Are you selling a house for the first time? You probably have a lot of questions about how it works, what to avoid, and how to make sure you come out of the process feeling like you got what you wanted. You might have an idea of what the entire home selling process looks like but it’s another thing to actually do it. If you’re thinking of selling a house in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, here are five questions you need to ask yourself.
Five Questions to ask when selling a house in Milwaukee
How Much Is My House Worth?
One of the biggest concerns for anyone selling a home is how much money they’re going to get selling it on the opening market. It can be hard to know what that amount might be until you start actually receiving offers and negotiating with buyers. However, you can get a sense of how much your house may be worth to buyers.
The quickest way is to take a look at similar homes in your neighborhood that have recently sold and find out how much they sold for. These prices are easy to find on the multiple listing services (MLS), a database of many home listings across the country. Locally, the Metro MLS should have all the Milwaukee-area listings and recent sales you’ll need to see.
When you’re looking for comparable homes, make sure you take into account that subtle differences will make a big difference when it comes to pricing your home. Certainly, the number of bedrooms or bathrooms will change the price, but any special aspects or additions to each property will also have an effect. If your home has a nice garden or a back porch but the other home does not, that will give your home more value, even if everything else is the same.
What Is the Best Time of the Year to Sell?
Ask 50 people when the perfect time to sell a house is and you’ll probably get 50 different answers. While there’s always fluctuation, the real estate market tends to stick to the same cycle every year. Usually, things are slow in January but begin to pick up in February before really booming in the spring and summer months. Then, the market usually slows down until winter hits and it dips back down to start over again next year.
Locally in Milwaukee, there are differing opinions but if you look at when most homes sell. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal suggests April through July and notes that homes listed in this timeframe tend to be on the market half as long as homes listed in December, January, and February. Others will tell you to list in February or March so that when the buying season kicks into high gear you’re already on the market and ready to sell. There are merits to all different strategies but ultimately you need to consider what makes the most sense for your property and your financial situation.
How Much Is It Going to Cost to Sell My House?
Most people are aware that selling your home on the open market requires paying real estate commissions and closing costs, but those are only the beginning when it comes to costs you’ll have to keep in mind. These costs begin adding up before you even list the house.
Selling your house on the market means getting it in the best condition possible. You’ll want to do a thorough cleaning as well as any repairs or improvements that your budget allow. In order to stand out from the crowd, you may want to hire a professional photographer or stager. Having a pre-inspection is helpful as well so you can identify any issues beforehand, plus it’s a good thing to give potential buyers as a sign of good faith. Of course, all of these things will cost you.
Once you find buyers, they may ask you to make seller concessions, which will cut into your profits from the sale. The good news is that, according to Bank Rate, Wisconsin has some of the lowest closing costs in the country. The bad news is that you’re still looking at a decent chunk. For example, a home that sells for $200,000 will likely have closing costs somewhere in the $1,750 – $2,000 range.
How Long Will It Take for my House to Sell?
It depends. That might not be the answer you want but it’s the truth. Market conditions are always changing but, unless you’re offering a truly amazing home or can’t-miss deal, it will take at least two-to-three months to sell your house.
This is going to depend on a lot of different factors, such as what condition your house is in, what your asking price is, how many other homes are for sale in the neighborhood, and whether or not buyers offering cash or looking to finance their purchase. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
What Should I Do if My House Won’t Sell?
It is very possible that you could do everything right and still not get bites as quickly as you want or at a price level that you’d expect. Or maybe you are getting offers but the buyers keep dropping out over bad financing or a desire for concessions. You never quite know what will happen once you get out on the market until you do.
There are a few options if you find yourself with a house that won’t sell. First, you can take it off the market for a bit. Sometimes a fresh start is just what you need. You also might change up the tactics. Hire a new listing agent, change the asking price, or get a new round of photographs.
You could also take a step back and figure out what the problem areas might be. Are buyers scared off by the need for repairs? Or do they seem put-off by the property around the house? Maybe you need to do something about that curb appeal.
Of course, if you’re just not having any luck on the market and don’t see how you can improve things, you might want to consider selling the house directly to a real estate investment company like Cream City Home Buyers instead. Especially if you’re dealing with a house in disrepair or a financial situation like a tax lien or foreclosure that makes you have to act fast. They’ll assess your house quickly and make you a cash offer. You won’t have to worry about spending any more money and you’ll be able to move forward. Plus you’ll have cash in your pocket. If selling this house has become a burden because you already have a new home or are moving out of Milwaukee, going this route can also remove a lot of headaches quickly.