Real Estate

Home Selling

Selling Your Home Could Cost More Than You Think

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Thinking about selling your home on your own? Here are a few things to consider when considering on selling alone or with an agent.

  1. Amount of Time

Depending on the market conditions, homes can be on the market for a few weeks to a few months before they sell. One thing to take into consideration is the amount of time needed to sell your home. There are many elements that happen before you sell your home. This includes the amount of time to:

  • Complete projects around the house
  • Research how to price your home competitively
  • Organize your marketing materials
  • Interact with buyer’s/buyer’s agents during the sale
  • Host open houses/showings (3 – 4 hours)
  • Negotiate terms of offers made
  • Set up closing

For many individuals working full time and for families busy with extracurricular activities around the clock, finding time to sell your home is often the largest challenge. Write down the amount of “free” time you have each week and compare that to the estimated amount of time needed to complete the steps above.

  1. Online Marketing

Many individuals who sell on their own post purchase a few yard signs to promote their sale. But is that really enough? Over 85% of home buyers start their search online and if you want to reach more than a few drives-bys, you will need an online marketing plan.

Digitally promoting your home is the direction most home sales are going. Many top agents have a unique listing package that includes virtual walk-throughs, custom home websites, social media promotion and optimized home listings on third-party sites.

Consider looking into digital marketing options like social media, Craigslist, Trulia, etc. when you’re listing your home online. Remember your online presence is one of the top ways to attract more buyers.

  1. Cost of Supplies

Outside of the amount of time needed to sell your home, there are also some costs up front that are often involved in selling your home.

  • Yard Signs – $150 – $200
  • Zillow, Trulia, Realtor Online Listing – $99/mo – $149/mo
  • Website/Online Lisiting – $250 – $350
  • Flyers/Promotional Hand-Out – $50 – $100

Total: Est. $675

  1. Knowledge of Real Estate Market

Each home is unique and on the same note, each home sale is unique as well. Because the process of selling a home is quite complex, it’s important to have an understanding before entering into a legal agreement. Real estate agents have an in-depth knowledge of the market, as well as their state requirements and laws. Certain laws are enacted to protect both the buyers and sellers during a transaction and failure to understand or comply with them may have costly repercussions down the road.

  1. Constant Communication with Buyer’s Agents

As the sole point of contact for your home sale, you can expect constant communication from buyer’s and buyer’s agents throughout the sale. This may consist of text messages, phone calls, emails, or in-person visits throughout all hours of the day. Although seemingly exciting to have interested buyers, the constant communication and negotiations often can be overwhelming and stressful.

Brought to you by:
Austin Solomon, Realtor | Coldwell Banker Action, Schofield, WI

Home Selling

Your Pets May Be Affecting Your Homes Marketability

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We all love our furry friends, but did you know they may be reducing your home’s marketability. Just over 63% of US households have at least one pet, leaving over one third of non-pet owners in the buying market. Non-pet owners are often allergic to pets or simply do not prefer the presence of pets in their home. The good news is you don’t need to get rid of your dog or cat for your home appeal to a non-pet owner. Here are some tips to help “de-pet” your home for your upcoming home sale.

  1. Deodorize

“Pet smell” is one of the most common first indications to touring buyers that a pet dwells at the home. For many non-pet owners, the shear smell of a previous animal may turn them away from even making an offer on a property they’re interested in. Invest in pet deodorizing products that can help eliminate the pet smell from your home. Depending on the circumstance, it may be worth a few hundred dollars to professional hire a cleaner who offers in pet deodorization service.

