Thinking of Selling in 2013


Is your home ready for sale?

Ready to Sell?

Think you might want to move in the Spring? The market is still pretty hot for selling homes. Now is the time to talk to a real estate agent about what you might need to do to prepare your home for sale. It’s important to remember that to sell your home you will have to do a bit of investment – yes that means you will have to spend a little money before you put your house on the market.

The first question you might want to ask yourself is; when was the last time the house was painted? If it has been a while you may need to consider painting both the inside and outside of the house. If you painted recently you may want to consider toning down any of the unique or bold colors in your home. Neutrals are best, it will help the buyer picture themselves in the home.

Window washing
Ecspecially the outside upper floor windows. Clear windows will make those rooms brighter and more appealing to buyers.

Fix ups
We are not talking major reconstruction – that’s up to the new homeowner. However, if you have cracked windows or drywall, you will probably want to replace or patch. You may also want to consider putting in new carpeting or prepare for a carpeting allowance when you put the home on the market. That might mean saving up over the winter to ensure you have the funds for such an allowance.

Landscaping is a huge additional investment for buyers – not only money but also time. So you might want to spend some time sprucing up your garden this fall. Cutting out the weeds and pruning where necessary is a definite must. You might also want to fill in some empty spots in your garden with perennials such as crysanthamums and day lillies. If you haven’t paid much attention to your garden in recent years, consider sodding or seeding this last weekend of October.

Though pre-inspection is not required in Wisconsin you may want to consider a pre-inspection if you have been in your home for a long time and want to make sure there will be no surprises in the actual inspection. This will give you time to fix any problems that may show up, and it may also help you have peace of mind as you put your home on the market. Moreover, it may ensure a buyer does not walk away from a potential sale.

These are some of the things you might want to consider before putting your home on the market. To get a better idea of what preparations would be best for your house contact a real estate agent and discuss in greater detail what you need to do before you put your home on the market in the Spring of 2013.

Don’t wait until you list your home to Update!

So many of my clients wait to fix up their house until it’s time to list for sale.  The broken back steps that require warning to guests, the peeling plaster, the wobbly door handles, replacing the broken basement stair tread, buffing wood floors are all done for the next owner’s benefit.  By the time Sellers are finished with their pre-listing “to do” list, the house is gleaming and the Seller’s have added heartache selling a house that looks the best it’s ever been.

I realize that times are tight and money must stretch further than before.  My suggestion is to prioritize a list of what you’d like to do to your house.  If you or your spouse are “handy” and you feel confident to do the work yourself, then schedule time to complete the project. (Don’t forget to utilize YouTube and HomeDepot for training and video demonstrations) Buffing floors, for example can be done pretty easily. For sanding and refinishing, however, I recommend a professional.  Reduce the “chatter” (bumps on the floor from inconsistent sander movement) and dust with a company that has a HEPA filter on their sander.  This will reduce the amount of dusting that you do over the next 6 months.

If you are not confident in your hands-on skills, talk to your friends or your Realtor for service provider recommendations.  Nothing beats a direct referral!  If you are 6 months out from your project, let the service provider know – get a quote – ask if there is a “slow” time where the service provider might be willing to offer a discount.  Now you have an idea of the cost of your project and can save accordingly. Who knows, maybe a  parent will donate to a “new wood floors” fund for Christmas if you ask.

Once you have finished a long-awaited project, Celebrate!  Have a “floor-warming” party, for example.  Then you can set your sights on the next item on your list.  This is all part of making a house YOUR HOME.  It’s true some areas offer a greater percentage return on resale, but don’t forget the value of enjoyment of your space.

Have fun making your space fit you perfectly!

Homeowners: It’s Fall Leaf Collection Time!

Fall leaf collection is in full swing in communities like Madison. While Fall leaf collection officially started on October 4, we are nearing the peak of the season, and most homeowners are knee deep in leaves throughout their yards!

Find out the ins and outs of city leaf collection by clicking here. You will also find tips for proper collection and green tips for compost and getting the nutrients from leaves into your lawn.

Happy raking!

Tax Credits For Some Home Improvements – Don’t Miss Out!

There are many, many different reasons for buying (and occupying) real estate. Some common reasons are that a mortgage payment is often less than a rent payment, mortgage interest is tax deductible, real estate tends to be an appreciating asset, and the list goes on and on. The common theme often relates to money and how we can get the most out of our investment. With that in mind, make sure you’re aware of the tax credits that are currently available for certain home improvements. Examples are some window and door replacements, some roof replacements, and some furnace and central air conditioning replacements. The list is long and you can should familiarize yourself with the factors needed to qualify for a particular tax credit before committing yourself to anything. But for those that make the qualifying home improvements, enjoy yet another monetary perk of home ownership!

If you have questions about the tax credits available for certain home improvements, visit the government website that outlines the program and email

Happy Fall! Is Your Home Ready?

It’s officially Fall (can you believe it?) and here in Wisconsin that means leaves are (or will be) changing colors, temps start to cool, the apple orchard and pumpkin patch are open for business, and your house needs to be tweaked for the changing season. There are many quick and easy things that you can do inside and outside of your home to prepare for fall and winter. Here are a few to get you started:

Put the storms on your windows and doors. Once the temps spiral downward you don’t want to let precious (and pricey) heat escape needlessly.

Clean your carpets and area rugs. Your house is about to be closed up a lot more than usual and you want to get as much dirt and dust that’s been dragged into the house all summer outside where it belongs.

Reset your thermostat timer. here at our house, we have settings conducive to our air conditioning needs and they differ from our furnace needs. Check the settings and be sure your heat turns on when you really want it to.

If you have a fireplace, get it prepped and checked for safety. For natural fireplaces this may mean making sure it’s safe to operate. For gas fireplaces you will also want to ensure the unit is still safe to operate and you may also need to turn on the gas to the unit (if you happen to turn it off in spring).

Bring in the patio furniture. if you have patio furniture that is not all weather and will likely dry out and/or crack during the cold months, bring it in and put it into storage (like your garage, basement, or shed). If you have furniture that can stay outside year round, make sure you bring in the accents like cushins and pillows.

Pack away the garden hose.There is nothing worse than discovering you left your hose out all winter and then in spring it’s cracked. Disconnect from the source and put it in the garage, basement, or shed. You may want to shut off the water to the spiggut while you’re at it too.

Plant your bulbs. Come spring you will be very, very happy that you took a little time to do this in the fall.

Clean out the gutters. Depending on when most of the leaves fall in your neighborhood you will want to time cleaning out the gutters. Be careful, and you may want to consider hiring someone to take care of this for you if it requires a high ladder.

There is plenty more that you can do, but these tips will get you started. If you ever have questions about what’s best for your home in any season, be sure to email!