history after the baby boomers, and since many still aspire to one day invest in their future through homeownership, they will drive future housing demand,” said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.

Despite having a reputation of not wanting to put down roots, this generation still very much sees homeownership as part of the American Dream. What exactly is this age group – most of whom are likely to start their home buying search online – hoping to gain from working with a Realtor®?

Getting information from the Internet is a lot like trying to take a drink from a fire hydrant. Young buyers are looking to Realtors® to help them understand and interpret all this information, given them insights into everything that goes into the home buying decision, and guide them through the process. This is the largest financial transaction of their lives, so they are looking for someone they believe is honest and trustworthy.

This means that they are most likely to hire their agent based on a reference from a friend or relative. As this is probably their first venture into the real estate market, a recommendation from mom or dad, or perhaps a good friend who just went through the process is going to carry more weight than any online reviews. While Millennials want to enter the market, this generation does face some challenges on their path to homeownership. Twenty percent of Millennials polled said that they would have a hard time saving for down payment, citing student loan debt as their main financial hurdle. That, along with the challenges of tight credit, limited inventory, and the possibility of rising interest rates, can limit the options and ability for young people to own.

However, these issues aren’t changing young buyers’ attitudes about buying a home. This generation truly appreciates the long-term benefits and economic security of homeownership; 87 percent polled say they consider their home purchase a good financial investment. They also understand the issues currently affecting the market, and that they may have to be flexible to make owning their own home a reality.

Realtors® know that younger people often need to make compromises to get into their new home and can help guide buyers to achieving their goal of owning their own property. Desired size and location are usually negotiable when buying a home and most buyers are willing to make financial sacrifices if it means they can make this important investment in their future.

Winter Staging Tips

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Having your home on the market is hard enough, but add cold, snow and early nightfall to the situation and it becomes even harder.By applying the following tips, your family will enjoy spending time by the fire on those long, wintry nights, and potential homebuyers will emotionally respond to the newly created ambience.

  1. Rearrange the furniture to create intimate seating arrangements.
  2. Create a good traffic flow.
  3. Cover the floors with rich, dark area rugs such as Oriental ones.
  4. For the feeling of sophistication, add a touch of black to the room.
  5. Choose warm colors.
  6. Add corduroy floor cushions stacked by the fireplace.
  7. Place a basket filled with birch logs and sugar pinecones.
  8. Toss more pillows and chenille throws on sofa and chairs.
  9. Buy stacking baskets with lids to contain family room clutter.
  10. Add vanilla or cinnamon scented candles and place throughout the house.
  11. Replace a few lightbulbs with amber-tinted ones to create a wonderful soft glow to your rooms.
  12. Use accessories sparingly, but what you do use should have a dramatic impact.
  13. Soften cocktail tables or sofa tables with a piece of rich fabric that complements your décor
  14. Add live greenery.
  15. Place copper pieces on countertops that will gleam under kitchen lights.
  16. Keep a large bowl of fresh pears or apples on a table or counter.
  17. Spruce up the bathrooms with new shower curtains and fluffy hand towels.
  18. Keep snow and slush cleared from doorways and walkways.
  19.  Eucalyptus wreaths are excellent winter choices to hang on the front door.
  20.  Add color to the landscape with large potted winterberry shrubs.
  21. Buy an attractive but sturdy new doormat.
  22. Strategically place spot lighting to highlight shrubbery and light walkways.
  23. Replace any door hardware that is showing any tarnish or wear.
  24. Hang a feeder in the backyard to attract colorful birds.
  25. Cover the grill and make sure there are no summer items lying around outside.

Top 10 Tips for Selling Your Home During the Holidays

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While the thought of selling your home during the winter months may dampen your holiday spirit, the season does have its advantages: holiday buyers tend to be more serious, and competition is less fierce with fewer homes on the market. First, decide if you really need to sell. Once you’ve committed to the challenge, don your gay apparel and follow these helpful tips.

Deck the halls, but don’t go overboard

Avoid overdoing the holiday décor. Adornments that are too large or too many can crowd your home and distract buyers. Also, avoid offending buyers by opting for general winter decorations rather than items with religious themes.

Hire a reliable REALTOR

That means someone who will work hard for you and won’t disappear during Christmas or New Year’s. Ask your friends and family if they can recommend a REALTOR who will go above and beyond to get your home sold.

Seek out motivated buyers

Anyone house hunting during the holidays must have a good reason for doing so. Work with your agent to target buyers on a deadline, including: people relocating for jobs in your area, investors on tax deadlines, college students and staff, and military personnel, if you live near a military base.

Price it to sell

No matter what time of year, a home that’s priced low for the market will attract buyers. Rather than gradually making small price reductions, many agents advise sellers to slash their prices before putting their home on the market.

Make curb appeal a top priority

In the wintertime, bare trees reveal the outside of your home more, so touch up the paint, clean the gutters and spruce up the yard. And, keep buyers’ safety in mind by making sure steps and walkways are free from snow, ice and leaves.

 Take top-notch real estate photos

Homebuyers often start their house hunting on the Internet. Make a good first impression by offering lots of flattering, high-quality photos of your home.

Create a video tour for the Web

Shooting a video tour of your home and posting it on the Web may attract house hunters who don’t have time to physically visit your home or who would rather not drive in a snowstorm.

Give house hunters a place to escape from the cold

Make your home feel cozy and inviting during showings by cranking up the heat, playing soft classical music and offering homemade holiday treats. When you encourage buyers to spend more time in your home, you also give them more time to admire its best features.

Relax— the New Year is just around the corner

The holidays are stressful enough, with gifts to buy, dinners to prepare and relatives to entertain. Take a moment to remind yourself that if you don’t sell now, there’s always next year!

For more great home-selling tips, contact your local REALTOR®.