Open House Etiquette
By Mike Hall, Broker/Agent/Owner
Home buyers can be courteous guests!
If you’re trying to buy a house is this complicated Louisville market, you might be tempted to bend some etiquette rules to gain an edge in the process. But you don’t have to do that — especially if you have one of our agents serving on your behalf. We promise to look out for you and help you find the best house for you or your family.
In the meantime, keep these 11 guidelines in mind when you visit potential homes, and everyone will have a more enjoyable experience:
- Be one time, with plenty of margin to adequately look at the house in the time allotted.
- Wipe your feet before you go in, especially in these wet, wintry months.
- Register your name for follow-up and security.
- If you have your own Realtor, let the host Realtor know.
- If you have to bring your kids, make sure they’re good guests, too.
- Don’t crowd other guests who are viewing the home.
- Nobody likes a snoop. Avoid going through the owner’s belongings.
- Keep your design opinions to yourself, not shared with the owner.
- Schedule a private follow-up appointment if you want to check plumbing or electrical concerns.
- If you want to open closets or take photos, ask permission first.
- Be efficient and mindful of time. You can always schedule a time to return for a more thorough exploration.
A Selling Q&A during COVID-19
by Mike Hall, Agent, Owner, Broker
Selling during a pandemic presents several new challenges
Thinking of selling your house? If it feels like a daunting process – especially during a pandemic – rest assured your Realtor will guide you through the steps. Discuss the following items with a Red Edge agent to make sure it’s a safe transaction for everyone involved.
- What is the housing market like right now? Will it take longer to sell during this crisis? Or is there a shortage of homes for sale in Louisville?
- Should I skip the open house? What are the rules for an open house in Kentucky?
- What about a “showing” kit? Do I need to supply gloves, shoe booties, masks and hand sanitizer?
- What are the best ways to encourage hand washing? Consider having bottles of disinfectant in strategic places and stock the bathrooms.
- How should I disinfect the house? You should wipe down all surfaces with disinfectant and antibacterial cleaners before and after each showing.
- Does it make sense to rent an interim house? Having some place else to live while you show your house will help keep the place spotless.
- What about setting up virtual showings? A virtual presentation of your house is 100% safe.
- Should I consider “E-Offers”? Do I need to make arrangements to accommodate online buyers?
- What kind of delays should I expect? Inspections and appraisals may take longer during the current health situation.
- Should I consider an online/remote closing? Keeping buyers and sellers in separate locations is another good safety measure.
It is possible to sell your house during COVID-19 and we’ll make safety a top priority.
Should you sell now or wait for another time?
By Mike Hall, Broker/Agent/Owner
This fall could be the best time to sell your home!
Many sellers would like to wait until the spring to put their house on the market, but there can certainly be some benefits to selling in the fall, especially in this current housing market. Of course, there are still some challenges and benefits to a fall listing. It’s good to explore what you might encounter. If you’re ready to put your home on the market, talk to a Red Edge agent today about your options!
- There are usually fewer buyers looking to move in the fall.
- The weather is unpredictable and a steady flow of autumn leaves can make maintaining your curb appeal trickier.
- Home buyers with kids usually want to be settled before the school year or wait until a good time of transition.
- Work, school, and holiday schedules make it more complicated to coordinate good times to show your property.
- Serious buyers are highly motivated to close and move forward before the holidays and inconvenient winter weather.
- The change in season can make your home feel that much more welcoming and cozier.
- Many home buyers aren’t parents of school-aged kids, and they’re not worried about coordinating around student needs.
- The early fall is still light enough for weeknight showings and temperate enough for weekend open houses.
No Boxes of Chocolates for These Practical Gifters
By Mike Hall, Broker/Agent/Owner
The best Valentine’s Day gifts for the down-to-earth gifter.
If you’re a homeowner with a practical bend, here are some great Valentine’s gifts for the homeowner sweetheart in your life. Of course, if you romanticize about finding the home of your dreams, contact an agent today about how we can help you find your perfect love nest.
- Personalized throw pillows – Show off your affection with cozy home décor!
- Garden tools, mulch, or wildflower seeds – Because love, like gardens, requires care and attention.
- Hammers, nails, and screwdrivers – A quick transition from “Here, honey” to “Honey-do.”
- Custom wall art – Turn a favorite photo into a canvas or use map art to highlight key areas from your memories together.
- New paint – Because a fresh coat of paint brings new color into your relationship!
