Dylan's Blog Posts

 

 

 

 

Matter of House Discusses Title Work with Andrew Horan- Owner of Closing and Title Services

 

Matter of House Discusses Pluming with Kevin Kussow- Master Plumber

 

Matter of House Talks FHA with Robert Millay @ Metropolitan Home Mortgage

 

 

What You Need to Know About Buying in a Seller's Market

 

Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Buyer's Agent

 

 

So You Want to Purchase a HUD Home?

 

Tips for Going Through Open Houses

 

Lending Doesn't Have to be Difficult... Find Out Why

Aug. 8, 2019

What to look for in a good photographer

I know you have seen poor photos… right?! Like the ones you look at and cringe. Who could possibly post photos of something they are selling like that? In fact there are entire websites devoted to such a topic. I see them everywhere when I look at listings. In fact you can find a really good site at BoredPanda or Lighterside.

 

So that begs the question: what makes good photos truly good?

 

This is the biggest reason I hire photos out. I am not a professional photographer and I definitely don’t know how to edit them to get quality sale worthy photos. 

 

The best photographers are looking at the entire house and looking for the money shot; the one or two photos that truly represent the house. To me this is the most important thing. This is because once they get THIS I know the rest of the home will be good.

 

 

After that a good photographer will pick up on minor adjustments that need to be made. I have had multiple photographers not notice a broom sitting in an odd spot or a towel on the bathroom floor. It stands out like a sore thumb in the final product. The one that I send to 100’s of websites. The good ones will notice it and move from behind the camera to pull it. 

 

A lot of times a photographer will shoot from a standard height. Always. This is good and makes photos consistent. That being said occasionally making the decision to move the camera up or down a little bit to get a great photo (see below). Maybe that amazing kitchen or the pool deck would look great from closer to chair height. These are the creative reasons I need a good photographer.

 

 

Technology is huge with photos and potential buyers can tell. My photographer as an example now shoots over 24MP and the camera takes 16 photos each time he pushes the shutter button. Not only are the photos the highest quality but it allows to combine a few photos to get the best possible shot. Not to mention the other cool things he can do for us with the extra photos. 

 

The next items that are really important come down to their systems and timelines of delivery. When we are looking to go live with photos on a Tuesday we need the photos ready on Tuesday morning at the latest. Also not re booking a shoot due to whatever. As a realtor I need to be consistent and able to deliver on my promises. A quality photographer will have systems in place to consistently deliver quality photos and ensure they can meet deadlines. 

 

If you go looking for a photographer. Feel free to call me as I have at least 2 good ones. If you are out of the area or just don't want my recommendations these are the things you should look for in their body of work.

 

-Dylan A. B. Diersen

 First Weber, Inc

 

Dylan has been quoted on by national new outlets and has multiple designations recognized by the National Association of Realtors. Also, he has consistently helped more and more people achieve their real estate goals by increasing service. You can see more blog posts at FoxCitiesProperties.com/blog or keep in touch on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/WisconsinRealEstateExpert/

Posted in Blog Posts
July 8, 2019

9 Mistakes Sellers Make When Prepping a Home for Sale

I know you have seen some of these in person or in photos....

 

It is time to sell my home! The photographer comes in 2 days and we know the list price because I spoke with at least one Realtor. Now comes photo ready and then show ready! To me they are the same thing.

 

Below are the items I see most when showing home and at the photo shoot for a new listing. If you can avoid these, your home will show infinitely better. Obviously having the home clean is a must. So we are leaving that off the actual list. But a few things people miss when cleaning are 

  • Screens
  • Heating & cooling vents
  • Corners
  • Fan blades
  • Dirty windows

 

These are the top mistakes when setting your home up for photos or showings:

  1. Leaving your toilet seat up. Go put them all down! While you’re at it, fold the tp
  2. Leaving kitchen utensils out or dirty dishes in the sink. Clean ‘em or put ‘em in the dishwasher
  3. This goes for the bathroom as well. Put toilet bowl brushes/plungers under the sink and put away the tooth brushes
  4. Not leaving lights on. This is especially important for our area of northeast Wisconsin in the winter when it gets dark at 4pm. Just leave lights on for your ‘guests’ who are potential buyers
  5. Forgetting to remove fridge magnets and items. This just looks messy
  6. Taking too many items from the home. If you are selling the home vacant and you can keep some items in the home you should. But choose wisely.
  7. Not mowing the yard. This to me is mind boggling as a freshly mowed yard is the FIRST introduction to your home for a buyer or agent.
  8. Not vacuuming is huge. I don’t get it. Do this on your way out before a showing if possible but at the very lease very frequently. Buyers are guaranteed to notice.
  9. Putting away personal items. No one wants to see your pocket change or your medicines. Just put it all away.

