Top 10 Tips for Louisville Real Estate in 2014

Taking my lead from this piece on MSN titled, 10 Tips for Homebuyers and Sellers in 2014, I want to make specific comments about each of their 10 tips from a Louisville perspective.

Photo of Highlands homes in Louisville KY
We’re heading into a stronger market for Louisville home sellers for 2014. If these gorgeous homes in the Highlands were for sale, would you be interested?

Much is the same but understanding your local market is key to every real estate transaction, even in Louisville.

Top 10 Tips for Louisville Real Estate in 2014

1. Sellers: Jump-start the process

Not that long ago I wrote Top 10 Pro Staging Tips for Louisville Homesellers, hoping to help motivated Louisville home sellers get quick sales.

While the content in that piece still holds true, I’d say this tip from MSN is less important for 2014 than it was in the past, when buyers held all the cards.

2. Buyers: Be credit-ready

Taking care of your financing up front is always sound advice, especially now that financial regulations have grown almost unbearable. Finding your Louisville mortgage specialist and jumping through all the hurdles up front, sets the stage for a far more successful home buying experience.

3. Sellers: Vet your real estate agent, then follow the agent’s advice

Here are four tips that will help you find the best Realtor in Louisville. The thing is, that’s important EVERY year and not any more so for 2014. Guess MSN just wanted to have 10 tips rather than 6 or 7.

4. Buyers: Adjust your negotiating expectations.

This one is big!

Louisville was never a city with huge valuation swings so while buyers may get a great real estate deal every once in a while it was definitely the exception rather than the rule. Going into a Seller’s market for 2014 will make bargains even rarer.

5. Sellers: It’s your market (finally) so make the most of it.

I like the part about “not jumping on the first offer” but only if it’s unreasonable. A quality Competitive Market Analysis (CMA) will identify the market value for your Louisville home; that’s what’s key.

6. Buyers: Find life after foreclosure.

Here are the latest Louisville foreclosure numbers but as you might guess, we were never in Las Vegas, Tampa, or New York City so foreclosures don’t play as big a role in our market.

We still have some foreclosures and short sales out there but certainly less for 2014 than in previous years.

7. Sellers: Hesitate to renovate.

This is a very legitimate point. In the past three to four years, Louisville home buyers have demanded and largely received move-in-ready homes. For 2014, sellers will be able to call the shots to a greater degree. Making smart updating decisions is something that a strong Louisville Realtor will be able to provide for you.

Read Best Louisville Home Improvement Projects for Return on Investment for more information on this topic.

8. Buyers: Ask and you won’t receive (an unpleasant surprise).

A great deal of the information cited in this tip is not part of the public domain. It certainly doesn’t hurt for buyers to ask, but the answer coming back will usually be, “We don’t know.” This won’t be much different in 2014 than it has been in the past.

9. Sellers: Tailor your local game.

As mentioned in point five (above) real estate is hyper-local so getting that quality CMA is paramount to understanding the value of your home, not something you’ve seen on the local news, heard on 84 WHAS or even read on this blog. *shudder*

10. Sellers and buyers: Heed changing trends.

Trendwatching is always a smart practice. Ask your Louisville real estate expert their opinion on everything from roofing to basement flooring, then follow through to make your home more appealing to today’s Louisville homebuyer.