4 Reasons you need your CMA (not one is…

CMA or Comparative Market Analysis shows you what is the current value of your home, or how much money would a potential buyer pay to buy it in the current real estate market.

The value of your home changes with time, and is dependent on many factors. It is influenced by all the maintenance you do to inside or outside – or you do not do. Any upgrades, like kitchen remodel or new floors/carpets will influence house value. The value also depends on popularity of your neighborhood and how good are the schools in this area.

This is why it is so important to check your Comparative Market Analysis or your home value at least once a year, just like you would your Credit Score.

You might not be thinking about selling your house just now. There are several other reasons to stay current on ever changing value of your home. Here are just a few:

  1. To refinance to take advantage of low rates or just decrease your monthly payment
  2. To take advantage of your Home Equity Loan and do this maintenance project you have been postponing
  3. Update your home insurance policy to make sure it covers whole value of your house
  4. Dispute your property taxes in rare instances your home value decreased below the assessment

Would you like to receive your own, complimentary CMA? Contact us today.


Getting ready for garage sale

You do not have to be selling your home and moving across the country to want to declutter- and earn few dollars in the process. Now, when the temperature is climbing and days are getting longer, it’s perfect time for Garage Sale season!

When you start your spring cleaning, look around the house and in all of your storage areas. Do inventory of each of the storage spaces: garage, attic, spare bedroom closet, and yes, yours (and your kids) summer and winter wardrobe. Anything you have not used in last 12 month is a good candidate to go. It is a good rule of thumb for clothes, decor, and even books in your must read pile.

Don’t censor and dismiss any item. One person’s trash is another person treasure. Besides, if any item doesn’t sell in your garage sale (best strategies below), simply donate leftovers next day to your favorite charity (Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity, Salvation Army etc.). You already made the decision to part with those items, didn’t you? Drop the. Off same day. And save the receipt for your charitable tax deduction.

Ahead of time

  1. Do your homework. Check your Communities: HOA association and city regulations regarding garage sales. Is it allowed on your property? Do you need any permits? This is also a good time to check if no city or block wide events are not being planned in the area that will advertise and bring crowds of people.
  2. Plan date and time. If you are not joining a larger event, the best time is to schedule on a first Saturday of the month (people have paycheck to spend), before noon. If weather is nice people are most likely to be out and about. Check and re-check the forecast.
  3. Talk to your neighbors. You can either talk them into joining you, or offer to sell some of their overflow items. They can also assist in putting the word out to their friends.
  4. Advertise. Put the info out on your social media accounts. Place a note on local groups boards, like Facebook groups or on NextDoor. Use garage sale website to spread the word out: some examples are Garage Sale Finder or Yard Sale Search. Be specific what types of items you will have for sale and provide some photos to build interest.
  5. Sort and prepare. Wash and iron clothes, dust off books and furniture, clean sporting equipment.
  6. Price your items. Place small labels with prices on every item you plan to sell. Good rule of thumb is to price items at 20% of their original value. However, items in the range $1 to $5 dollars will sell the quickest. Perhaps you can organize items in the same categories and sell for same price? For example- all books $3, all dresses $10. After all, main idea is to declutter, not to make money.

Evening before the sale

  1. Put signs out. Unless your garage sale is part of city or block wide event, put plenty of signs, balloons and arrows around area. Make it easy to notice and find you.
  2. Visit your Bank. Garage sale is a cash business and you’ll need to have a way to give change back. Ask tellers for $1 bills. If you plan on asking less than full dollar amounts – get some coins too.
  3. Organize your items. Sort everything in clear categories, similar to the ones you see in department stores: clothes, toys, decor, books etc.
  4. Get ready. Prepare and organize all items and accessories evening before the event, for example in the garage, for speedy set up in the morning.

