Real Estate Success in 2024: Begin with the End in Mind

Imagine uncovering a secret blueprint that could transform your approach to real estate. This blueprint merges Stephen Covey’s timeless wisdom from “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” with the dynamic realm of real estate transactions. The focus here is on the second habit, “Begin with the End in Mind,” a principle I believe is key to navigating the ever-evolving real estate market.

In the following sections, we’ll explore recent Louisville, KY real estate trends and uncover often-overlooked insights.

As we do, we can apply the ‘Begin With the End in Mind’ approach to our 2024 Real Estate Strategy. This isn’t just about goal setting—it’s about using market analytics to guide our decisions in real estate.

Let’s dive into how this forward-thinking principle can sharpen our competitive edge.

Q1 Insights: Setting the Stage for Annual Market TrendsBar chart displaying the quarterly median sale prices for single-family homes in Jefferson County, KY from 2021 to 2023. Each year is color-coded, with consistent growth in median prices over the quarters. The first quarter starts at $214,900 in 2021 and rises to $240,000 in 2023. The chart shows seasonal and annual trends, with peaks typically in the second and third quarters each year. This visual data, excluding condo sales, is a valuable indicator of the local housing market's health and trajectory, sourced from


Let’s examine the market trends reflected in the quarterly median sale prices from 2021 to 2023 in Louisville, KY. Despite a reduction in the number of homes sold, which isn’t shown on this graph, there’s a clear upward trend in the prices that buyers have been willing to pay.

Starting each year with a glance at Q1, we can observe that 2023 opened with home prices that were higher than at the beginning of 2022, which also had surpassed 2021’s figures. This consistent rise in initial prices year over year is a positive indicator of growing market strength.

However, looking at the year’s end, we notice a slight deviation from this trend. While the closing prices of 2022 improved upon 2021, the same cannot be said for the transition from 2022 to 2023.

Although the prices didn’t climb higher at the end of 2023, they didn’t fall either, maintaining the gains from earlier in the year. This stability, rather than a decline, suggests that the market is holding its value well, which is reassuring for both current and prospective homeowners.

The Closing Quarter: Reflecting on Market Resilience

Bar chart showing the median sale prices for single-family homes in Jefferson County, KY, comparing Q1 and Q4 from 2021 to 2023. Each year shows an increase in median prices from the first to the fourth quarter, indicating potential seasonal growth or a general rise in property values. For example, in 2021 Q1 median sale price was $214,900, rising to $239,450 in Q4, while in 2023 Q1 started at $240,000 and Q4 reached $250,000. Data is sourced from

Consistency is key in the real estate market, and the trends in Jefferson County, KY, reaffirm this saying. If we take a closer look at how property prices have behaved at the start and end of each year from 2021 to 2023, we find an encouraging pattern.

Despite the expected seasonal dip towards the end of the year, the big picture is one of growth. Specifically, the comparison between Q1 and Q4 within the same year shows us that regardless of the short-term fluctuations, the overall value of homes has been on an upward trajectory.

For instance, in Louisville, KY as a whole, the opening quarter’s median sale prices have consistently been lower than those at the year’s close. This tells us that homeowners who hold onto their properties throughout the year could see a natural increase in their homes’ market value.

It’s a reassuring sign for long-term investors and a helpful metric for potential sellers planning the right time to enter the market. This trend highlights the resilience of the local real estate market.

It also demonstrates that even with the anticipated year-end slowdown, property values in Louisville, have maintained a positive momentum.

New Year’s Market Outlook: Beyond the Initial Dip
Bar chart showing the quarterly median sales price comparison for Q4 of one year to Q1 of the following year in Jefferson County, KY. The chart indicates a decrease from Q4 2021's median sales price of $239,450 to Q1 2022's $230,301, followed by an increase to $240,000 in Q1 2023. This trend suggests a seasonal variation in median sale prices for single-family homes. Data sourced from


As we turn the calendar page each year, we see a recurring theme in the housing market. The beginning of the year often starts with a modest reset in home prices from their previous year-end highs.