  1. Thoroughly Clean

Deep clean the interior of your home from top to bottom. Pet fur is another easy indicator a pet lives at the property even if there is little to no observable “pet smell”. Regardless of a pet’s presence, the cleanliness of a home greatly impacts the perception of the homes value. Consider focusing on the following areas which regularly indicate pets:

  • Flooring (carpet, hardwood, tile, etc.)
  • Ventilation systems (heating ducts, cold air returns, fans, etc.)
  • Furniture
  • Walls
  • Dusting (counter tops, shelves, light fixtures, fans, etc.)
  • Glass doors/windows
  1. Repair Pet Damages

Pets often cause damage to atheistic features of your home over time; however, these damages are often minor and relatively inexpensive to repair. Maybe your cat always scratches the bottom of your laundry room door, or your dog chews on your table chairs. Regardless of your pet’s habit, pay attention to their actions and repair their damages. Here are a few areas to reflect:

  • Carpet
  • Screen doors
  • Blinds/curtains
  • Base boards
  1. Don’t Forget the Exterior

If you don’t already do so, walk around the yard and clean up all of your pet’s waste. Make sure this is especially well-cleaned in the front yard area. Buyers may cut through the front yard when coming to an open house or individual tour of the home. Stepping in doggy do-do may not only upset to potential buyer, but will easily indicate the presence of a family pet. Also, if you have a “digger”, make sure to fill in all of the holes in the yard!

  1. Box Up Pet Belongings

Temporarily box up all of your pet’s leashes, toys, and treats in a storage container. That way when you have planned buyer traffic you can easily load up your pet’s belongings and your pet during the showing.

  1. Take Your Pet During Buyer-Traffic

It is recommended to take your pet with you during a showing or open house. This may not always be possible depending on your schedule; however, a pet can be distracting during a showing and eradicate the purpose of the previous steps. Contact a neighbor or close friend before you put your house on the market and ask them to watch your pet during showings. You could also drop them off at a pet hotel as a temporary option as well.

Brought to you by:
Austin Solomon, Realtor | Coldwell Banker Action, Schofield, WI

Home Buyers

New Homes Vs Pre-Existing Homes… What’s the Difference?

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So, you’re thinking about buying a home in Wisconsin. One question you make ask is what’s the difference between a buying a new home and a pre-existing home, and which choice is right for me? Many homebuyers consider both options when thinking about relocating or purchasing a home. Here are a few positives of both options!

Pros of Buying a New Home 

  • Low Replacement/Repair Costs: New homes are typically move-in ready and won’t come with many home projects. You won’t find yourself spending thousands of dollars on ‘fix-it-up’ projects after you move in. This includes aspects you may not even consider, like roofs, driveways, windows, trim, etc.
  • High Energy Efficiency: Energy efficiency rules and regulations at the local, state and national level are always changing. New homes often have to meet greater energy efficiency standards than homes built in past decades. A new home may include energy efficient appliances and efficient insulation to help decrease your recurring, monthly energy expenses.
  • Safety Features: Along with increased efficiency regulations, new homes are also held to many safety standards. New homes often include added fire retardants in materials such as carpeting and insulation, providing added safety features.
  • High Resale Value: Your home won’t be considered “brand new” when you’re ready to sell; however, a home that is 5-8 years old often has a higher resale value than a home that is well-aged.

Pros of Buying a Pre-Existing Home

  • Lower Price: Pre-existing homes are often less expensive initially in comparison to a new home (especially if it is a custom project where you are required to purchase the home materials/labor, in addition to the parcel of land for building). Generally speaking, pre-existing homes are more affordable; however, the needed improvements are something to consider in addition to the price.
  • Project-Oriented: Pre-existing homes feature character and charm that may not be replicable in a new home. If you love do-it-yourself projects, a pre-existing home often offers renovation and rehab projects. These home projects are considered a hobby for many people and may increase the homes value down the road.
  • More Flexible Loan Options: Generally speaking, pre-existing homes have more flexible loan options available compared to new home purchases. Depending on the organization, a new home construction company may require a conventional loan, while pre-existing homes often accept private lending options.

As you’re thinking about buying a home, either new of pre-existing, talk with your Realtor to discuss your options. They may have additional expertise regarding the market and can help you navigate the home-buying process.

Brought to you by:
Austin Solomon, Realtor | Coldwell Banker Action, Schofield, WI


Home Selling

5 Easy Ways To Make Your Home Look Worth More

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Put your best foot forward when selling your home. Here are a few helpful tips that may improve your home’s value before selling.

