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Hiring a Real Estate Agent

Tips on Hiring a Real Estate Agent

Before hiring a real estate agent, interview 3 agents. That’s right 3! Many people are of the opinion that all real estate agents are created equal. Nothing can be further from the truth. Just to name one example, some agents are part time, while others are in the business full time. While their skillsets could theoretically be similar if they have both sold the same number of homes in their career, will the part time agent be available to you when you need them, or will they be at their other job? And, even if they are full time, ask who backs them up if they are sick or out of town? Do they have an agent partner to cover for them? Are they part of a larger team with lots of people to back them up? Your time matters most, especially in a Seller’s market!
Among other things if you are a Seller, you will want to understand the agent’s fees, their marketing plan, the number of homes they have sold, their success rate on sold price as a percentage of listing price, what services like photography, video tours and others they will be providing, and like in the above example, who is covering for them if they are sick or out of town, etc.
If you are a Buyer, you want to make sure the agent you choose to represent you has a track record of many successful sales, understands the market conditions, competitive pricing and the geographic area in which you are looking for a home, etc. And, hire a Buyer’s agent to specifically represent you in this situation. A Buyer’s agent is someone that only works for the Buyer from assisting in the Buyer’s home search to getting the purchase to the closing table. They will set up a search on the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) or on their personal website. These searches are generally more accurate than many of the big consumer sites because those sites are typically not updated as frequently as the MLS itself or the site the agent has directly connected to the MLS. These searches are also more inclusive of a lot more home parameters to search for, so the result will provide a more accurate list of prospective homes for you to look at that meet a greater number of your specific parameters. Best of all, a Buyer’s agent’s commission is almost always paid for by the Seller so why not have someone represent Your interest exclusively in the transaction?
You might ask, can I just buy the home from the agent that has the home listed? The answer is yes, but you must go into this scenario (which I would never recommend) fully informed. Just like in a divorce, would you hire the same attorney that your soon to be ex-spouse hired? Probably not. The agent that has the home listed has signed a contract with the Seller(s) to represent their best interests. How can that agent represent your best interests too? The answer is, they cannot! That’s right, the agent cannot represent the Buyer’s interest in this case whatsoever. They already have signed an agreement with the Seller to represent the Seller’s interests. They could modify that agreement with the Seller and sign an agreement with the Buyer(s) to represent both of their interests and in this case, both parties would then have the same agent. This is called Dual Agency, and in KY it is legally allowed but only with both parties informed written consent. Do you not see the inherent conflict here though? There is No Way to represent both the Buyer and the Seller in a real estate transaction and have both parties’ best interests in mind. If you are in this Dual Agency situation, the real estate agent is legally prohibited from providing advice to either party, because advising one party will almost always go against the best interests of the other party. So, who is looking out for your interests? Nobody is. You are in it all by yourself.
Ask for past client references or search for the agent you are interviewing online and read the reviews from their past clients. You would do this if you were on Amazon trying to decide on which product to purchase, so why not do it when interviewing a real estate agent to assist you on what is probably one of the Most expensive transactions in your life?
States have a regulatory body that govern real estate agents. These agencies usually have a public website to look at things like verification that someone holds a valid, unexpired license, whether they are up to date on their continuing education requirements and other pertinent information. This site in Kentucky can be found at: https://krec.ky.gov/Pages/default.aspx
The Hollinden Team, brokered by eXp Realty LLC is a large real estate team with many success stories in the Louisville area market. Call any of the team members today at 502-429-3866.
Tim Hollinden
Team Leader
The Hollinden Team
eXp Realty LLC


6912 Williamsgate Blvd, Crestwood, KY 40014

6912 Williamsgate Blvd

Welcome to 6912 Williamsgate Blvd, a stunning, 2.5-year-old home in the Williamsgate neighborhood. This 1.5 story home in Crestwood is an original Ball Homes product is a modified “Jackson” plan with plenty of upgrades. In this home, you will find 5 bedrooms and 3 full baths, plus an unfinished walkout basement with roughed in full bath, which is ready for you to design as you please. On the front of the home, you will notice the well-kept landscaping and lush green lawn. 

6912 Williamsgate Blvd

Enter this home and you are greeted with 2800 finished square feet. The two-story foyer includes stylish hand scraped dark hardwood floors that are also found throughout the whole home. To the right of the foyer is the dining room. The dining room includes wainscoting, chair rail, crown molding, and a chic chandelier. There is a doorway to enter the eat-in kitchen from the dining room.

6912 Williamsgate Blvd

The kitchen is huge and boasts extensive cabinetry, granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances (which all stay with the home), a pantry, can lighting, and a large eating area with door to the private, over-sized wood deck. The island in the kitchen has space for bar stools for an additional eating area. The kitchen opens to the expansive great room with corner updated fireplace with stone surround, wood mantle, and a ceiling fan. The openness between the kitchen and great room creates an ideal space for entertaining a large group. 

Through the other side of the kitchen, you will find a laundry room and a mudroom, complete with custom-built cubby with 8 coat hooks and lots of storage compartments. On the right rear of this home is a first-floor bedroom with large window, walk-in closet, and access to the full bathroom with ceramic tile floor, and granite counter tops on the vanity. 

6912 Williamsgate Blvd

Moving to the open 2-story stairway to the second level, notice the lovely handrail with gorgeous iron spindles. On the second floor, you will find 3 additional bedrooms with carpeted floors, 2 with large closets and the third with a walk-in closet and double windows in each bedroom. The second floor has a full bath with ceramic tile floors, linen closet and a granite topped vanity. The catwalk overlooks the 2-story foyer with views out the front of the home.

6912 Williamsgate Blvd

Down the hallway, you pass a linen closet as you proceed into an amazing owner's suite. This 5th bedroom is very large and has plenty of room for a sitting area looking out the double windows. This room has carpet, a trey ceiling with ceiling fan and crown molding. Off the owner's bedroom is the owner's bathroom. It includes ceramic tile floors, 2 large granite topped vanities, (1 has a makeup desk), a 6-foot garden tub, a huge ceramic tile shower, linen closet, toilet room, and a huge walk-in closet.

6912 Williamsgate Blvd

In the backyard, the new owners will enjoy the tree lined lot, providing ample shade on hot days. This home also includes 2 HVAC systems and a passive radon mitigation system is already installed. 

For more information on this exquisite home in Williamsgate, contact the Hollinden Team at (502) 429-3866.


What You Need to Know About Buying or Selling a Home in 2017

Homes for Sale in Louisville KY

Are you thinking of buying or selling in this crazy late spring/summer market?  This is a bit of a good news/bad news situation.  It is good (or even great) if you are selling!  There are far more buyers in the market today than inventory for them to buy.  What does this mean?  It means we have an out of balance situation between supply and demand.  Better said, it is a seller’s market!  

Most of the homes my team has listed this entire year have sold in less than a week. Many have sold in days or even hours.  And, many of these homes have sold for more than asking price due to the competition for these homes.  This in and of itself can also be a good news/bad news.  What I mean here is there is the potential for a value problem when it comes to getting the appraisal from the buyer’s lender.  

Occasionally, we have a deal where we sold it for more than an appraiser thinks it is worth. When this happens, the buyer either comes up with more cash since they can only borrow based on the appraised value, or the buyer and seller end up renegotiating the sales contract at a lower price.  Or worst case, the buyer backs out altogether (although this does not happen often).  This is problematic in a seller’s market that is beginning to take a significant uptick in value because most appraisers look in the rear-view mirror, or they look at recent sales. This is all in the past and doesn’t always reflect what is happening in the market today. Fortunately, many appraisers understand this and can consider today’s current market or the fact that there were multiple buyers competing for an individual property.

So, what is the bad news?  The bad news is most sellers are also buyers and the table gets turned when they take off their seller’s hat and then they must put on their buyer’s hat. Buyers should be ready to “pull the trigger” quickly in today’s market.  If you are a buyer, you need a great real estate agent that can help you navigate these treacherous waters.

Approximately 92% of buyers start their home search online on some large consumer real estate websites like Zillow.com, Trulia.com or Realtor.com.  The problem with this is not all sites are created equal.  Many large consumer sites are only updated every 24-48 hours.  A buyer may find a home on a site that appears to be a brand-new listing, only to find out that the home was listed two days ago and is already sold.  The best way to not miss out on your next dream home is to allow a professional real estate agent to connect you directly with their private site which has a direct connection to the MLS and updates more frequently.  

