Sometimes I feel like the Town Crier. For the past year I’ve been telling
everybody, "It’s a GREAT time to buy a house!" "It’s the ‘perfect storm’
of big inventory, low prices and historically low interest rates!"
"Anybody who CAN buy a house SHOULD buy a house now!"
Some have listened. Looking back at activity in the southwest region of
Wisconsin, the Federal Income Tax Credit for First Time and
Repeat Homebuyers drove a lot of activity in the first half of the year,
but the average sale prices were down because the majority of people using
the credit were first-time home buyers.
The offer of the tax credit ended in April, and all accepted offers by 4-
30-10 had to close by June 30.
For about 6 weeks after June 30, things were quiet. People were nervous –
buyers, sellers and Realtors, alike! However, since about mid-August,
we’ve seen steady activity and higher sale prices. There seems to be less
hesitation to make an offer, and sellers are quickly deciding to accept or
reject, whereas in the past sellers would counter almost every offer they
My advice to Buyers:
Don’t play around with low-ball offers.
Hire a buyer’s agent and let them know your goals and where you’re willing to
draw the line, price-wise and condition-wise. You may have been told it’s
a "Buyer’s market," but Sellers aren’t in the mood for games and you might
really miss out on a good deal by alienating the seller. It’s a myth that
all sellers are desperate.
My advice to Sellers:
If you don’t have showings or offers, you’re in a big pool of inventory and you need
to understand your competition to rise to the top.
Buyers have a lot of choices, and they are affected by
pricing, location and condition. Make sure your home is free of defects,
consider hiring a home inspector to do a pre-listing inspection that you
can offer to potential buyers; make necessary repairs; de-clutter and
remove all unnecessary furniture and knick knacks; CLEAN (your elbow
grease is free!), and have your home set at a comfortable temperature and
be well-lit. We are in the shortest days of the year and you want buyers
to be comfortable in your home. These tips will make your home stand out
when a buyer is looking at 4-5 homes at once.
And one more thing: Spread the Word! It’s a GREAT time to buy a house!
Information provided by Nancy K. Smith, First Weber Group Southwest Regional Manager
First Weber Group-Dodgeville , Platteville , Mineral Point , Spring Green , and Muscoda