 

These are all simple items to get in the habit of while you are looking to sell. As soon as you have a contract you can go back to whatever you like. But these few things will surely help sell your home quickly and for more money.

 

 

-Dylan A. B. Diersen

 First Weber, Inc

Dylan has been quoted on by national new outlets and has multiple designations recognized by the National Association of Realtors. Also, he has consistently helped more and more people achieve their real estate goals by increasing service. You can see more blog posts at FoxCitiesProperties.com/blog or keep in touch on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/WisconsinRealEstateExpert/

 

 

Posted in Blog Posts
June 12, 2019

4 Unique Clauses for Real Estate Contracts

Hey buyers! I know life is stressful for you right now with the current market. Whether you are working with me or someone else I am sure you have put in at least a few offers and had them rejected. If you are under contract or recently purchased and did not write multiple offers you are very lucky!

For the rest of us, I thought I’d share a few unique clauses that can make your offer stand out. Some people think it is all about the money when in reality each offer is taken for what it is and if there are other offers on the table it is compared to the other offers. Ever watch the Mr. Universe competition? If you have than you know what direct competition looks like when it is not head-tohead. See the YouTube video below and watch how the guys compete on stage.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dPgnlrVYOs

So the compliance and lawyer nuts require some disclosure here. Note that I am not a lawyer. If I am not your agent currently I will not accept liability for these recommendations if you use them. Any clauses like I am suggesting are to be used in the right situation for the right offer and written by a professional. If you use any of these on your own or with another Realtor AND it goes poorly I have and will take zero liability. On the other hand if you have used one of these or another and it worked, please let me know.

 

Escalation clause:

This clause allows you to bid up the price by a set amount while not having to go too far above.  Simplified language would be “Buyer agrees to pay $1500 above other offers up to a final purchase price of $150,000”. There is more I would add if using this for a buyer for less liability but you get the point.

 

Inspection Guarantee:

This allows you as the buyer to write an offer contingent on an inspection and tell the seller that you will not hold them liable for items up to a certain amount. Sample language would be “Buyer agrees to pay the first $500 of defects that arise from the home inspection.”

 

Non-refundable earnest money:

Everyone gets all scared about the phrase "non-refundable". Are you serious about purchasing? Then you’ll make it happen. This clause can be phrased many ways. The best one I have seen is as follows “If buyer does not close this transaction for any reason other than inspection related defects that buyer and seller cannot come to an agreement on, buyer shall forfeit earnest money to seller”. Some people get more bold and phrase it this way “If this transaction does not close for any reason earnest money shall be forfeited to seller”. Now you have to choose how much earnest money you’re willing to loose…

 

Appraisal guarantee:

This is a good one if you have plenty of cash and you are bidding significantly over the list price. For those that do not know, when you have an appraisal the bank will not complete a loan for more than that amount. So when the appraisal comes up short sellers either lower the purchase price or buyers have to bring more cash to closing to make up the difference. The appraisal guarantee tells a seller you are serious and states that if the appraisal comes in short that a buyer will make up the difference and close. This is what it looks like: “If the property does not appraise in value buyer agrees to make up the difference and bring the extra cash to closing”. Another way to do it is: “Buyer will make up the difference in cash value up to (X amount) if property does not appraise in value”

 

As always discuss with your Realtor and make sure you use any negotiating tactics in a responsible manner. These are just four options buyers have to make their offers stand out if they cannot necessarily complete on price alone. All of these tactics make your offer stronger and thus more appealing to sellers and when used in the correct fashion will help you get under contract.

 

Happy Hunting!

