Is fall a good time to sell or buy a home or cabin?

 

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.

Even as some sellers are pulling their homes from the market until next May or June, plenty of serious, purposeful buyers are still on the hunt. 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 rational reason to wait until next spring. If you’re ready for this life transition, then maybe it’s time to make your move.

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 45-60 days. Here’s a little more on the topic of what fall sellers can expect.

Could you end up moving in the winter? Sure. But it’s really no big deal. (And on this I speak from experience.) Moving in the winter 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.

There’s only one situation when winter can really complicate your plans, and that’s if you’re selling a three-season cabin. Most buyers will ask for an inspection, and it’s hard to inspect a cabin’s well, septic system, and plumbing without turning on the water. But even then, I’m usually able to help buyers and sellers work things out.

And for all the rest of you 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, give me a call now. Jean Hedren, Edina Realty, NW Wisconsin. www.JeanHedren.com

About Jean Hedren Realtor. Jean Hedren, Edina Realty NW Wisconsin Realtor, specializes in lake homes, cabins, and waterfront real estate in NW Wisconsin. View all posts by Jean.

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 Why partner with Jean.

Summer is hot and so is the real estate market. Now is a great time to sell.

Right NOW is a great time to sell your home or cabin in NW Wisconsin.

Summer is in full mode and serious buyers are active. If you’re ready to sell your lake home or cabin, now is the time to be on the market.

Buyers are 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.

So if you’re ready to move on to the next stage of your life, then maybe it’s time to make your move.

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 45-60 days.

And for all the rest of you 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, give me a call now. Jean Hedren, Edina Realty, NW Wisconsin. 218-590-6634. Visit www.JeanHedren.com

Check out my recent sales: Sold by Jean Hedren

Northern Wisconsin property search. Click here: Map of Northwest wisconsin.

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.

What a Home Inspection Should Cover

Buyers, here is a list of the major items home inspections will cover depending on the type of property you are purchasing. A large historic home, for example, will require a more specialized inspection than a small condominium. However, the following are the basic elements that a home inspector will check. You can also use this list to help you evaluate properties you might purchase.

Structure: A home’s skeleton impacts how the property stands up to weather, gravity, and the earth. Structural components, including the foundation and the framing, should be inspected.

Exterior: The inspector should look at sidewalks, driveways, steps, windows, and doors. A home’s siding, trim, and surface drainage also are part of an exterior inspection.

  • Doors and windows
  • Siding (brick, stone, stucco, vinyl, wood, etc.)
  • Driveways/sidewalks
  • Attached porches, decks, and balconies

Roofing: A well-maintained roof protects you from rain, snow, and other forces of nature. Take note of the roof’s age, conditions of flashing, roof draining systems, (pooling water), buckled shingles, loose gutters and downspouts, skylight, and chimneys.

Plumbing: Thoroughly examine the water supply and drainage systems, water heating equipment, and fuel storage systems. Drainage pumps and sump pumps also fall under this category. Poor water pressure, banging pipes, rust spots, or corrosion can indicate problems.

Electrical: Safe electrical siring is essential. Look for the condition of service entrance wires, service panels, breakers and fuses, and disconnects. Also take note of the number of outlets in each room.

Heating: The home’s heating system, vent system, flues, and chimneys should be inspected. Look for age of water heater, whether the size is adequate for the house, speed of recovery, and energy rating.

Air conditioning: Your inspector should describe your home cooling system, its energy source, and inspect the central and through-wall cooling equipment. Consider the age and energy rating of the system.

Interiors: An inspection of the inside of the home can reveal plumbing leaks, insect damage, rot, construction defects, and other issues. An inspector should take a close look at:

  • Walls, ceilings, and floors
  • Steps, stairways, and railings
  • Countertops and cabinets
  • Garage doors and garage door systems

Ventilation/insulation: To prevent energy loss, check for adequate insulation and ventilation in the attic and in unfinished areas such as crawlspaces. Also look for proper, secured insulation in walls. Insulation should be appropriate for the climate. Excess moisture in the home can lead to mold and water damage.

