4 Home Search Strategies that Assure Buyers a Good Purchase

15 Apr

I’ll help you buy or sell your home in Louisville, KY. If you’re looking to buy a home, I’ll help you pick the right home for you. If you’re thinking about selling, call me and I’ll tell you what price you home is most likely to sell for. Click here to search a available homes on my website.

Four Ways to Get the Louisville Home that You Want

It’s an exciting time in Louisville right now with the Derby coming up and the weather beginning to warm. We have a lot of buyers and sellers coming on to the market, and today we’re actually going to be focusing on the buyer side. I have 4 easy steps that I’d like to share with you, and they should aid you in getting into the home that you desire.

  1. Get a Realtor: This is always the first and most important step. You need someone who will be working in your best interests and who is always looking out for your well-being. You wouldn’t defend yourself in court without a lawyer, so why would you purchase a home without the representation of a realtor? Just like attorneys, realtors will aid you in going through the piles of paperwork that it takes to purchase a home, and they will make the whole process much more smooth and pain-free.
    • Also, realtors will help you find better deals on nicer homes. It will also cost you nothing to use a realtor as a buyer.
  2. Find a Lender: What I mean by this is that you need to find a lender that will assist you in getting Pre-approved. You do not want to waste your time by looking at houses that you cannot afford to buy. The worst thing a realtor can do is show you a property that you’re not qualified to buy.
    • Plus, if you’re Pre-approved as a buyer, you will be very attractive to a seller because they will know that you can afford to buy their home and you will not be wasting their time.
  3. Make a Wish List: To narrow down your home search right from the beginning, make a list of wants and needs that cannot be compromised. An example could be the location of a home – it has to be in a good school district. If you know what you’re looking for from the beginning, it will be a much simpler and quicker home search for yourself and for your realtor. Create a list of 5 things that you need in a home, and go from there.
  4. Start Looking: After you have completed all of the assigned tasks above, you can then begin to work with your realtor to organize a home search. As a realtor I will consider your wants and needs, your price range, and your general sensibilities in what home would be the right fit for you. Most people take this as their first step in a home search, but this can lead buyers astray and will probably cause bumps in the road.

The one last thing I want you to understand is that when you’re working with a realtor to purchase a home, it will not cost you a dime. The seller is the one who pays the commission to the agent, so it is really silly not to utilize a professional real estate agent to help you with one of the largest financial investments of your life.

So, if you’re looking to buy, sell, or invest in Louisville real estate, please give me a call because I am always willing to lend a helping hand.



Your Home Will Sell Itself If You Price Properly

2 Apr

Your Home Will Sell Itself If You Price Properly

I’ll help you buy or sell your home in Louisville, KY. If you’re looking to buy a home, I’ll help you pick the right home for you. If you’re thinking about selling, call me and I’ll tell you what price you home is most likely to sell for. Click here to search a available homes on my website.

The 5 Keys to Properly Pricing Your Home
This week I wanted to talk about why it’s important to price your home correctly from the start of your selling process. I’ve talked about the importance of pricing correctly on numerous occasions, but I think right now as we experience the spring and summer surge in sales here in Louisville, I should probably remind you once more. Adjusting the price 15 to 30 days after listing will lose you valuable time and possible buyers.

  1. The Fresher Your Home, the Higher the Price: You will always get more money the longer your home has been on the market. Buyers will see that it is a fresh listing and will be competing to come and view your home.
        1. It’s similar to when a new iPhone or Playstation comes out: the price is always highest right when the product is released.


  2. Buyers Shop Around: Just like at the grocery store or when you’re looking for a car, home buyers will want to shop around to find the best value available. If your home is properly priced and buyer see a great value in it, then you will have no trouble attracting buyers and selling for a good price.
  3. Appraisal: If someone takes out a bank loan to buy your home, the bank will come out and appraise your property. If the bank doesn’t appraise for the contract price then you’re back to square one and you’ll have to start the process over again. My advice is to listen to the recommendations of your real estate agent when pricing and just be very, very careful.
  4. Pricing Properly: Instead of fixating on a certain location, people are more worried about what kind of bang they’re getting for their buck. If a home is priced right, location doesn’t seem to be a huge obstacle for buyers these days.
  5. Negotiation: If a home is not priced correctly, nobody will really consider making an offer on it. Just a few weeks ago when the federal government pulled billions of dollars out of their bond purchases, interest rates began to creep back up. People are getting qualified for a particular price and they are not wanting to shop all over the place, and as inventory dips lower and lower people don’t want to shop around. Homes are selling quickly on this market if they’re priced properly.

