Here is a No Bull Sh*t Guide to selling your home.

There is much more involved with selling your home than you think. Just another reason why it’s important to work with a professional that will walk you through the process. So the first thing you should do is call your Realtor and explain your situation, and what your goals are.

Here is a list of things you should expect from your Realtor, and/or expect to happen along the way…

  • Complete inspection of your property. As Realtors, we are required by law to do this. This also allows us to look for any red flags that may cause problems during an inspection. It’s always easier to address these problems ahead of time.
  • Make recommendations. You want your house to show as good as possible to help ensure you get the best price. Here are some things I look for when walking through a home…
    • Is it clean? If not, I will tell you. Not only should your home be spotlessly clean, it will need to stay clean throughout the process. Is this a big pain in the a**? You bet, but it’s necessary.
    • Does it smell? Once again, if it does I will tell you. This is particularly true in cases of homes with pets, or with people who smoke. If you have a dog, make sure it’s bathed regularly. If you have a cat, make sure the litter box is clean at all times. If you smoke in your house, you have kind of screwed yourself. People hate that, and in most cases the slightest smell of smoke will send them running.
    • Do you have too much clutter or furniture? Clutter makes a home appear messy, and smaller than it is. It is also a sign that it may not have enough storage. Pack it up. You are moving anyway, so this gives you a head start.
    • Family pictures. Minimize the amount of family photos you have sitting out or hanging on the walls. It always irritates me when I’m showing a house and the prospective buyer stops to look at every photo wondering if they know the owners. They are supposed to be concentrating on the house itself.
    • Touch it up. Are there nicks and dings in the walls? Are there unfinished projects? Touch up the paint and finish up those projects. Little things like this just give potential buyers a reason to discount the asking price.
  • Prepare a Market Analysis. Why is this important? Because it will help you understand how your property compares to the competition. It will also give you insight into the current market, and help you gauge what your days on market might be. It’s also the best way to determine what your list price should be. When doing this, be realistic! We all thing our home is better than our neighbors, but in most cases it is not. Over pricing your home is the worst thing that you can do. This will result in more days on the market, and that equals less money.
  • Get it listed. Once a list price has been determined, it’s time go get your house on the market. There will be some paper work involved with this that your Realtor should walk you through. From that point your Realtor will take care of taking measurements, photos, creating ads, etc.
  • Showings should start. Like I said before these are a real pain in the a**, especially if you are living in the home. You need to keep the house clean at all times, and accommodate showing times the best you can. If you have a dog, make sure it’s removed from the home for showings. It would be nice if cats were not around either, but that tends to be a little harder to make happen. Be aware, that if someone sets up a showing for between 4:00 and 5:00 this does NOT mean they will be there at 4:00. This simply means they will be there sometime between 4:00 and 5:00. In most cases, buyers are looking at more than one home at a time. You should also understand that some buyers will spend 5 minutes in your home, and others will spend an hour. Don’t read too much into this, and don’t take offense if someone doesn’t like your home.
  • An offer comes in. Congratulations! This means someone wants your home. Now is the time to sit down with your Realtor and go over all the details. You need to pay attention to everything, not just the price. Don’t be offended if someone comes in with a lower offer, this is just a starting point. If you don’t like their price, counter it. One thing that drives me nuts is when someone says “I’m not giving it away”. Really? Nobody asked you too.
  • An offer is accepted. Don’t pack your bags just yet. This is only the beginning of the next phase. There are still multiple things that most likely need to happen. Inspections need to be scheduled and completed, appraisal needs to be done and accepted by the bank, financing needs to be approved, closing needs to be coordinated, etc. Multiple things can come up along the way, and no dates and deadlines are guaranteed. Lean on your Realtor to walk you through this process, it is their job to stay on top of everything.
  • Closing. You made it, now get out! 🙂 The day of closing is the day you need to be completely out of the house (unless otherwise agreed upon in writing). This means EVERYTHING needs to be out of the house that was not included in the offer. A lot of people want to leave left over paint, trim, and miscellaneous items for the house. This is NOT okay unless the buyer agrees to it. Put yourself in their shoes, do you really want to walk into your new home and have to deal with someones crap they left behind? Doubtful.

This is just a quick glimpse at the process. There are so many things that can come up along the way. Trust me, we have seen it all. Issues arise from inspections, financing gets denied, buyers go bat-sh*t crazy, etc.

