Home selling tip: The real estate market is like the stock market

Pricing your home right from the start can result in a quicker sale. 

An important first step in the home selling process is to price the property right from the start. The price is not based on the acquisition price or what a seller needs to get. Price is based on what a buyer will pay.

Sellers and brokers do not determine the price, the buyers do. If your stock was trading at $100 per share a year ago and today it’s trading at $90 per share, you wouldn’t have any buyers if you wanted to sell at $100 per share.

Request a free home evaluation. 

Septic Systems Simplified

Septic Systems Simplified

I’d like to address a topic that may not be very glamorous. But it’s one that’s important to know about when you’re buying a home or cabin in NW Wisconsin.

If you’re living in town, then you probably have city water and sewer. All you need to worry about now is paying a small bill every month. But once you move to the country, you’re on your own. Don’t worry though. Most of the time these systems work just fine.

septic-system

Still, before you buy a home or cabin, it’s important to know about its septic system. Repairs and upgrades can be expensive. Here’s a quick overview; to really understand septic systems thoroughly, you may wan to do an online search on some of these terms and read further.

The first question you should ask is what type of system a particular home or cabin has. There are three main types: conventional, mound, and holding. You may also hear about something called a “separate gray water system.” One other term I’ll explain briefly is “perc test.” You’ll want to know what it is and why it’s important.

A conventional septic system runs waste water and solids into a large concrete septic tank where bacteria digest the solids. Liquids run out the other end into a drain field that’s made of perforated pipe buried in a gravel-filled trench. Solds that don’t digest settle out into a sludge at the bottom of the septic tank. Every two or three years, you’ll need to have this sludge pumped out. It’s not expensive, and it’s no big deal. It’s just part of owning a home or cabin that’s outside the city limits.

A mound system is similar, except that the drain field is above ground level inside a large mound of gravel and dirt. It’s used in certain special conditions – most often when the soil isn’t permeable enough, there isn’t enough soil before you reach bedrock, or the water table is too close to the surface. Although the mound can be landscaped in a way that makes it less noticeable, it’s still going to be there. Another negative is that mound systems often require a pumping system in between the septic tank and the drain field. Otherwise, these systems work just like a conventional septic system.

A holding tank is just what it sounds like – a hold tank that needs to be pumped out a soon as it’s full. I see them most often at older lakeshore cabins. They’re usually only used for sites that are unsuitable for either a conventional or a mound system. Sometimes, however, they were installed because they were a less expensive alternative.

As you’d expect, a larger tank is better. But it still needs to be pumped out eventually. And when it is, a large tank will cost more to empty.

You may be able to upgrade a holding tank to conventional or mound system. But even if you can, it will be a fairly expensive undertaking. Meanwhile, pumping out the holding tank will be a regular expense. If the system serves a small cabin that’s only used on a dozen weekends every year, that’s less of an issue. But if that cabin becomes a full-time, year-round home for a family of six, then you’re going to have a monthly pumping bill.

To help with that problem, some homes and cabins have a separate “gray water system.” (You’ll also see them used on conjunction with conventional and mound systems.) Gray water, as opposed to “black water,” is all the waste water that hasn’t come from a toilet. Depending on local codes and regulations, your gray water can sometimes be released with little or no processing; you could even use it to water your lawn or garden. Just be careful about what soaps you use, and avoid pouring too many household chemicals down the drain (probably a good idea anyway).

Finally, here’s one more term you should know about. If you’re building a new home or cabin, you may hear about something called a “perch test.” That’s short of “percolation test,” and it’s a measure of how permeable your soil is. If your building site is on clay soil that’s relatively impermeable, it could mean you’ll need a mound system or holding tank. It it’s on relatively sandy soil, you can relax. You’ll probably pass your perch test with flying colors.

This was an important topic, but maybe not a very fun one. If you read all the way to here, then perhaps you are ready to start shopping for your country or lake home or cabin – www.JeanHedren.com

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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.

Biggest homeseller mistake – getting past the emotional attachment

NW Wisconsin: A common reason that a house will not sell quickly and at the best possible price has to do with a seller’s emotional attachment. Some sellers have a hard time letting go and may unwittingly block the process by overpricing the home, unwilling to declutter, refusing to make repairs, or unwilling to negotiate with buyers.

