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Our mission at The Sokoler Medley Team is to be your best resource for real estate advice. Whether you are a buyer, seller, or investor, our team of professionals can answer any questions you might have about real estate. Subscribe to this blog to get the latest news on local market trends and receive expert tips for buying or selling a home.

A Special Market Update from Cancun



We’re here in Cancun for the latest market update. Scuba diving was fun, but it’s time to dive into the numbers.

This market update is coming to you from a resort in Cancun, where we are taking a few moments to enjoy ourselves. I’ve been accused in the past of not taking time to relax and enjoy life, so I’m doing exactly that. Before I get to what else I’m doing here in Cancun, let’s talk about something more important: the current state of the Louisville real estate market.

Home sales in Louisville are doing very well. They are up 4.6% compared to November of 2015. The number of homes going under contract is also up 8.3% from 2015. However, here’s the problem. The number of listings on the market, as of last month, is down 22.2% from last year. That’s a problem because buyers can’t find homes.

Since 2011, inventory has dropped dramatically, bottoming out in January of last year. We expect January of 2017 to bring an even lower level of inventory. If you’ve been thinking of selling, this may be the perfect time. With the supply and demand where it’s at right now, you’re not likely to get a much better deal any time soon.

Sellers can take advantage of these conditions.

We just started tracking homes by price range, and according to the latest market report., the absorption rate (a measure of inventory) is different for each price range. It’s low in the lower price ranges, but as you move up into the $500,000 and above range, the inventory skyrockets. The buyer traffic is there, but the inventory just isn’t. This is probably part of the reason we have seen interest rates start to tick up slightly. According to the experts, rates are expected to rise a bit more through 2017, hovering in the 4.2 to 4.4 range.

So, back to Cancun. We are here at a mastermind conference with some great agents from around the country and our friends at Vyral Marketing. Vyral and their CEO. Frank Klesitz did a great job setting this up. We were able to pick some of the brains of the top people in this business and have a good time doing it. Our excursions included scuba diving in the second largest barrier reef in the world, exploring an underwater cave, and seeing ancient Mayan architecture. Check out some of the places we visited in our video above.

If you have any questions for us or you’re looking to buy or sell in Louisville, don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you.

My Interview with Donald Trump from 1999

 


As you may know, before I became a Realtor at RE/MAX Properties East in Louisville, I was a news anchor and reporter for TV stations around the country. 

This job occasionally provided me with some interesting on-air opportunities, and I’d like to share one instance of this with you today.

Back in 1999 while covering the Kentucky Derby, I got to interview Donald Trump. His date to the Derby is someone you will probably recognize!

In the interview, Trump says that he was visiting the “beautiful” Churchill Downs because a friend of his had a horse racing in the Kentucky Derby. When I asked whether he’d be interested in investing in horse racing, he responded that he didn’t think so because it would be “A very full-time kind of a thing.”

I don’t clearly remember all of the details of the interview at the time, looking back, the obvious question I wish I would have asked him was, “Would you ever consider running for president?”

How Is Our Market So Strong?



The Louisville market just keeps getting better, and I've got the data to prove it. Could you benefit from this strong market?

Why am I in a car wash? We'll get to that in a bit; let's take a look at the Louisville real estate market first because things are looking great. In the video above, you'll see some helpful graphs that demonstrate what we're discussing today.

First, we want to look at the 'pending ratio,' which indicates the supply and demand in the market. The $100,000 to $150,000 price range has a large number of contracts pending. If we look at the past six months, we see that 6,339 contracts have closed, with a median price of $165,000. 

Average days on market is a useful statistic to look at because it can help us determine whether we're in a buyer's or seller's market. We can see that it's taking much longer for the higher-priced homes to sell. We can also look at the absorption rate, which shows that for the most part, we have a pretty good seller's market in place for homes priced $600,000 or less. Over that amount, things start to slow down.

More good news — home sales keep increasing throughout our area, with sales prices across Kentucky up 4.7% on average. One issue we're seeing is appraisers undervaluing homes, though. The government doesn't allow appraisers to adjust for the number of people out looking for a home. Additionally, though interest rates are down right now, they are expected to rise soon. In fact, we could hear talk of rising rates from the Fed as early as December.

That said, we still expect the Louisville real estate market to grow and get better in 2017, even if there is an interest rate hike.