1. Temporarily remove outdated furniture

Although it may be important to you, at some point it becomes a distraction to your home. Temporarily removing your dated furniture can help rooms appear larger by simplifying the space. This can indirectly increase the perceived value of your home.

Hint: More is not better when it comes to furniture. Avoid overcrowding your room with too many furniture pieces or decor items, it can make the room feel smaller.

2. Update light fixtures

Old light fixtures can change the look of the spaces in your home. It’s important to updated outdated lights with vibrant bright lights that illuminate the space and create an ambiance that correlates with the color pallet and mood of each room.

3. Add some texture

Enhance your walls with narrow strips of molding called “picture framing”. This can give your walls a luxurious look and feel, while enhancing the rooms symmetry and perceived cleanliness.

4. Add a backsplash

Add a backsplash in your kitchen and bathrooms. Use that accent to tie in other accent items in the room, such as plant holders, decorative dishes, etc.

5. Amp up your entry

Spend some time enhance your walkway and exterior entrance to your home. This will dramatically increase your homes curb appeal.

As always, each home and selling situation is unique. Consult your Realtor to come up with the best plan for your needs and work together to prepare your home for selling. Have a question, contact Austin today!

Brought to you by:
Austin Solomon, Realtor | Coldwell Banker Action, Schofield, WI

Home Buyers

Should I Rent or Buy?

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Relocating for work? Upsizing or downsizing? Desiring a new neighborhood/city? These are all common reasons to move. The question comes down to determining if it’s better to rent or buy. Below are a few questions you should ask yourself before starting your home or apartment search.

1. How long do I want to live here?

Determine how long you’re planning to live in the area. If you’re relocating with a company you’ve been with for many years, this may be considered a long-term move with a reliable organization. However, if you’ve just started a new job with a new company, this may be a shorter relocation period based on your performance or job satisfaction. A common rule of thumb is the three-year test. If the amount of time you’d spend in one area is three years or less, it is often better to rent. If the amount of time is over three years, it is often better to buy. This is not a golden rule that must be followed, but rather a point of reference to consider during your research. In fact, many housing situations are complex and unique in their own way. The best way to determine what is best for you is to meet with a Realtor to discuss your options.

2. How much money do I have to put down?

Consider the amount of money you’re able to allocate to a home down-payment. This is often one of the top reasons individuals chose to rent for a year or two before buying a home. The main difference between the renting and buying is not the monthly payments, but the amount of money initially due, in combination with receiving approval for a home loan. If you don’t have a down payment for your desired home’s value up-front, you may need to rent temporarily until you have the funds necessary to qualify for a loan and purchase a home. Talk to your Realtor about having them help you coordinate a meeting with a trusted loan advisor to learn about available options.

3. How invested am I in this area?

Being invested in an area may influence your decision to buy or rent a home. Do you have a particular school district your children are enrolled in? Or are you involved in a local organization or city council you are actively involved in? Many people prefer to purchase a home in an area they are involved and invested in. If you are relatively new to an area, it may be wise to look into a short-term lease while exploring different areas prior to making your home purchase.

4. How much time do I have to move?

Are you looking to move tomorrow or in the next few months? Finding a place to rent can take a few days, whereas finding a place to buy can take a few weeks or months to close. Buying requires a number of added steps including; drafting offers, negotiating, closing, and fulfilling required inspections/contingencies. If you’re on a time crunch, it may be less stressful to start out with a lease and transition to buying. You may consider a short-term lease for 6 – 9 months, giving you more time to continue your home search.

5. How many people are living with me?

Are you the only one moving? Or do you have a significant other or family members coming with you? Consider the decision from multiple points of view. If you’re a single individual, you may not be interested in the larger square footage that comes with purchasing a home. However, if you have multiple members coming with you, it’s important to consider the needs of each member including square footage and privacy.

Brought to you by:
Austin Solomon, Realtor | Coldwell Banker Action, Schofield, WI