In our case, our website is updated every 15 minutes. Our agent will take all the criteria you are looking for in a home and key it into a system that will notify you as soon as a property comes on the market which meets your criteria.  In today’s market, you should make every effort to then go and see that property right away the same day, and if interested, make an offer immediately.  You could still find yourself in a bidding war, so be prepared to go above asking price if it is a home you really want to compete for.  In many circumstances, we use what is called an ‘Escalation Clause’ to help our buyer clients be more competitive.  To find out more about this, give us a call today at 502-429-3866 or email us at info@LouisvilleHomesFAST.com.


Living in Oldham County

6620 Willowrun Ln, Pewee Valley, KY

Why do residents choose to live in Oldham County? There are several answers to this questions. Most commonly, people choose to move to Oldham County for the award-winning school district, options to purchase homes with acreage, and quaint restaurants and shopping. Many residents that live in Oldham County commute to Louisville for work. 

Oldham County includes GoshenBucknerProspectCrestwoodLa Grange, and Pewee Valley. We will discuss each area and some of the neighborhoods you can find.


This area is in the western portion of Oldham County in the 40026 zip code. The median estimated home value is $589,000 and the average price per square foot is $139. Goshen has a wide range of home styles and price ranges. Homes can range anywhere from lower $100,000 to over a million! Goshen is about 16 miles away from downtown Louisville. 

Harmony Landing- Located off Highway 42, this established Goshen neighborhood provides various home styles for homeowners. Construction of this subdivision began around the 1980s. In Harmony Landing, you will find anything from a log home to classic colonial style homes. Some homes have lots that provide a few acres. Homes in Harmony Landing have sold between $150,000 and $490,000 in the last few years.

Lakeview Estates- Another established neighborhood with homes around 20-40 years old. Lakeview Estates is accessible from Hwy 42.  Homes have sold between $160,000 to $280,000. You are going to find a wide variety of home styles in this neighborhood. Two stories, ranches, and tri-levels are just a few styles you’ll see.

Longwood- This newer luxury neighborhood is accessible from Highway 1793. To live in this subdivision, expect to pay $600,000 and above. Most of these homes are custom built and include high-end upgrades. If you are interested in living in the neighborhood, the Hollinden Team currently has a Longwood home listed at 1902 Ashford Drive.


Buckner is a smaller town situated between Crestwood and La Grange. The median estimated home price is $412,375 and the average price per square foot is $122.06. If you live in Buckner, you will be about 20 miles from Louisville.

Darby Pointe-  This neighborhood can be accessed from Highway 146. Construction began in the 1990s but you will still see some homes being developed today. Lots tend to be spacious in this neighborhood, many have a minimum of one acre. Homes in this neighborhood range from $180,000 to $430,000.


Prospect is actually located in both Jefferson County and Oldham County in the 40059 zip code. The median estimated home price is $525,000 and the average price per square foot $180.50. Prospect has plenty of close by shopping centers and many golf courses.

Belknap Beach Estates- This subdivision offers homes with million dollar views of the Ohio River.  Homes in the neighborhood each have their own character; you can find all construction types and styles. Prices range from $250,000 to over a million!

Glen Oaks- This is a unique subdivision as it is located in both Oldham County and Jefferson County. There is also a country club within the neighborhood that includes an 18-hole golf course, swimming pool, wading pool, full-service dining room, and grille room. Homes tend to be all brick traditional style homes. Homes range between $300,000 to $800,000.


Crestwood is located in southwestern Oldham County in the 40014 zip code. It is really hard to see the break between Pewee Valley and Crestwood. The median estimated home price in Crestwood is $419,900 and the average price per square foot is $135.50. Crestwood is 18 miles away from downtown Louisville.

Kentucky Acres- Located off Highway 22, this established neighborhood began construction in the 1970s and has the opportunity for new development today. This subdivision features large tree-lined lots and a variety of styles of homes. Homes range from $140,000 to around $300,000. Newer homes will be closer to the $300,000 mark. 

Harrods Crossing- This subdivision is located off Highway 1694. Homes range anywhere from $650,000 to $900,000 but you get what you pay for. Stunning custom built homes on two to three acres are what you'll find in Harrods Crossing. 

La Grange

This area is located in the western portion of Oldham County in both the 40031 and 40032 zip codes. The median estimated home price is $325,000 and the average price for square foot is $149.19. LaGrange is located about 24 miles away from downtown Louisville.

Gleneagles Estates- This subdivision is located off I-71 North. Construction began in the 1990s through the early 2000s. Homes in this neighborhood are mostly all brick and have a traditional style. Homes in Gleneagle Estates usually range between $250,000 to $550,000. 

L'Esprit- Located off of North I-71, L’Esprit is a horse lovers dream. Development of this 5,000-acre equestrian neighborhood began in the 1980s and continued on until the mid-2000s. Initially, this neighborhood was developed as a community for Arabian horses. More recently, this neighborhood has grown into a home for various breeds of horses. Homes range from $300,000-$3,000,000.

Pewee Valley- Pewee Valley is in the southern portion of Oldham County in the 40056 zip code. This area is close to Crestwood and is within a few miles of Middletown, an area in eastern Jefferson County. The median estimated home value is $287,500 and the average price per square foot is $146.02. Pewee Valley is 24 miles away from downtown Louisville.

Ashbrooke- This neighborhood is located off Ash Ave. In Ashbrooke, homes vary in age and style. You can find cape cods, ranches, two stories, and much more. Homes were built between the 1970s to the early 2000s. Ashbrooke homes range from $140,000 to $280,000. 

We hope this blog gave you a better idea of what it is like to live in Oldham County. If you have questions about moving to Oldham County, call the Hollinden Team at (502) 429-3866.



Oldham County Real Estate Statistics

Oldham county real estate statistics

February 2017

Oldham County Real Estate Statistics

Compared to January 2017, we have seen a small increase in the absorption rate (number of available homes during a given period of time). However, the absorption rate is still very low. The few homes that are on the market usually have multiple offers within a day. With this being said, we are still in a seller's market. If you are thinking about selling your home, now is the time to do it!

Let's take a look at the Oldham County real estate statistics from last month:


  • Absorption Rate- 3.89 months of inventory 
  • Absorption Rate (Feb. 2016)- 4.13 months of inventory
  • Active Listings- 172
  • Active Listings (Feb. 2016)- 186 
  • Sold Listings- 30
  • Sold Listings (Feb. 2016)- 31
  • New Listings- 44
  • New Listings (Feb. 2016)- 59
  • Most Popular Price Ranges- $400,000-$499,999
  • Lowest Priced Sale- $105,500
  • Highest Priced Sale- $785,000
  • Average List Price- $576,272
  • Average List Price (Feb. 2016)- $464,133
  • Average Sale Price- $355,207
  • Average Sale Price (Feb. 2016)- $269,918
  • Average Cumulative Days on the Market (CDOM)- 106
  • Average CDOM Feb. 2016- 144


  • Absorption Rate- 1.93 months of inventory
  • Absorption Rate (Feb. 2016)- 2.61 months of inventory
  • Active Listings- 92  homes
  • Active Listings (Feb. 2016)- 118 homes
  • Sold Listings- 21 homes
  • Sold Listings (Feb. 2016)- 28 homes
  • New Listings- 52 homes
  • New Listings (Feb. 2016)- 51 homes
  • Most Popular Price Ranges- $300,000-$399,999
  • Lowest Priced Sale- $85,000
  • Highest Priced Sale- $1,100,000
  • Average List Price- $499,382
  • Average List Price (Feb. 2016)- $413,230
  • Average Sale Price- $317,393
  • Average Sale Price (Feb. 2016)- $290,331
  • Average Cumulative Days on the Market (CDOM)- 125 Days
  • February 2016 CDOM- 92 Days


January 2017

January 2016 Oldham County Real Estate Statistics

Inventory continues to lower more and more each month! As I stated in the December 2016 O.C. statistics, we expect inventory to be lower in the winter. However, inventory is historically lower than other winters in the past. These homes aren’t sitting on the market until the Spring either. Homes that are priced right and in good condition are lasting a day (sometimes less) and usually getting multiple offers. You really don’t have to wait until Spring to list your home. Right now would be a great time to get your home on the market.