On the day

  1. Keep your house safe. Keep the doors to your house locked, and set out note “no public restrooms”. You can add directions to closest public facilities, for example corner gas station.
  2. Provide packing materials. If you have many small things, having a supply of cardboard boxes and or plastic shopping bags can come in handy. It also helps to declutter your place of those items.
  3. Separate free items. Put aside a clearly marked box with items you are willing to give away for free. Side note: Mark “not for sale” any items in visitors view that are not for sale to avoid confusion!
  4. Provide barrier. Do not put any items directly on the ground. Place them on the table, tarp, etc. It just makes them more desirable – and easier to reach.
  5. Hang clothing. Present clothes, particularly adult clothes that are typically hard to sale, on hangers and on a rack. It will make them more appealing. Pro tip: set up a mirror by the rack to try items on!
  6. Allow testing electric items. Set an extension cord to allow to plug in and test working condition of any appliances etc.
  7. Create experience. Play some music, sell bottled water to drink, if weather is hot.
  8. Sit down and enjoy. Set up a chair in shady spot with good view of your display and observe.

Staging a house

Did you know?

In 2019, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) conducted a Profile of Home Staging and found that 28% agents stage homes they list for sale, while 13% of agents admitted to staging only difficult to sale homes. Of those agents, 22% reported that their homes sold for 1% to 5% more thanks to staging, 17% said their homes sold for 6% to 10% more. About a third thought that staging decreased the time the house was on the market.

9 basic tips for house staging

Staging the home you continue living in is a bit different than staging an empty place. Your focus should be on showing how much space there is already in your home, how much natural light there is and how much storage your house offers. Keep also in mind that having your house presentable is equally important in the Seller Market like we experience right now, not only in Byers Market! You do want to secure more offers and ultimately get a better price – and have house sold in less time.

Here are some quick ideas how to approach staging your own place, with items you already own. It is as much about addition as it is about subtraction!

  1. Start from improving your house curb appeal by tidying the yard and exterior. Mow the lawn, clean last year leaves and weeds, trim the plants, organize toys and sporting equipment. Consider power washing the siding.
  2. Focus on main areas. Buyers pays the most attention to: living room and master bedroom. If there is a master suite, master bathroom is a must.
  3. Make the place look inviting – and sparking Buyers imagination of their family occupying the space. It has to look lived in, at the same time not too personal. Remove your family photos, put away your clothes and toiletries. Add some tasteful art or nature and landscape photos. Put up pillows and plants to add color and life.
  4. Declutter. If you choose to follow only one tip on the list, this would be the one.  Spend time putting away things you do not use very often. You can even already pack them away in moving boxes. Keep shelves, tables and countertops minimal – but leave out some neutral decorations (again, flowers, natural objects like shells etc.).
  5. Reduce the amount of furniture in rooms. Make the space visually larger, and give Buyers space to walk and their children to run.
  6. Remove about two thirds of items from all storage spaces. That including closets, kitchen cabinets, pantry. This will help to highlight how spacious they are.
  7. Deep clean all nooks and crannies. Now it’s the time for that deep cleaning you were postponing. Potential Buyers will really look everywhere!
  8. Consider repainting rooms in modern neutral colors to refresh the walls. This is particularly crucial if your taste is in bold colors that might not suit everyone and scare more traditional Buyers.
  9. For showings, open all curtains and blinds, and turn on all the lights. The more light, the more welcoming your place will look.

Selling during COVID pandemic

Selling during COVID pandemic

The real estate market in South Central Wisconsin continues to be hot, with record low inventory of houses for sale. Per WRA data for January 2021, the number of houses for sale on the market was 43% lower than in January last year.

There are several reasons for the market situation. Low interest rate entice buyers to look for new and better place, while COVID makes sellers hesitant to open house to a lot of strangers. Those reasons and others, bring the ultimate sale price up among multiple offers competition.

If you are ready or seriously thinking about selling your current house and move or upgrade, now is the perfect time to do that. We prepared a guide for you to address some of your concerns how your COVID concerns can be accommodated.