Fox Cities Resists Housing Slump

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker- The Real Estate Group, Inc.

With all of the negative hype in the news day after day about a nation wide housing slump, the conditions here in Appleton and the Fox Cities have actually been fairly resistant to it. There certainly has been a slow down in our area but our figures do not directly reflect the National Association of Realtors (NAR) national statistics of the existing-home sales drop of 12.8%.

According to the Realtors Association of Northeast Wisconsin Outagamie County; where my office is located, only saw a change of -1.3% last year. 2007 home sales were 1,898 while 2006 sales were 1,923. Now... I should expand on this by saying that Outagamie County is the exception to the Fox Cities market. We have three more counties in the Fox Valley who's numbers aren't quite as strong and again these statistics are from the Realtors Association of Northeast Wisconsin  ; Calumet County showed a change of -9.2% (2007 sales 415, 2006 sales 457), Waupaca County with a change of -11.8% (2007 sales 491, 2006 sales 557) and Winnebago County at -11.5% (2007 sales 1,753, 2006 sales1,981). Averaged out we saw a change of -7.3% in the Fox Cities area.

Why are we so resistant to the national slow down? I don't have a quick answer for that other than the fact that people are still able to find work, they're keeping their jobs and it's great to live in The Valley.

I've heard many potential sellers say lately that this is a terrible time to put their home on the market, in my opinion, not really. What sellers need to realize is that they too are buyers and that they can take advantage of current conditions just like anyone else. From the buying point of view the inventory of existing homes is strong so there's lots to choose from and prices have plateaued or taken a bit of a dip, more buying power. That's all good for the buyer but what about the seller. It means your home might be on the market longer than it would have a couple of years ago and it might not sell for as much and remember, you're a buyer. 

Assuming the potential seller didn't buy their home within the last couple of years there are certain steps they can take to better their position in the current market; First- find a real estate agent that you can connect with. Now more than ever you want an experienced professional at your side. 2- Remember, there's no "right" time to buy orsell. You don't want to try and second guess interest rates or the market, your hesitation could cost you a lot more than the potential savings of rates dropping and quite frankly the market is not going to turn around tomorrow. 3- Have a Pre-Sale Inspection, being proactive is always better than having to be reactive. If the inspector finds (and they will) trouble areas, address the issues right away. If there are things you can't take care of now at least you're aware of them and it won't be a surprise when the buyer has theirinspection done. Get replacement estimates on big ticket items that are worn out or will need to be replaced soon. 4- With warmer weather upon us, clean up the curb appeal. Many outside curb appeal projects are very simple and inexpensive; touch up the entry way paint, sweep up, pull the dead weeds, change the burned out porch light-bulb, etc. Stand out front and look at your home as if it's the first time you saw it, with the eyes of a potential buyer. 5- Pack up the clutter and move it out. Many sellers are hiring a professional stager and this is one area you want to "keep up with the Joneses". Ask your agent, she or he may be well versed in this subject and save you the expense of hiring a stager. Last- find a real estate agent that you can connect with! From here on out it's important to have professional assistance, make the most of the current local market conditions and devise a comprehensive Market Plan and set the price correctly, now's not the time to play games.

Selling your home in todays market is no slam dunk but by following a few simple steps it can be a whole lot easier, make sure you have the guidance of an experienced Real Estate Agent by your side.


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Peter Tamura
Coldwell Banker Select - Tulsa, OK

resisting housing slump....

Although the national news is depressing, some areas didn't go up as much and weren't subject to as much speculation and are now reaping the benefit of being more stable and even going up in some areas.

"with the eyes of a potential buyer," I might even drive them to other homes for sale in the neighborhood so they can see what their competition is.  I tell them that a qualified buyer is going to buy the best looking best priced one, so if they are serious, their house needs to be it!!  (Of course they are serious, otherwise I wouldn't be working with them, lol)

Staging, when I was working in CA yes, here in Tulsa, Oklahoma staging is prohibitively expensive for a lot of sellers.  We declutter, usually remove pieces so that homes show bigger.  It's tricky, a lot of sellers don't have the budget for staging, but compared to having the home sit on the market for several months, staging seems cheap if it works.

"It's a terrible time to sell!"  If the homeowners perception is based on reading the newspaper and watching TV, show him comps for his neighborhood.  "Look, there are five homes pending in your neighborhood, homes are definitely selling, it's not a bad time."

Good topic and happy blogging!

Peter Tamura e-PRO, GRI

RE/MAX Executives

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Mar 18, 2008 08:31 AM #1
Deb Meyer, ASP, IAHSP

Hi Bob,

Great article!

The housing industry is in poor shape I totally agree.  However, the art of home staging can have a huge impact on the time the property will be on the market.  Times have changed and the days of baking cookies and fresh flowers and calling it "staged" are long gone.

I personally own Staged N Style, LLC and can tell you that this industry has come a long way.  We now supply the "look" that will help move the property.  Calling a house staged when using antiques or old run down furniture is the way of the past as well.  The most effective home stagers use only brand new furniture so that when a buyer walks into a property, it looks as though they just walked into a magazine page.  Generation X and Generation Y are all about the look and feeling of what is new and upcoming.  Looks sell, they sell in clothes, they sell in food presentations, and in magazines.  Looks sell in any industry, and when you hire an Accredited Staging Professional, (ASP) they have been educated as to furniture placement, and the use of design, scale and color.  They place certain pieces, in certain places, for certain reasons.  They have the inventory, the expertise and the ability to make any property sell faster and for more money, in any market.

As for cost of staging, the Mid-West has the lowest cost for the work performed and one of the highest ROI for the homeowner.

Call a ASP home stager today.

Deb Meyer, ASP, IAHSP

Staged N Style, LLC




Aug 22, 2008 03:18 AM #2
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Bob Edwards

Fox Cities Real Estate Hotline, SFR- Appleton, WI
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