Let’s look at our findings:


  • Absorption Rate- 3.81 months of inventory 
  • Absorption Rate (Jan. 2016)- 4.23 months of inventory
  • Active Listings- 169 homes
  • Active Listings (Jan. 2016)- 188 homes
  • Sold Listings- 24 homes
  • Sold Listings (Jan. 2016)- 27 homes
  • New Listings- 49 homes
  • New Listings (Jan. 2016)- 54 homes
  • Most Popular Price Ranges- $250k-$400k & $500k+
  • Lowest Priced Sale- $102,000
  • Highest Priced Sale- $865,000
  • Average List Price- $564,800
  • Average List Price (Jan. 2016)- $505,871
  • Average Sale Price- $352,863
  • Average Sale Price (Jan. 2016)- $316,718
  • Smallest Home Sold- 1,014 total sq. ft.
  • Largest Home Sold- 5,805 total sq. ft.
  • Average Cumulative Days on the Market (CDOM)- 98 Days
  • January 2016 CDOM- 107 Days


  • Absorption Rate- 1.65 months of inventory
  • Absorption Rate (Jan. 2016)- 2.72 months of inventory
  • Active Listings- 80 homes
  • Active Listings (Jan. 2016)- 121 homes
  • Sold Listings- 29 homes
  • Sold Listings (Jan. 2016)- 38 homes
  • New Listings- 33 homes
  • New Listings (Jan. 2016)- 33 homes
  • Most Popular Price Ranges- $200k-$250k & $300k-$400k
  • Lowest Priced Sale- $113,000
  • Highest Priced Sale- $668,500
  • Average List Price- $516,941 
  • Average List Price (Jan. 2016)- $414,163
  • Average Sale Price- $273,428
  • Average Sale Price (Jan. 2016)- $244,355
  • Smallest Home Sold- 1,512 total sq. ft.
  • Largest Home Sold- 6,316 total sq. ft.
  • Average Cumulative Days on the Market (CDOM)- 69 Days
  • January 2016 CDOM- 81 Days

We will be back next month with February statistics!

December 2016

Oldham County KY Real Estate Statistics

The December Oldham County real estate statistics are in. Absorption rates (number of available homes during a given period of time) continued to decrease each month of last year in Northern and Southern Oldham County. In the winter, we expect inventory to be lower; however, we saw record low inventory in 2016. With the low amount of inventory, you can expect less competition when listing your home. If you are thinking about selling your home, now would be a great time. 

Let’s take a look at additional findings:

Northern Oldham County

  • Absorption Rate- 4.13 months of inventory 
  • Absorption Rate (Dec. 2015)- 4.69 months of inventory
  • Active Listings- 184 homes
  • Active Listings (Dec. 2015)- 208 homes
  • Sold Listings- 35 homes
  • Sold Listings (Dec. 2015)- 38 homes
  • New Listings- 32 homes
  • New Listings (Dec. 2015)- 37 homes
  • Most Popular Price Ranges- $200,000-$249,999 and $500,000+
  • Lowest Priced Sale- $83,123
  • Highest Priced Sale- $700,000
  • Average List Price- $550,269
  • Average List Price (Dec. 2015)- $492,970
  • Average Sale Price- $340,637
  • Average Sale Price (Dec. 2015)-...

Oldham County School Quality for Homeowners

Oldham County KY Schools

Oldham County is in a suburban/rural area in north-central Kentucky, around twenty miles away from Jefferson County. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Oldham County has a population of around 65,000 people. This area includes the following cities: Goshen, Prospect, Buckner, Crestwood, La Grange, Pewee Valley, River Bluff, Park Lake, and Orchard Lake Hills. Many factors attract residents to Oldham County such as beautiful horse farms, quaint shopping and dining, and the excellent school system. 

Oldham County School District is made up of seventeen schools (nine elementary schools, four middle schools, three high schools, and an alternative school), as well as a career center and arts center. The Oldham County School district was named Kentucky's District of Distinction. Basically, this means that the Oldham County School district is the top-performing district in Kentucky. The Oldham County Schools website highlights several of their achievements including having three specific schools of distinction (Buckner Elementary, North Oldham High School, and Oldham County High School) and eight distinguished schools. A distinguished school is a school within the top 90th percentile.

The high schools in the district even have an Engineering Academy. The courses will be taught to 75 ninth and tenth-grade high school students for a half-day of school.

The following schools are in the Oldham County School District:

Preschool: Oldham County Preschool (La Grange)

Elementary School: Buckner Elementary (La Grange), Camden Station Elementary (Crestwood), Centerfield Elementary (Crestwood), Crestwood Elementary, Goshen Elementary (Prospect), Harmony Elementary (Goshen), Kenwood Station Elementary (Crestwood), LaGrange Elementary, Locust Grove Elementary (Crestwood)

Middle School: East Oldham Middle (Crestwood), North Oldham Middle (Goshen), Oldham County Middle (La Grange), and South Oldham Middle (Crestwood)

High School: Buckner Alternative High (La Grange), North Oldham High (Buckner), Oldham County High (Buckner), South Oldham High (Crestwood)

We hope this information gave you an idea about the great quality of Oldham County schools. If you are interested in living in Oldham County, visit our Oldham County Real Estate page.


Tips to First Time Homebuyers from a First Time Homebuyer

Buying a Home

Buying your first home is truly one of the most exciting experiences you will ever have. At the same time, it can be quite overwhelming. I recently purchased my first home and have learned A LOT! In this blog, I would like to share with you some tips I've learned that can make your first time home buying experience more enjoyable.

1.)    Don’t Get Attached to Houses- When I first started my home search, I found a house almost immediately that I loved. It was new, updated, and fit my personal style to a T. Apparently, many other people felt the same way about the house...

When it came time to put in an offer, I decided to submit an offer $1,500 over asking price and requested no closing cost assistance to make my offer more competitive. This is how badly I wanted this home. Unfortunately, the house got into a multiple offer situation and I was outbid - by quite a bit. I was crushed and thought that there was no possible way I could ever find a house that I loved that much.

Fast forward to one month later. I found a house that I liked equally as much in an area that I preferred more than the first house. My point is to not get despondent if you don’t get the first house you bid on. Something better will come along!

2.)    Get a Home Warranty- I can’t stress enough the importance of a home warranty. As a first time homebuyer, we usually don’t have a lot of extra cash sitting around for unexpected repairs on our home. This is especially true when you are moving into your first home and furnishing it. When you purchase a home warranty, many of the big ticket items in your home are covered if they were to need repair or replacement.

Home warranties really aren’t that expensive if you consider the amount of money that could be saved in the long run. My home warranty cost $345 with a $65 deductible. The $345 home warranty I have is considered basic home warranty coverage. There are more expensive home warranties that will cover additional items.

Here’s the best part: Sellers often will pay for a one year home warranty for you! Most REALTORs will write in the contract for the seller to pay for the home warranty. Many times, sellers will go ahead and purchase the home warranty to provide to the buyer before the home is even under contract.

I have lived in my home for less than a month. I have already taken advantage of having a home warranty. My garage opener broke and the piece to replace it will cost $200. I paid the $65 deductible and that was it.  The home warranty took care of the balance. This is a small repair compared to having your HVAC or kitchen appliances replaced. However, it is still $200 less that I have to spend right now.

Just remember to always review your home warranty prior to closing. Understand what your home warranty will cover and decide whether or not you’d like to add additional coverage on other items.  Also, call the home warranty company first if you have any issues.  They will not pay if you call the repair person first.

3.)    Get a Home Inspection- If you were thinking about skipping the home inspection process, think again. A home inspection is 100% necessary. If you are unfamiliar with home inspections, I wrote a home inspection blog that will tell you everything you will need to know about the process.

The cost of a home inspection is a small percentage compared to the price you will pay for a home. Also, if you are unhappy with the results of the home inspection for any reason, you are able to walk away from the transaction.

Conduct a Thorough Final Walk-Thru

4.)    Conduct a THOROUGH Final Walk-Thru- After you get a home inspection, you will have the option to submit a repair request. The repair request will list the items that you wish for the seller to fix prior to closing. The seller doesn’t have to agree to every item listed but you will be given the chance to negotiate with the seller. After the repair request is negotiated, the seller will have up until the time the home closes to fix all items on the repair request.

You need to make sure that you have receipts for every item fixed or replaced PRIOR to closing. Compare each receipt to the repair request document and make sure that everything matches up. It is recommended to do your final walk-thru the day of closing.

Here is the reason why: Anything can happen in a day. You really don't want any lapse of time between the final walk-thru and the closing. When you are doing the final walk-thru you are basically signing off that everything in the home is the way you agreed upon with the seller. 

When you go to the final walk-thru, bring a printed copy of the repair request document and fully executed contract. Move from room to room and check off each item that was repaired. Make sure that every item that agreed to be left with the property is present. Examples would be kitchen appliances, washer and dryer, bathroom mirrors, etc.