 

-Dylan A. B. Diersen

First Weber, Inc

 

 

Dylan has been quoted on by national news outlets and has multiple designations recognized by the National Association of Realtors. Also, he has consistently helped more people achieve their real estate goals by increasing service. You can see more blog posts at FoxCitiesProperties.com/blog or keep in touch on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/WisconsinRealEstateExpert/

 

Posted in Blog Posts
May 8, 2019

What type of real estate to purchase first?

 

Last week I was speaking with an attorney friend of mine over coffee and we got to talking about real estate and first home purchases.

 

The usual topics came up like inspections and the best places to buy. Which is the best school district? Of course. One question he asked did surprise me as not too many people ask it. I was very happy to answer it.

 

“What is the best type of property to buy as a young first time purchaser?”

 

As I am technically in sales my response was “whichever property makes you happy!” But all joking aside he was looking for honest input about appreciation and value. It’s a question no one really asks and I’m not sure why. Share if you have thoughts.

 

Here is what I explained to him.

 

If the decision was completely up to me and I was left to my own devices my first residential property would be a duplex property.  Yes a duplex.

 

First: You start investing in property early in your life. It is commonly agreed by the experts that real estate is the safest and strongest way to accumulate wealth over the long term.  Look at it this way. Over the past 60 years home values have risen 6.34% each year. At that rate a property purchased for $100,000 will be worth over $600k in 30 years.

 

Second: You could potentially live free or almost free. If you purchase a $100,000 duplex with 5% down your initial investment will be (with some closing costs) right around $7,000. Your monthly payment (interest and principal only) will be just over $500 with a 30 year fixed loan and 5% rate. Do you think you can get at least $500 for the side of the duplex you aren’t living in? In our area of Wisconsin you should get at least that if not more. There is a good chance the rent for the side you aren’t living in will cover all of your mortgage payment: principal, interest, taxes and insurance. You live FREE. Even if you just look at making your initial investment back you would have that accomplished in 14 months. Why not live free and see the first reason above.

 

Third: The property is a wealth generator. If you live in the property for 5-7 years you should have a good amount of equity to pull from. Add that to your savings (because you are a good saver) and you have a healthy down payment for your first single family home. That is unless you caught the bug and now want to be a real estate mogul. ..

 

I will keep you updated if my friend purchases a duplex as his first property.

 

Below are a few sources if you want to do some fact checking:

Future Value Calculator

Trulia Article- Annual Appreciation

Mortgage Calculator

Investopedia Article- Key Reasons to Invest in Real Estate

 

 -Dylan A. B. Diersen

First Weber, Inc

 

 

Dylan has been quoted on by national new outlets and has multiple designations recognized by the National Association of Realtors. Also, he has consistently helped more and more people achieve their real estate goals by increasing service. You can see more blog posts at FoxCitiesProperties.com/blog or keep in touch on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/WisconsinRealEstateExpert/

 

 

 

Posted in Blog Posts
March 8, 2019

4 Signs Your Home Is Over Priced

We Realtors really hate being negative. I myself fall in that same category. I like being positive and working hard for my clients. So when a home isn't selling and everyone is looking around scratching their head you need the truth. That should come from your real estate professional but sometimes it doesn't. 

 

To help you, I prepared a list of triggers I use with my sellers to help us identify early when a home is over priced. Now before you get all upset about price, keep in mind no pricing model is exact. Even Walmart and your local grocery store do mark downs. Of course every market is different and there are differences in price ranges. So listen to your Realtor, that's why you hired them.

 

1. Are you getting a trickle of showings? Or no showings? This is my number one trigger for over pricing. If you go 3 weeks and aren't getting more than a few showings then you can take it to the bank that the market is rejecting your home at this price point.

 

2. Neutral feedback. This is a subtle one because nothing really sounds bad when you read it. But no offers have yet to come in. If you are having a good number of showings but all the feedback is neutral then I usually recommend a minor price reduction. This paired with refreshed marketing almost every time produces an offer. If all feedback is negative then we know something with price needs to be done.

 

3. Has your Realtor told you the home is over priced? Then it usually is. Remember you hired this person for a reason and their entire life is geared towards selling your home. Listen to them.

 

4. Was your home hosted open recently? How many people came through? Well I can tell you that if the answer totaled to zero, then you are over priced. This of course is only if there aren't mitigating circumstances such as weather or a Packer game.

