Fall into the move you’ve been waiting to make. Now’s the time!
If you’ve been waiting for a cooler moving experience, now is the perfect time of year. Sellers still have the advantage of selling fast at a better price. Buyers still have low mortgage rates to offset higher prices resulting in more purchasing power. Let’s find the move that’s right for you together. Contact Me today!
WISCONSIN’S REAL ESTATE OUTLOOK
PLEASE NOTE: Market conditions can change rapidly across the state. Contact Scott Roh for the latest updates.
August Home Sales Slip as Prices Continue to Rise
Wisconsin home sales fell by a modest margin even as median prices moved up sharply in August. Existing home sales fell 2.1 percent in August 2019 compared to August 2018, while median prices rose 9.0 percent over that same period to $206,000.
The statewide unemployment rate improved from 4.5 percent in July 2015 to 3 percent in July this year. So why have summer sales not improved more? It’s the tightening supply of homes for sale. Inventories have steadily constricted over the last four years.
The statewide median price has now topped $200,000 for each of the last four months. Even with the median price going up 9 percent over the last 12 months, the decline in mortgage rates kept Wisconsin’s Affordability Index stable. The index stood at 197 in August which is 1.5 percent above the levels of August 2018.
SELLERS: With tight supply and strong demand, robust price appreciation is to be expected, and that’s exactly what we are seeing.
BUYERS: While home prices always heat up in late spring and summer, the good news for buyers is that they typically settle down as we move into the fall and winter seasons.
We’ve been lucky that mortgage rates have been falling all year, which has kept our housing relatively affordable. Rates have consistently dropped since November of last year.
With the Fed clearly in a rate-cutting mode, we expect more downward pressure on mortgage rates which should result in modest improvements in affordability over the next few months.
Source: Wisconsin REALTORS Association, August 2019 Home Sales Report, September 23, 2019
6 TIPSTO SELLYOUR HOUSEBEFORE THEEND OF THE YEAR
Photo Credit: RISMedia
RELY ON COMPS, NOT EMOTION, to set a realistic asking price
You’ll want to jump into the housing market with a realistic asking price that has the potential to stick. Many sellers want to test the market with a higher sales price knowing they can drop it later. This approach is a mistake. If your home is priced to high, it can be very difficult to overcome, even when you eventually reduce the price.
Review all ‘FIRST LOOK’ FEEDBACK
Review all feedback notes, both positive and negative including feedback from people who tour your property so you understand what buyers love (and don’t love) about your home.
CLEAN, ORGANIZE and DECLUTTER
Take time for a major cleanup. Do everything within your budget to ensure your home gives a great first impression. While your home is on the market, it should be clean and ready for a last minute showing at all times.
Consider hiring a PROFESSIONAL STAGER
If you have the cleaning part down pat but need help making your home visually appealing, you can also consider hiring a professional stager. Home stagers have furniture, art and decor they use to make your home feel modern and increase your chances at a speedy offer.
Spring for PROFESSIONAL PHOTOS and VIDEO
Quality pictures are crucial if you hope to achieve a quick sale. Also, consider a marketing video of your house. Drone photography might be an important factor to sell a sprawling property with land or a ton of outdoor features. All can be used for social media marketing to get more eyeballs on your listing.
Get an optional PRE-SALE HOME INSPECTION
Paying for a home inspection upfront is typically a safe bet. With prior knowledge of issues like missing shingles on your roof or faulty electrical work, for example, you can buy time to fix these problems before they become a problem.
ESSENTIAL TIPS FOR SELLING A HOUSE ‘AS-IS’
Be flexible. There may be serious problems that need to be corrected, so being flexible is in your best interest.
Don’t be afraid to make some necessary repairs. It could give you a better shot at selling your home.
Know how much certain repairs will cost. This is important information you can pass along to potential buyers.
Openness and honesty is the best policy. Always be transparent with potential buyers about issues with your home. They’ll find out about existing problems as soon as they have the home inspected.
Asking your buyers to pay a fair price is going to be critical to your success. If you try to sell for too high a price, many prospects will be turned off. Potential buyers might not even bother looking if the price is set too high.
Source: RISMedia, Six Tips to Sell Your House Before the End of the Year, by Holly D. Johnson, September 19, 2019.
Source: RISMedia’s Housecall, 6 Essential Tips for Selling a House AS-IS, by Wendy Dessler, August 24, 2019.
BEST QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN BUYING A HOUSE
Weed Out the Duds from the Diamonds by Asking These Questions
1. WHAT’S MY TOTAL BUDGET? Showing the seller you have the financial means to buy their house is important if you want your offer to be accepted. This means getting preapproved for a mortgage.
2. IS THE HOME IN A FLOOD ZONE OR PRONE TO OTHER NATURAL DISASTERS? A property that’s in a flood zone or other natural disaster area may require additional insurance coverage. (Find out if a property is in a high risk flood zone using FEMA’s Flood Map Service.
3. WHY IS THE SELLER LEAVING? Understanding why the seller is moving might help you figure out how motivated they are when negotiating.
4. WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THE SALE? The items that can be included in the sale depends on your state’s laws. The listing description should spell out any exclusions that the seller is not including, but that’s not always the case. Make sure to ask in your offer what is and what isn’t included with the home. If you really want an item, ask if the seller will throw that item into the deal.
5. WERE THERE ANY ADDITIONS OR MAJOR RENOVATIONS?
6. HOW OLD IS THE ROOF? If the listing description doesn’t list the roof’s age, make sure to find out ASAP.
7. HOW OLD ARE THE APPLIANCES AND MAJOR SYSTEMS?
8. HOW LONG HAS THE HOUSE BEEN ON THE MARKET?
9. HOW MUCH HAVE HOMES SOLD FOR IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD?
10. ARE THERE ANY HEALTH OR SAFETY HAZARDS?
11. WHAT’S THE HISTORY OF PAST INSURANCE CLAIMS?
12. ARE THERE ANY PROBLEMS WITH THE HOUSE?
13. HOW MUCH WILL I PAY IN CLOSING COSTS?
Source: RISMedia, 15 Best Questions to Ask When Buying a House, by Sarah Li Cain, July 2, 2019.
SELLING OR STAYING:
Best Trends of 2019 to Give Your Old House a Fresh Look
Photo Credit: RISMedia
OUTDOOR LIVING ROOMS
Creating a backyard living room might be as easy as rearranging patio furniture and adding some lights and Bluetooth speakers. An easy way to add lights is to use simple string lighting, lanterns and LED candles.
THE FARMHOUSE MODERN LOOK
This is a look that’s easy to replicate in almost any style home. It takes natural elements (reclaimed wood, rattan, wicker) and gives them a sleek, architectural look.
PLAYFUL BOLD ACCENTS
Playful and expressive might be the two words to describe home trends in 2019. Buyers are responding to wow-factor elements whether it’s a unique, colorful kitchen back splash or a single statement wall in the living room.
USING EQUITY FOR RENOVATIONS
The advantage of home equity loans for some buyers is that they’re tax-deductible if you use them for home renovations. They also have fairly low interest rates.
Source: RISMedia, Selling or Staying: Best Trends of 2019 to Give Your Old House a Fresh Look, by Natalie Campisi, September 21, 2019.