Whether you are a first time home buyer or buying your first lake home or cabin, I’d be happy to help you find the home or cabin in NW Wisconsin that’s just right for you. Jean Hedren, Edina Realty NW Wisconsin Realtor, 218-590-6634. Email: jeanhedren@edinarealty.com

Douglas County WI homes for sale. Washburn County WI homes for sale.

Realtor Magazine: What to Expect from an Aging Population

Realtor Magazine full story: What to Expect from an Aging Population

By 2030, it is expected that a quarter of the U.S. population will be 50+. Affordable senior housing options or adapting current homes to meet accessibility needs of seniors.

Understanding the housing needs for this group will be crucial.

  • People are living longer and want an active lifestyle as long as possible.
  • Women are more likely to live alone.
  • High housing costs are a challenge.

What effect does the 50+ population have on the NW Wisconsin real estate market? Talk to Jean Hedren, a Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES),  who has helped many 50+ buyers and sellers.

We’re ready for a townhouse in Texas—more than ready. But will we get more for our place if we wait another year or two?

We’re ready for a townhouse in Texas—more than ready. But will we get more for our place if we wait another year or two?

I’ve heard this question—or variations of it—literally hundreds of times. Even when sellers are more than ready to move on to the next stage of their lives, they still hope to time the market and end up with a little extra cash in their pockets. And who can blame them?

Answering their question honestly requires a frank, open conversation that isn’t always easy. Still, this reality check is an important one. It’s all about timing, and my answer involves two different kinds of timing. One can’t be predicted, and the other can’t be stopped.

The first part of my answer is that we can’t time the market, and we can’t predict the market. Maybe your home will sell for more a year from now, but maybe it will sell for less. And two or three years from now? Who knows? There are no guarantees.

To quote Yogi Berra,
“It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”

If sellers have decided they’re ready to move on to the next stage of their lives, then I advise them to price their home so it will sell in the market we have now—not the market we wish we had. That doesn’t mean giving it away, but it does mean listening to what the numbers are telling us. With every seller, I base that part of our conversation on a thorough, fact-based analysis of what similar homes are selling for and what inventory is still out there. All those other homes are our competition.

The second, more difficult part of this conversation has to do with timing and uncertainty, too. When sellers have reached a certain age, their only certainty is that from here on, time will pass far too quickly. Potentially, extra funds from the sale of their home could make those remaining years more secure, more pleasant, and just plain more fun.

Although it’s good to be prudent, many sellers wait too long and miss out on those opportunities. I don’t want to dwell on this, so I’ll just say that over the years I’ve often worked with children, grandchildren, and other heirs to help settle the affairs of relatives who’d been in no hurry to sell. It’s been great working with those sellers, too.

So if you’re determined to stay in your current home as long as you possible can, then good for you. (That’s our plan, too.) But if you’ve already decided that it’s time for that townhouse in Texas, a condo in Florida, or simply a place in town that’s a little closer to health care, my advice is this: When it’s time, it’s time.

If you’re considering a major life transition of any sort, and if you’d like to know what your home is likely to sell for in our current market, call me today. I’ll do what I can to help make that transition easier. Jean Hedren, Edina Realty, www.JeanHedren.com

4 reasons why selling your home on your own generally doesn’t succeed

Why selling your home on your own generally doesn’t succeed – reason #4

There are many reasons why selling FSBO is a difficult task to pull off. In reason #1, I discuss the wrong listing price. Reason #2 is lack of online exposure. Reason #3 buyers want your commission savings.

#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. 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.

Why selling your home on your own generally doesn’t succeed – reason #3

Why selling your home on your own generally doesn’t succeed – reason #3

There are many reasons why selling FSBO is a difficult task to pull off. In reason #1, I discuss the wrong listing price. Reason #2 is lack of online exposure.

#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.

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.

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

Why selling your home on your own generally doesn’t succeed – reason #2

Why selling your home on your own generally doesn’t succeed – reason #2

There are many reasons why selling FSBO is a difficult talk to pull off. In reason #1, I discuss the wrong listing price.

#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 media help drive traffic to a listing. For sale by owners generally do not have the expertise to market with social media.

If you are thinking of selling your home, I would be happy to provide a free, no obligation comparative market analysis for your local area. Jean Hedren, Edina Realty, NW Wisconsin www.JeanHedren.com