 

Below is a graphic that should help put home pricing in perspective.

 

There really isn't much more to it. If one or all of these instances are taking place in your selling world then you are priced too high and you should chat with your agent. On a side note, if you have all or any of these triggers taking place and your Realtor hasn't discussed price with you, maybe you should talk with another Realtor.

 

Happy Selling!

 

-Dylan A. B. Diersen

First Weber, Inc

 

 

Dylan has been quoted on by national new outlets and has multiple designations recognized by the National Association of Realtors. Also, he has consistently helped more and more people achieve their real estate goals by increasing service. You can see more blog posts at FoxCitiesProperties.com/blog or keep in touch on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/WisconsinRealEstateExpert/

Posted in Blog Posts
Feb. 6, 2019

A Seller's Guide to Home Inspections

If you didn’t know the home inspection contingency is where we see the most number of home sale transactions fall apart. One party digs in. Another party refuses to fix something. The next thing we know, buyers are out searching for another home. Sellers are hosting another open house. I just spoke with a buyer in this very situation.

 

So sellers, what can you do to help your inspection along. The right way. Below is a field guide to inspections.

 

There are things to do prior to the inspection that will help you. While I personally believe they should be done prior to actually listing; as long as they are complete by the inspection you should be OK.

 

The inspector will crawl into the attic. Make sure it is accessible. Often times we find the access is blocked by shelving or clothes. These only delays the inspection as a good buyer’s agent will get the inspector back in. The other consistent issue is the hatch being sealed. Make sure if it is pained shut or caulked closed that you cut it open.

 

You can significantly help out the inspector by making sure the sink cabinets are cleaned out. Save everyone a bunch of time. And the inspector will do it themselves anyway.

 

Ensure all light bulbs are working, please. Why have the inspector wasting time determining if a light bulb is bad or there’s a wiring issue? Just make sure all bulbs are functioning.

 

I’m not sure if it is country wide or just Wisconsin but the standard is that there will be a smoke detector and CO detector on all floors. Make your life easy and go install them. If your buyer is purchasing with a VA/FHA/WHEDA loan then it will get flagged twice if not installed.

Are you missing an electrical plate over a switch or outlet? That believe it or not is a defect as it is related to safety. Go spend a few dollars and save it from being on your defects list. Which it will be by the way.

 

Garage door safety beams are a solid defect. I get why they aren’t installed sometimes but they will get flagged. If you are that person who has them pointing directly at each other in the beam above the garage door opener then you should consider putting them where they belong. This may even get flagged by the appraiser for government loans.

  

These are the items before the inspection.  For the actual inspection you should plan for 4 hours no matter what. Sometimes they take less but with this time frame you will be alright. Also it is best if you aren’t home. This really is the buyer’s opportunity to learn about the home and how everything works. Don’t cheat them because you are curious. You will see the report anyway if there are any issues.

 

After the inspection expect to hear from your agent with in a day or so. Some buyers will want to do some research or think about the inspection. By planning to hear something in a few days you set yourself up not to be concerned when you don’t hear back right after the inspection. Now is when the negotiations start!

-Dylan A. B. Diersen

First Weber, Inc

 

Dylan has been quoted on by national new outlets and has multiple designations recognized by the National Association of Realtors. Also, he has consistently helped more and more people achieve their real estate goals by increasing service. You can see more blog posts at FoxCitiesProperties.com/blog or keep in touch on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/WisconsinRealEstateExpert/

Posted in Blog Posts
Jan. 2, 2019

The Packers are out- How you can win?

 

Sure sucks when the Packers aren't in the playoffs. But there is an upside. In Northeast Wisconsin the best time to sell (most properties) is in the spring and summer. I always suggest sellers get a head start and be ready to list as soon as the Pack have had their run. Well... the time is now.

 

If you are looking at getting any final touches done on your home before listing, pick up the pace. Our market is still very short on listings and the buyers who are searching are very serious. See graph below.

 

As you look at the graph you can see there are fewer home sales in January, this is actually the number of closings. Check out the number of closings come March/April They aren't the highest but it'ts the start of the peak and that means in January and February we are starting to sell more homes.