Sellers could overlook an item he/she agreed to leave on a contract or just simply forget about it. I actually experienced this firsthand. Everything was resolved but this further demonstrates the importance of doing a thorough final walk-thru.

5.)    Don’t Buy Furniture Until After Closing- This could potentially jeopardize the chances of you getting a home loan. When you are obtaining a home loan, you don’t want to take out a line of credit or purchase any big ticket items. An alternative to purchasing the furniture before closing is to put the furniture on layaway. Many furniture stores will allow you to put the furniture on layaway as long as you put down a down payment. I put a 10% down payment on my couch and entertainment center and paid after closing.

6.)    Plan Your Move Ahead of Time- If you are living in an apartment, don’t schedule the closing date for the day your lease is up. If you have never moved into a home, it takes more time than you think. I made sure to give myself a week to move out of my apartment and into my house. It didn’t take that long but at least I had a large window of time in case unexpected issues arose.

7.)    Live in Your Space Before Purchasing Home Décor- This advice was actually given to me by an interior designer. You need to feel out the space before purchasing décor. Once you have lived in your home for some time, you can decide what would work best and be most functional in each room. This will save you time and money in the long run.

Saving Money for Your First Home

8.)    Don’t Deplete Your Savings- Purchasing a home can be...

8 Fall & Winter Curb Appeal Tips to Get Your Home Sold

Fall & Winter Curb Appeal Tips

Why are fall and winter a great time to sell your home? There are many reasons we could discuss but there is one in particular that we will touch on today - homes look prettier in the fall and winter. We wrote another blog a few weeks ago that discussed preparing your home to sell in the fall/winter months outside of just curb appeal. Make sure to check that out as well.

 Homes that are tastefully decorated for the holiday months show better to buyers. Making a home look pretty for the holidays starts on the outside. The outside is where buyers will create a first impression of your home and decide whether or not they want to view the inside. Here are a few tips to consider when adding fall/winter curb appeal:

1.)    Clean Up the Yard- This should be the first step before you place any décor on the front of your home. Frequently rake leaves from the yard and trim any overgrown bushes as well. In addition, make sure to clean out your gutters frequently. You could also consider power washing your home to remove any dirt and debris. A clean home on the outside is a reflection of what your home will look like on the inside.

2.)    Paint the Outside- This may not be necessary for every homeowner but if areas of your home need a fresh coat of paint, go ahead and take care of it before decorating. Evaluate your gutters, front door, and shutters. Is the paint chipping on any of these items? If so, consider a fresh coat of paint. Even if the paint isn’t chipping, a fresh coat of paint provides a cleaner and crisper appearance. You could ever consider a totally new paint color for your front door. A pop of color to a front door can create a nice focal point for your home. Red is a great pop of color and it would really make your home stand out.

3.)    Update Outside Lighting & Other Accessories- Could your outdoor lighting use a facelift? Sometimes buying new outdoor lights isn’t completely necessary. You could even consider spray painting the lighting you already have. Consider updating other outdoor accessories that are worn out such as door numbers, kick plates, and other hardware on the outside of the home. Ensure that all outdoor accessories match and aren’t scuffed up. Another great outdoor accessory is solar lights. Solar lights provide a nice trail of light for guests walking up to your home. In addition, they are a beautiful decorative touch to add to your landscaping.

4.)    Hang a Wreath- In my opinion, every front door should have a wreath no matter the season. I think it just adds so much more personality to the home.

5.)    Create Symmetry- When creating arrangements by the entryway, consider creating symmetry. Symmetrical arrangements are easier on the eye and more welcoming to guests.

6.)    Plant Seasonal Flowers- I think seasonal plants add such a beautiful touch to the outside of your home. Consider adding some beautiful mums in the fall and poinsettias in the winter.

7.)    Add a Rug- A rug by your front door doesn’t only add a decorative touch but is also completely necessary! Think about how much dirt and leaves people could drag through your home if they didn’t have a rug to clean off their shoes. Try to find a rug that is suitable for high traffic and is very durable. Sometimes pretty rugs that have designs fade quickly. You don’t want to have to replace your rug too often.

8.)    Keep it Simple- Overdoing fall/winter decorations can take away from the beauty of your home. Put just enough decorations to highlight your home and make it look festive.

We hope our fall/winter curb appeal tips were useful to you. Do you have any fall/winter curb appeal tips that you can recommend? Feel free to comment below. 


Low Ball Offers on Homes: Real Estate Offer Strategy

Low Ball Offers on Homes: 5 Real Estate Offer Strategies

Low Ball Offers on Homes

I think we can all agree that we would love to find a good deal on a home. However, low ball offers aren’t always realistic, especially in our current market conditions.

Even though we are moving into the fall season, homes are still selling at a rapid pace. Currently, we are still in a seller’s market in Louisville. It is very common to see a home that is in good condition sell within a day and sometimes within a few hours. We anticipate seeing this trend continue on until November. 

We are commonly asked by home buyers what is the lowest offer suggested to put in on a home. Typically, any offer that is $10,000 or more below the listing price is considered a low ball offer on a house.

In this market, if you just want to put in a low offer because you want to get a good deal, you will likely not get the house. However, if there is a good reason behind putting in a low offer, you may have a chance at getting the home. In this blog, I will discuss what you should do to increase the chances of your low ball offer being accepted.

Here are a few pointers for putting in a low ball offer on a home:

1.)   Research Market Conditions- Since the real estate market is very hot right now, you have to take that into consideration when submitting an offer on a home. Sellers may not consider a low ball offer just because homes are selling so quickly right now. We see changes in the market all the time. If we move into a buyer’s market, you may have a better chance at buying a home for a lower price. Bottom line, you have to thoroughly understand your market.

2.)    Do Your Homework- How long has the home been on the market? How much do homes in the same neighborhood sell for? What condition is the home in? How well do homes in the neighborhood appreciate? These are all questions you need answers to before you put in an offer.

3.)    Respect the Sellers- Low ball offers can offend sellers. It is best to be as respectful as possible when submitting your offer. I would suggest asking your REALTOR to write an email along with the offer or make a phone call to the listing agent that explains your rationale behind your offer. The homework you have done on the home will come in handy when explaining your rationale. Were you unable to find comps in the neighborhood that reflected the listing price? Did the condition and time on market justify a lower offer? Whatever the reason is, explaining yourself sometimes lessens the blow.

4.)    Have Your Finances in Order- If you are going to put in a lowball offer, make sure you can present a preapproval letter right away. If your offer is low, you need to make sure that everything else looks attractive when the offer is presented. Sellers like to see that you are preapproved regardless of the price of the offer. However, it could help your case a little bit if you are submitting a lower priced offer. If you are submitting a cash offer, your proof of funds should be submitted along with the offer.

5.)    Submit a Clean Offer- If you are going to put in a low offer, make sure your offer is as clean as possible. In section 25 of the sales contract, you can list other provisions. Examples of other provisions would be the swing set to remain; seller to have the oven professionally cleaned; seller to have a ghost inspection; closing to be 90-120 days from now; sale contingent on getting another job; etc. If you are putting in a low offer on a home, you really don’t want to ask for much from the seller. It is best to keep your offer as simple and clean as possible.

Hopefully, this advice will leverage you to get your low offer accepted. I will reiterate that lower offers can be very difficult to get accepted. This advice won’t guarantee to get your offer accepted; however, it could increase your chances.

What are your thoughts on low offers on a home? Do you have any questions or comments regarding the topic? Leave your comments and questions below. As always, feel free to contact the Hollinden Team regarding the real estate market: 502-429-3866.


11 Ways to Save for Your Down Payment

Saving for Your Down Payment

Saving for a downpayment on a home can be difficult, especially if it is your first home. I know that when I was saving for my first home, I have to develop a strategy in order to save money each month.

The first question most prospective home buyers ask is, “how much money do I need to put down?” It is most often suggested to have a 20% down payment when purchasing a home. Twenty percent down payment helps avoid Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). PMI can cost homebuyers several hundreds of dollars a month. If you are unable to put 20% of the sales price down, there are loan options that allow you to put 3.5% down. Some loan programs even allow you to put just one percent down!

