12 interior home remodeling projects with highest returns

If you are thinking of selling your home and need to do a few updates first, The National Association of Realtors Remodeling Impact Report of 2017 offers data on the 12 interior projects worth doing that will result in the highest return on your remodeling dollars.

Complete kitchen renovation, kitchen upgrade, and bathroom renovation rank the highest of most likely adding value to the home for sale.

 

Rank of projects highest to lowest (2017 Remodeling Impact Report):

  • Complete kitchen renovation
  • Kitchen upgrade
  • Bathroom renovation
  • Add new bathroom
  • New master suite
  • New wood flooring
  • HVAC replacement
  • Hardwood flooring refinish
  • Basement conversion to living area
  • Attic conversion to living area
  • Closet renovation
  • Insulation upgrade

Thinking of buying or selling real estate in NW Wisconsin? Call Jean Hedren, Edina Realty NW Wisconsin, 218-590-6634. Email: jeanhedren@edinarealty.com.

Resolved to sell your home? Don’t delay until May.

It’s February. If you’ve resolved that it’s time to move on to the next stage of your life, then I’d like to suggest you don’t delay until May. Get started now.

Around here sellers, buyers, and even Realtors can often think a little too seasonally. Summer might be the only time of the year we can grow tomatoes in northern Wisconsin, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only time of year we can produce real estate sales.

Today’s lake-home market is no longer just a summertime surge. Maybe it’s because buyers are now eager to enjoy their new homes all year round. In the fall there’s hunting, fishing, paddling, hiking, biking, and ATVing. In the winter there’s skiing, snowmobiling, ice fishing, and just relaxing by the fire. Every spring, long before the water is warm enough for swimming, we’re blessed with months of weather that’s perfect for enjoying the great outdoors in other ways. (Well, OK. Two months.)

Serious, purposeful buyers are on the hunt now. At this very moment they’re getting pre-approved, researching lakes, and reaching for their checkbooks. So if you’re ready to move on to the next stage of your life, there’s no reason to delay until May. Keep in mind, too, that listing your home today doesn’t mean moving out next Tuesday. Even after we’ve done a little negotiating and you’ve accepted a buyer’s offer, more time will elapse before there’s an actual closing. Typically, unless it’s a cash offer with no inspections or other contingencies, that’s about another 60 days.

If things happen fast, could you end up moving while there’s still snow on the ground? Sure. But it’s really no big deal. (And on this I speak from experience.) Moving in the winter or early spring is nothing to be afraid of—especially if you’re paying someone else to load up the moving van and drive it away. Of course, if you’re leaving most furnishings behind, then moving will be less of an issue anyway.

Selling a year-round lake home or cabin, the best time to find buyers is… Year-round. So if you’d like to learn more about what your home is likely to sell for in our current market, call Jean Hedren, Your Edina Realty NW Wisconsin Realtor, at 218-590-6634. Or, you can reach me at jeanhedren@edinarealty.com.

Win on Price or Win on “Wow”

Sellers often ask me what they should do to get their home or cabin ready to sell.  Sometimes the answer is “nothing.”  Sometimes I offer advice about cleaning the garage or trimming the shrubs to make a better first impression.  Takes a couple hours, but doesn’t cost a cent.  And sometimes I suggest sellers invest in new light fixtures or a couple gallons of paint.  Less than a hundred dollars, but a whole new look.

In some cases, of course, it might be time for more major upgrades.  There’s no simple answer that’s right for everyone.  But if you do choose to make major upgrades, here are two things to keep in mind.

First, although doing it yourself is a great way to save money, be careful.  Over the years, I’ve seen more than one amateur remodeling job that actually reduced a property’s salability.  So if you’re more handsome than handy, know your limitations.

Second, choose projects that give the best return on your investment, and make sure they’ll appeal to the widest range of buyers.  This means, for example, that kitchen and bath upgrades are a better choice than whirlpools or saunas.  And no pink paint, even if it’s your favorite color.

All remodeling projects cost money; if you’re about to sell, the investment may not be worthwhile.  Occasionally however, some properties definitely benefit from a facelift.  And sometimes that extra “wow” can really help a property stand out from the crowd.

The bottom line?  It depends.  Every situation is different.  But in today’s market, you need to make sure your home is in the best possible condition. If it’s time to replace the roof shingles, do so. Fix a leaky faucet or cracked window. Make sure everything is in tip top shape. Clear out the clutter. If you want your property to sell within a reasonable amount of time, you can win on  “wow.”

If beauty is important in the current market; price is even more important.  If your home or cabin is in great condition but not priced appropriately, it won’t sell. Simple as that. Price is determined by the market, not by how much you think it’s worth or how much you need to get to make your next move.

Local market conditions determine the price at which a property will sell. A home that’s clean and in good repair and priced appropriately will stand the best chance of selling sooner rather than later.