This dip, however, is just a small chapter in an overall success story, as the trend line since 2021 is pointing upwards. This pattern means that while home values might momentarily soften as the New Year chimes in, they generally pick up steam as the months roll by, pushing the market value higher as the year progresses.

This trend is crucial for both buyers and sellers to keep in mind. If you’re considering selling your home and you’ve recently seen a property similar to yours sell at a peak price, it’s important to temper expectations.

A home appraisal report may well contain a valuation adjustment in line with the current market phase, particularly if there’s been a recent cooling. It’s a reminder to always be attuned to the rhythm of the market and to set your strategies accordingly.

Why Pay Attention to These Trends?

In the spirit of Stephen Covey’s second habit, “Begin with the End in Mind,” we turned our focus to the critical importance of market trends in the real estate landscape.

It’s not just a matter of peering through the data; it’s about understanding the narrative behind the numbers. This is where the essence of strategic foresight in real estate comes to life.

Paying close attention to the highs and lows of the market allows us to navigate with precision and purpose, ensuring that each step taken is a deliberate stride towards our ultimate objectives.

Maximizing Returns:

Just as a captain charts a course by the stars, real estate market trends serve as our celestial guides, helping us navigate towards maximum profitability.

Recognizing the right time to list or purchase can make all the difference in the financial outcome of a real estate transaction. In Louisville, KY, for example, the upward trend in home prices, even amidst seasonal fluctuations, indicates a potential for sellers to maximize returns by timing the market judiciously.

Identifying Growth Opportunities:


By observing the shifts and preferences in the housing market, we identify not just current demands but forecast emerging trends that signal growth opportunities.


Understanding Market Shifts:

The real estate market is as dynamic as the seasons, changing in response to a multitude of economic and societal factors.

Having a keen eye on these changes allows us to predict and prepare for the natural cycles of the market. It’s about reading the signs and knowing when to act. This understanding empowers us to make informed decisions that resonate with confidence and clarity, much like the principles Covey advocates.


In conclusion, the philosophy of ‘Begin with the End in Mind’ encourages us to thoughtfully consider how our current actions will shape our future outcomes. It’s not merely about staying informed but about being strategically equipped to make decisions that align with our ultimate aspirations.

Whether we’re buying, selling, providing guidance, or appraising, the insights we glean from a diligent analysis of market trends are priceless. They lay down a framework for informed action, grounded in deep understanding, which empowers us to navigate the real estate landscape with both foresight and the flexibility to adapt to ever-changing conditions.

By Conrad Meertins Jr

January 2024 Louisville KY Insights – Boost Real Estate Proactivity


The Power of Proactivity in Real Estate

Have you ever watched a chess master at work? Each move is made not just for the present but for the unfolding game. If she is going to win, one key will be mastering the habit of proactivity.

It’s little wonder that this habit is the first one mentioned of Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Will Real Estate professionals need this quality for 2024?  Absolutely.

As Covey mentioned, exemplifying this habit means that we give ourselves space between stimulus and response and claim our control.   In this article I’ll be reviewing activity from the first week of January with the goal of helping you to be proactive in the real estate game.

Current Market Pulse: A Snapshot of Early January 1/1/24 – 1/7/24

Pie chart and table showing MLS activity for single-family homes in Louisville, KY, from January 1 to January 7, 2024. The majority, 88.6%, are active listings, with 4.4% pending, 2.8% closed, and 4.2% in other statuses. The total listings are 1,379. Data from FlexMLS and provided by

Is Our Market Bursting with Options?

As we stepped into January, we saw 1,222 homes for sale here in Louisville, KY. This could mean lots of choices for buyers.  But proactive real estate professionals know there’s a need to look a bit closer.

Only a small slice of homes are actually getting offers (4.4%) and even fewer are being sold (2.8%). Could some homes be priced too high? Or is something else making buyers hesitate?