If you struggling to save for your down payment on your home, consider some of the following tips:

  1. Get Preapproved- The first step in saving for a down payment for a home is knowing how much you can afford. You can do this by setting up an appointment with a lender. The Hollinden Team has preferred lenders that we can recommend to you.
  2. Determine How Much You Want to Spend- When your lender preapproves you for a loan, he should be able to give you an idea of what your monthly mortgage payment will be based on sales price and interest rate. The lender will also be able to determine the down payment necessary based on the price of the home. After examining these numbers, you should begin to determine what you can afford. If you have not visited a lender yet, feel free to use our mortgage calculator. Keep in mind, interest rates sometimes fluctuate. Fluctuation will impact your projected monthly mortgage payment and your down payment. Keep in contact with your lender to stay up-to-date on the latest interest rates.
  3. Set a Timeframe- Your timeframe to move really depends on how much you need to save for a down payment. If you need to move quickly and don’t have much money saved up, you may want to consider purchasing a cheaper home.
  4. Create a Budget- Listing all of your expenses and where your money is going every month makes people more accountable and aware of how they spend their money. You may find that you are spending money on unnecessary items that can be cut out.
  5. Cut Out Unnecessary Spending- Do you really need that $5 Starbucks latte every morning? Could the beach vacation wait this year? There are probably many expenses you could cut out of your budget. If you are trying to aggressively save for a down payment, anything that is not a necessity should be cut out of your monthly budget.
  6. Create a Savings Account- Your checking account and savings account should never be bundled in one account. It is best to separate these accounts so that you know which money is off-limits.
  7. Treat Savings like a Bill- Just like your cable bill or water bill, saving money every month should be treated like a bill you have to pay. When you do this, you become more disciplined when saving your money. To ensure that you pay your monthly savings ‘bill’, consider setting up a monthly automatic deposit from your checking account to your savings account.
  8. Cash Reward Credit Cards- Cash reward credit cards are a great way to save money for your down payment. Chase Freedom Unlimited, Bank Americard Cash Rewards, Citi Double Cash Card, and Capital One QuickSilver are just some of the few credit cards that offer cash back options.
  9. Sell Unused Items- We all have items that we aren’t using. Consider selling the items on Craigslist, Facebook Yardsale, or Ebay.
  10. Avoid Car Payments- If your car is already paid off, consider keeping your vehicle rather than purchasing a new one. Not having a car payment can save a tremendous amount of money monthly.
  11. Downsize- If you live in an apartment, consider downsizing to a smaller apartment to save money. You could also look into other apartments in the area. You may be able to find an apartment cheaper than the one you are living in for the same size. Often, apartment communities offer promotions to new residents. This could be something you could take advantage to save money. Another option is moving in with family. This isn’t always realistic for some but if you are able to do this, you could save a lot of money.


Do you have any questions or comments regarding saving money for your down payment? Are there any other money saving tips that you’ve tried that we didn’t mention? Leave your questions and comment below. Feel free to call the Hollinden Team with your questions as well: 502-429-3866. 


5 Most Common Myths About Buying a Home

5 Most Common Real Estate Myths

Working in real estate, the Hollinden Team often hears many myths associated with purchasing a home. We decided to debunk some of the most popular myths that we hear often:

•    You Must Pay Your Buyer’s Agent’s Commission- When you are purchasing a home, you are not required to pay your buyer’s agent’s commission. The seller pays the listing agent’s commission.  The listing agent, in turn, shares their commission with the buyer’s agent.  There are some extremely rare cases where the buyer can pay some commission, but that is another whole article.

•    You Need to Have Perfect Credit- This myth is far from true. There are many loan programs available that lend to buyers with credit scores as low as 620; some loan programs lend to buyers with credit scores as low as 550! The loan process may take a little bit longer and the buyer may have to provide more paperwork than normal. However, lending to buyers will less than perfect credit is possible.  The advantage of owning versus renting greatly overshadows the amount of trouble to get this loan.

•    You Must Have 20 Percent Down Payment- Putting 20 percent down on a mortgage loan is ideal if you have the funds. Putting a 20 percent down payment helps homebuyers avoid paying Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI or MI). There are many loan programs available that allow as low as one percent down. VA loans actually allow you to put zero percent down on the home if you are a veteran.

•    Home Inspections Aren’t Necessary on New Construction- One of our most recent blogs about home inspections touched on this issue. There is a very interesting story on this blog about new construction home inspection that you will want to read! Bottom line, a home inspection is highly recommended for new construction homes. It is always good to have a second set of eyes looking at new construction homes once it is completed.

•    Prequalified and Preapproved Mean the Same Thing- When a lender prequalifies you for a loan, the lender will ask for basic information so that he/she can determine how much you can afford. Getting preapproved by a lender requires a lender to evaluate your financial information and credit score. You will also have to submit a mortgage application.

Can you think of any other common myths about buying a home? Feel free to comment below with any questions regarding this article. Feel free to give the Hollinden Team a call regarding all of your real estate questions: 502-429-3866.


What is a Home Inspection?

Home Inspection in Kentucky

What is a home inspection?

A home inspection is likely one of the most important parts of a home purchase process. Without a home inspection, how would you know if everything in your new home is in safe and working order? A home inspection is a way to protect the buyer from purchasing a home that is unsafe or will need costly repairs. Every buyer of a home is given the opportunity to conduct a home inspection, even if the home is sold-as-is.

A general home inspection isn’t only meant for previously owned single family homes. A home inspection is strongly suggested for new construction homes, patio homes, condominiums, and townhomes as well.

Here is the reason why:

Steve Dobbs represented a buyer purchasing a new construction home a few years ago. Believe it or not, the home inspector found that the new construction home needed a brand new roof! New construction homes almost always provide a builder’s warranty. However, you still need a home inspection. This goes to show it is better to be safe than sorry.  The builder should not be offended; it is another set of eyes looking over the home.

Typically, it is written in the contract that the buyer has anywhere between 10-14 days to conduct a home inspection. You will want to schedule your home inspection ASAP. Especially during the spring and summer, home inspectors get booked very quickly. You need to make sure that your home inspection and repair request are completed within the time frame listed in the sales contract. Home inspections range between $300-$500.

Usually home inspection companies also offer radon inspections and termite inspections. Both of these inspections are strongly advised. Homes in Kentucky are susceptible to radon and especially in our five county area. Steve Dobbs wrote a great article regarding radon in Kentucky homes. A termite inspection usually ranges from $50 to $100 and a radon inspection is between $100 to $200.

Home inspection usually range from two to three hours, depending on the size of the home. We usually advise our clients to come to the home inspection an hour before it is complete for the wrap-up. This way, the inspector has plenty of time to evaluate the home and has no distractions. At the wrap-up, he will go over his concerns and show you important things such as the main water valve shut off.  The home inspector is mainly looking for repairs that will needed involving functionality and safety. Cosmetic repairs will be overlooked.

What will your home inspector look for?

A home inspector will generally examine the following:

-          Foundation of home

-          Frame of the home

-          Roof

-          Plumbing

-          Electrical

-          Heating system

-          Cooling system

-          Interior (doors, walls, floors, stairs, etc.)

-          Exterior (driveway, porch, sidewalks, rails, brick or siding, etc.)

-          Fireplace

-          Insulation and ventilation

What happens after the home inspection?

After your inspector has completed the inspection, he will sit down with you and discuss his findings. Usually he or she will have a computer with pictures to show you the areas in your home that need repair. The home inspector is performing a general home inspection.  He may be uncomfortable with an issue and recommend that an expert in that particular field also inspect the issue in question.  A good example will be a foundation or structural issue.

Within a day, your inspector will email you and your REALTOR a written home inspection report that includes pictures and descriptions of the areas that need to be fixed. If you had a termite or radon inspection, these reports will come in a separate report.  You and your REALTOR will look over the home inspection report to determine what you will ask the seller to repair. The list may be long or short.  Oftentimes, if the list is lengthy, we focus on the most important issues.  At this point, if you do not like the findings of the home inspection, you are legally able to walk away from the real estate transaction.

 Always keep in mind, no home is perfect, especially older homes. It is almost unheard of for a home inspector to find absolutely nothing wrong with a home. Even if there are major issues with the home, you can always ask the seller to repair these issues in the repair request.

Do you have any additional questions or comments about home inspections? Please feel free to share below. We would love to answer any questions you may have.


Patio Home Living in Louisville: Is it Right for Me?

