What Buyers and Sellers Should Know in This Seller’s Market

This article is sponsored by Summit Credit Union, a trusted local financial partner for families. Whether you are looking to buy your first home, purchase a vehicle, or want to establish healthy budget habits, the experts at Summit Credit Union are here to help.

It’s been the talk of the town for quite some time now – the Real Estate Market is hot right now and folks who weren’t even considering moving last year are suddenly selling their homes in hours. With demand for homes continuing to surge in Wisconsin but statewide listings down more than 26% compared to this time last year, Milwaukee and its surrounding areas are experiencing a sellers’ market.

Buyers and sellers alike have questions about how to play the current market and land new homes. We partnered with Summit Credit Union to help give you insight in how to best navigate this seller’s market.

For buyers, meeting with a trusted lender like Summit Credit Union as early as possible in the process is a crucial step to get set up for success, will help establish a reasonable budget & get a preapproval to make your offers that much more attractive, and help to protect you from over-paying for your new home. For first-time buyers in particular, Summit Credit Union offers unique incentives and support to make the process as smooth as possible!

Why Summit Credit Union?

Summit is the #1 Mortgage Lender* in Wisconsin and it comes as no surprise:

  • Summit offers FREE preapproval – the best first step to take in the home buying journey!
    • Preapproval can take as little as 15 minutes¹ once you’ve submitted your paperwork
  • Summit offers $500 off closing costs2 ($1,000 off for first-time homebuyers3)

But what about sellers? Someone considering putting their home on the market in this unique time is bound to have questions too.

We are thrilled to welcome Lisa Eastman, Realtor with Keller Williams Realty, as our local expert, ready to help answer the pressing questions about this market. Lisa currently resides in the North Shore area of Milwaukee and has loved making this part of Wisconsin her home for over 15 years. She has been a licensed Realtor since 2015 and has dedicated her career to educating buyers and sellers in the community and helping them to reach their real estate goals!

Q&A for Sellers : Making the Most of a Seller’s Market

  1. Can you describe what is making this particular market so attractive for sellers?

Today’s market has been particularly attractive to sellers for various reasons. With inventory still down more than 26% there are a lot less homes on the market to compete with, add this to the increased number of buyers in the market and many new listings are seeing multiple offers within the first couple of days. Since multiple offers have started to become the norm, buyers are getting very creative with their offers and are often waiving contingencies (inspections, testing, appraisals, financing or a combination of all of them) or offering considerable amounts over the asking price. The bottom line for sellers is they are typically netting more money with less stress.

2. How do you recommend folks decide whether or not to jump into this seller’s market?

Getting preapproved with a great lender like Summit Credit Union is a crucial first step in this process. A major factor for people to consider when deciding to sell their house is if they have somewhere to live when they sell. Getting preapproved and finding your new home first can take a lot of the stress out of the process. This option isn’t for everyone; it leaves the possibility of owning two houses at the same time. Selling your house first can be advantageous in that you know exactly how much buying power you have to purchase your new house. If you chose this option having a back-up plan of where you can live temporarily is recommended. This will allow sellers more time to find their perfect new home. Talking to a realtor and Summit Credit Union will help sellers navigate the market and find the best option for them.

3. What do you tell potential sellers should be their first steps when preparing to put their home on the market?

First and foremost, sellers should be having a listing consultation with a realtor to prepare their home. During this consultation is when I typically walk through the home with the sellers to discuss the best way to present their home to potential buyers. You only get one chance to make a first impression with buyers. While restrictions on showings have gotten better, it is still fairly common for buyers to only have about thirty minutes in a home during a showing and not having the opportunity to come back for a second showing prior to writing an offer, so those first impressions are very important.

During this time we would also discuss a pricing strategy. This market has seen prices all across the board and changing every day, so looking at when the home is going to go to market and setting a range that the property is going to be listed at is very important. If a seller is going to be doing work to the home and waiting a month or two to put the home on the market the price could change from that initial consultation, so having a pricing strategy in place helps all parties to be on the same page when it comes time to listing the home.

4. Are there common mistakes sellers often make that can be easily avoided?

There are quite a few mistakes that sellers are still making in this market that are very easily avoided. First, pricing the home incorrectly – whether this is pricing too low or pricing too high. Pricing too low can be an issue for a couple of reasons. You risk leaving money on the table, meaning that buyers won’t offer as high as they would have if you would have been priced more realistically, but you also may get over 10 offers that can become difficult to differentiate between. By pricing at the market value you avoid sorting through piles of offers, and you typically get the best price. On the flip side, this market has caused people to also price their homes too high because of the belief that there is such a strong demand someone will pay it. By doing this there is a huge risk of sitting on the market longer, which causes doubt in buyer’s minds that something is wrong with the house. Talking with the realtor during the listing consultation and setting that pricing strategy is an easy way to avoid a pricing mistake.

