Pro Strats for Selling Your Home in Winter

Almost everyone knows that more home buyers are out during the Summer. It’s the peak season! The weather is warm. Kids are out of school for a couple of months so it makes sense to make a move during this time. But what about selling your home in Winter? If it’s necessary, what’s the best way to handle it?

Photo of Selling Your Home in Winter
Selling Your Home in Winter can be a challenge. But these professional strategies are your best bet to selling.

This article gives you the top six strategies to sell your home this Winter. Take it from Louisville’s real estate expert, these are the big ones.

Let’s dig right in!

#1 Price at Fair Market Value

It’s always important to price the home appropriately at the very beginning of the listing period. This is even more important during Winter!

During the “selling season” you might get multiple offers which and drive up the sales price. With fewer buyers out in the cold, selling your home in Winter this is less likely to happen. List your home at market value from the start! Have your Realtor create a quality Competitive Market Analysis (CMA) to know your home’s true value and go from there.

Do not trust Zillow, or any automated valuation model (AVM), to tell you the value of your property. Zillow is notoriously poor at doing this. It’s far better to have an expert to actually visit the home to see first-hand its updates and current condition.

Your CMA should also give you the homes that your listing will be competing with. Information is king so you want as much as possible then… price it right!

#2 Make It Move-in Ready

Like never before, buyers are looking for move-in ready homes. So correct as many issues before putting your home on the market.

This is critical during the busy holiday season when people will have less time to make repairs or updates to the home before moving right in.

Don’t forget your home’s exterior! Especially the front door and area immediately nearby. Buyers will have extra time to evaluate your home while their agent works to get the key and get everyone inside.

#3 Professional Online Marketing

Almost 100% of home buyers see the house online before visiting it in person. Therefore it’s critical to make the best possible impression with your online listing.

Professional photographs are huge! Don’t skimp here. If your Realtor won’t cover the cost to have the house professional shot, maybe you’re working with the wrong Realtor.

Then your agent needs to use the latest online marketing strategies to make sure your home’s listing is in front of every home shopper in the world! It’s not rocket science, but there is an art to it.

#4 Smart Staging

Make sure your home gives off a warm, welcoming impression to everyone who enters. If you like to decorate your home for the Holidays, that’s completely fine as long as you do it tastefully.

Don’t go overboard with flashing lights, juvenile inflatables, or animated statues in the yard. Think more Martha Stewart and less Clark Griswold.

#5 Flexibility Is Fabulous

Make sure that you are ready when that call comes. If a buyer wants to see your home and only gives you 60 minutes notice, you still say, “Yes!” because Winter home shoppers are more serious home buyers. This could be the one!

People are always looking for things to be simple. If you make any prospective buyer jump through hoops to fit your schedule, that’s not nearly as good as accommodating their request.

Being flexible and being reasonable go hand in hand. Try to see yourself in the other person’s position and, in return, you might just get the quick sale.

#6 Highlight Your Home’s Strengths

It’s always a smart strategy to highlight your home’s strengths. This is especially true when there are fewer buyers out looking.

Maybe your home’s incredible backyard is what separates it from the competition. It could be your recently updated kitchen. Did you just put in a brand new HVAC system?

Work with your Realtor to see what buyers are “keying on” right now in their home search. Realtors that work with both buyers and sellers have more knowledge to pull from so use that to your advantage.

There you have it!  These are the six most important strategies for selling your home in Winter. Please share this article with your friends and if I can help you in any way, just ask!

The Best Month to Sell Your House May Surprise You

It’s no secret I’m a numbers geek. I believe if done correctly, stats tell us a great deal. So, I was quite surprised to see these results. Afer I collected all the data to determine the best month to sell your house I was blown away. Curious?

Photo of home in Summer - Best month to sell your house article
When selling your house, targeting a particular month or two can reap major rewards!

Ok, before we jump right in. A few things I’ve learned about home prices in my real estate career.

  1. Back in 2006, I knew more homes sold during the Summer months but I thought home prices moved ever so slowly higher, month after month after month. That’s wrong. That’s very wrong.
  2. By 2008, I now understood that these Summer months also returned greater home sale prices than even the months that followed that… same… year. Crazy, huh?
  3. Today in 2017, I (finally) decided to crunch the numbers to get a better grasp on the best month to sell your house.  Here’s my mantra that’s similar to Papa John’s. More data, better results. Let’s go!

Before I began this article, I thought the average prices would be very similar to a standard Bell curve.

Bell curve
This chart shows a normal distribution or Bell curve.

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Home Design Trends for 2017

Welcome! Home design trends aren’t always easy to spot. Some hang on for years then slowly fade away.