So let's get back to this great car wash. You can get a great car wash here at the Thomas Car Wash for just $5, but the real deal comes when you get a monthly subscription. Prices range from $20 to $35 a month, and the best part is, you can go back as many times as you want! You can also vacuum your car each and every time. With winter  and all the snow, ice, and dirt that come along with it, now is the perfect time to sign up. 

If you have any question about buying or selling a home in the Louisville market, give me a call or send me an email. I'd love to work with you!

Should You Sell Your Home This Fall?

If you’re thinking that it’s too late to sell your home this year, don’t make any sudden moves. Fall is actually a great time to put your home on the market for many reasons.


For those of you sellers who think, “October is here and the time to sell has passed; maybe we’ll sell the house next year,” let me tell you—not so fast. 

Let me put it this way: if you go to Disney World and start on the opposite end of where the crowd is, you will get through the rides faster. This concept also applies when it comes to selling your home. 

In the summertime, there are a lot of people selling their homes. Granted, there are also more buyers, but even in the fall there are still plenty of buyers out there looking for homes. The difference is there are fewer homes on the market, which means if you list your home in the fall or winter months, you will get more people looking at your home. Since your home will be the new kid on the block, you may sell even faster and for more money. 


Buyers are more serious in the fall.

Even in the fall, our market is still in great need of homes. The absorption rate is a combination of the number of homes available on the market and the number of homes going under contract. As I’ve mentioned before, anything under a five-month supply of homes is a seller’s market. Right now, our absorption rate is still at 3.5 months, which means that fall is a great time to put your home on the market. 

Another thing to consider is that in the fall, home buyers are more serious. They have been looking at listings during the summer and have been looking at homes online. These buyers realize that they can’t come in with a lowball price because they will be ignored or beat out by another offer. 

If you do decide to sell your home this fall, there are a few things that you have to do differently. First of all, you have to prepare your home to account for fall and winter conditions. For example, you need to check your HVAC system and replace your furnace filter so that your home will smell fresh and stay warm. I also recommend keeping your receipts so you can show potential buyers that your HVAC system has been serviced. 

You also need to turn the lights on outside to accommodate for the shorter, cloudier days. Clean up the yard, too. Rake the leaves and tidy up the flowerbeds so your home has great curb appeal.

The next thing you need to do is price your home accordingly. I can come out and look at comparable homes in your neighborhood and see how they stack up against the improvements you have made to your home.

If you are thinking of buying a home, keep in mind that homes in good condition will be snatched up very quickly. A lot of the time, other agents are busy with other clients and don’t have the time to get you to look at that house. The good news is that our team has 17 agents standing by and ready to help you out. Our agents are available to you 24/7. 

If you have any other questions about our fall market or about preparing to sell your home, give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!

Should You Be Buying or Selling in the Louisville Market?

The Louisville real estate market has slowed recently due to all the kids being back in school. Our absorption rate is at a 3.5 month supply, though, so it’s still a seller’s market.

I’m in my car enroute to another listing and wanted to take a moment to talk to you today about the current real estate market. Should you be buying or selling?

As you may have heard, the market has slowed down a bit, and that’s because all the kids are back in school. The absorption rate as of a couple of days ago was at a 3.5 month supply. In understanding this, you must know that anything less than a five-month supply is considered a seller’s market, anything in between five and six months is a neutral market, and anything over six months is considered a buyer’s market .

The market has slowed down a bit.

If you’re thinking of selling, now may be the time. If you wait until spring, you may be up against a lot of other homes, and the absorption rate could be as high as five months. At the very least, you can request a Realtor such as myself to come out to your house and fine-tune it before listing. 

If you put a $10,000, or $20,000, or $30,000 spread on a $200,000 home, you’re priced well over other homes in your neighborhood. If a buyer is looking at two similar homes and one is lesser-priced, they’re going to opt for that home. That’s why you want to be priced to sell in this current market. 

If you’re a buyer, you obviously know that inventory is in tight supply. The only way to get a good home in your case, then, is to get out on the same day that it goes on the market, see it, and make an offer. You want to consider that most sellers have put the home on the market that is very close to their bottom dollar. Make an offer but don’t go lowballing because that will only insult the seller. It’s also a good idea to make sure that you’re pre-qualified by a lender beforehand.

If you have any more questions about buying or selling or would like our help in helping you list your home, just give me a call or send me an email. We look forward to working with you.