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8 Steps to Selling a House in Wisconsin

Getting ready to sell your house in Wisconsin? Our in-depth guide breaks the entire process down into 8 simple steps. Learn how to find a great agent, price your home, negotiate with buyers, breeze through closing, and more!

Getting ready to sell your house in Wisconsin? Our in-depth guide breaks the entire process down into 8 simple steps. Learn how to find a great agent, price your home, negotiate with buyers, breeze through closing, and more!

Updated on March 18, 2020

Now is a good time to be selling a house in Wisconsin! According to Zillow Research, property values in the Badger State rose 4.89% in 2019, and are projected to rise a further 4.48% over the next year.

Of course, even the best Wisconsin properties will struggle to sell if you don’t price the home properly, do a poor job of marketing it, or don’t know how to handle the negotiations.

Read on to learn the eight steps to successfully selling your home in Wisconsin!

1. Finding a Wisconsin realtor

Selling a home isn’t easy. It’s a high-stakes, complex transaction and requires a considerable amount of time and expertise to get a good outcome. If you’re looking to sell your Wisconsin home for the best price — and minimize stress along the way — you need to find a top-rated real estate agent in your area.

The best Wisconsin listing agents know exactly what local buyers want and how to reach them. They’ll offer expert advice, guidance, and support every step of the way, from the initial listing all the way through closing.

In fact, sellers who work with real estate agents net 33% more, on average, than those who list on their own. For a $196,777 home — the median home value in Wisconsin, according to Zillow — that’s a premium of $64,936. In other words, hiring an agent is well worth the investment.

2. Deciding when to sell

You may not have considered when to list your home to get the best offer, but since the real estate market fluctuates throughout the year, it’s a good idea to do some research on your local market. Listing your home at the right time if crucial if you hope to sell it for or above market value.

Best time to sell a house across the U.S.

Best Time to Sell a House

Source: 2019 Redfin Data Center

Best time to sell a house in Wisconsin

Best Month to Sell for Speed in Wisconsin
July
55 days on market
14 days faster than average
Best Month to Sell for Price in Wisconsin
June
$203,000 median sale price
8% more than average

Right now, it’s a seller’s market in Wisconsin, making it an ideal time to place your home on the market. In fact, home values increased by 5.5% this year and are projected to increase by another 3.6% over the next 12 months. This means there is no shortage of buyers, and as values increase, so too do home listing prices.

While this is all great news for sellers, you still want to time your listing to ensure you receive the highest offer possible. In general, the best time to sell a home throughout the country is in May, but Wisconsin varies greatly from city to city.

In Milwaukee, June is actually the best month to sell a home, with homes selling at prices 14% above average for the year. This means buyers in Milwaukee should list in May or early June to maximize profits.

In Madison, however, the best month to close on a home is August, with sales around 4% higher than the average. Buyers should place their homes on the market in July to increase their chances of a larger profit.

Since the statistics vary from region to region in the Badger State, it’s important to watch the market and work with a local agent who can help you better time your listing.

Learn More: The Best Time to Sell a Home in Wisconsin

3. Pricing your home

In order to ensure your home sells fast and for the best price, you’ll need to ensure it’s listed at the right price. Homes listed for too high a price often sit on the market longer, causing the seller to have to reduce the price several times before finding a buyer. Likewise, homes priced to low often sell for less than they’re worth.

To price your home right from the start, it’s important to have a comparative market analysis (CMA) performed. A CMA is the best way to gauge the overall value of your home, in order to find a buyer quickly.

A real estate agent can offer you a CMA as part of their service. If you work with Clever, your Clever Partner Agent will prepare your CMA for no charge and no obligation.

4. Preparing, marketing, and showing your home

Once you’ve determined when to list your home, the hard work begins. You’ll want to prepare your home for photos and showings in order to drum up interest and attract more buyers. While your agent will walk you through these steps, here’s what to expect:

Preparing Your Home

This stage of the home sale involves cleaning, downsizing, and moving out most of your belongings. You should also make any cosmetic repairs required during this stage, so your home looks as close to brand new as possible.

During this stage, you can prepare for the buyer’s inspection by having your own pre-sale home inspection done. This will prepare you for any major repairs that will need to happen, allowing you to get a jump start on the process.

It’s important to note that while it’s great to make repairs during this stage, this isn’t the time to commit to expensive upgrades or renovations. These projects will only draw out your timeline and while your home value might increase, it often doesn’t increase enough to compensate for renovation expenses.

Learn More: The Best Paint Colors For Selling A House

Stage and Market Your Home

Staging your home is an important step that many sellers overlook. Staging your home allows buyers to view the space at its best, often helping them to better imagine themselves living in your property.

Home staging generally costs $500 to $600 per room, but can cost more or less depending on the level of staging required. While many homes may simply need a few finishing touches and furniture rearrangements to complete the look, others might need furniture rentals and help from a professional stager.

Once staged, your agent will help you have professional photos taken that will be shown across home listing websites like Zillow and Trulia to help attract buyers. Home tour videos are also a popular option that can offer buyers a better feel for your home’s layout.

