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You are probably familiar with websites that have emerged in recent years that attempt to estimate what your home is worth. If you have used any of these tools you may have wondered where the number comes from, or why the price one website gave you is different from what another one gave you. So how are these online guesstimates configured?
Websites use computer programs designed to make home value estimates, or averages. These are known as Automation Valuation Models (AVM). The estimates these models configure are usually based on public records like you might find from your local Property Value Administration, or “PVA”, department. The problem with these types of models is the automated estimates calculated do not figure in important factors like the condition or uniqueness of a home. So, for example, if you have owned your home for 10 years and spent lots of time and money making upgrades and renovations, you have added value to your home, however that extra value is not always reflected in the estimates generated by AVMs.
Not every website uses the same model, which is why various sites rarely agree on the price your home is worth. This creates problems during negotiations since the seller will want to believe the most accurate website is the one that gave the higher estimate, however, the buyer will fight that the site that gave the lower estimate is the correct one. So which one is right? The truth is, home value estimates or “guesstimates” that you can get on various websites are helpful when you want to get ball park figures and an overall feel for the market, but when you go to list your home for sale, pricing decisions should never be based on a website’s generic analysis.
The responsibility of Realtors is to make sure you have as much information as possible to base your decisions on. An AVM estimate can give you an idea of your home’s value, but a comparative market analysis or CMA will best determine this number. Realtors have the experience, knowledge, and tools to provide you with a more comprehensive estimate based upon a visit to your home where no automation model can go.
We offer home value tools on our website at www.semonin.com/home-values.aspx. What makes our tools different from others is the engine. The home value automation tools we offer on Semonin.com are powered by Collateral Analytics. Collateral Analytics is the top rated automated valuation model for bank grade information. Banks rate them the best in the country for giving them information so they can make wise investment information.
We offer consumers two tiers of AVMs. The first we refer to as the Consumer AVM (CAVM) which pulls public records on a frequent basis to estimate a home’s value. The CAVM allows you to enter your address, or any residential address in the country, and instantly find loads of information right at your fingertips. You will find a range and an estimate of what a property is worth as well as comparative data for other homes nearby.
The second tier of home value automation available on our website is called an Interactive AVM, or I-AVM. The I-AVM takes home value estimation one step further and uses information from a variety of sources. This model combines public PVA records, local MLS data, and predictive economic modeling to provide what is called a “Bank Grade” automated value which is what lenders use in determining mortgage loans. To access the Interactive AVM visit www.semonin.com/home-values.aspx and click on the “Get Report Used by Lenders” link.
The main reason most buyers look to real estate agents is because they want help in finding the right home. Throughout this process of finding the right home to purchase, buyers often find that working with a real estate agent also has a number of other benefits as well.
In a 2014 survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors, buyers indicated that helping them understand the process of purchasing a home was the most important benefit of using a agent. Following that, over half of all buyers said their agent was also beneficial because they pointed out features or faults with a property that they had not or would not have noticed.
Overall the benefits that buyers mentioned in the survey have to do with the wide array of valuable information agents provide, including insight on certain areas and neighborhoods and trusted service providers that are needed during the buying journey.
Semonin Realtors has just launched a brand new real estate mobile app that is available for your iPhone, iPad, or Android. This home search app is one-of-a-kind in our market and has a number of powerful features that enables you to access virtually every listing in Kentuckiana. You are able to calculate commute times, save your favorite listings and share them with friends and family, and locate current homes for sale near you using your phone or tablet’s GPS capability. One of the coolest tools is known as SemVision. When SemVision is turned on, you can move your phone or tablet around to scan your surroundings. Listings will appear on your screen indicating the direction of where a home is for sale within of a mile of your current location. For more information about the new Semonin Realtors mobile app CLICK HERE.
To download the app go to app.semonin.com. Desktops users will be asked to enter their cell phone number so that a text can be sent with a link to download it!
Semonin Realtors held our annual “Bowling to Build” fundraiser yesterday at King Pin Lanes in J-Town. Through the attendance of Semonin agents, staff, and guests and their generous donations we raised over $2,300 for our next Habitat for Humanity home, and we had a GREAT time doing it! We are gearing up to build our 18th Habitat home in the fall, and it is so great to have such an enthusiastic and supportive team at Semonin Realtors. We would like to thank everyone who came out and hit the lanes yesterday, those who donated all the fantastic door prizes, and 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty for sponsoring this event.