If you are interested in talking more about the process of selling your home, just let me know. As you can probably imagine by reading this, I will be brutally honest with you… No B.S!

~ Keith


I want to buy a house. Now what?

Congratulations! You have made the decision to buy your first house. While this can be a scary and confusing time, it does not need to be. For most people, owning a home is the biggest investment they will ever make in their lives. For this reason, it is extremely important that you have someone walking you through the process to make sure you are protected.

Step #1

Get Pre-Approved for financing! This does not mean Pre-Qualified. What’s the difference? It’s simple. A “Pre-Qualification” means that you talked to a Lender and told them what your income is, and maybe gave an idea of what debts you have. None of this information has been verified. A “Pre-Approval” means that you have completed a mortgage application, the Lender has verified the information to be correct, and the Lender has pulled your credit. There is a very big difference between these two, and as you can imagine, a Pre-Qualification Letter is junk.

Keep in mind though, having a Pre-Approval Letter does NOT mean that you have been APPROVED for a loan. In order to get approved, you need to locate the property you want, have an accepted offer, have the required inspections performed, and have a satisfactory appraisal of the property. Once all this is completed, your file will then go through the banks underwriting process for formal approval.

There are several reasons that getting a Pre-Approval Letter is important…

  1. You will know what your price range should be, and what you are comfortable spending.
  2. You will know what type of loan you qualify for. This will make a difference in the type of home you are looking for.
  3. When it comes time to make an offer on a home, the Seller will know that you are a serious buyer, and will be more likely to negotiate.
  4. You are not getting your hopes up for something you can’t have, and in the mean time wasting everyone’s time.

If you need some additional information on where to go to get Pre-Approved, just let me know.

WARNING… Do NOT go to multiple places and apply for a loan. Each time your application is run, your credit will be pulled. Every time your credit is pulled it effects your overall score. If you already have a border line credit score, this can kill your chances at qualifying for a loan.

Step #2

Find a Realtor. The key here is finding a full time Realtor you like, trust, and are comfortable with. What’s the best way to do this?

  1. Talk with friends and family who have bought or sold a house within the last year.
  2. Each real estate office in your area should have a website. Usually these websites contain information regarding all of the Realtors that work there. Read through this information and see if you can find someone you have something in common with. Don’t hesitate to make some calls to these Realtor’s and ask questions, kind of like an interview.

Why do you need a Realtor? Buying or selling a property can be a very tricky process. You need someone to walk you through the process, and explain/address any issues that arise. There will be issues that arise! A good Realtor works full time, is well respected within the community, and knows the market well.

Step #3

The search begins. While in most cases this can be a lot of fun, it can also be stressful. In most cases, there will be certain items that you may need to compromise on. There is NO such thing as the perfect house. Keep in mind these 3 things… Lot, Location, & Layout. These are the 3 things you can’t change about a home, so if you are not happy with these 3 things, then it’s time to move on.

Be respectful. This applies to your Realtor and home owners. Expecting to see properties at the last minute is not realistic. Your Realtor has a schedule to keep and a life besides you. Home owner’s also need time to prepare their home for a showing.

Don’t be unrealistic. If you feel the need to see 50 houses before making a decision, something is wrong. Stick to what your needs are and you should have no problem finding the right house. Today’s market is competitive, so it may not happen over night, just be patient.

Step #4

Making an offer. This can be the scary/confusing part, and where the knowledge of your Realtor will be most useful. Because the current market is so competitive, your Realtor should be able to educate you on what can all happen. When making your offer you will need to decide not only what price to offer, but what terms are best. For example…. Inspections (required and not required), Closing Date, Closing Costs, etc. Keep in mind, just because a seller is asking “X” for their house, does NOT mean it’s actually worth it. A seller can ask whatever they want. It’s up to you and your Agent to do the necessary research to determine if the price is fair. If you are in a multiple offer situation, no other buyer will know what your offer is, and you will not know what theirs is. Therefore, it’s very important to put your best foot forward to beat out the competition. With all that said, you still want to make sure you are getting a fair deal and are not overpaying for a house.

Step #5

Closing day. Congratulations, you made it! This is the day that you get the keys to your new home. Getting to this day can sometimes be stressful. There are several surprises that can arise along the way. Rely on your Realtor to help get you through.