The final price of your home is always up to you to decide, but the smart thing to do is to let the market decide the listing price of your home. If you’re on the market and not getting any showings, or if you are getting showings but no offers, then these are both indications that you’re asking for too much.


If you’d like more information on pricing your home correctly, take a look at these other articles:





Otherwise, if you know anyone looking to buy or sell real estate in the Louisville area, then please send them down my way. I can be reached at (502) 220-4663 or email me at toddmartin@realtor.com.

Access My Pocket Listings to Find the Perfect Home

24 Mar


I’ll help you buy or sell your home in Louisville, KY. If you’re looking to buy a home, I’ll help you pick the right home for you. If you’re thinking about selling, call me and I’ll tell you what price you home is most likely to sell for. Click here to search a available homes on my website.

Pocket Listings

A pocket listing is a home that has been put on the market, but for whatever reason, the seller does not want it listed on the open market. You may wonder why someone would not want their property on the open market, but there are actually a few different reasons this occurs.

Privacy Concerns: The seller may be a public figure that does not want to attract attention, and sometimes people just like to have their privacy when they sell a home.

• Some sellers would prefer not to have an army of potential buyers waltzing through their home.

• Sometimes these sales come as a result of a divorce or a death, and family members want to keep this situation out of the public eye by utilizing a pocket listing.

People are sometimes afraid to sell their home in a down market, so they list this way in case a very good buyer might come along. This is a good way for them to ‘test the waters’.

These pocket listings are usually not available on the bigger real estate websites like Trulia or Zillow. Instead, you will need to contact a real estate agent such as myself because we keep these listing on our back end. I currently have two pages worth of pocket listings in the Louisville area, so contact me if you are interested.

A downside to pocket listing is that your home may not get all the advertising that it deserves. However, it is a good way to go through a sort of practice run in the home selling process.

These sort of listings will not work for everyone, but if you have been having trouble finding a home, please ask me about this because I know where to find these shadow properties. If you would like to know more about Louisville pocket listings, then give me a call at (502) 220-4663 or email me at toddmartin@realtor.com


Explaining the Essentials to Down Payment Gift Assistance

26 Feb

Explaining the Essentials to Down Payment Gift Assistance

I’ll help you buy or sell your home in Louisville, KY. If you’re looking to buy a home, I’ll help you pick the right home for you. If you’re thinking about selling, call me and I’ll tell you what price you home is most likely to sell for. Click here to search a available homes on my website.

I’ll be explaining down payment gift assistance today, and what I mean by that is if someone were to give you money as a ‘gift’ in order to help you pay for your down payment on a home. It is understood that 25% of new home buyers will get a gift in one form or another. Lenders will often scrutinize these sort of gifts because they fear that this is just another loan. To avoid a fiasco like this, I have some easy steps you can follow:
  • These gift funds need to be given to you in the form of a direct deposit or through another lending company, but they cannot come to you in the form of cash because that is an unverifiable form. Lenders will not like to see this, so avoid cash gifts.
  • gift letter must be signed by the giver that says these funds are a gift, and that any sort of exchange for the gift will not take place.
      • You have to remember that not only you will be scrutinized, but your gift giver will also be looked at by the lending company. The lenders will likely want to know bank information, so be sure you can verify all the necessary data.


  • Different Limits for Different Programs: Different lending programs will allow different limits for these types of gifts, so be sure to check this before you go with a certain lending program.
  • Seasoned Funds: If you expect to buy a home in the next 3-6 months and are also expecting a gift deposit to purchase one, then have that put into your account a few months beforehand. This will surprise a loan officer because by that point, these funds will be considered ‘seasoned’.
  • Understand Federal Gift-Giving Guidelines: This goes for both you and the gift-giver. Once a gift surpasses a certain limit (somewhere around $14,000), there will be some taxes applied to it.

This is a short synopsis on the rules relating to down payment gifts, so if you don’t quite understand them, then be sure to contact me because I would like to help you with your home-buying experience. Also, if you need any assistance with real estate in the greater Louisville area, then feel free to contact me as well.

You can call me at (502) 220-4663 or email me at toddmartin@realtor.com

Buying in the Winter, what to look for and get $5,000 to chase away the blues!!!