- Outside furniture – Imagine summer evenings together on the porch swing or matching adirondack chairs.
- Pots and pans – A new skillet is the hottest way to say I love you.
6 tips for keeping your cool when the market’s hot
by MIKE HALL, Owner/ Broker/ Agent
That refresh button is a favorite among Louisville home buyers during selling season. But when the market's hot, waiting for the perfect home to pop up on Zillow often means it’s too late. You’ll need a strategy to hook your dream home before it’s under contract. Make a game plan, and ease your worries with these secrets from the pros.
Establish a budget. Simple online tools like this one will help you decide what you can afford. Making a budget and sticking to it will simplify your Louisville home buying process and reduce stress in the long run.
Play detective. Know the neighborhood? Want a particular floor plan? Ask questions and get answers. Hone your Louisville home search before you’ve even been to a showing.
Get pre-approved. Begin the pre-approval process with your lender so you’ll be ready when your dream home comes along. Not to mention, this simple tool packs some bargaining power when you’ve got competition on your offer. Remember, pre-approvals often only last for 60-90 days.
Have the right team in place before selling season. Even before you’ve found the home you love, talk to a knowledgeable Louisville agent who can customize your search. Say goodbye to hunting down a home; a tailored list of Louisville homes will land right in your inbox daily.
Hire an agent who knows your area. A qualified agent can act quickly because he or she knows price ranges, neighborhoods and selling trends in your search area. With a little networking, agents can even get the scoop on properties that haven’t yet hit the market.
Get your ducks in a row. When the market’s hot, you’ll need to be prepared to fall in love quickly. Whether it's listing your current home or lining up lending, you’ll want to be ready to make an offer when the right home comes along.
That is the question for Louisvile buyers
by MIKE HALL, Owner/Broker/Agent
So you’re rolling around the idea of buying a house in Louisville. With all the beautiful new neighborhoods popping up around Louisville, you have to wonder: buy or build?
Fleshing out your expectations starts long before your Louisville-area home search, and HGTV’s article on buying vs. building has just what you need to weigh the options. Preferences often arise when we see something we don’t like, but we can sort through a few options to get you headed toward your dream home in Louisville. Whether you’re building or buying, give me a call; I’m happy to help.
Tips for a Springtime sale
by MIKE HALL Owner/Broker/Agent
We made it through this long winter! With a colder, drier spring than usual in Louisville, the warm temperate weather seems to have finally steadied out. As many home buyers decide to stay put through the cold winter months, there are many eyes ready to see what is on the market now. Here are a few ideas to catch their attention.
Make sure your home is as great on the inside as it is on the outside. While what is inside matters most, the first impression does come from your home's exterior! Make sure your lawn is in good shape, plant or pot some colorful flowers, give your door and shutters a fresh coat of paint, and mulch your flower beds. A little outdoor work goes a long way.
Be proactive about making fixes, rather than putting them off. Things always come up on home inspections, so get needed repairs. Costly surprises after an offer is extended are very disappointing. New home buyers want minimal fixing-up, so keep your prospect ideal.
Feeling adventurous? Try some of these home improvement paint DIY’s.
by MIKE HALL, Owner/Broker/Agent
- Re-paint your front door. Add some eye-catching color for a new updated façade.
- Paint over old dingy tiles. You can find specific oil-paint for tiles. A simple all-white approach or black and white tile is a classic.
- Paint outlet and light switch plates to match background color.
- Re-paint your kitchen cabinets. This goes for bathroom cabinets as well. Buying new cabinets is expensive. If your cabinets are still a sturdy quality, just give a few coats of fresh paint. Sticking with white or light neutral colors will offer a bright, clean feel.
- Re-paint your dated faucets. Stuck with dated gold faucets? All you need is some guard tape, a primer and oil-based paint.
- Paint dated bathtub. Does your bathtub happen to be baby blue, or powder pink? Sand the sucker down and buy a bathtub painting kit for another oil-based paint throwdown.
Without these tips, you may be spinning your wheels trying to find the perfect house.
by MIKE HALL, Broker/Owner/Agent
I'm here to help you find your dream home. Budget in mind, you'll have to probably make some sacrifices unless you belong to the Vanderpump family or the Kardashians. Here goes:
1. Set your expectations. Do a little online research about what homes are available in your price range.
2. Roll up your sleeves. If location is important to you, you may have to do a little work to your dream home to make it a dream.