10108 Cave Creek Rd

Why is patio home living so appealing? Steve Dobbs has lived in his patio home in Forest Village for five years now.  He wrote about his initial reaction to living in a Forest Village patio home when he made the move in 2011. Steve says that he would never go back to living in a single family home. For those unsure if patio home living is the right choice, consider the following:

  • Yardwork Eliminated- Depending on the size of your yard, you should expect to spend two to four hours a week on yard work in a single family home. A yard involves a lot of work such as mowing, edging, weed removal, watering, and fertilizing. How nice would it be to not have to worry about yard work?  In a patio home, yard work is nonexistent. You will pay a monthly homeowner’s association fee that covers the upkeep of your lawn. The time that you would be dedicating to your yard, you can spend doing things you enjoy.  Generally speaking, the HOA will take care of your shrubbery and mulching.  And, don’t forget the leaves in the fall.  Few people enjoy raking and disposing of the leaves!
  • Exterior Maintenance- A typical patio home community will take care of the outside maintenance of your home.  This may include painting, roof repairs, gutter cleaning, tree trimming, etc.
  • Less Space to Upkeep- Although patio homes vary in square footage, often times people will choose patio homes with less square footage so that there is less to maintain. Anyone that has owned a single family home knows how much time is involved in cleaning. Less square footage means less time spent on cleaning.
  • Basements- Living in a patio home doesn't mean that you have to give up having a basement. For those that still want a basement, patio homes with basements are very common. Forest Village patio homes and many other patio home subdivisions in Louisville have basements.
  • More Time to Enjoy Life- With less yard work and home to maintain, you should have more time to enjoy life. This is one of the most common reasons people choose patio home living.  
  • More Affordable- Patio homes tend to be more affordable than single family homes. Usually, you can get the same modern day bells and whistles that a single family home would offer but for a fraction of the cost.
  • Fewer Neighbors- Compared to condominiums, patio home subdivisions typically have fewer residents.  It is pretty common to just share one wall.  That is almost a misnomer, as often there are two walls with a fire break which does double duty for safety and noise concerns.  Condominium complexes usually have more residents because there are two to three floors of condos in each building. In a patio home, you don’t have to worry about having neighbors above or below you. This results in less noise and more privacy.

Patio home living isn’t for everyone but it would be something to consider if you wanted less responsibility when it comes to a home. You can view all patio homes for sale in Louisville and surrounding counties on our website. For more information, call us at 502-429-3866.

What are your thoughts on patio home living? Would you ever consider living in a patio home? Feel free to write your questions and comments below. 


Selling Your Home in Louisville

Selling your home in Louisville: Prepare your home for fall/winter

Selling Your Home in Louisville

This summer, we experienced a record-breaking real estate market in Louisville. We have seen the lowest inventory in years in summer of 2016. In addition, many homes haven't lasted on the market more than a day. Some homes even sold within a few hours!  Moving into the colder months, market conditions could change quite a bit. Here are a few tips for selling your home in the fall and winter in Louisville:

Price it Right: You should price your home right in any season; however, the fall and winter are especially important. Fewer people are looking for a home in the fall and winter versus the spring.

Make Your Home Move-in Ready: Buyers are less willing to purchase a fixer-upper in the fall and winter because the weather is colder. If your home will require a lot of sweat equity for the buyer, you may want to consider putting your home on the market in the spring instead. If your home only needs a few repairs and updates, go ahead and fix these things. The less work a buyer has to do to the home in the fall and winter, the better. Buyers like move-in ready homes in Louisville.

Make Sure Your Home is Showroom Ready: The first impression a buyer has of your home is the outside. Make sure your lawn is well-manicured on the outside. Pick any weeds in flowerbeds and shrubbery and remove loose branches from trees. On the inside, your home should be clutter free. Buyers want to imagine their belongings in your home. You could rent a storage unit to store some of your belongings until you move to your new home.

Autumn/Winter Curb Appeal: Selling your home during the holidays can actually be a great time because homes can look prettier if decorated for the Holidays. Make sure the décor is tasteful. In the fall, planting seasonal flowers can be a nice touch. If the exterior of your home needs touch-up paint, consider a warmer color for the fall. Also, clearing snow from your sidewalk and driveway can also add to curb appeal. In addition, it makes it safer for buyers viewing your home.

-  Make Your Home Feel Cozy: Buyers don’t want to walk into a cold home. Set the thermostat at a temperature that will be comfortable for the buyers. Also, open the blinds to let in light, it’ll make the rooms feel larger.

-  Allow Daytime Showings: People want to see homes in the daylight.  It is hard for the imagination to work properly if you can’t see the backyard. Buyers are serious; if they are tromping through the snow and cold, they are not window shopping. 

Selling Your Home in Louisville: Price it Right the First Time

Listing Your Home in Louisville

We all want to make money when we sell our home. For some home sellers, overpricing your home seems like the best strategy to make a profit on your home in Louisville. Actually, it is the exact opposite. Your REALTOR will determine the best price to list your home in Louisville based on comparable properties in the area and the condition of your home. So why is it such a bad idea to overprice your home? Here are a few reasons why:

It Won’t Appraise: This is likely the most important reason not to overprice your home. Appraisers are going to look at the same things your REALTOR looks at, comparable properties and condition of your home. A mortgage institution isn’t going to lend money for a home that doesn’t appraise. The mortgage institution will lend money for the price the home appraises for but no more than that. In these cases, either the buyer has to come up with the difference or the seller has to lower the sales price. The buyer has the opportunity to walk away from the transaction at this point too.

Lack of Showings: When your home is overpriced, you will likely not have many showings. The buyers’ REALTORs will most likely advise them not to see the home if it is overpriced.

Lack of Offers: If you do receive offers, they will likely be low ball offers. Some buyers won’t even offer you a low-ball offer. Many times, buyers might wait until you price your home right. By that time, the buyer could have already found a home.

Becomes ‘Stale’ Home on the Market: Once your home has sat on the market a month or so, people start wondering if something is wrong with your home.

It Will Cost You: The longer your home sits on the market, the longer you are paying the mortgage. If you price your home right the first time, it will sell quicker.

Pricing your home right doesn’t mean pricing the home below its value. It means pricing the home based on its true worth. Pricing your home right should stimulate interest amongst buyers. In turn, you will see better results. Call Tim Hollinden at 502-429-3866 for more information regarding selling your home in Louisville and surrounding counties.


Buying Your First Home in Louisville

why should you buy a home in the fall and winter?

Why Should You Buy a Home in the Fall and Winter?

For buyers, the fall and winter can be a great time to purchase a home. This summer has been one of the most competitive real estate markets in years. Buyers purchasing a home this fall and winter may experience a more relaxed environment when searching for a home. Here are a few reasons to buy a home in the fall and winter:

- Sellers are More Serious: The most popular time to put your home on the market is in the spring and summer. If a seller puts their home on the market in the fall or winter, it usually is because they are serious about selling their home. If a seller is serious, sometimes negotiation is easier.

- Competition Amongst Buyers is Lower: More buyers purchase a home in the spring and summer versus the fall and winter. Many buyers that have children like to move into a new home before their children go back to school. You may have an easier time getting the home you want in the fall and winter. In addition, you should have the opportunity to go back to view the property several times before making a decision. This past summer, the competition was so high that buyers were having to make a decision immediately after seeing the home.

Do you have questions about buying a home in the fall and winter? Leave your comments below.

Why use a realtor when buying a home?

Buying Your First Home in Louisville

When you are buying your first home in Louisville, you need a great real estate agent on your side. If you have never purchased a house before, you will need the skills of a seasoned REALTOR to find a home that meets your criteria. Even if you have purchased a home in the past, a REALTOR is necessary. Here are a few reason why:

1.)    Access to all Properties Listed- Did you know that not every home for sale is advertised on large national websites like Zillow? REALTORs pay yearly fees to have access to the MLS. The MLS will show every home for sale in the local market and surrounding areas. Without a REALTOR, you could miss out on several homes for sale.

2.)    Knowledge of Neighborhoods and Schools- REALTORs are your local neighborhood experts. Your REALTOR can help provide information regarding appreciation rates, schools, crime rates, and so much more.

3.)    Up-to-date Information on Real Estate Laws and Regulations- REALTORs are required to attend continued education classes. These classes cover the latest trends and regulations that help REALTORs serve their clients better.

4.)    Price Guidance- Homes are overpriced more often than you would think. Do you really want to pay more for a home than what is worth? Often, buyers will determine a home’s worth based on inaccurate home value tools on the Internet.  A REALTOR will have access to comparable properties that have sold in the area to determine the best price to offer. 

5.)    Negotiation- When you work with a REALTOR, many of the emotional aspects are taken out of the negotiation. In relation to price guidance, if you really love a home that is overpriced, you may be forced to put in a lowball offer. REALTORs have been in this situation before and can present the offer in a diplomatic fashion. Also, there may be additional items in the home that you want to request to remain with the property. Your REALTOR will be able to determine which items would be appropriate to request to stay with the property.