I'm sure you are asking yourself: How can I win? The sooner you list the better. With the shortage of listings right now you have a good opportunity to make more cash now than in say two or three months. I have seen sellers loose out on as much as $10k simply because they choose not list early in the year. I get why, but It's my goal to make sellers as much as possible. 

 

-Dylan A. B. Diersen

First Weber, Inc

 

Dylan has been quoted on by national new outlets and has multiple designations recognized by the National Association of Realtors. Also, he has consistently helped more and more people achieve their real estate goals by increasing service. You can see more blog posts at FoxCitiesProperties.com/blog or keep in touch on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/WisconsinRealEstateExpert/

Posted in Blog Posts
Dec. 11, 2018

Hey Mr. & Mrs. Buyer, do you feel like you're spinning your wheels?

If you have been actively searching for a home for more than 6 months, then something isn't quite right. Now this excludes anyone who is being very, very specific. While I am at it let me define "actively searching". Actively searching means anyone looking at homes in person. Not just online.
Have you identified why you aren't in your new home yet? I am going to take a guess it is one of the following reasons:
  1. You didn't commit to one agent
  2. No loan pre-approval { disregard for those paying cash :) }
  3. Not being realistic about your expectations
  4. Probably the hardest for some: you are low balling sellers
You didn't commit to one agent. This is big because when you work with a single agent they start to work for you. They get to know your needs, wants and particulars. If you have 3 agents all running around you may get to see a lot of properties but not necessarily the right ones. Also, we all work off the same listings (for the most part). In our area there really isn't a benefit to having multiple agents working for you.
Didn't get pre- approved? Why not? A pre-approval tells agents and sellers you are hiring to help you that you are serious and know whats going on. Also, as your Realtor it is our job to get you closed and do it in a positive way. Having a pre-approval increases the odds of a great experience when purchasing. Submitting a pre approval can also put you ahead of the pack when negotiating.
What are your expectations? This one sounds somewhat easy but if your expectations are out of line you will literally spin wheels just hoping to see something. Now if you are looking for something specific and are willing to wait there is a difference there from say wanting 5 acres with a new home for $135,000. At least in our area. Your agent should be realistic with you and upfront about what you want. Another positive quality of a good agent.
"Well... its listed at $250,000. So let's offer $200k. See where that gets us." It probably doesn't get you far. Maybe even a counter offer above list from the seller. I'm not saying that a low ball offer isn't sometimes necessary but if you are consistently putting low ball offers in then you are likely making the process harder for you then it has to be. Typically a buyer should be looking at or below their budget and looking to purchase the best home on budget. It just isn't realistic in our market to be getting offers put together for under 95% of list price.
Do any of these scenarios sound like you? Well it's not your fault. I can helpNo matter where you are, I am happy to schedule a time to help you get on track for your home purchase goals in 2019. Usually it is 45 minutes via phone, in person, or video chat. Reach out, what will it hurt?

-Dylan A. B. Diersen

First Weber, Inc

 

Dylan has been quoted on by national new outlets and has multiple designations recognized by the National Association of Realtors. Also, he has consistently helped more and more people achieve their real estate goals by increasing service. You can see more blog posts at FoxCitiesProperties.com/blog or keep in touch on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/WisconsinRealEstateExpert/

Posted in Blog Posts
Nov. 13, 2018

6 Ways to Update Your Home on a Budget

'Tis the season right? I don't mean for the holidays, those have come and gone with your resolutions! I mean it's the season for home selling!

 

With that comes the age old questions about what to do for updating. Not all of us have the endless budget of the government behind us (the one that's shut down) so we have to pick and choose what to do.

 

I thought I would pull my favorite and easiest (cheap) updates that have a major impact on photos, marketing and (of course) the selling of a home

 

Perhaps my favorite is paint! Even premium paint is no more than $45 per gallon and easy as all get up to do. Nothing changes the feel of a room quite like paint. While messy, it gets the cheap update to-do list to-done.

 

If you want your home to feel awesome and updated, you have to replace the 80's style door knobs and gold hinges. This is an easy project pretty much anyone can do. Of course, make sure you are matching the decor of the room but simply replacing the kitchen cabinet knobs can have a major effect on the feel of the room. Past that if you can get hinges, door knobs and the like replaced you will really make a difference in the perception of your home. And it's inexpensive. Usually about $2 per.

