April 2014 Your Home Newsletter

The Fair Housing Act
In April 2014, REALTORS® in Northern Kentucky and across the nation celebrate the anniversary of the 1968 landmark Fair Housing Act. Each year REALTORS® recognize the significance of this event and reconfirm our commitment to upholding fair housing laws as well as our commitment to offering equal professional service to all in their search for real property.  Fair Housing Act: The Fair Housing Act declares a national policy of fair housing throughout the
United States. The law makes it illegal to discriminate in the sale, lease or rental of housing, or making housing otherwise unavailable, because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

By using the services of a Professional REALTOR® like me, you can be assured that your agent is governed by a strict Code of Ethics. Agents in a real estate transaction are prohibited by law from discriminating on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin. A request from the home seller or landlord to act in a discriminatory manner in the sale, lease or rental cannot legally be fulfilled by the real estate professional.

The sale and purchase of a home is one of the most significant events that any person will experience in his or her lifetime. It is more that the simple purchase of housing, for it includes the hopes, dreams, goals, and economic future of a family. Call me today if this is the right time for you to buy or sell a house!

Three Little Fixes You Can Make When Prepping Your Home To Sell
For Sale (Almost)
Homeowners make a lot of memories in their houses, and there’s no doubt it’s emotional for them to say goodbye to their well-loved kitchens and family rooms when they put their homes on the market. Unfortunately, potential buyers will not be charmed by that “lived-in look.” Here are a few simple DIY projects that you can do to rejuvenate some common trouble areas and make homes more appealing to fussy buyers.

1) Broken tiles are not classy.
Oops. Did an anvil drop on that tile countertop? Tile holds up almost indefinitely to all kinds of wear—but sadly, tile cracks if something heavy is dropped on it.
What you can do
It’s relatively simple to replace broken tile: remove the grout, mask the surrounding tiles with tape, loosen the tile, chisel out the pieces, set the new tile, fill the perimeter with new grout and allow the grout to dry. Goodbye, shabby tile.

2) Scratches and dings and gouges, oh my!
We know your brother‐in-law didn’t mean to run into the built-in bookshelves drawer with the recliner. While a droll family memory, there’s no value-add for the prospective home buyer, so it’s probably best the seller get rid of any and all visible scratches, dings and gouges.
What you can do
Minor scratches can be wiped clean with mineral oil, lightly sanded with fine grade sandpaper and sealed with polyurethane. Scratches that penetrate the finish can be filled with a like-colored furniture repair stick. The product consists of wax and putty, and is easy to apply. Follow with a coat of polyurethane.
Not quite a gouge, but deeper than a scratch? Use wood putty in a matching color. Gouges also can be treated with wood putty. Make the repair, let it dry and apply the polyurethane.

3) Counter intelligence?
Bags of groceries, stubborn food stains and the occasional misfire with a kitchen knife are all to blame for laminate or Corian counter surfaces looking scuffed and sad. Fortunately, there are simple solutions that won’t leave home sellers with an empty wallet.
What you can do
Laminate is a repair-friendly surface: a color-matched repair pen or paste will camouflage most scratches. Be careful not to overfill, and gently sand the excess when dry. The remnants of past meals can be removed using a paste made from baking soda and water. Leave the paste for a few hours and wipe away. No need to rub or scrub.  Minor scratches on Corian can be treated by using a mild abrasive liquid cleaner on a damp sponge, rubbing over the scratch in small, overlapping circular motions, and rinsing with clean water. Wipe the surface completely dry, and repeat if the blemish is still visible. Deeper scratches should be treated following the manufacturer’s instructions.

That was easy, wasn’t it? With a little elbow grease and a modest investment of time and money, you clients can brighten up some problem areas in your home. 

Content provided by Pillar to Post Inspection Services, Terry Yaeger, terry.yaeger@pillartopost.com, pillartopost.com/northern-kentucky , 859-342-6700

Area Home Sales Statistics for Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati
If you would like more information about sales in your specific community, send me an email at mikebeckerhomes@fuse.net and let me know how I can help you.

Northern Kentucky 
The Northern Kentucky Association of REALTORS® and the Northern Kentucky Multiple Listing Service report that home sales were off by 7% in March over
the same month of 2013; which seems to be a residual effect of the extreme winter weather that wouldn’t go away. The outlook for home sales remains promising due to the rise in homes that went under contract (658 pending) and the number of new to the market listings that were added in March. A total of 825 new listings were added to the MLS in March, and we expect that more sellers will enter the real estate market in the coming months of Spring and Summer.

Currently, low inventories still plague real estate sales in Northern Kentucky and the region.  This, coupled with fewer first time homebuyers seems to be stalling sales of residential real estate. Typically, a low inventory of listings tends to drive prices higher. This could be the bright spot for some home sellers who have been underwater or have seen their home values plummet in recent years. Many of those who would like to be first time homebuyers say that tight lending
restrictions and student loan debt are their challenges to buying a home.

                                March 2013         March 2014         % change
Residences sold         447                         414                         -7.38%
Average price                 $150,523                 $153,676                 2.09%
Median Price                 $133,900                 $128,000                 -4.41%
Average days on market 96                         89
                                Year to Date 2013 Year to Date 2014 % change
Residences sold         1106                         1125                         1.72%
Average price                 $143,632                 $141,974                 -1.15%
Median Price                 $125,000                 $119,900                 -4.08%
Average days on market 97                         87



                                March 2013         March 2014         % change
Residences sold         1747                         1602                         -8.30%
Average price                 $157,099                 $159,407                 1.47%
Median Price                 $126,000                 $125,000                 -0.80%
Average days on market 79                         74
                                Year to Date 2013 Year to Date 2014 % change
Residences sold         4353                         4093                         -5.97%
Average price                 $147,676                 $155,708                 5.44%
Median Price                 $116,000                 $118,000                 1.72%
Average days on market 81                         75