A good Realtor can help sellers to let go of the emotional attachment and think of their home as an asset.

Shifting the language. A simple word change from home to the street name or property is a subtle step that begins the process of depersonalization.

Though a seller has created 30 years of memories, those memories will always be with them. Now that they have decided it’s time to sell, the Realtor’s job is to present the property to the marketplace. The marketplace is where people shop for products. In this case, the home is the product.

Simplify and pack up the memories. Because the homeowner is selling, a first step is to proactively remove items they don’t need for their next  move or pack up items they will want to keep with them.

When a buyer enters a home, they are visualizing how their stuff fits into this space. Creating an environment that is open and uncluttered for buyers to walk in and imagine themselves living in is a critical step in the selling process.

Rebranding or staging. Depersonalization is a way to repackage or stage the home to be more product-based. 

The biggest mistake a seller can make is to resisting the shift from viewing their home as their property. Without this shift, most potential buyers will move on. 

NW Wisconsin North Country Hiking Trail: Bird Sanctuary Clubhouse to Highway 53 Trailhead

We are so fortunate to have The North Country Hiking Trail right in our back yard (well almost). The North Country Trail stretches from New York to North Dakota with hundreds of miles crossing Northern Wisconsin.

Bird Sanctuary Clubhouse to Highway 53 Trailhead, Douglas County, WI

North Country Trail - Bird Sanctuary Clubhouse to Hwy 53 trailhead

North Country Trail – Bird Sanctuary Clubhouse to Hwy 53 trailhead

This 3.3 mile segment of the North Country Scenic Trail is right here in the Gordon-Solon Springs area. Because it traverses relatively open terrain, this segment is a good place to enjoy the vista. Near the north end of the route, there’s also a nice walk-in campsite overlooking Leo Creek.

Bird Sanctuary Clubhouse to Hwy 53

Bird Sanctuary Clubhouse to Hwy 53

Bird Sanctuary Clubhouse to Hwy 53

Bird Sanctuary Clubhouse to Hwy 53

Bird Sanctuary Clubhouse to Hwy 53

Bird Sanctuary Clubhouse to Hwy 53

Finally, here’s a road map to help you find the trailhead:

Road Map

Road Map

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.

Search homes and cabins for sale in Eau Claire Chain of Lakes, Barnes, WI.

Homes and cabins for sale in Eau Claire Chain of Lakes, Barnes, WI.

You’ll find a variety of lake, town, and country homes available in Barnes and Gordon Wisconsin in all price ranges.

Start your search here: Homes for sale in Eau Claire Chain of Lakes, Barnes, Wisconsin

More about the Eau Claire Chain of Lakes.

Pricing your home to get the highest offer

The best way to get the most money for your home is to price it right at the start. Today’s buyers are discerning. They have the information at their fingertips to pay what they believe your home is worth. Ultimately, a home’s value is what a buyer is willing to pay rather then what the selling thinks their home is worth.

Here are 10 benefits to right pricing:

  1.  Each new listing creates a buzz in the local real estate community. The right price will generate more calls and inquiries, and attract more Realtors to show the house.
  2. The right price will send the message to buyers that the price is based on actual value rather than sentimental value.
  3. Homes tend to sell closer to the asking price during the first few weeks on the market, resulting in a higher price in a shorter time.
  4. Fewer mortgage payments and less interest paid means more money in your pocket.
  5. The right price sends the message to the buyer that your home is a better value compared to others on the market.
  6. Less time on the market means less time keeping the home ready for showings.
  7. In a fluctuating market, it is better to sell now as prices may decrease even more.
  8. The longer the house sits on the market, buyers may think there is something wrong with the house.
  9. Keep your ultimate goal in mind – selling now means moving on with your life.
  10. There is never a second chance to make a good first impression.
Selling a home in NW Wisconsin? Send me an email or give me a call at 218-590-6634. I’ll be happy to provide a current price analysis to give you an idea of what your home will sell for in the current market.