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How to Sell your House in 2011

by Beth Jaworski

You say your goal is to sell your house in 2011? Your goal can be achieved, but you have to remember that it truly is a pricing war and a beauty contest out there. This means you need to be the "prettiest girl at the dance" when you hit the market. To put your best foot forward when you do hit the market, be sure to follow these steps:

1.) Clean out the house - donate, recycle, get a storage locker or Pod.
Whatever you do, make sure garage, basement, and all closets are clean &
organized. Even clean out the cabinets and refrigerator prior to listing.
You want to have a minimum of "stuff" in the house. The less "stuff" the
larger the closets, cabinets, basement & garage will look.

2.) Have a Realtor and/or a stager come through the house and make
recommendations. This should be done one to three months before you want
to hit the market. They can tell you if you need to paint, and if so what
color, if flooring should be replaced, and if you need to remove furniture
and/or wall hangings. As close to a model home or Pottery Barn catalog
photo that you can come, the better off you will be.

3.) Get your financials in order. Check with your lender to ensure you
have no prepayment penalty on your mortgage, and obtain a payoff so you
know what you really owe. Also, check with your accountant to see if there
are any tax consequences to selling. Those who got the first home buyer
tax credit need to repay if selling within a certain amount of time,
certain loan programs have a penalty if the house is sold within the first
3-5 years, and those who have written down part of their home for business
and/or as their home office will have that percentage of the home sale
subject to capital gains. Lastly, get preapproved right away if you are
planning on buying another home. Underwriting has changed, so you want to
make sure you can financially make the move you want.

4.) If you have owned your house for any length of time, have a prelisting
home inspection done. Do this about a month prior to listing. Correct any
major defects - mechanical, structural, electrical, and plumbing issues
will all come up again if not taken care of. It is hard enough to get an
accepted offer in today's market, so you definitely don't want to lose the
buyer due to the home inspection. If you live in a code compliant
municipality, have the compliance inspector through and get your
certificate before hitting the market.

5.) Have all of your energy bills and a list of updates out for all buyers
to see. Buyers are always curious what the utility bills are, how old the
roof is, how many layers it has, how old the major mechanicals are
(furnace, air conditioning and water heater) and when that addition was
added. The more information you can provide on the house, the better. Have
the answers to all their questions right there at the house.

6.) Be prepared to be flexible. This last tip is crucial. When your house
is on the market, you have to be willing to accomadate all kinds of
strange requests. Buyer wants to see the house at 7 am on Tuesday, okay.
Buyer wants to bring 10 family members and an inspector to check out the
house for 3 hours this weekend, okay. Buyer wants you to include the
kitchen table and chairs, the painting over the fireplace, and your
snowblower. Okay. The more flexible you are, the better off you will be.
Sometimes making an offer is an impulsive decision. Certainly it is an
emotional one for most. Keep an open mind and be willing to be creative to
put the deal together. After all, you never really liked that painting
over the fireplace, did you?

Holiday Kick-off in the Village

by Beth Jaworski

It is time to kick-off the holidays! The Village of Wauwatosa's annual tree lighting ceremony will break tradition and take place tonight, Friday, Dec. 3rd. (In the past, the tree was always lit on the first Saturday in December). Santa will have the honor of lighting the tree and all are welcome to sing along with the McKinley school chorus. There will also be hot chocolate, cider & cookies served. The tree lighting takes place at 6:30 at Root Common, where Wauwatosa Avenue (76th St) and Harwood meet.

Visits with Santa and horse-drawn wagon rides are also going to be available Friday from 7-9 pm and on Saturday from 2-5 pm. The wagon rides, sponsored by WaterStone Bank, are complimentary with your donation of cash or canned goods for the Wauwatosa Food Pantry.

While you are in the Village, be sure to stop by the Little Red Store, which is decorated for the holidays and where you will find a variety of Wauwatosa-themed gift items for sale. The Little Red Store will be open from 6:30-9 pm on Friday and from 2-5 pm on Saturday.

There are many other fabulous shopping opportunities in the village also. All the stores will be open late on Friday and 29 local businesses are participating in the Village's Holiday Passport drawing, where you can win 1 of 3 fabulous Village-inspired gift baskets. Visit the Village's web site for more information: http://www.villageofwauwatosa.com/event_detail.aspx?eventId=736

And just a little north of the Village, the Wauwatosa Historical Society is hosting "A Very Merry Christmas House" at the Kneeland Walker House this weekend. Spectacularly decorated for the holidays, this mansion is going to be open for tours free of charge on Saturday and Sunday, from 1-4 pm. Refreshments will also be offered. http://wauwatosahistoricalsociety.org/Christmas%202010.htm

I know that all of these festivities, combined with the snowfall predicted, will definitely put me in the holiday spirit! I hope that you and yours enjoy this weekend in the Village and that you have a very happy holiday season.

 

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Contact Information

Photo of Beth Jaworski Real Estate
Beth Jaworski
Shorewest Realtors
11622 W. North Avenue
Wauwatosa WI 53226
Direct: 414.844.1118
Cell: 414.520.8555
Fax: 262.782.1551

I hope that this website was able to assist in your search for a home, or in your quest for information about buying or selling a home.  Please do not hesitate to contact Beth Jaworski of Shorewest Realtors with any questions. Email is sold@bethjaworski.com  and cell number is (414) 520-8555. Thanks!