Get new listings emailed daily! SIGN UP LOGIN
Residential & Commercial Real Estate Leader

Selling Your Home in Northern Kentucky


What factors can affect the sale of your home? Your prospective buyer's first impression is critical and is largely based on the appearance of the home. Home prices in your Northern Kentucky neighborhood and the value of your property are also major considerations.  When selling your home, there is no guarantee a prospect will even walk through the front door. In many cases, it is prudent to bring your home to the buyer via the internet.


Remodeling Without a Permit Is Risky


The majority of local governments want homeowners to obtain a building permit before making modifications to their residence. Modifications that require a permit will vary by city.


To obtain a permit, the homeowner or his/her designee are required to file plans and remit fees to the city. The improvements are also generally given an estimated monetary value. If the proposed work increases the value of the property, an increase in property taxes may follow.


Inspections of the project are often called for, and this requires scheduling inspectors to approve the work to be done. Allow plenty of time for this process and be prepared for some inconvenience as inspectors schedules may not align with yours.


If a permit is required and is not obtained, the city may demand that you get a permit retroactively, which is typically more expensive and much more problematic than having obtained the permit prior to work being commenced. If the job is not done in accordance with city procedures or if the inspector is unable to determine if the work has been done properly, the homeowner could be required to prove the work was done in accordance with city ordinances.


In some cases this means reopening walls, tearing up newly laid floors, and similar steps so that an inspection may take place. In addition, by law, work performed without a proper permit must be disclosed to any prospective purchaser. Failure to obtain proper permits has resulted in time-consuming repairs before title can be transferred. Price discounts are also an unwanted result.


It is wise to note prospective buyers of a property can research whether all work on you home has been done according to code and with the proper permits. This can be accomplished by going directly to the building department in the municipality in which the property is located or by hiring a "permit puller" who will research the permits for the interested buyer.


Navigating Home Inspections In Northern Kentucky


First-Time Tip: If you get an unfavorable inspection report on a home you are selling, don't panic. Until you see the whole picture clearly, you're not in a position to determine whether you have a major problem to deal with or not.


The answer may not be simple, especially if a repair is required and  contractors can't agree on a solution. Keep in mind any inspection involves a subjective element. For example, two contractors might disagree on a remedy for a dry-rotted window: one calling for repair and the other for replacement.


Another example: an inspection disclosed a roof defect. One roofer proposed a total roof replacement for a significant cost. A second roofer determined the roof should last another three to four years if the owner contracted maintenance work which was far less expensive. Based on the two reports, the buyer and seller were able to reach a satisfactory monetary solution to the problem for a negotiated amount that was between the two estimates.


If a problem is disclosed, it may benefit  you to get a second opinion.


What is a CMA and Why Do You Need One?


CMA in the real estate world stands for Comparative Market Analysis. A CMA is a report prepared by a real estate agent comparing your property to similar properties in your market.


In order to develop a CMA for your residence, your agent will want to inspect your property to make a valid assessment of its condition and worth. If you plan to make any changes to your property before putting your home on the market, it is wise to let your agent know of your intentions.


Once this inspection is completed, your agent will agent use the data to find comparable properties in your area. This data can be sourced through a Multiple Listing Service (MLS). A competent real estate pro will also know of properties that are on the market or have sold without being documented on a MLS. Your agent will then formulate an idea how much your property is likely to sell for in the current market. Please note that the CMA is not an appraisal, which is the purview of a licensed appraiser.

A CMA is not just for prospective sellers. Buyers should consider requesting a CMA for properties they are seriously looking at to determine whether the asking price is a true reflection of the current market. Owners who are upgrading or remodeling can benefit from a CMA when it's used to see if the intended changes will "over-improve" their property compared to others in the neighborhood.


It’s Never Over ‘Til It’s Over


So the deal is headed for the close. Clear sailing, right?


Sometimes unforeseen issues arise prior to closing the sale. Most have a workable solution with good faith negotiation. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. But don't panic. In a worst case scenario, another buyer can usually be found who is willing to accept the house as is.


Through negotiation and examination of possibilities, what could have been a deal breaker can be turned into a win-win situation for both sides of the transaction. In other cases, the most workable agreement for both parties might be to call off the closing.

To protect yourself against buyer's remorse, make sure the purchase contract anticipates and closes as many loopholes as possible after all known defects have been fully disclosed. This is where the experience of a seasoned agent is invaluable, as for them it’s not unfamiliar territory.