To see the full photo album visit our Facebook Page!
It is cold outside and it is about to get even colder with wind chills estimated to drop in the negatives. When prepping your home for the freezing temps, don’t forget these 3 P’s – Pipes, Pets, and Power.
1. Help Keep Pipes from Freezing.
Drip water in kitchen and bath faucets and open sink-cabinet doors to let warm air in. Be sure to remove any under the sink cleaning supplies and keep out of reach of children and pets. Also disconnect any outdoor hoses and wrap exposed pipes for insulation. If freezing does occur and causes a pipe to burst make sure you know where the water shut-off valve is located so you can quickly turn it off.
2. Keep Pets Inside.
While you may sometimes envy your pet for their lush, warm fur coat, freezing temperatures are dangerous for your furry friend. During the frigid weather, accompany your pets on potty breaks and make sure they have proper shelter at all times until temperatures go back up.
3. Prepare for Power Outages.
Winter weather can be harsh on power lines, and the last thing you want in -10 degree temperatures is for the power to go out and leave your home with no heat. Unfortunately power outages do happen so make sure you are prepared. Have an emergency kit handy with working batteries, flashlights, and a radio. If you have a working fireplace have some extra firewood stocked up or enough fuel for a generator to maintain heat in your home. Stock up on extra blankets, food and water.
Our annual awards ceremony is a time of celebration. On the morning of Wednesday, January 28th, 2014, the Semonin family gathered together and took the time to recognize and congratulate our agents on their many successes in 2014 as well as celebrate the kick off to our 100 year celebration. As we looked back at the last year, everyone left the ceremony excited and motivated to do our very best throughout 2015. It is the hard work and dedication of our Semonin agents and staff that has kept us going for 100 years and the #1 real estate company of the Greater Louisville area.
Visit our Facebook page for the full photo album!
Congratulations to our top agents in 2014!
2014 Top Producer Award Recipients
|Ackles/Williams Real Estate
Garrett Ackles & Sean Williams
Bill Clark & Brian Clark
|Jerry & Linda Grasch
Susan Hatton & Margo Dixon
Donna Jones & Melissa Jones
Louisville Home Solutions
Steve Shuff, Rob St. John, Landon Arza, Scott DeHart, Michelle Kurland, Caleb Thompson
Teresa Morgan & Greg Morgan
MOVE Real Estate Group
Kristy Dugan, Lisa Estep & Will Hoagland
Pete & Betty Sheltz
Joyce St. Clair
As the calendar year changed to 2015, Semonin Realtors® reached a monumental milestone, marking its 100th year in business. Reaching 100 years is a rare distinction, one that we embrace with pride, honor, and gratitude.
This company has persevered through 10 decades, 2 world wars, numerous recessions, and one depression. The invention and mainstream use of silent films, talking films, radio, television, VCR’s, DVD’s, the Internet, social media, cell phones, microwaves, fax machines, personal computers, the atom bomb, atomic power and thousands more items came about while our agents and staff were helping people buy and sell real estate.
Service has been the hallmark of Semonin Realtors since 1915, when Paul Semonin Sr. first opened his real estate office in Louisville, Kentucky. From the start, Semonin was known for its dedication to honesty and integrity in serving its customers. It’s a tradition that continues to this day, 100 years later.
As Semonin Realtors® celebrates its centennial, we will reflect on our company’s past and applaud the dedicated and loyal leaders, agents, staff members, and clients who have made this achievement possible. We are proud of the footprint Semonin Realtors® has left on our community over the last century, but our 100th year is more than just an anniversary or a rekindling of history appreciation, it is about continuing our legacy and celebrating something that is truly lasting.
Looking ahead to the next 100 years, much will change in the real estate industry. There will come a day with a real estate transaction is truly “paperless”. The continuous growth our community and our technology will inevitably change how we do business. But one thing that has lasted through our first 100 years and will continue to stay the same through our next 100 years is our dedication to providing exceptional service and our respected reputation for honesty and integrity.