Looking for NW Wisconsin homes for sale? As your NW Wisconsin Realtor, I’ll assist you with all of your home buying and selling needs. Start your search for local listings in the communities of Gordon, Wascott, Solon Springs, Barnes, Minong, and other area communities in Douglas County, Washburn County, Bayfield County, and Sawyer County. Lake homes, country homes, waterfront land, hunting land, recreation land. First time home buyers, repeat and move/up home buyers. Luxury homes.

Thinking of buying or selling real estate in NW Wisconsin? Call Jean Hedren, Edina Realty NW Wisconsin, 218-590-6634. Email: jeanhedren@edinarealty.com.

Does For Sale By Owner save you money? 4 Reasons why FSBOs end up hiring a Realtor.

I am a Realtor. I sell real estate. I can certainly understand a home seller’s reasons for wanting to save a commission expense. We all like to save money.

While commission rates are negotiable, in NW Wisconsin you are likely to pay 6-7% commission on the sale of your property. On a $200,000 home a 6% commission is $12,000. That’s a chunk of change.

Selling a for sale by owner (FSBO) is not a simple task and that is why most home owners hire a Realtor to get the job done. Nationally the success rate of a FSBO is very low. More than 80% of all FSBOs end up hiring a Realtor after unsuccessfully trying to sell on their own.

There are many reasons why selling For Sale by Owner (FSBO) is a difficult task to pull off.

#1 – The wrong listing price

Whether selling FSBO or with a Realtor, pricing is the first and most critical factor. If your home is not priced correctly you are not likely to sell for the highest possible price. More than 75% of marketing a home is about the price. Overpricing a home makes it almost impossible to sell.

Choosing the right price involves thorough research of similar properties that have recently sold in the local area and using the data to correctly set the selling price. The data may not be easy to find in more rural geographic areas.

Sometimes owners may have made recent improvements to their home, and therefore feel justified in setting a higher price. Unfortunately, most home improvement projects do not have a high return. Even improvements like replacing a roof or a septic system will not have much of a payback on the investment.

#2 – Lack of online exposure

Many for sale by owners only put up a handmade “for sale by owner” sign in the front lawn and expect that to do the job.

Others think that including their listing in one of the for sale by owner online sites like Isoldmyhome.com, forsalebyowner.com, or buyowner.com is going to bring lots of buyers.

Unfortunately that’s not the case. The for sale by owner real estate websites do not generate much buyer traffic in comparison to the sites that web savvy Realtors use to market listings.

Google a local search with real estate keywords a buyer would typically use as an online search, and you’ll see the results. Using my local town as an example, a buyer would use keywords like Gordon Wisconsin homes for sale or Gordon WI real estate. The top search results are sites that show listings by Realtors and Real Estate agents individual websites. You can check out your own town or city.

A web savvy Realtor will also use social media to market a home. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, blogs, and other social media help drive traffic to a listing. For sale by owners generally do not have the expertise to market with social media.

#3 – Buyers want your commission savings

One very important consideration that most people who try to sell on their own don’t realize is that buyers understand you are not paying a Realtor to sell the home. These buyers tend to be bargain hunters and since the seller is not paying a commission will feel justified in offering less for the home.

Lots of for sale by owners end up receiving low ball offers. Even if the home is priced right, the seller can end up with a lower number on the bottom line.

#4 – Buyer qualifications and showing the home

One important detail that for sale by owners may forget is that buyers can view a home at just about any time of day or day of the week. A buyer will likely lose patience if the seller cannot accommodate their schedule. The seller will need to find the time to let a buyer have access to the home which can be a challenge if the seller is working full time or does not live on the property. It’s difficult to sell if the buyer can’t get in and see it. A Realtor’s job can make that part of the selling process easy.

Sellers also need to be aware of how to qualify potential buyers. If the buyer cannot get financing, there is no point in showing the home. A Realtor’s job is to make sure a buyer has the ability to purchase. Most buyers looking at homes today are pre-approved.

Sellers may not be aware of the closing costs associated with the selling side and procedures to bring a sale to the closing table. A Realtor will have the experience to handle the closing procedures, and to smooth out any bumps during the final closing procedures.

If you are thinking of selling your home, I will be happy to provide a free, no obligation comparative market analysis for your local area.

Related article by Bill Gassett, Remax Executive Realty Massachusetts. Home Selling Myths That are Completely False

Winter curb appeal tips for NW Wisconsin home sellers

Those of us that live in Northwestern Wisconsin know that this is an area of great beauty in all four seasons. When selling your home in winter, paying attention to a few outside details can really make a big difference. Here are some ideas.