3. Ease up after home inspections. Don't expect a buyer to perfect the home they are trying to sell. Work with me on what's reasonable. We don't want to turn the seller off with a laundry list of little to-do's that could potentially jeopardize your getting the house.
Need help locating that home. Just hit me up. I'm here to help.
Tackle these tips to get your home list-ready for spring.
If you're going to the trouble of listing your home, you probably want to get the most money out of your house as possible. After reading through the latest edition of Consumer Reports, they have five tips that are invaluable when it comes to getting top dollar.
1. Declutter. If your home is messy, disorganized or has a weird smell coming from the kitchen (or anywhere in the house), you need to clear it out. I can help point out the clutter that needs to disappear or even suggest a professional to help your home look and smell fantastic.
2. Update the kitchen. One of the easiest ways to create a coordinated look in the kitchen for less is new appliances. You can spend around $2,000 and that investment will easily recoup itself when buyers assess your home's worth. Other easy ways to spruce it up, new paint, better hardware and new curtains. Voila, you just earned about 3 to 7 percent in returns.
3. Better the bathroom. From updating the fixtures to replacing that builder mirror, buyers like a clean and well-maintained bathroom. Throw in some new grout and caulk, and buyers' eyes will light up.
4. Paint a couple rooms. Again, I'm not saying you need to paint every room in your house. But consider painting the kitchen and the bathroom in neutral colors. Then, if any of your rooms is painted a wild hot pink or dep red, spend a weekend dulling it down with a white, gray or beige paint.
5. Plant some flowers. Increase your curb appeal with decent landscaping a a nicely mowed lawn. If you can invest about $7,500 on things like a new roof, newly painted front door and full yard cleanup, you could possibly raise the asking price up to $10,000.
Refresh Your Home without Spending Money
Hosting family for the holidays probably puts you on high alert as to the coziness of your home. Sitting around the house daydreaming of a new floor here or a new shelf there may not fit in the budget.
If you're bored with your home, take some time to take stock. Think about where furniture could be moved to give a different look. That picture that's always hung in your bedroom may take on new life in your foyer. Or that cabinet that heralded in the bathroom could store some toys in your kid's room
Be creative and challenge where things have always been. Surprise your mom when she comes over for turkey. And feel refreshed without spending your Christmas money on home goods.
Tackle your to-do list before the cold sets in
We've got a few weekends ahead where the temperatures may be chilly but not too cold to get your house ready for the winter.
Even if you're not in the market to sell, keeping your home up-to-date and well-maintained is smart so that when you're ready, so is your house. I found this to-do listed from a trusted source for all things home - Better Homes and Gardens.
Keep the winter cold out and your home nice and cozy (and dry).
Clean your gutters to keep your basement dry.
A wet basement is no fun. It creates a musty smell and depending on how wet it is, can create a mess.
If your basement is leaking, consider the source. Could it be clogged gutters? I always reccomend a thorough gutter cleaning. If your gutters are clogged, water runs down your house and stays close to the foundation. This is not good.
Water within six inches of your house is just waiting to sneak in. An unwanted houseguest that will come inside before it goes away.
Being proactive about your gutters helps keep moisture out. If you need a recommendation for a contractor, send me an email to MikeHall@RedEdgeLive.com
Louisville Supply and Demand Situation Good for Sellers
By MIKE HALL, Broker and Real Estate Agent at Red Edge Realty
A recent article in Louisville’s Courier Journal, pulled a lot of stats for the current real estate market. One number you can’t ignore, the shortage of homes for sale in Louisville.
In three years, the number of homes for sale in Louisville has dropped by 24 percent according to the story. With just 6,000 homes currently for sale, why not list yours?
If you’ve been thinking about listing your home, now is a great time. Many sellers are getting multiple offers and getting their asking prices. I’ve even seen some sellers get more than their asking price. The first step is to know what your home is worth. You can get a free assessment using Red Edge’s current market value tool. After you’ve done that – or even before – give me or one of my agents a call. We can help you determine the price that will sell your home so you can move to where you want to go whether you’re buying a bigger home or downsizing to a condo.
Check out my 2013 sales. I stand behind my numbers and I know I can help you.
Homes listed 10 percent over market value will get overlooked.
Thinking about squeezing an extra $5 to $10K when listing your home? It’s a gamble.
