Featuring Owner, REO Coordinator and Sales Associate for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Parks & Weisberg Realtors Judie Parks
By Liz Bingham
Photos by Andrea Hutchinson
Welcome to the inaugural Home Trends column where each month we will feature a local professional in the industry of homes, from realtors to interior designers to builders. Home Trends will be your go-to place to learn what’s hot and what’s not for your home, straight from the best in the biz. This month, we sat down with Judie Parks of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Parks & Weisberg Realtors to learn about the current trends in the real estate industry.
What are the trends you’re currently seeing in the real estate industry?
Over the past three years, I’ve noticed the trend to get away from the formal dining room but to have a large enough space for entertaining, a trend that has continued to increase. People still want the space to have larger gatherings, but not for it to be totally isolated and only used two to three times a year. Instead, they prefer it to be part of the everyday living space.
When did these trends come about and what do you think caused or inspired them?
Due to the pandemic, a dedicated office space is a must. In the past, many buyers were content with a space in the basement or an extra bedroom that was both an office and guest room. However, with the pandemic moving the workforce home for a year, buyers really want that true office space and for it to be above grade if possible. I don’t see this trend fading anytime soon. Many employers have decided to keep their workforce at home or allow them a hybrid schedule of in-home and in-office.
The second trend I’m seeing is a pool! For years, having a pool in your backyard could be more of a detriment when selling than an asset. Since the pandemic, any type of outdoor space was a must, but an inground pool saw the biggest gain in popularity and that included homes in subdivisions where they already have a community pool. Outdoor kitchens and fireplaces have also been on the rise in the last three to five years.
The last trend deals more with how people are looking for homes. The pandemic forced many agents to brush up their Facetime skills and I don’t see this diminishing in the near future. With inventory being at an all-time low, many buyers both local as well as out of state, cannot physically get to the properties fast enough. They are relying on their agents to get in and virtually show them the property before the deadline hits to submit an offer.
Everyone these days is talking about how it’s currently a seller’s market and not a buyer’s market. Do you think that will shift any time soon?
I don’t see this shifting in the near future. No one has a crystal ball, but with the low-interest rates and lower than normal inventory, I would predict this trend is going to be here for another six to 12 months at a minimum. One of the main reasons we have all-time low inventory is the lack of new construction. The pandemic has caused a multitude of shortages, and thus, increases in pricing. Most builders are reluctant to build a home on spec when they cannot get a good handle on the final cost to build that home. Custom building is also down for the same reasons. This means you have even more buyers seeking a home in the current inventory when in the past, they would have built something new.
Do you have any advice for a current seller? And a current buyer?
My main advice is the same for both a seller and a buyer: hire a professional realtor to help you! Sellers are going to be faced with 20-100 showings in a two to three day period and then having to discern between five to 20 offers and which one to accept. A buyer is going to have to make an offer that outshines the others and they have to do it upfront. Both scenarios require the expertise of a realtor that can truly hold their client’s hand and guide them through this very stressful and frustrating process. Buyers are being very creative, from agreeing to cover the appraisal gap, waiving inspections or not asking for repairs, to offering the seller a signing bonus at the closing table. These options all have their pros and cons and the buyer needs the guidance of a realtor to explain them and help them discern what is best for their particular situation.
I also think that when houses are selling as quickly as they are, it can be very easy for a seller to decide they don’t have to get their house ready to show as in the past. I totally disagree and believe that professional staging, consultation and preparing your home to sell is more important than ever. The majority of the buyers are viewing the home online, and if the home does not present well, the buyer will not come and the sellers will not get the multiple offers they are anticipating and a higher sales price.
This also goes hand in hand with not overpricing a home. In the current market conditions, it is very unlikely that you will underprice your home. The opposite is not true; you can still easily overprice your home. Buyers expect that the list price is the bottom number and the seller expects above and typically well above. If the home does not show well and the buyer feels it needs too much work for the asking price, then the buyer will not even submit a low offer (as they would in the past). If enough buyers feel this way then the seller loses their advantage and the home sits.
For those looking to buy or sell a home, I hope they will reach out to us at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Parks & Weisberg Realtors! We would love to help them find or sell their home and answer any questions they might have to get the process started.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices
Parks & Weisberg Realtors
295 N. Hubbards Ln. Ste. 102
Louisville, KY 40207
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