If you have any additional questions about the home buying process, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. I would be happy to meet with you an answer any questions you might have.

~ Keith



2017 State of the Market Report

What a crazy year it was for Wisconsin Rapids real estate!

I can’t even begin to tell you the number of times I was involved in multiple offer situations, or saw properties receive accepted offers before they really hit the market.

With that said, I thought it would be interesting to look at the numbers a little closer, and compare them to 2016. So here it goes…

City of Wisconsin Rapids

2016 Total Sales Volume: $16,526,740

2017 Total Sales Volume: $22,504,358

This means sales were UP 36%

2016 Average Sale Price: $77,995

2017 Average Sale Price: $88,599

This means the average sale is UP 14%

Town of Grand Rapids

2016 Total Sales Volume: $13,343,506

2017 Total Sales Volume: $17,456,922

This means sales were UP 31%

2016 Average Sale Price: $148,261

2017 Average Sales Price: $158,699

This means the average sale price is UP .07%

Town of Saratoga

2016 Total Sales Volume: $4,564,644

2017 Total Sales Volume: $4,607,500

This means sales were UP .1%

2016 Average Sale Price: $147,243

2017 Average Sale Price: $127,986

This means the average sale price went down 15%

City of Nekoosa

2016 Total Sales Volume: $2,028,400

2017 Total Sales Volume: $2,276,050

This means sales were UP 12%

2016 Average Sale Price: $72,442

2017 Average Sale Price: $78,484

This means the average sale price went up .08%

Town & Village of Port Edwards

2016 Total Sales Volume: $3,802,900

2017 Total Sales Volume: $4,600,750

This means sales were up 21%

2016 Average Sale Price: $100,076

2017 Average Sale Price: $100,016

This means the average sale price went down .005%

Overall a pretty great year!

At this point inventory is still very low, especially in the City of Wisconsin Rapids and the Town of Grand Rapids.

If you have any questions about these numbers, feel free to let me know. ~ Keith

**All numbers were pulled from the Central Wisconsin Multiple Listing Service, and pertain only to the sales of single family homes.**



Do I wait until spring to put my house on the market?

The simple answer to this question is NO! Here is why…

Most people think that spring is the best time to put your house on the market, simply because the snow is gone (hopefully) and your house will show better. Families often like to wait until spring to list their homes so they can plan to move once school is out, and be settled in their new home once school begins. This can be even more important if a child is required to change schools.

While all of this makes sense, let’s look at the bigger picture…

Most of the time inventory is at it’s lowest around the holidays and the beginning of the year. Therefore, by listing your house in January you will have less competition, and often times see a higher sale price. While this may not always be the most convenient option, financially it’s probably your best bet. In some rare cases you may be able to ask for extended occupancy of your home, but I wouldn’t bet on that. Your best option would be to make arrangements ahead of time so you have contingency plans in place, should your house sell before you have located a new one.

Here are the risks you take by waiting until spring to list your home…

  1. More competition.
  2. More days on the market.
  3. Lower sale price.
  4. Possibly losing the new house you wanted.

Every situation is different…

While this strategy of listing your home now may work for some, it doesn’t work for everyone. In order for you to get top dollar for your home, the same old rules apply. As a reminder, here is a list…

  1. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION! If your home is not in a desirable area, it doesn’t matter when you put your house on the market, it may still be a struggle to sell. This means that every other aspect of your home will need to be perfect.
  2. CLEAN! Make sure your home is spotlessly clean, and any necessary repairs are made ahead of time. Think about it, you don’t go into a store and buy damaged product without getting a discount. When Buyers see a dirty house, or repairs that are needed, they automatically discount your asking price.
  3. PRICE IT RIGHT! Everyone thinks their home is worth more than it is. But at the end of the day a house is only worth what a Buyer is willing to pay. So make sure you price your home realistically based on the comparable properties out there. If your asking price is above where the comparable sales are, why would anyone bother looking at your home? Odds are you wouldn’t either if the situation were reversed.

At the end of the day, if you are still unsure of what to do, give me a call. I’m always happy to meet with you and together we can determine what the best plan is to sell your home. In most cases a home is our biggest financial instrument, so it needs to be protected.

Happy New Year!

~ Keith