Looking for gift ideas this holiday season? Here are some great ideas on how you can celebrate our local Louisville and Southern Indiana areas and give your loved ones some unique gifts and experiences this Christmas.
A Membership to the Parklands
In a city that is known for its outstanding park system there is no better gift than the gift of outdoor adventure. A yearly membership for your favorite friend or family member is just $35 and $50 for a family. Support this donor-supported public park and give a gift that your loved ones can enjoy for the entire year. Visit their website to learn more or click here to order your gift membership.
Tickets to a Show at Actors Theatre of Derby Dinner Playhouse
Give the gift of entertainment with a gift certificate to Louisville’s Actors Theater or to Southern Indiana’s Derby Dinner Playhouse for dinner and a show! For upcoming shows and ticket price information visit the Actors Theatre website or the Derby Dinner Playhouse website.
A Trip on the Kentucky Dinner Train
Tickets for “My Old Kentucky Dinner Train” in Bardstown, KY is the perfect gift for those who love a one-of-a-kind experience. A variety of train excursions are offered that are great for a romantic evening or a family fun adventure. Gift certificates can be purchased from the Kentucky Dinner Train website.
A Dinner at one of the Louisville Originals
Support Louisville’s vibrant independent restaurant scene and give your loved ones a unique dining experience at Louisville Originals. A gift certificate to Louisville Originals is valid at approximately 30 local restaurants and can be purchased from the Louisville Originals website.
A Unique Gift from Work the Metal
For those friends and family members who like something a little extraordinary, explore the home décor, clothing, accessories and more at Work the Metal in Butchertown. With a large variety of products at this local retailer you will be sure to find that perfect, one-of-a-kind gift for that special someone. Take a few minutes to visit their website and browse a selection from their showroom.
Collectibles or a Tour on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail
Bourbon is Kentucky’s gift to the world. Celebrate the state’s bourbon history and give your favorite Kentuckians a chance to tour one of our famous distilleries or a shop through unique holiday gifts that can be purchased on the official Kentucky Bourbon Trail website.
A Personalized Gift from Louisville Stoneware
Give a custom-made gift of tradition and history from Louisville Stoneware, one of the oldest companies in the country. Since 1815, Louisville Stoneware has been creating unique items that make for a perfect gift for anyone on your shopping list. Shop through various handcrafted pottery and make it personal with a custom hand painted message.
Thanks to the arctic blast that made its way into our area last night it feels like the winter cold has officially arrived. When outside temps are low, there is nothing better than cozying up by the fireplace. A fire’s warmth and ambiance is alluring, but it is important to not overlook the potential dangers of your fireplace. Now that the heating season has begun, let’s review some fireplace safety and maintenance tips.
- Ensure your fireplace is clean and working property. It is a good idea to have your fireplace inspected and cleaned annually to avoid the threat of chimney fires.
- Clean around your fireplace and remove any items that are too close to the fire’s heat. Keeping a nonflammable rug in front of the fireplace is also a good idea. These can be purchased at fireplace-supply stores and can keep sparks from damaging your carpeting.
- When lighting a fire, only burn wood and be sure to place logs near the back of the fireplace, preferably on a grate. Overloading the fireplace with too many logs should also be avoided.
- Keep the glass doors open while the fire is burning. This will allow air to filter up to cool the chimney. With the glass doors open, pull the screen closed to avoid sparks from jumping out and onto your carpet or flooring.
- The glass on gas fireplaces will become extremely hot during when a fire is burning. Be sure to keep children and pets supervised and at least 3 feet away from the fireplace to keep them from touching the glass.
- Be sure a well-maintained fire extinguisher is always easily accessible and test your smoke detectors regularly. Pay attention to manufacturing notes on your extinguisher to be sure to understand how to operate and maintain it, as well as when replacement is recommended.
- Wait at least three days before removing the ashes from your fireplace. This is how long coals can potentially remain hot enough to start a fire and should only be removed when they are cool enough. However, do not let ashes build up, so clean the firebox at least once a week during the months you are using it.
- Most importantly, never leave a fire unattended. Always be sure an adult is home at all times when a fire is burning and keep children and pets a safe distance away from the fireplace and the fireplace tools.