 

This one you will need some know-how to keep a budget. But if you know how to do some simple wiring the act of replacing light fixtures in your home will do amazing things. And usually brighten the place up. Don't go crazy. Some efficient and simple fixtures will go a long way here. I often find them for $20-50 depending on the room.

 

Looking to get saucy? Replace your bathroom vanity. That's right. There are only two other things that date your home more than the vanity and a simple switcharoo can do wonders. This one is on the pricier end ($300ish) but well worth the cost as kitchens and bathrooms sell homes.

 

Do you have the classy lattice on your windows? I do too. But it is a thing of the past and they are usually removable. At the amazingly low cost of FREE, this one is a must do if you want to give an updated appearance to your home.

 

The following update may require a plumber. I know I hate this project myself but it will do wonders. Tell me, how old is your sink faucet? How old are ALL your sink faucets? IF you don't know then I recommend a replacement. You can YouTube it or call a plumber but you will get returns on this update. Notice all faucets are in kitchen and bathrooms? That's on purpose as kitchens and bathrooms sell homes. 

 

Well those folks are my six easy-peasy updates that will have remarkable effects on the sale of your home and make any Realtor glad you called.

 

Dylan A. B. Diersen

First Weber, Inc

 

Dylan has been quoted on by national new outlets and has multiple designations recognized by the National Association of Realtors. Also, he has consistently helped more and more people achieve their real estate goals by increasing service. You can see more blog posts at FoxCitiesProperties.com/blog or keep in touch on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/WisconsinRealEstateExpert/

Posted in Blog Posts
Oct. 24, 2018

Why We Might See a Buyer’s Market in 2019

Are you ready? Are you ready for a buyer’s market in our area? Yes it might happen! There are a few factors (which I’ll lay out later) but it very well could happen.

 

Interest rates: They are climbing. Anyone who has taken econ: 101 understands that the economy is largely controlled by inflation and inflation is combated by interest rates. So as our economy does well we need to control inflation. 

 

The fed has raised the interest rates 3 TIMES in 2018. Not a large amount each time but just enough to get a handle on inflation. As of September the prime rate was at 5.25%. That is up significantly over the last 18 months.

 

Inventory: While we are seeing higher median prices, the NUMBER of homes sold has been going lower than in previous years. What does this mean? It means that inventory is down. That being said, so are showings. If the trend continues for more than 4 months we will likely see a more balanced market. If the number of months of inventory climbs over 6 months we will head into a buyer’s market for sure. 

 

How do we calculate inventory: Average number of sales over last 6 months divided into current active listings. Let’s take a few examples! 

 

Brown County: 

Average number of home sold over last 6 months: 394.3

Active listings: 950

Months of Inventory: 3.2

 

Outagamie County:

Average number of home sold over last 6 months: 226.8

Active listings: 631

Months of Inventory: 2.78

 

Winnebago County:

Average number of home sold over last 6 months: 212.6

Active listings: 636

Months of Inventory: 2.993.2

 

Side note: Buyer and Sellers markets are determined by months of inventory (supply vs demand). Under 6 months of inventory is considered a sellers’ market and over 8 month is considered a buyers market. Between 6 and 7.9 months is considered mixed.

Now for what you are probably concerned about: is the market going to drop/shift/die. The answer is unequivocally NO. Here’s why.

 

Currently we have the largest demographic looking to downsize and purchase smaller homes (Gen X) as well as the second largest demographic (millennial's) looking to purchase their first home. This is what is driving home sales in our area. 

We actually have a home shortage right now. This is driving the home prices as well as new construction business.

So for our area, I do expect our market to shift. However the market will shift more to a 2016 market where we experienced a balanced market and good numbers. Something I will take to the bank every day. In the mean time, cash in on the deep seller's market and list as soon as you can. Especially if you have a vacant home or an estate to sell.

 

-Dylan A. B. Diersen

First Weber, Inc

 

Dylan has been quoted on by national new outlets and has multiple designations recognized by the National Association of Realtors. Also, he has consistently helped more and more people achieve their real estate goals by increasing service. You can see more blog posts at FoxCitiesProperties.com/blog or keep in touch on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/WisconsinRealEstateExpert/

Posted in Blog Posts