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.

Buying New, How Much Will You Invest

It is so alluring to buy a brand new home. The idea that you get to start from scratch and make the very first memories in a home, plant the first garden, and burn the first pizza are always heady ideas. But when buying a brand new home there are a few things you should consider.

Initial Investment and so much more…

Even with all the incentives to purchase a new home you will still have to invest more in your brand new home.

Interior Decorating: Most likely you will be responsible for the purchase and the labor investment necessary to decorate your home. This will certainly include window coverings, paint, maybe even wallpaper.

Exterior Decorating: You are probably also going to need to invest in the lawn and landscaping of your new property.

Other costs…

Unless your new home is close to you job you may be purchasing a home that is further away from your job. This means you maybe investing more in your car for repairs and oil changes. You may also fill your gas tank more often.

Another item you may need to think about when buying a new home is the layout of the new community will there be additional homes built in the area around home? You don’t want plan to sleep in one morning, only to wake up to a bulldozer digging up the lot in front of your home.

Buying a brand new home is exciting, just remember, there will be greater indoor and outdoor investments other then your home. Working with a real estate agent you will be able to discover what kind of house is the best fit for you.

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!

Quarterly Housing Statistics

A common question that people ask Realtors is: “How’s the market these days?” The Wisconsin Realtors Association makes available housing statistics on a quarterly basis that are very interesting to follow. You can look at stats for Dane county by clicking here (and other counties in Wisconsin once you are at the site), and you will note that the number of homes sold this year is higher than last year. There is still improvement to be made in our local market as well as real estate markets across the country, however the numbers are promising considering buyers are now buying without the incentive of the federal buyer credit that was previously available.

If you have market questions, please be sure to send me an email at