Something we can’t get away from is the fact that interest rates are between 6.62% and 7.20% for most home loans (depending on where you shop)​​. Even though these rates have dipped a tiny bit, they’re still pretty high compared to the past, which could make buyers slow down and think twice as they contemplate that higher monthly payment.

Plus, let’s be real, moving when it’s cold and right after spending time off with family isn’t a fun idea for many people. That can definitely make for a slower market.

So what’s the real deal in Louisville, with our market (1222 active listings) in this chilly season?

We might have:

  • a vibrant market with lots of options for buyers.
  • a market that’s taking a breather with homes not selling as fast as expected. Or
  • overpriced listings.

To really understand what’s happening, we’re going to take a closer look at the homes that did sell during the first seven days of January 2024 and check out the Cumulative Days on Market of homes that are still active.

What Week 1 -January 2024 Sales Reveal

Pie chart representing the Cumulative Days on Market (CDOM) for 39 homes that closed in Louisville, KY, from January 1 to January 7, 2024. A significant portion, 56.4%, closed within 0-30 days, followed by 15.4% each for the 31-60 day and 61-90 day ranges, 10% closed in 91-120 days, and 2.6% took over 121 days. Data from FlexMLS website and provided by

Peering into the recent sales gives us a clearer picture of our winter market. In January’s first week, out of 1,222 homes up for grabs, 39 made it across the finish line. But how fast?

The pie chart lays it out: Over half of the homes sold (56.4%) in 30 days or less. This brisk movement indicates a segment of our market is priced just right—homes that buyers are snatching up quickly, likely because they hit that sweet spot of value and appeal.

Then there’s the 15.4% that closed in 31-60 days and another 15.4% in 61-90 days.

These homes took their time, but not too much time. It suggests a balanced approach—perhaps a minor price negotiation here or a little patience there paid off.

The smaller slices—10% selling in 91-120 days and a sliver at 2.6% beyond 120 days—tell us some stories took longer to tell.

These could be homes where initial expectations needed adjusting, whether due to price, property quirks, or just finding the right buyer who sees a diamond where others didn’t.

While this data strengthens our understanding of the Louisville market timings, a deeper layer awaits our attention – the interplay between the final Sale Price and the Original List Price (SP/OLP). This ratio sheds light about the art of pricing accurately from the onset.

January Sales with a focus on Sold Price/List Price Ratios

A table detailing Cumulative Days on Market and Sold/List Ratios by Market Time for closed property listings in Louisville, KY, from January 1 to January 7, 2024. It shows 22 listings (56.41%) sold within 0-30 days with an average SP/LP of 99.36, and an average SP/OLP of 99.22, indicating strong market activity and pricing. The table also includes data for other time frames up to 121+ days with varying sold/list ratios. Information sourced from FlexMLS website and provided by

The Average Sold Price to Original List Price (SP/OLP) ratio tells us how the final sale price compares to the initial asking price.

0-30 Days: Homes in Louisville, KY that sold within a month almost met their asking price, with an SP/OLP of 99.22%, indicating they were likely priced right from the start.

31-60 Days: The drop to an SP/OLP of 94.92% for homes sold in one to two months hints at negotiations, perhaps due to ambitious initial pricing.

61-90 Days: A further dip in SP/OLP to 92.13% for sales in two to three months suggests either significant price drops or shifts in market trends.

Armed with stats like these you can advise clients on pricing their homes to sell within a desired timeframe, considering market dynamics.

But what about homes that are still on the market? How long have they been sitting, and what does their waiting time tell us?

To answer that question, let’s pivot to a Cumulative DOM analysis for active listings.  In doing so, we’ll uncover another layer of the market’s story.

