The Winter Market in Wisconsin

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Crossroads Real Estate LLC

The snow is beginning to fall in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin.  You can see the big flakes floating down, piling on top of one another making everything white.  Did you ever notice the snow muffles the sound.  It is getting so quiet outside you can almost hear the sound of home prices falling.

It used to be only Milwaukee homes experiencing a high degree of falling home values.  Over the past few months price drops have spread out into the suburbs.  There is an old saying, one bad apple spoils the whole barrel.  One foreclosure lowers the prices of the whole neighborhood. 

These days buyers are aware of the best price in the neighborhood.  The average buyer spends weeks on the Internet researching home prices in a number of neighborhoods looking for the best deal.  They have visions of making it big in the Real Estate Market.  Landing that one big deal of a life time which would give them bragging rights at the coffee machine for months.  Today's Buyers take the cheapest price on a home and have no problem applying it to every home within miles.  Even crossing city limits in an attempt to find the one desperate Seller who will take anything to close the deal.  Buyers know they have control. 

The Greater Milwaukee Area has 14.74 months of inventory on the market.  That means unless you have your property set at the right price to sell, you may be waiting until January 2011 before you accept an offer. 

The few Buyers actively looking are waiting for the best price with the highest quality.  A clean home in a great location does not cut it any more.  In today's market you have to have the lowest price with the maximum amount of updates to sell.  New kitchens, baths, finished basements, the Buyer's wish list goes on.  And they do not expect to pay a dime more for it.  Why?

Sellers need to check the Internet to find out why.  In my opinion the major source of the pie in the sky attitude comes from Internet scammers.  The endless list of ads aimed at getting Buyers to think the pie is sitting there begging to be taken.  These scammers post page after page of dribble which has little or no truth.  They make claims of buying million dollar mansions for less than $7000.  They have pages of testimony from people that claim they have made it big on the Real Estate Market.  All these lies complied in an attempt to part a fool and their money.

The biggest scam is selling a list of foreclosures.  Where do they get these lists?  These Buyers do not realize, many of these companies don't care if you ever buy a home.  All they want is a charge card or bank account number.  Most are happy with what ever price they can sell this list for. 

And what do you do with this list you just paid a company located 1000 miles away?  Is this company going to show you any of these properties?   No they are not.  They have their money and that is the only service they are going to provide.  Ask any Real Estate Agent how many calls we receive from Buyers who have paid for these lists.  All we can tell them is, that property has sold, and that one has sold, and that one also.  The lists these people give you most likely contain only properties which have sold. These lists are easy to get.

I have received dozens of calls from Buyers looking for a list of foreclosed properties.  They have no idea what kind of hassle it is to buy a foreclosed property.  Dealing with the banks is a time consuming effort most closely defined as spending a vacation in hell.  As far as finding a list of foreclosed homes, it is unlikely anyone can supply such a list.  The local MLS has a special box to check if the property is a foreclosure of a short sale.  Checking the box is not mandatory and most Listing Agents do not check the box.  I would say 98% of the foreclosures in the Milwaukee area are not identified on the MLS. 
Anyone can obtain a list of properties scheduled for auction or Sheriff Sale.  But beware.  Read the warnings on the county web site.  I can find more stories on people loosing everything in an attempt to made a killing at these sales.  There are success stories but the gain is minimal compared to the risk.

If you are looking for the deal of a life time in Real Estate you may want to consider the following suggestions.

Common sense would tell you, no one from Nigeria is ever going to show you a house in Milwaukee.

Make a list of what you need is a home.  You wouldn't go grocery shopping without a list.  Why would you shop for a home without one?  If you shop in a store without a list you will find yourself going up and down isles over and over again, wasting time.  The same is true with buying a home.  When you give a list to a licensed Real Estate Agent they can customize a search to find just what you are looking for.  Keep in mind, the BEST DEALS NEVER LAST LONG.  If you waste time looking at the best prices which do not match your needs, the best deals will be sold before you have a chance to see them.

Shop for the best financing and work with a lender who will react quickly once you find the home you are looking for.  So many deals have been lost because lenders took too much time gathering the information they need.  If you are working with a bank as a Seller, they may not give you a second chance or extra time to arrange the financing.

Know the market. 

Work with a licensed Real Estate Agent who knows the market.

Ask for data, DO NOT RELY ON YOURSELF TO COLLECT MARKET MATERIAL.  In one hour a professional Real Estate Agent can collect and organize more marketing information than any Buyer can find in a week. 

Find a home in an area which is not saturated with foreclosed properties.  No one knows how long this is going to last.  Think in the short term.   You may have to sell within 5 years.  What will happen to the value of your home if there are still a dozen foreclosures near you?  You will find yourself in the same situation you put the previous Seller in.

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Wisconsin Waukesha County Menomonee Falls
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foreclosures
wisconsin
price drops
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internet researching home prices
greater milwaukee area

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