Buyers use the Internet every day to research Louisville homes for sale. They often search by price before any other factor. If comparable houses in your area are listed around $210,000 and market value for them is $200,000 while your listing comes in at $220,000, buyers will often think the homeowner is unwilling to negotiate down 10 percent to the $200,000 market value.
Avoid three pitfalls when listing your home
- As mentioned above, you know you’ll come down off the price, so you list higher. Yes, but the buyer isn’t inside your noggin’. And listing a home over 5 percent above market value will make buyers pass your home buy or not offer as they don't think an owner will ever drop 10 percent since the average drop is 4.5 percent in the Louisville area.
- You’ve put money into your house and you expect to get your investment back. This is tricky – it depends on the renovation. If you’ve put money into your kitchen, you can recoup some of that when selling, but if you developed the Garden of Eden in your backyard complete with goldfish pond, that doesn’t quite have a universal appeal.
- You really, really need the extra money. I can appreciate this one, and so can everyone else. But, the buyer doesn’t really care about your financial situation. They want to pay what’s fair for the home no matter if you need the extra moolah to pay off debt or pour into your new abode.
Buying a home can be overwhelming.
It’s one of the biggest transactions you’ll ever register in your whole life.
Whether you’re overwhelmed by the process or innocent enough to think it’s easy, I’ve outlined a few major steps to take.
1. Build your credit. Open a credit line and make regular payments. This will help you establish your credit score and help you get a loan. Get pre-qualified
2. Determine how much you can afford and where you want to live. Here’s a mortgage calculator that can help you figure out what will fit in your budget. Drive around the city to find locations that sing to you. Set up Louisville real estate alerts.
3. Find a real estate agent you like and trust him or her. Agents can help you navigate through the details of buying a home.
Closing on a home can be stressful. Use a professional to help you through with lots of industry knowledge. We’ve got great agents (of course I think so – I hired them).
Contact any one of them for a great first experience with a Red Edge agent. To read more about the process, read all the steps here.
Click here to contact us for any questions you may have.
Lose weight, get fit commercials are overloading the TV. While the New Year prompts many of us to improve the way we look, I think it’s also a good time to set some goals to improve your home, too.
Keep your house in top notch condition during 2013 so that when you’re ready to sell, you’re not overwhelmed with a list of home showing to-dos. Here are some easy updates that will keep your home current:
Kitchen: Depending on your budget, you may want to paint the cabinets and install new cabinet knobs and drawer pulls and on the high end, buying new appliances will update your look.
Bath: Simple upgrades like new bathroom fixtures and soft towels will go a long way. If your kitchen looks like it just transported itself from the 80s, you may need to budget to replace the tub, sink, and toilet.
Bedroom: Focus on the master and think tranquility. Maybe buy a new bedspread and coat the room in a nice soft paint to appeal to more buyers.
For more tips, I like MSN Real Estate’s advice.
I’m looking over the success we had last year, and I just keep thinking how lucky I am. I’m running a small business in Louisville, Ky. – a great place to live, I’ve got a great family, and I’ve got customers who are loyal to Red Edge Realty. This year alone, we sold 87 homes.
I’m not one to brag, okay, maybe I am a little, but my agents have done really well this year, too. Leslie, Brittany, Doug, and Daniel have helped take this company further and really have a handle on Louisville Real Estate.
Again, I can’t tell our customers enough just how much I appreciate them. A lot of small businesses are struggling in this economy, but we are making it. You’ve helped this business owner’s story a success. I wish you peace and prosperity in the New Year. Let us know if we can help you buy or sell a home in 2013.
Red Edge Realty
I’m extending the red/blue rivalry in the Commonwealth beyond sports. When comparing list prices for homes for sale, Louisville gives home buyers a better value than its slightly southern counterpart – Lexington.
In fact, the average list price in Louisville is about $10,000 less than Lexington according to a recent article I read on the Louisville Business Journal website, “Average home price in Louisville beats much of nation.” 1. Louisville home prices for a four-bedroom, two-bath home averages at $182,763 compared to a national average of $290,000.
This report drives home what I tell my buyers. Louisville is the greatest city to buy your first home, buy a house the next size up, and get a great value.
Click here to find out how much home you can afford. Click here for the full article.
1. Eigelbach, Kevin. “Report: Average home price in Louisville beats much of nation.” The Business Journal. Nov. 29, 2012. www.bizjournals.com. Accessed on Dec. 11, 2012. http://www.bizjournals.com/louisville/news/2012/11/29/report-average-home-price-in.html