6.)    Strategy- Some sellers are harder to negotiate with than others. This is when you need a great real estate agent with excellent sales strategy. Every seasoned real estate agent has sales strategies to ensure you get the best deal on your home.

7.)    Paperwork- There are loads of paperwork involved in a real estate transaction. A Greater Louisville real estate sales contract alone is seven pages! You’ll also be required to sign numerous documents in addition to the sales contract. These documents are filled with legal terminology and information that are best understood by a seasoned REALTOR.

8.)    Hiring a Buyer’s Agent is Free- The listing agent and buyer’s agent split the commission that the seller pays. You not are required to pay your REALTOR to represent you when you are buying a home.

Do you have any further questions about purchasing your first home? Leave your comments below.


 7 Reasons to Work With a REALTOR®. (n.d.). Retrieved August 29, 2016, from http://realtormag.realtor.org/sales-and-marketing/handouts-for-customers/for-buyers/7-reasons-work-realtor 

buying a home in Louisville in the fall/winter

Buying a House in the Fall and Winter

Although buying a home in the fall and winter in Louisville could be a less competitive time to purchase, there are many factors that buyers tend to forget about when searching for a new home. Follow these tips to ensure you are smart about your next home purchase:

- Driveways: Is the driveway steep? This could make maneuvering in the ice and snow especially difficult.
- HOA: Does your association fees cover snow removal? If not, are the streets city owned? City owned streets should be snow plowed. If the neighborhood has no HOA and the streets are not city owned, driving through the neighborhood could be difficult when it snows.
- Water Drainage: Ideally, you want water to drain away from your house. We don’t have as much evaporation in the winter.
- Windows: How old are the windows? Old windows are less energy efficient. It is important to have windows that are in good condition and newer in the winter.
- Air Conditioner: Although you won’t be using the air conditioning in the winter, you want to make sure that it is going to work for the following summer. This is something that buyers often forget about when buying a home in the winter.
Being a well-prepared buyer and/or seller makes the home buying or selling process a smoother transaction. As a seller, following these tips should help you find success in selling your home quicker. As a buyer, these tips should help you avoid costly repairs and inconvenience when purchasing a home. For more information regarding buying a home or selling your home in the fall and winter, call The Hollinden Team at 502-429-3866.

Why You Should Buy a Home in Louisville Right Now

Why You Should Buy a Home in Louisville Right Now...

Why Your Home Isn't Selling in Louisville

Your home has sat on the market for months. You get occasional showings, but no offers on your home. Why isn’t your home selling in Louisville? You think you have a beautiful home but maybe there are a few things missing. If you are having issues selling your home in Louisville, consider some of these suggestions:  

Asking Price is Too High-  Don’t list your home for what you think your home is worth, list your home for what it is actually worth. T.J. Hollinden with the Hollinden Team says this is the most common reason why a home won’t sell. A real estate agent will be able to look at comparable homes in your neighborhood and determine the best price to list your home. Remember, if a buyer is obtaining a loan to purchase your home, he/she will need to get an appraisal. If a home is way overpriced, the buyer can only receive financing for what the home is actually worth. This means the buyer will have to come out of pocket for the remainder of the sales price. Many times, this will ruin a deal and you will likely have to put your home back on the market.


Bad First Impression- Pictures of your home on the Internet are the first impression a buyer will have. Bad pictures take away from the overall beauty of a home. When hiring a REALTOR in Louisville, you should only hire an agent with a good camera that knows how to use it, or willing to hire a professional photographer. You may consider viewing homes that the agent has listed before on the Internet. That way, you can get a better idea of the quality of their pictures. Your agent should also take ample photos of your home inside and out; just a few pictures will not do.

In addition, your curb appeal applies to the first impression as well. Even if you have a gorgeous home on the interior, you can lose a potential buyer if it is poorly maintained on the outside. We hear over and over that buyers make their mind up in the first eight seconds of entering the home.  Part of that reasoning is they already have a first impression before they open the door.  Make sure your landscaping is manicured and that your home appears inviting. Consider a nice wreath and patio furniture if you have a porch on the front of the home.

Your Home is Outdated- People are searching for updated homes in Louisville. If your home isn’t updated, consider discounting the initial listing price. This will let the buyer have room to make upgrades. You could also consider a few inexpensive updates. Fresh paint and carpet can go a long way towards the quick sale of your home. You might consider updating fixtures and hardware in the home. Often, even cheaper updates can increase your chances of selling your home in Louisville.


You Aren’t Using a Real Estate Agent- You will never get the exposure you need to sell your home if you don’t use an agent. When you work with an agent, your home instantly becomes visible on many websites as soon as your home is listed on the MLS. You just won’t get that kind of exposure selling your home yourself. In addition, if you have never practiced real estate, you may find the transaction quite challenging. Seasoned REALTORs have ample experience with negotiation and the legalities involved with real estate.

Too Many Personal Items in the Home- When a buyer views your home, he/she should be able to visualize living there. If you have excessive personal pictures and items around your home, it will hurt your ability to sell your home. However, it is okay to have some furniture and décor left in the home. Doing this could actually help the buyer see the potential for the home. Just make sure the home doesn’t look cluttered.  Closets that are jam packed make the buyers wonder if their items will fit.

We hope that this information was helpful for those struggling to sell their home. If you would like to discuss listing your home with a professional REALTOR, call the Hollinden Team at 502-429-3866. We would love to assist you in selling your home in Louisville. 


Fixer-Upper Home or New Home in Louisville?

So, you are in the market for a new home in Louisville. You see many homes on the Internet, both new and old. Both options seem intriguing. The idea of saving some money on the sales price and buying a fixer-upper home sounds pretty appealing. On the other hand, how nice would it be to move into a home that was brand new and completely move-in ready? How do you make such a tough decision? We will discuss a few factors to help you decide.

What makes rehab homes in Louisville so attractive to buyers? The most obvious reason is the price. Typically, if a home needs a lot of work that the seller isn’t willing to do, the listing price is low. Likewise, fixer-uppers allow buyers to move into more desirable neighborhoods for less money. In addition to saving on the sales price, distressed properties in Louisville provide savings on Jefferson County property taxes. Many times, distressed homes in Louisville allow homeowners to take advantage of a tax credit for their rehabilitation costs. Often this tax credit will apply to historic homes only (Hurwith,2016).

In some cases, rehab homes are eligible for an FHA 203k loan or a rehabilitation loan. Rehab homes can have a lot of character too. With a fixer-upper home, you have the opportunity to create a unique looking home. Many people that fix up an older home are able to add modern day upgrades but still maintain some of the historic charms. Fixer-uppers also allow you to put your own stamp on your home. You are free to design and decorate the home from scratch. 

Fixer-Upper Home in Louisville

Although some of the mentioned factors may seem appealing, rehab homes can be a lot of work as well. First, rehab homes can take a lot of time! Sometimes hiring contractors can speed up the process; however, you may want to try to do some things yourself to save money. Do you have experience making home renovations? If not, anticipate running into some road blocks.  Being new at making home repairs can take even longer and may end up being quite expensive. Do you have the time to invest in a rehab home in Louisville?  You should get many estimates on the cost of the homes repairs before purchasing the home.

Whenever you calculate the estimated cost of renovating the home, make sure to add another 20% to the total cost. In the end, you may find that you will need to hire a contractor after all. Another factor to keep in mind is that although you may be getting a good deal by buying a fixer-upper home in Louisville, you are still going to be spending a lot of money on repairs. This is the number one issue for people purchasing distressed properties in Louisville. You must have a source of cash to make the repairs on the home.

In addition to upfront repairs and renovations, if it is an older home expect the unexpected. Older homes have a tendency to have many issues. At any time, a new problem could arise. Of course, there is always a chance that the home would be a candidate for a rehabilitation loan, but don’t count on this. 

Also, don't forget about the permits you will need to make the repairs on your home. A permit can be required for the following repairs: fencing installation, plumbing, electrical work, heating maintenance, and window installation. Typically, if a home renovation costs more than $5,000 you will likely need a permit (Davis, 2014).

Fixer-Upper Home in Louisville

Another thing to consider is whether or not the home is a cosmetic or structural fixer-upper. Many times cosmetic fixer-uppers aren’t nearly as expensive as a structurally distressed property. A structurally distressed property will likely require a lot of work and money. It may be best if a home has structural issues to pass it up.

