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!
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!
JUMP TO SECTION
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.
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.
But if you're earlier in the process and just want a general idea of what your house is worth, a free online home value estimator is a great place to start. Enter your address below to see your estimated sale price, as well as useful local real estate market trends. Find out how much your house is worth now!
Home Value Estimator
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
Top ways to sell your home in Wisconsin
- Discount real estate agents in Wisconsin
- We Buy Houses for Cash companies in Wisconsin
- Flat-fee MLS companies in Wisconsin
Additional resources for Wisconsin home sellers
- Average cost to sell in Wisconsin
- Average time to sell in Wisconsin
- How to sell by owner in Wisconsin
- Transfer taxes in Wisconsin