Average and Median Days on Market – for Homes that Have Not Sold

Table of CDOM Analysis for 1,222 active real estate listings as of January 7, 2024, showing the number of listings per area, with minimum, maximum, average, and median days on market. The longest time on market is 2,679 days in area 6, with other areas varying significantly. This data can help understand different market velocities and inform pricing and selling strategies. Source: FlexMLS website, courtesy of

Line graph showing the average and median Cumulative Days on Market (CDOM) for active real estate listings by area as of January 7, 2024, excluding outliers. The average CDOM is indicated by a red line and the median CDOM by a blue line, highlighting the differences and trends in market time across various areas. The graph indicates some areas with higher average CDOM, suggesting a slower sale process in those regions. Data provided by FlexMLS website and

The canvas of our January market, with 1,222 active listings, is rich with detail when viewed through the lens of CDOM.  The average CDOM across all MLS Areas is currently between 66 and 109 days.

The median CDOM, which ranges from 58 to 79 days across the areas, is a more balanced lens since the median is less affected by outliers. It indicates that over half of the homes have been listed for about two months or less.  This is a more typical timeframe in a balanced market.

These insights are crucial for managing expectations on both ends—sellers can gauge how long it might take to sell their home, and buyers can spot opportunities for negotiating better prices on listings that have been on the market longer.

As we wrap up our review of January’s first week, remember that these statistics do more than just inform—they enable you to lead in the marketplace with authority and foresight.

But in order for that to happen you have to continue to pause after your exposure to data like this. Think about how it relates to a current or upcoming listing, and then take the appropriate response that indicates purposeful control – That’s being proactive!

Next week, we’ll delve into the second of Covey’s habits, ‘Begin with the End in Mind’, to further refine our strategic approach to real estate success.

Have a great week.

Conrad Meertins Jr.

2023 Louisville Market Look Back! Featuring Jefferson County Trends

As we wrap up another year, I thought we could take a friendly stroll together through our very own real estate market here in Louisville, KY.

We’ll also take a cozy stop in Middletown to warm ourselves by the fireplace of hard data and heartening market insights.

It’s been a year of twists, turns, and a few surprises in the market. I’m sure you’ll find a few gems in this article.

Just to set the stage, I’ll peek at the bigger picture of Louisville, via Jefferson County’s overall performance comparing statistics from Dec. 2022 to Dec 2023, but I’ll keep it as light and digestible as a slice of your favorite pie.

Then, we’ll narrow our focus to the Middletown neighborhood. Why Middletown, you ask? Well, there has been a lot of activity in that area. For that analysis, we’ll examine the last 180 days of sales activity, so we can have a more current view of the market.

So, grab a seat, and let’s get down to business — the business of understanding our dynamic real estate market, that is.  Trust me, it’s as intriguing as the latest neighborhood gossip, only this chat will arm you with insights to make your next move in the market a masterpiece.

Jefferson County Yearly Market Recap

As we bid farewell to another year, let’s take a reflective look at how the Jefferson County (Louisville, KY) real estate market fared from December 2022 to December 2023.

Market Performance Highlights

Average and Median Sold Prices: We’ve witnessed a solid increase in property values with both average and median sold prices swelling by an upbeat 9%.

Price per Square Foot: The details matter, as we’ve seen with the average price per square foot stepping up by 6%. A partial contributor is the increase in home values.

Sales Dynamics

Number of Sales: Here’s where the plot thickens. The number of sales in Louisville, KY has taken a 35% dip. This has definitely caused alarm bells to ring. Is this a sign of a stabilizing market or perhaps a momentary dip in the ever-flowing river of real estate? Only 2024 will tell.

Days on Market (DOM): Properties have been taking a slight detour, with the median DOM increasing by 17%. It’s a modest nudge, suggesting that while homes are still moving, buyers are taking that extra moment to make their decisions.

Specific Trends

Bank-Owned Sales: Bank-owned sales have seen a significant drop of 39%. This could be a beacon of a strengthening economy or a shift in the bank’s approach to property sales.

Cash Sales: While the total number of cash sales has decreased, the percentage of cash transactions has held steady, indicating a consistent segment of the market that prefers the clink of coins over the rustle of banknotes.