Other trends appear out of nowhere, so hot, then exit just as quickly. Then there are those interior design principles that are permanently good—they will never go out of style because they are simply so strong.

In this article, I’ll cover three types of trends. First, we’ll look at trends that are definitely IN! Next, we’ll hit a few that are out and not likely to return for some time.

Lastly, we’ll hit a few that are currently receiving mixed receptions. Some believe these are smokin’ hot trends while others disagree. Those will ultimately be up to you because, in the end, your home design is truly up to you.

Definitely IN Design Trends

Let’s jump right in! Here are 7 home design trends that are hot in 2017.

IN Trend #1: Mix Multiple Textures

Photo of bedroom that mixes multiple textures
One trick that great designers fully grasp is mixing multiple textures. Wood, metal, fabric, and stone can be combined in a myriad of ways. When done well, the result is spectacular.

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Best Bang for Your Buck in Louisville Real Estate 2017

Each year I update the data required to determine, where is the best bang for your buck in Louisville real estate. I began this practice back in 2014. I’ve added a couple new Louisville real estate areas to the mix but what has been most striking was the contrast between the most expensive areas and the best values.

Except, this year that’s not the case.

The most eye-popping thing this year is the huge increases we see in so many of these areas. Heck, 9 out of the 24 areas covered saw double-digit increases in the sold price per square foot. My goodness!

When I did this story back in 2015 there were just three.

The trend started last year with increased home values across Louisville and has kept its strength into 2017. Average home appreciation according to government statistics typically runs about 4% for Louisville, Kentucky. Current numbers are blowing those averages out of the water.

Enough talk, let’s get to the chart!

Bang for Your Buck in Louisville Real Estate chart for 2017
With this handy map, we can quickly see where your Louisville real estate dollars go the farthest.

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3 Most Powerful Ways to Make Your Real Estate Listing Stand Out

With so many homes available for sale, it’s vital to make your real estate listing stand out. Unless you are older than 71, your first step in buying a house is looking at homes online.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 99% of those 36 years old and younger use the Internet to look at photos, evaluate neighborhoods and compare properties. I imagine the percentage of all buyers is very close to that number, as well.

Photo of a great online photo that will make your real estate listing stand out
High-quality, professional photographs are huge for online listings. This one was taken by Justin Jordan. Isn’t it awesome?

The Internet is now ubiquitous. Whether you are looking to buy or not, looking at homes for sale online is a favorite pastime of many Americans just to browse and see “what’s out there.”

Websites like Pinterest have largely grown up out of the desire to see pretty things. Gorgeous real estate certainly fits in that category!

So given that almost everyone who might be buying a home will be looking online, how do you make sure people are focused on your home’s listing and not your competitors?

I’ve identified the three most powerful ways to make your real estate listing stand out.

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6 Stellar Tips For Millennial Home Buyers

The housing market is ever changing. Why would the twenty-tens be any different? I’m presenting these tips for millennial home buyers because due to your particular preferences and the speed of our real estate market, home buying today is a bigger challenge than a decade ago.

Photo of a cute home for my Tips For Millennial Home Buyers article
If you’re a millennial, I already know you have a smart phone nearby. Take advantage of great apps like this great Remax one that makes looking at homes for sale in Louisville easier than ever before.

I hope these six tips will help you going forward. If you have any specific questions, I’m happy to help, please contact me.

Tip #1: Should You Even Buy?

The first tip, and most important, is whether you should even buy a home at all. Some should. Others shouldn’t. How can you tell?

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How Fast Are Homes Selling in My Area

Photo of people exchanging home keys.
Homes are selling extremely fast in our current market.

So, you want to know how fast are homes selling in my area? Well, if you live here in Louisville, KY I can tell you. Otherwise, you’ll have to continue searching my friend.

Even better, I will give you more! I won’t just give you an easy-to-find, city wide metric. Nor will I used generalized terms like “blazingly fast” but instead, I’ll give you the up-to-the-minute raw data. Yeah, I’m pretty much a data nerd. 😉

But since I’m a nice nerd, I’ll give you this information first, for free. Secondly, I’ll also give it to you in picture form and then also the raw data. I aim to please.

So let’s go!

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8 Traits of the Most Successful Real Estate Agents

Photo of most successful real estate agents
Most successful real estate agents have these 8 traits.

Now that I’ve been in “the business” for almost a dozen years, I’ve learned a thing or two about what makes the most successful real estate agents. There are other factors as well, but these traits come first.

Get these down and you’re well on your way to real estate success!

#1 Trustworthy

Most real estate business is through word of mouth. True story. So, when someone asks their friend, “Do you know a good Realtor?” Only those that had great experiences with their trusted Realtor, will enthusiastically share that agent’s name.

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