Fixer-Upper Home in Louisville

Move-in ready homes are obviously the most convenient options. Typically, the home is updated and needs no work. Usually, the only work that may need to be done is just adding your own personal touches to the home. Also, new homes are usually easier to finance. Obviously, your credit score, down payment, etc. play a role in financing as well. However, in general, financing is usually quicker and easier for new homes in Louisville. Newer homes are also more energy efficient and cost you a lot less on electric bills. 

Move-In Ready Home in Louisville

Of course, there are downsides to purchasing a new home. New homes are expensive. Because they are move-in ready, you are charged more than you would be if you were buying a distressed property. Move-in ready homes also don’t allow much room to customize. Move-in ready homes usually match the seller’s taste. If it is a new construction, sometimes you are limited to only a few styles of homes to choose from. There may be many things you like about the home but a few that you don’t. The problem is that you are already spending so much on the home that there may not be room for improvements. Also, new homes can have issues too. Just because a home is a new construction doesn’t mean that no problems will arise. You need to do a thorough investigation on the builder prior to purchasing a new home.

Hopefully this information will provide some guidance for you when it comes time to buy a home. The Hollinden Team has closed several transactions involving distressed homes in Louisville. If you have questions about homes in Louisville or surrounding counties, feel free to call the Hollinden Team at (502) 429-3866.


 Davis, A. (2014, October 6). Which Home Improvement Projects Require a Permit? Retrieved June 24, 2016, from https://www.redfin.com/blog/2014/10/which-home-improvement-projects-require-a-permit.html 
 Hurwith, J. (2016, January 20). Fixer-Upper Vs. Move-In Ready: Pros & Cons. Retrieved June 24, 2016, from http://www.improvenet.com/a/fixer-upper-vs-move-in-ready-pros-cons 

Is Louisville In a Buyer's Market or Seller's Market?

The real estate market has gained a lot of attention. Louisville and surrounding counties are experiencing record low inventory. Currently, we are in a seller’s market. Some may be curious, what constitutes a buyer or seller’s market? Why is real estate inventory so low right now? How will 2016 compare to 2015 Louisville real estate statistics? In this blog, we will discuss these questions regarding the real estate market.

In a seller’s market, there are more buyers anxious to buy than people willing to sell their homes. In this case, home prices usually spike up because sellers know their home will be in demand. Commonly in a seller’s market, there is a reason behind why more buyers are ready to buy. Some of these factors maybe low interest rates, higher employment rates, etc.

Louisville Real Estate Market

A fast market is when homes don’t last on the real estate market. In a fast market, you will see many homes sell the same day they are listed. Often, listings in a fast market will have multiple offers. Many times a seller’s market and a fast market can go hand in hand. The current conditions in the Louisville real estate market could be categorized as a fast market.

A buyer’s market is when there are fewer buyers and more people with their homes on the market. Typically, in the case of a buyer’s market, sellers have to do more to make their homes more attractive to sell. In a buyer’s market, you will see a major dip in home prices. Some of the time in a buyer’s market, sellers will need to do more to appease buyers such as pay for closing costs, purchase home warranty, etc. 

Generally, if you want to find out whether or not we are experiencing a buyer or sellers’ market, you will want to calculate the absorption rate. The absorption rate calculates how many months of real estate supply there is in a particular market. Most times when the absorption rate is calculated, six months’ worth of inventory is used. In a buyer’s market, there is usually six months’ worth of inventory and in a seller’s market, there is usually three months’ worth of inventory. In a balanced market, there is between three to six months of inventory.

Why is inventory so low? Nationally, we are seeing a shortage in inventory due to lack of foreclosures and short sales on the market. Many of these homes were purchased by investors a few years ago. Many of these investors aren’t ready to sell these homes and are renting the homes instead. Next, many of the homeowners that own affordable homes are in a situation that they are not going to make any money from their home so they choose not to sell. Another reason, home prices are spreading out more and more. What I mean by this is that the difference in price between trade-up homes (home after starter home) and luxury homes are growing more and more. Because of this, luxury homes are becoming more unattainable for some and many trade-up homeowners are sticking with the home they have. When this happens, starter homes become more expensive as well. There is also a lack of inventory in luxury homes. Due to this, many luxury homeowners that thought about selling have changed their mind and are staying in their current residence (McLaughlin,2016). A final reason is that there is less new construction. Unfortunately, after the real estate crash in 2007, many of the real estate builders closed down their business. Also, many of the trade workers that were involved in constructing homes moved on to other types of work after the crash of 2007. With less real estate builders in the business, we are seeing a decrease in inventory.

Kentucky Real Estate

Although inventory is at a record low, there aren’t too many changes in the Louisville real estate market in 2015 versus 2016. In May 2015, there were 1019 sold listings in Louisville versus 1045 sold listings in May 2016. The average sale price in increased a little from $191,668 in May 2015 to $201,876 in May 2016. The only thing that shows a significant difference is the number of new listings in May 2015 versus May 2016. In May 2015, there were 1590 new listings versus 1457 new listings in May 2016.

It will be interesting to see what the real estate market does in the next couple months. Stay tuned for more information regarding real estate conditions from the Hollinden Team. For more information regarding the real estate market, call the Hollinden team at 502-429-3866. We would love to assist you with any questions you may have. 


 McLaughlin, R. (2016, March 21). House Arrest: How Low Inventory Is Slowing Home Buying - Trulia's Blog. Retrieved June 14, 2016, from http://www.trulia.com/blog/trends/inventory-price-watch-q116/ 

Why We Love Rock Springs!

As real estate agents with REMAX Champions, we have a chance to see homes all over the Louisville area.  We are really impressed with Homes for Sale in Rock Springs.  The first thing we like is the location which is in the up and coming east end of Louisville.  We like modern homes and all the homes in Rock Springs have a modern flair. Homearama shows in 2012 and 2013 were held here, so you know that builders hold this area in high esteem as well.

The entrance to Rock Springs is quite impressive and welcomes visitors with a taste of more to come as they enter.
Rock Springs is still evolving with room for expansion.  They have new concepts with Villas at Rock Springs featuring stand-alone garden homes and The Reserves at Rock Springs being the newest elite homes section.  This development works with 14 different builders giving you the choice of many home plans and ideas.  This is definitely not a cookie-cutter neighborhood.  RJ Thieneman developed the subdivision and is still actively involved in its expansion.
Rock Springs has a nature trail that is located off Rock Bluff Drive.  Here we have some wide open green space as well as plenty of trees to give us a back to nature feel.  There is nothing like a playground for the kids and Rock Springs offers this first class amenity located right off Pebble Creek Drive.  For those wanting a little more physical exertion, there are parks, Glen Oaks golf course, and a YMCA located nearby at Norton Commons.
The location and quality of the shopping in the area is another big plus.  Kroger has rebuilt and modernized their store on Brownsboro Road.  The Paddock Shops are close by and have an eclectic feel along with several high quality restaurants.   Brownsboro Crossing is ever expanding with a Cabelas store and a recently opened World of Beer location.
Be sure to contact the agents at The Hollinden Team as we have a unique perspective as Rock Springs is home to us having lived here for several years. We know about the elite homes in the area and will be happy to show you around.


Jefferson County Commissioner’s sale for October

I have been working with a client for a couple of months that had spotted a property in Houston Acres that met her fancy.  We had done a little homework and knew that it was slated for the Jefferson County Commissioner sale of October 30th.  As I did my research, I could see that it was listed as a short sale a year ago and cancelled after 3 months.  In the listing, the agent notes mentioned bringing a flashlight as the power was off.  This tells me that it has also been vacant since that time.

We started off by contacting the owner and trying to work a short sale. I talked to the owner and I could tell that he was disgusted with the short sale process.  It turns out that the sellers accepted an offer on their short sale home and sent it to the bank.  Just before it was to be approved, the bank changed hands.  The real estate agent and sellers were told that the short sale process would now have to start over.  With this piece of information, the listing was cancelled.

As time grew nearer to the commissioner sale date, my client employed me to be their buyer’s agent in this transaction.  I told them that I would work with them to successfully bring it to the closing table.  I suggested that they contact the owner directly and see if they could get inside the house before the sale.  I then ran some comps of the area and we discussed pricing strategy.

The day of the sale arrived and after a spirited bidding war with the foreclosing bank, my clients bought the house.  Since then, we have been working with the loan officer, utilities, title companies and others.  At this point, it appears that all is good for a close in 30 days.

If you are interested in other Short Sales in MLS area 7 or Foreclosures in MLS area 7, contact Tim Hollinden at 502-429-3866.