Smaller Market Areas within Jefferson County

Diving into the local flavors of Jefferson County, let’s take a closer look at how specific areas have fared, comparing them to the broader strokes of the county canvas.

Valley Station – A Snapshot

Average Price: The average price in Valley Station saw an impressive leap of 14%, outpacing the county’s overall growth.

Median DOM: Homes in Valley Station have been lingering a little longer on the market, with a notable 54% rise in the median DOM. It’s a curious trend that warrants a watchful eye.

St Matthews – The Upswing

Average Price: St Matthews stands out with a whopping 53% surge in average prices, and a 32% increase in median prices. It’s a huge signal that this area is highly sought after, and properties here are being valued more than ever.

The Highlands – The Mixed Bag

Average Price: The Highlands reported a 6% growth in average prices, a more tempered pace compared to its neighbors.
Sales and DOM: However, the number of sales has seen a drop of 30%, and the average DOM has experienced a rise. These statistics paint a picture of a more selective market.

Middletown – The Highlight of Today’s Show

Middletown deserves a drumroll with a 37% hike in average prices and a 30% rise in median sold prices. But the real headline here is the dramatic drop in both median and average DOM—a clear sign that Middletown is where the action is. Properties here are not just selling; they’re selling fast.

Middletown Market Analysis – The Last 180 Days

As we focus our lenses closer on Middletown, I have a collection of graphs that give us a snapshot of the real estate dynamics over the past 180 days. From concessions to lot sizes, and days on the market, I’ve got the insights to share. Let’s dive in.

1. Concessions by Price: The trend here indicates that seller concessions are relatively rare and mostly low, even as sale prices vary. This suggests a strong seller’s market in Middletown.

2. Concessions Dollar Amount: Higher-priced homes seem to see larger concessions in absolute dollar terms, yet these remain a small fraction of the overall sale price.

3. Concessions vs Days on Market: There does not seem to be much of an increase in concessions as the days on market increase.

4. Days on Market vs Final Price: The graph depicts a mixed market in Middletown, where homes with shorter days on market often sell close to the list price, yet there are notable concessions even among these quick sales, indicating nuanced buyer-seller negotiations.

5. Price vs Lot Size: Larger lots tend to fetch higher prices, but there’s a wide range in sale prices across similar lot sizes, indicating that factors beyond just space are at play in pricing.

6. Price vs Square Footage: A clear correlation is seen between larger homes and higher sale prices, though the relationship is not strictly linear.

7. Price per Square Foot vs Bedroom Count: As expected, more bedrooms generally mean a higher price per square foot, yet there are outliers, suggesting that Middletown buyers value quality and features alongside size.

8. Sales Price Compared to Original Price (Dollar Amount): Most sales hover around the original list price. However, some are under the list .price, illustrating room for negotiation.

9. Sales Price Compared to Original Price (Percentage): A similar trend as above, with sale prices closely aligned with list prices, affirming a market with a little room for price negotiation (but clearly not a lot).


Market Summary

In sum, Middletown’s real estate landscape over the past 180 days is characterized by strong seller confidence, evidenced by minimal concessions and sales prices that closely align with list prices Lot size and living space do influence sale prices, but they’re not the only factors.
Hopefully you’ll agree that this glimpse into Middletown not only sheds light on current trends but also arms you with the knowledge to better forecast, strategize, and navigate the local market with finesse.

A Cozy Wrap-Up

And just like that, our stroll through the real estate landscape of Jefferson County and the neighborhood of Middletown comes to a close. Hopefully, you’ve found a few gems that sparkled with possibility, as you discuss the market with your clients.  If we compare today’s market to a fireplace, remember that these insights are the embers that keep your strategies warm and your decisions illuminated. If the figures and trends have piqued your interest and you or someone you know would benefit from a data-driven appraisal report, don’t hesitate to reach out.
Now, as we part ways on this virtual stroll, consider this an open invitation to connect and explore the realms of possibility together. Whether buying or selling, let’s make your next real estate endeavor not just a transaction, but a triumph.