Monthly Archives: July 2015

What is a fair sales price for my home?


fair selling price for home“What’s my home worth?” and “how much can I list my home for?” are some of the most common questions we hear, and the most misunderstood. The final answer is also crucial to a quick sale, because an improperly priced house is a loss for everyone involved. A house priced too high is a house that is going to sit on the real estate market, resulting in price reductions that send all the wrong signals to potential buyers (“Is there something wrong with the house?” “Why has it sat on the market so long?”). If your home is priced too low, you’re not going to walk away with the top dollar you need, and no one likes to feel like they got ripped off. So how do you determine that sweet spot, a fair sales price?

Use comparable sales as a compass. The best way to determine the price of your home is to compare your home to all area homes for sale, or that have sold, with comparable lot sizes and square footage. A real estate agent can assist with the process, and use their experience to hit upon a fair sales price. Just remember to compare apples to apples, and oranges to oranges. Compare your 2,000 square foot home to another home, or your condo to another condo.

Replacement costs do not count. Just because you need $200,000 from your current home to buy another home does not mean you can ask that of your current home. In the same way, don’t factor the price you owe on your house when determine fair market value. While those numbers should be part of your personal financial calculations, those numbers mean nothing to potential buyers or the current real estate market.

Do not use tax assessments, or a previous sales price, as a guide. Even though your property tax form uses the term “fair market value,” the number is not applicable to your home sale price. That number is based on a formula created by the government. In the same way, whatever your house sold for previously—even just a year or two ago—does not factor into your sales price. To get the fair sales price, contact an experienced realtor who knows your area and local sales prices.

Be realistic. It’s hard to be objective when you’ve been in your home for many years, have raised children in your home, are attached to the property or have spent thousands of dollars in repairs. Unfortunately, none of that matters when agreeing upon a fair sales price for your home.

To get the most for your property, invest in a pre-sale home inspection. A pre-sale home inspection can save you money on repairs, give you a smooth closing process, and guarantee you a higher sales price for your home. We’ve written about the benefits of a pre-sale home inspection before, and would recommend it for any homeowner considering selling their home.

The first step to settling on a market price for your home is contacting a real estate agent. A real estate agent can give you their recommendation for a fair asking price, and list of expenses associated with your home sale. They can also answer any questions you may have about selling your home, and give you tips on preparing your home for the real estate market. The agent can also assist in the next phase of your home selling process—locating a home for the next phase of your life.

5 Must-Follow Curb Appeal Tips that Sell Your Home


curb appeal tips for selling your homeThere are so many things to worry about when listing your Wisconsin home for sale on the real estate market. It’s easy to focus on the inside, and ignore the outside—even though that’s the first thing a potential buyer sees when they pull up to your home. So how do you make a good impression on potential buyers so how they want to purchase your house? Use these must-follow curb appeal tips:

  1. Make sure your lawn, hedges and trees are well-trimmed. Get out your lawn mower, pruners and weed eater. It’s time to keep the lawn neat and mowed, remove those stray branches and get rid of the weeds. You want your yard to show that you take good care of your home. Remember this is your chance to make a good impression from the moment a potential buyer drives up; if you can’t keep up with the yard work, ask your realtor to recommend a yard service that can.
  2. Check for cracks. Inspect your driveway and sidewalk for cracks. Make repairs as needed, and replace serious cracks in concrete and asphalt areas. Seal your asphalt driveway to give your curb appeal a finished look.
  3. Wash or paint your house. Yes, your house is judged by the peeling paint or mold growing on the siding. Wash or paint your house, or ask your realtor for a recommendation of a good local contractor that can make your home look new again. Don’t forget to wash your garage door, which is easy to forget and can build up with dirt over time.
  4. Make sure your deck is ready to wow the buyers. If you have a deck on the front or back of your house, wash or stain your deck to make sure it looks its best. If your deck has been around for awhile, have an inspector check the deck during a pre-listing inspection. You don’t get any surprises when the buyers’ inspector finds cracking supports or sinking footings, which could delay your closing date or drop your selling price.
  5. Check your lighting. What does your outdoor lighting say about your house? Does it say, “I’m outdated on the outside, just wait until you get to the inside?” or “My owners didn’t check the light bulbs out here, so they must have forgot to do other maintenance?” The good news is that updating the lighting on the exterior of your house is pretty inexpensive (especially if you shop around). Make sure the lights inside the exterior light fixtures all work, so you can turn on all the lights for a night showing.

If you need any other tips, or want to get an idea of the value of your home before you list, contact one of our experienced real estate agents on Facebook. An agent can come to your home, give a realistic selling price and give you tips to increase the value of your home. They can also answer any questions you have about preparing and listing your home for sale, so you can get your house on the market—and get the best possible selling price.