From here, it’s time to list your home on the MLS. Only agents can list on the MLS, but you may need to help create marketing copy or approve your agent’s draft. Your agent will also use marketing strategies like signage and posting to online portal sites to stir more interest.

In order to make showings easier, your agent might equip your home with a lockbox so buyers can come and go between agreed-upon hours, allowing them to more easily tour your home and make an offer sooner. Official showings and tours will also be set up through your agent.

Learn More: 4 Cool Real Estate Technology Trends That Help Sell Homes

5. Fielding offers and negotiations

Once an offer has been made on your home, it’s time to negotiate. Your agent will help you walk through your options, particularly if you have more than one offer. You can accept, reject, or make a counteroffer. Making a counteroffer is usually a good strategy that can help you get a little more money on your home.

Once an offer is accepted, a real estate purchase contract will be made. This contract will include the property details, approximate date of closing, sales information, and list of contingencies. One of these contingencies is usually the buyer’s inspection.

After the contract is drafted, the buyer will be required to place a deposit into escrow.

Learn More:  Real Estate Counter Offer Etiquette  

What's in a real estate purchase agreement?

6. Appraisal and inspections

If the buyer is financing the home, an appraisal will be done by the lender to ensure the home they’re approving is appraised for the right market value. An appraisal is different from an inspection, but it could uncover issues that cause the home to appraise for a lesser value. This would require the seller to make repairs in order to improve the appraisal value.

After the appraisal is done, the buyer’s home inspection will be performed. This is a more thorough review of the home to ensure the property is in top working order and has no hidden issues that weren’t disclosed by the seller. Your inspection can turn up large or small issues.

Once the inspection results are in, you’ll need to work with your agent to find out if there are any repairs or negotiations that need to happen. Anything from making repairs to reducing the closing price could occur during this stage.

Learn More: Can the Seller Back Out of Contract Before Closing?

7. Paperwork and required Wisconsin disclosures

Next, you’ll need to make any disclosures as dictated by Wisconsin law to the seller. In Wisconsin, sellers are required to answer all questions on the Real Estate Condition Report about the condition of their property. This report asks about the condition of the roof, foundation, plumbing, electrical wiring, and HVAC systems.

You should disclose any issues you are aware of in the property in order to avoid a lawsuit later on. Other disclosures required by Wisconsin law include letting the buyer know if the home could contain lead-based paint and disclosing how long you’ve lived in the home.

Work with your agent to ensure your home disclosures and other paperwork meets what is required by Wisconsin law.

Forms and Documents for Selling a House in Wisconsin

Required for All Real Estate Sales in Wisconsin

  • 2 Forms of ID
  • Copy of Purchase Agreement and Any Addendums
  • Closing Statement
  • Signed Deed
  • Bill of Sale
  • Affidavit of Title

Possible Additional Documents

  • Loan Payoff Information
  • HOA Forms and Guidelines
  • Survey Results or Survey Affidavits
  • Home Inspection Results
  • Proof of Repairs or Renovations
  • Home Warranty Information
  • Copies of Relevant Wills, Trusts, or Power of Attorney Letters
  • Relevant Affidavits (Name Affidavits, Non-Foreign Affidavit Under IRC 1445, etc.)
  • Closing Disclosure (for certain seller concessions)
  • Correction Statement and Agreement
  • Condominium Addendum to Real Estate Condition Report

Wisconsin Disclosure Forms

Learn More: Disclosure Requirements in Wisconsin

8. The closing process

The final step of the selling process is closing on the home. Closings are different throughout the country, but in Wisconsin, the closing process generally takes place around a table, with the buyer and seller in the same place. During the process, all final paperwork signed and the keys to the home will be given to the seller.

During this stage, the steps below will be covered:

  • A final walkthrough will be performed on closing day or the day before.
  • The buyer will pay the remaining funds owed for their down payment.
  • The title company will record the transaction and prepare the deed.
  • All final financial documents will be signed.

Once the buyer has the keys to the property, the deal is considered final and the sales process is complete.

Learn More: How Much Are Closing Costs for the Seller?

Next steps: Sell your Wisconsin home and save thousands

Whether you’re looking to list your Wisconsin home immediately or 6-12 months from now, it’s never too early to start looking for an agent, getting advice, and making a plan.

Clever is here to help guide you through the home selling process — and save money along the way! In fact, homeowners who list with us save an average of $9,000 on home selling costs.

>> LEARN about Clever's free service and read reviews from real home sellers here!

Top ways to sell your home in Wisconsin

Additional resources for Wisconsin home sellers

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Andrew Schmeerbauch

Andrew Schmeerbauch is the Director of Marketing at Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you top agents to save on commission. His focus is educating home buyers and sellers on navigating the complex world of real estate with confidence and ease. Andrew has worked on projects for the United Nations and USC and has a particular passion for investing and finance. Andrew's writing has been featured in Mashvisor, L&T, Ideal REI, and Rentometer.

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