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Preparation is The Key to Selling Your Home

Prepare your home for the market and the microscope that buyers will be placing it under.

It’s Spring time in Wisconsin! The crocuses have come and gone, Brewers Opening Day is less than a week away, the daffodils are up and the Junco’s have left for cooler weather and real estate “FOR SALE” signs are popping up like the dandelions that are sure to follow.

Get your ducks in a row before signing on the dotted line. What do I mean by that?

  1. Prepare your home for the market and the microscope that buyers will be placing it under.
    Pre-Sale home inspections have become increasingly popular over the past few years in response to these economic times. Better to know up front what a buyer will be asking for than after negotiations have begun. Make repairs as necessary in order to allow for a smooth transaction.
  2. Eliminate all clutter!
    Empty out all closets. Start packing. Use a corner of the basement to organize the things you can pack up now, before showings begin. Make certain to NOT pile boxes around the foundation walls. Buyers want to see what the walls look like. I don’t have an issue with putting boxes in the middle of the basement – you have to put them somewhere!
  3. Touch up all woodwork.
    Nothing says “I don’t take care of my home” more than chipped woodwork.  Little things add up and mean a lot. Those things translate to dollars off the purchase price.
  4. Clean, Clean, CLEAN your house.
    Hire a professional service if necessary. No one wants to buy a dirty home.
  5. Organize your kitchen cabinets and pantry.
    Even if you normally don’t live this way, a buyer won’t know that. When buyers see an organized home they feel comfortable that the house itself has been maintained during the seller’s ownership.
  6. It is no secret that bathrooms and kitchens sell homes.
    Eliminate all appliances from the kitchen counter tops for all showings. Put everything in a large laundry basket and store in the garage until the showing is over. Re-caulk your bathtub and shower if the caulk has seen better days.
  7. Consider hiring a professional stager.
    They make a world of difference.

  8. Start your Spring clean-up outside too.
    Make your home welcoming from the street. Plant a few pansies in pots to make a positive first impression.

It is never too early to make a good impression on your buyer. It starts from the moment they drive up to the house. Do things that your competition isn’t doing.  Tip the scales in your favor. It’s easier than you may think!

Good luck, and remember, feel free to email me with questions. I am happy to help!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Absolutelyfabulous April 07, 2012 at 11:42 PM
Did this a few days ago. I'm sure municipal assessments and actual sales prices are trending similar. Here's a snapshot of some of the houses in Shorewood that are for sale and how their sale price compares to their current assessment. Remember, the justifications for subsidizing these multimillion dollar apartment developments is to increase the property values/assessments surrounding them. Maybe when the $10,300,000 BEHIND THE SCENES PACKAGE that has been determined/ "negotiated" by the Village and developers hits home in higher assessments that most likely cannot be matched on the open market, more people will choose to see things differently. Let's not forget the extra 3-6% lopped off the sales price for broker commissions AND these are not SOLD Prices but LISTED. Negotiations haven't been taken into account to knock the price down further based upon numerous factors Including, but not limited to: Conditions of home/Inability to secure mortgages/Fewer potential buyers in market. (see links above) 4225 N LARKIN ST, Shorewood 53211 Sale Price $249,900 2011 Assess $290,900 2410 E SHOREWOOD BLVD, Shorewood 53211 Sale Price on MLS $369,900 2011 Village Assess $420,200. 4301 N PROSPECT AVE, Shorewood, 53211 Sale Price $439,500 2011 Assess $489,300 2301 E MARION ST, Shorewood 53211 Sale Price $499,000 2011 Assess $555,300 4482 N PROSPECT AVE, Shorewood 53211 Sale Price $599,900 2011 Assess $654,600 http://wihomes.com/property/quicksearch.asp
Absolutelyfabulous April 08, 2012 at 09:22 PM
Better yet..Here are some homes that have Sold in Shorewood w/ in the last year and what their current assessments are. Ouch. All numbers/info. for sales dates/price/data/assessments have come from Homes.com & Shorewood Village website. 2200 E. Kensington Sale Date Amount 4/29/2011 $575,000.00 2011 Shorewood Assessment $681,800.00 (Shorewood Village Assessment No Change since 2007) 4481 N Maryland Sale Date Amount 6/16/2011 $446,000.00 2011 Shorewood Assessment $586,600.00 (Shorewood Assessment No Change since 2008) 4442 N Frederick Sale Date Amount 8/14/2011 $275,00 or 294,700.00 2011 Shorewood Assess $349,300.00 (Shorewood Assessment No Change since 2007) Depending on which site I looked at Homes.com or Shorewood, I came up w/ a different sales price. $275,000 on Homes.com 2023 E. Lake Bluff Sale Date Amount 09/19/2011 $275,000 2011 Shorewood Assess $364,000.00 (Shorewood Assessment No Change since 2007) 4439 N Farwell Sale Date Amount 09/11/2011 $550,000 2011 Shorewood Assess $736,700.00 (Shorewood Assessment No Change since 2007) The last one seems off, but I just copied and posted the data. Shorewood did not show this property selling in 2011. *These prices do not take into account broker commissions paid and/or any repairs/upgrades owners had to make before sale. Shorewood Assessment website http://rmgis.ruekert-mielke.com/shorewood/ Homes.Com website http://www.homes.com/
digitalhermit April 13, 2012 at 01:47 PM
Absolutelyfabulous: "Here are some homes that have Sold in Shorewood w/ in the last year and what their current assessments are." Assessments are not set in stone. They can and should be challenged when they don't match the reality of the market. I have personally challenged my assessment for the last 5 years and *always* succeeded in getting it lowered to the fair market value. All it takes is a little time with tools like trulia.com or zillow.com to review what comparable houses have been selling for recently, or paying to get an appraisal. All of this information can be used as evidence to challenge and get your assessment (and consequently your property taxes) lowered. After all, why should you pay more than your fair share of property taxes?
Absolutelyfabulous April 17, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Digital- I have also challenged assessments and won even though the assessor ups the price every year and I have to go through the process again & again filling out the same forms and request a different assessor review the info. That is allowed in the City of Milwaukee. That is, request a different assessor to take a fresh look at the material presented and go from there. There are a couple of things I find strange w/ how things seem to be transpiring in Shorewood. Not in any particular order..Though, as housing prices have fallen and not over 1 year but 3-4 years through the worst housing crisis since the depression, it doesn't seem that assessments in Shorewood were adjusted or at least on the sample ones I posted. Why is that? Assessments are designed to take into account current sales prices/neighboring sales prices/market factors and none of that is reflected in Shorewood assessments. Is it get as much out of the homeowner as possible unless they figure things out/speak up? Additionally, you have over $9,000,000 granted/Tif'd to Mandel's latest project, $1,500,000 for the Cornerstone and $10,300,000 recommended TIF for Roundy's Metro Market development. ONE OF THE JUSTIFICATIONS for all these monies bestowed upon these developers is that surrounding property values will rise and thus generate more village taxes. How's that going to work when current properties are selling for so much below current assessments and all the market factors involved?
RIGHTisRIGHT September 11, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Absolutelyfabulous....Time for a Reality Check. The Facts are that they will continue to sell below the assessment price more and more each day. The only buyer that will pay the assessment price that people are asking will be because they have the money and they love or need the Location. To many properties for sale. It's all about Location Location.

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