12 Feb

I’ll help you buy or sell your home in Louisville, KY. If you’re looking to buy a home, I’ll help you pick the right home for you. If you’re thinking about selling, call me and I’ll tell you what price you home is most likely to sell for. Click here to search a available homes on my website.

Buying in the Winter, what to look for and get $5,000 to chase away the blues!!!

Today I wanted to go over a topic that is often over looked and that is taking advantage of the winter and buying a home. As I’m sure you are aware, the snow has brought us up to eight school closings; but did you know that now is a great time to buy a home?

While you’re out looking at properties, you want to see how well the home’s furnace works. If you walk into the house and it feels “toasty,” check the thermostat to see if it is set at 65 degrees or 80 degrees. You also want to check for draft and insulation inadequacies. To do this, simply run your hand over the top of the window or look for fog to determine if the window has lost its seal.

Look at this fantastic home that passes the winter test!

When this unpredictable weather hits, the market sees a sag in sales. However, this is good for buyers! Lenders, loan officers and banks tend to have fewer loans in their pipeline which means the lending process will be expedited. This gives you the chance to move into your new home more quickly. This cold weather also brings motivated sellers.

Remember: when looking for homes in the winter, be sure to see what snow removal services the areas offer and if they are taken care of; this is especially important in condos and townhomes. If you’re in the city, find out if your street is on their route to be plowed. It is important to know if you will be able to get out of your home!

ATTENTION BUYERS!!!! Would you like $5,000 to buy a home; you don’t even need to be a first time home buyer! Be sure to contact me to find out about this. This is on a first come, first basis so call me as soon as possible.

For additional information on buying a home in the winter, view the articles below:



Thanks and have a great day!

Now is the Time for You to Get off the Fence and Buy!

24 Jan

Buyers click here to search all area homes for sale.

Now is the Time for You to Get off the Fence and Buy!

Today I wanted to talk to you about purchase price. There seems to be two major reasons for keeping people on the fence about purchasing a home. Those two items happen to be the increasing price of homes in the area and rising interest rates. As you may have heard, the market is back up to the numbers we saw in 2007. A good part of that is that interest rates are still low. However, buyers are weary of the interest rates creeping up from its historic lows.

There is a key piece of information you should understand: the longer you wait, the harder it will be to get into the home that you had picked out because your purchasing power is dwindling. This is because the Federal Reserve has been artificially inflating the low interest rates by purchasing bonds. In January, they announced that they were going to cut back the purchase of those bonds.

Monthly, they average about $85 billion. They have cut back $10 billion, but they are still assisting with the interest rates. However if we see unemployment scale back, banks will scale back on their lending as well. This will cause interest rates to rise and the government to back out purchasing those bonds. As of now though, interest rates remain at historic lows.

As an example, say you are planning on purchasing a home in the $350,000 category at 4% interest rate, your monthly payment would be around $1,500. However, if the interest rises by just one point to 5%, that same budget would only allow to purchase a property at $311,000. That is quite a difference and you are still able to get more bang for your buck if you were to purchase now.

Average Purchasing Price from 2001-2013

Sales 2001-2003 Sales 2004-2006 Sales 2007-2009 Sales 2010-2012 Sales 2013

If you have any questions, give me a call at (502) 220-HOME (4663). Thanks and I look forward to speaking with you. Have a great day!

What Can You Expect in 2014?

13 Dec


Thank you for taking the time to visit with me today, I know December is a hectic month and I appreciate it! Today I would like to do a recap of 2012-2013 and give you an idea of what to expect in 2014. For 2012, there were 13,624 sales within Jefferson County and the surrounding areas. As for 2013, we’ve had 14,478 sales accounting for a 6.3% from 2012. We still have time to go until the end of the year, yet this is a very positive impact.


Another statistic I find interesting is if we break down the properties in the area from $0-2,000,000+, 2012 only had two homes sell that were priced over $2,000,000+ and in 2013, nine homes were sold in that same price range giving us a 350% increase in production in the higher end market. These numbers show great signs of market recovery and what’s to come.

Todd Martin 2013 stats

As far as interest rates, what we’ve been hearing and what we’ve been seeing that they still historically low. Interest rates have gone up slightly and are looking to increase above 5% next year. This is still an excellent time to buy with 5-6 months’ worth of inventory which is great for the serious buyers this time of year. As an early Christmas present, I wanted to give you something we’ve been working very hard on: a mobile home search application for Android/Apple. Simply register, and you will be off and running!

Click here to perform a home search on your Apple device

Click here to perform a home search on your Android device

Thanks and have a wonderful day!