  1. christmas-1463712_640Add splashes of bright colors. Plants, grasses, and evergreens can spruce up a home’s winter landscape. Tall grasses, such as fountain grasses, can survive harsh winters. And in late fall and early winter, plants from the cabbage family add vibrant purples. A red door or red trim will stand out in a snowy landscape.
  2. Give it seasonal sparkle. Transform a birdbath or fountain into a seasonal display by adding twigs with red berries. Large shiny ornaments in a garden can provide an inviting holiday note.
  3. Bright lights. Use clear floodlights to focus on the home’s front entrance or architectural feature. Add a few lights along the driveway to welcome the way.
  4. Remove snow. Make sure the snow is shoveled from the driveway and walkway before showing time, And, make sure exterior steps are free of snow.
  5. Show off the lake and lifestyle. Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you can’t use the deck. Shovel your backyard sitting area and leave your grill uncovered so buyers can envision themselves using the deck or lakeside patio.
  6. A Charlie Brown Christmas tree. Add a small pine tree on the front porch or near the front entrance to the house with a simple strand or two of twinkle lights.
  7. Create a photo display of sunnier days. Show buyers what the outside of the home looks like during other seasons by displaying some landscape photos in frames or using a digital photo frame with a slide show of images.

Buying or selling real estate in NW Wisconsin. I would be very pleased to help. Jean Hedren, Edina Realty NW Wisconsin, 218-590-6634.

Fall is a great time to sell in NW Wisconsin

Even as some sellers are winterizing their homes for the winter and heading south to snow bird land, serious, purposeful buyers are still on the hunt. At this very moment they’re getting pre-approved, researching lakes, and looking at potential properties.

Thinking of selling?  When you list with me you’ll enjoy these important benefits:

  • Strategic pricing that’s based on a thorough, local area market analysis. I help sellers make a sound, rational pricing decision that’s based on the best available information.  Here’s why:  If our price is too low, we leave money on the table.  If our price is too high, we leave your home on the market unsold.  But…  If we price your home correctly right from the very beginning, it’s more likely to get noticed and sell more quickly for the best possible sale price.  
  • Professional Magazine Quality Real Estate Photography. Buyers have lots of options; it can be tough to decide on a short list of homes they feel are worth seeing in person.  Great photos increase the odds that your home will make the cut.  Check out my listings for examples of the professional photography that will help your property stand out from the crowd.  To learn more, and to see a few examples right now, check out my Great Photos page.
  • We’re also providing stunning aerial photos and video. Although aerial photos and video still have novelty value, it’s no longer enough to send up a drone and press a button.This is a job for a skilled real estate photographer who uses a camera that happens to be mounted on a flying tripod. Just as with terrestrial photography, there’s more to this than just buying a camera and clicking a button. That’s why we’re willing to fly the extra mile for our clients.
  • The Power of Social Media and Internet Marketing. Today’s buyers are more connected than ever, and 95% of them begin their real estate shopping online.  I know how to leverage social media and market effectively on the internet, today’s #1 marketing tool.  You can find me and my listings at the Edina Realty website; on all three of our region’s MLSs; at my own personal real estate website and blog www.JeanHedrenRealtor.com, on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter; at consumer sites like Zillow and Realtor.com; and more.
  • My Three MLSs and the Reach of Edina Realty. To ensure your listing will be seen by as many buyers as possible—and also by as many Realtors as possible—I belong to all three of our region’s MLS systems. What’s more, I’m proud to be associated with Edina Realty.  We’re a brand buyers know and trust. When you list with me you’ll benefit from the traffic there, at my own Edina Realty page www.JeanHedren.com, and at my own personal www.JeanHedrenRealtor.comwebsite and blog that you’re visiting right now. While you’re here, take a moment to explore. You’ll find lots of great information about up-north real estate, and also about northwest Wisconsin communities, our northern lakes and rivers, fishing and hunting information, little-known paddling spots, favorite NW WI biking and hiking routes, and more. While you’re at it, don’t forget to check out my YouTube channel. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. 

Thinking of selling? Want more potential buyers to see your home or cabin? Want to make sure it looks its absolute best when they do? Give me a call at 218-590-6634. Or, you can reach me at jeanhedren@edinarealty.com.

Real estate and tomatoes are not the same

Real estate and tomatoes are not the same.

I’ve just updated my website with helpful information related to this important question: Why wait??? It’s a question that has to do with the time of year, but it’s also a much bigger question.

“OK,” you’re saying, “but what do those tomatoes have to do with the view from cabins and lake homes in northwest Wisconsin?” The answer: Not much. Real estate and tomatoes are not the same. Let me explain…

Around here sellers, buyers, and even Realtors can often think a little too seasonally. Summer might be the only time of the year we can grow tomatoes in northern Wisconsin, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only time of year we can produce real estate sales.

Today’s lake-home market is no longer just a summertime surge. (And that’s even more true, of course, for off-water homes.) Don’t get me wrong. If you’re a buyer or seller who happens to read this in April or May, I’d love to hear from you today. But these days plenty of serious, purposeful buyers are on the hunt all year round; at this very moment they’re getting pre-approved, researching lakes, studying properties online, and arranging to view their top picks in person.

So, whether you’re buying or selling… If you’re ready to move on to the next stage of your life, there’s no rational reason to delay until May – and especially not until some Mayday years in the future. If it’s time, it’s time.

Jean Hedren, Edina Realty NW Wsiconsin. www.JeanHedren.com

To learn more, click on the links below: