Understand This Market Data to Achieve Real Estate Success in Louisville!

Unlocking the Power of Data in Real Estate

In the competitive world of real estate, the savvy individual knows that success is not just about what you say, but how deeply you understand the market before you speak. Stephen Covey’s fifth principle, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood,” rings especially true in this context. For Louisville homeowners and real estate agents alike, a profound comprehension of local market trends is not a mere advantage—it is an absolute necessity. This article is your lens into the Louisville market, providing the clarity needed to harness its full potential.

The Heartbeat of the Market: Weekly Sales Counts

Bar chart illustrating the number of weekly home sales in Louisville, KY, for single-family residences, showing a peak in the second week followed by a slight decline.


Ups and Downs

The weekly pulse of Louisville’s real estate market beats clearly through the data provided by the MLS. Observing the initial six weeks of 2024, we witness a fluctuating pattern of sales, with peaks that speak to healthy buyer interest and dips that suggest market hesitations. Understanding this rhythm is crucial for anyone looking to enter the market, be it for listing a home or preparing for an appraisal. The key is not just to observe but to act on these insights and to let them help to manage your expectations.

Price Point Precision: Navigating the Sold Price Distribution

Histogram displaying the distribution of sold prices for homes in Louisville, KY, indicating the most common price range falls between $200,000 and $300,000.


Finding the Sweet Spot

The distribution of sold prices in Louisville (for 1/1/24 – 2/11/24) reveals where the action truly is. Most homes changing hands fall within the $200,000 to $300,000 range, providing a clear target zone for sellers aiming to price their homes competitively. But the market is not one-size-fits-all. Neighborhood-specific trends could shift your home’s position on this spectrum, highlighting the importance of tailoring your strategy to the nuances of your locale.


The Timing of the Sale: Days on Market Analysis

Bar graph showing the weekly average and median Days on Market (DOM) for closed single-family residence sales in Louisville, KY, with fluctuating times across different weeks.


Median vs. Average: A More Accurate Market Tempo

The Days on Market (DOM) chart is a crucial indicator of how swiftly homes are moving in Louisville. Unlike the average DOM, which can be distorted by outliers, the median DOM offers a more faithful representation of what sellers can expect. This distinction is pivotal, as it can shape both the pricing strategy and the marketing approach for your home listing.

Understanding the complex layers of the market goes beyond the surface numbers. By dissecting data, real estate professionals can detect micro-trends that influence broader market movements. For example, a sudden increase in the DOM may indicate a shift towards a buyer’s market, necessitating a more aggressive marketing approach or a reassessment of pricing strategies.


The Art of Negotiation

A deep understanding of market data not only empowers realtors to provide exceptional service but also equips homeowners to engage in informed negotiations. Knowledge of the median sold prices and DOM empowers homeowner to enter negotiations with realistic expectations and the confidence to make or accept offers that are in line with market dynamics.


Real-Life Success Stories: Data-Driven Decisions in Action

When appraising a home in Louisville, a family learned firsthand the power of market knowledge. They needed to sell their mother’s home and got a low offer. With my help, they saw that homes in her area were selling fast, often in less than a month. So, they didn’t have to take the first offer that came along. By setting a competitive price that matched what other homes were selling for, they were in a strong position to sell quickly and for a better price. This real-world example shows why it’s smart to understand the local real estate scene before setting a price or accepting an offer.


Adapting to Market Shifts: Staying Ahead of the Curve

The ability to adapt to market shifts is what sets apart successful real estate professionals and savvy homeowners. Regular analysis of sales counts, price distributions, and DOM trends helps anticipate market changes, allowing for proactive rather than reactive strategies.

In wrapping up our comprehensive analysis of Louisville’s real estate market, we’ve uncovered the profound impact of data on every facet of real estate transactions. By adhering to Stephen Covey’s timeless principle and applying it to the interpretation of market data, we’ve demonstrated how it can lead to more strategic and successful real estate decisions. From the valuation of a property to the intricacies of listing and negotiating, a data-driven, seek first to understand approach is not just advantageous—it’s indispensable. The market speaks a language of numbers and trends; fluency in this language is what leads to confident, informed, and successful outcomes.

How Inaccurate Measurements Could Derail Your Real Estate Deal




The Tale of the “Larger” Home



Let me take you back to a property I once appraised. The MLS Listing advertised the home as a cozy 1,300 square feet. However, upon measurement, it was only a 1,000-square-foot dwelling. Sure, the market was on an upswing, and the list price fortunately equated to the market value, but what if the market had been stagnant or declining?

The discrepancy could have had serious repercussions. The potential buyers were under the illusion that they were getting a larger home. Realtors, let this be a cautionary tale. Accurate measurements are not just optional; they are critical. Let’s dive in.


The ANSI Standard: A New Measure of Accountability

As of 2022, appraisers are mandated to follow the ANSI® Z765-2021 standard, also known as the ANSI standard, for measuring homes. This standard covers everything from the gross living area to non-gross living areas like basements and additional structures. Fannie Mae’s selling guidelines are crystal clear: if your appraisals require interior and exterior inspections, you must adhere to this standard. Failure to do so renders the appraisal unacceptable.

Why is this important for realtors? Because it sets a standardized framework that you should also be following. If appraisers have to be this meticulous, why shouldn’t you? This leads me to my next point.


Taking Action: Measure Twice, List Once

If you find yourself in doubt, don’t hesitate to get your listing measured. I offer this service and am more than happy to assist. However, it’s not just about outsourcing; you can also take matters into your own hands. Measuring a home isn’t rocket science, but it does require careful attention to detail.

Here are some tools you might consider to ensure accurate measurements:
– Laser Distance Measurer: For quick and precise measurements.
– CubiCasa – a digital resource to create floor plans
– A Clipboard and Graph Paper: The old-fashioned but effective way to jot down measurements as you go.

Conclusion: The True Value of Accuracy

Remember, when a buyer or seller is looking at a home, they are envisioning a future, a lifestyle. Your listing sets the stage for that vision. An inaccurate listing not only disrupts that vision but could potentially lead to legal complications. In this ever-evolving industry, staying ahead means adapting to changes and upholding high standards of accuracy and integrity.

As the old adage goes, “Measure twice, cut once.” In our world, it’s more like, “Measure twice, list once.” May we all strive for this level of diligence in our practice.

The Sales Comparison Approach: Pros, Cons, and Best Practices

Welcome to the fascinating world of real estate! Ever wondered how a property’s worth is decided? There’s a method called the Sales Comparison Approach (SCA). This short article will help you understand what it is and how it’s used. Plus, we’ll discuss the steps involved, and its advantages and limitations. So, let’s jump in!

Understanding the Sales Comparison Approach

The Sales Comparison Approach is a way to determine a property’s value. It’s widely used in real estate because it compares the property to similar ones that have recently been sold. This way, the value is based on what buyers are actually willing to pay.


Steps Involved in the Sales Comparison Approach

Now, how does it work? A major key for the appraiser is to determine the pool of similar properties, called “comparables.” In an ideal world, these homes would have sold within the past 3 to 6 months. However, appraisers can go back in time as far as necessary. After selecting 3 to 6 comparables to serve as representatives, they make adjustments where appropriate.

For example, if your house has a new roof but the comparable doesn’t, they’ll add the “contributory value” of a new roof to the comparable’s price. Contributory value is essentially “how much more the average person will pay because of that feature.” By making this adjustment to the comparable sale, the price reflects what it would be if it had a new roof, like your house!


The Use of the Sales Comparison Approach in Various Property Types

SCA can be used for different types of properties. Whether it’s a condo in the city, a house in the suburbs, or a farmhouse in the country, SCA can be helpful. However, each type of property has its own considerations. For instance, a farmhouse’s value might be influenced more by its land size than a city condo, which has no land.


Advantages and Limitations of the Sales Comparison Approach

The best thing about SCA is that it’s based on real sales, giving a realistic value. But it’s not perfect. Sometimes it’s hard to find comparables, and no two properties are the same, so making adjustments isn’t always straightforward. But don’t worry! Skilled appraisers know how to handle these challenges.


So, there you have it! The Sales Comparison Approach is a key part of real estate appraisals. It’s useful but also has its challenges. By understanding it, you’re now better equipped to deal with property valuations. For more insights into real estate, consider joining our Facebook group. It’s a great place to learn and ask questions. Happy appraising!

Renovating Your Home? Beware of Three Updates that Don’t Add Value!

Everyone wants a “turn-key” home these days. That means once they turn the key and open the front door, the house is “ready to use” with no repairs needed.

If you’re thinking of selling your parent’s home, you may not be able to make it turn-key. But no doubt you would like to make it more marketable. I say, go for it! I am an advocate of getting as much as you can for your home. One thing you don’t want to do is spend money on the wrong updates. Why is that?

Your goal is to update your home to get a higher appraised value. But sometimes the updates you make can have the opposite effect. Here are the three worst renovations:


1) High-end appliances or adding more living area

Such updates may not increase the value of your home if these are uncommon in your neighborhood.

Buyers aren’t going to spend thousands of dollars more for “bigger and better” features if the average sale price for homes in the area is lower.

2) Specialized /personalized features

Over-personalized improvements may not appeal to potential buyers. You may be a UK fan, but the UK tiling on the bathroom floor may not appeal to the UofL buyer that is considering your home. Try to keep the updates neutral since buyers won’t pay more for homes with several features they will need to remove or replace.

3) DIY projects

When it comes to remodels or repairs, it is best to invest in hiring a professional to do the job. Unless, of course, you have the home improvement skills to pay the bills.

There’s no doubt that do-it-yourself improvements can save you money initially. But, there is a risk of compromising the condition of the project, and in turn, decreasing the home value.

Key takeaways…

Some key takeaways when thinking of updating your parent’s home are:

1. consider your market – is the update you are considering common and/or in-demand in your area?

2. keep home improvements consistent with the rest of the home, and the rest of the neighborhood.

3. use a professional to do the work, this way the quality of the update is not compromised.

Also, It is also a good idea to consult a real estate appraiser to determine which improvements will get you the best value for your home.

To learn what your home would be worth after making certain repairs, give me a call, I’d be happy to help.

How to Read an Appraisal Report

When you get your appraisal report it may sometimes be twenty to thirty pages in length. This may be overwhelming to digest. This article will let you know what are some important elements of your report.

Most appraisal reports will consist of the same main parts: basic property information, comparable sales information, and value conclusion.

Here is a guide where how these three items are often laid out in the appraisal report: 

A Description of the property (land and the improvements on the land)

The beginning of the report will typically contain the property’s basic information. The address, property tax, the type of property, the size of the land, any updated or renovations done, and other general information. It is important that the information in this part is all correct to ensure that the appraiser can find and compare it to similar homes to come up with an accurate value. 

        Pro Tip – If you are the homeowner ordering the appraiser to help you determine the market value in order to sell the property, then this information is already known. Therefore, this section may not need to be as extensive.


The next prominent section of the appraisal is where you can find the homes that the appraiser used to compare to your property, and their corresponding sales prices. Here you may also notice adjustments in the comparables values. These are made in order to estimate the market value of your home. The appraiser should be able to show the bases for these adjustments.


At the bottom of the page featuring comparable sales is one of the most important parts of the appraisal for you, the client, your home’s value. To better understand HOW the appraiser arrived at this number, look for the reconciliation or the summary conclusion section. 

This is by no means an exhaustive list of what is included in an appraisal report.  However, now that you have an idea of three important sections (property description, comparables analysis and value conclusion/reconciliation, keep in mind that you should carefully read it and check if there are any errors, missing information, and whether or not you feel that the final value is correctly justified.  A good appraiser will not be concerned if you call to ask a question or two about his conclusions.

Download the eBook to see where you can find these important sections in the appraisal report.

5 Questions to Help You Choose the Right Appraiser

You know you need an appraiser to value your home, but when you look online, there are so many to choose from! Sure price may be a factor, but simply going for the cheapest appraiser may likely lead to disaster! But what else do you ask the appraiser when you give him or her a call????

This blog post will guide you through that process….

It is important to choose the right appraiser to value your property because it will save you a lot of time, money, and energy. In order to determine the best appraiser for you home, here are some categories of questions you can ask before you hire:

‘Basic information’ Questions

You should get to know the appraiser you are going to work with. You may ask if they work alone or with a company, if they work full time as an appraiser, how many appraisals they usually do in a day, or a week. Also get their contact information and when is a good time, you can reach them. This can make communication easier especially when you might need to ask questions or provide information about anything concerning the appraisal.

Licensure Questions

Ask if they are licensed or certified, and if they have other professional designations or are continuing any education – This would let you know if the appraiser is qualified to do the job and also what types of properties they are permitted to appraise. Certified appraisers will have completed more basic education and will generally have a greater depth of experience compared to licensed appraisers.

Experience Questions

How long have they been appraising property? Are there specific types of properties they appraise? – The appraiser’s experience and knowledge in the field are very important things to consider. It is recommended that the appraiser you hire has at least 5 years of experience for simple properties and at least 10 years for more complex ones. You would also want to know their experience in appraising homes similar to yours, especially if your home has some special features.

Time-frame Questions

Ask when the report will be ready – This will ensure when you can expect the report to be ready. It is important to establish a date to avoid delays to the whole process of buying or selling a home.

And perhaps the all time favorite…

Money Questions

Ask what is their fee and the basis of what they charge – it is advised that you do not hire an appraiser that charges a percentage of the appraised value. This indicates a bias in the home’s value. Appraisal fees vary depending on your location so researching the usual cost for your area and type of home will help give you an idea of the range.

It goes without saying that you need to be able to know and trust the professional who will have access to your home and accurately determine its value. Being ready with questions of the main things you need to know about the appraiser will ultimately help you to select the right person for the Job.