Another mistake is not making needed repairs prior to listing. Yes there is a huge demand and buyers are willing to overlook cosmetic issues for the right house, but sellers should still be addressing issues that they know are wrong with the home. Many buyers are taking their thirty minutes of showings and looking for anything that could be major issues and will sometimes pass on a house if they see anything because they don’t want to waive an inspection contingency, but also don’t want to deal with a possible issue. So having any repairs made or at a minimum evaluated by a professional will help avoid any issues later.

Finally, the other mistake that can be avoided is not hiring professionals. A realtor is there to help the seller prep their home, maximize their exposure and navigate negotiating the best offer then assisting them all the way to closing. With multiple offers coming in, having a professional walk sellers through the pros and cons of each one is crucial to making the most amount of money, but also creating the least amount of risk. Another professional that should not be overlooked are professional photographers! Again sellers only have one chance on a first impression and buyers are spending a lot of time online looking at photos before making a decision – having a professional taking the best photos helps sellers get more buyers into their home.

5. In your expert opinion, what are the crucial keys to success as a seller in this market?

The first crucial key to success as a seller in this market is to hire an experienced realtor whom you can trust and have open communication with that will work with you to navigate this crazy market. With offers becoming more competitive and creative, it is necessary to have a realtor who can discuss the pros and cons of each offer, this will help better the chances of a smooth transaction and successful closing.

Another key, which a realtor can also assist you with, is to be prepared. As mentioned, having a listing consultation with your realtor prior to listing can help create the best exposure for your home and in turn generate the best offers for you. In addition, having those contingency plans if you are needing to purchase a home as well – getting preapproved, having a plan if you sell your home first, or if you need to sell it after. Finally, being prepared for your home officially starts showings and making sure that you, your kids, and your pets if applicable have somewhere to be between the first few days. Many listings have back to back showings throughout the day when they first come on the market, so being able to not be home allows the most amount of showings and gives flexibility to buyers. These are the two keys to success that I stress when working with sellers looking to sell in our current market.

Meet Lisa Eastman, Realtor with Keller Williams

My core belief has been that you cannot be an exceptional Realtor if you’re not really listening and understanding your client’s needs and goals. I make it my goal to work with every client like they’re the only one I have, and that care and dedication carries over into every step of the buying and selling process.

Visit Lisa’s Website to View Her Listings! Get in contact with Lisa HERE if you are looking for the right seller’s agent to represent YOU in this attractive market!

Contact Summit Credit Union to Get Started! 

Summit is the #1 Mortgage Lender* in Wisconsin and it comes as no surprise. Here are a few things they do, to make it such a smooth process:

  • Summit offers FREE preapproval – the best first step to take in the home buying journey!
    • Preapproval can take as little as 15 minutes¹ once you’ve submitted your paperwork
  • Summit offers $500 off closing costs2 ($1000 off for first time homebuyers³)
  • Potential homebuyers can meet with a Summit Mortgage Loan Officer (MLO) to get the process started – by phone, video or in-branch.
    • A Summit MLO will get in touch with you within 24 hours of you reaching out
  • Summit also offers a First-Time Homebuyers Guide, to give more insight into the process

Your home is likely the biggest investment that you’ll ever make. Get in touch with Summit Credit Union to explore your options and learn how they can be your financial partner every step of the way through the home-buying process. There is no cost to give them a call and to see what you qualify for and to see what would the most sense for you.

Visit the Summit Credit Union website
Call: 800-236-5560
Follow Summit on Facebook and Instagram!

Summit Credit Union is an Equal Housing Lender.

Financial education and wellness are at the core of everything Summit Credit Union does. Over the past several months we have partnered with Summit Credit Union to help our readers understand how to navigate the current real estate market and how to get the best interest rates, and to help you know that you are not alone in navigating all of this!  

Related Content from our Series with Summit Credit Union

*The Wisconsin’s #1 Mortgage Lender designation is based on the number of loans originated in 2020, gathered from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data compiled annually by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The results of the data were obtained through the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s website: https://ffiec.cfpb.gov/data-publication/modified-lar/2020. LEI: 254900NTAC4H10MGSU23.

¹Preapproval request is subject to applicant providing required financial documentation.

²The following loan programs are not eligible for the closing cost credit: Federal VA, FHA, Rural Development, WHEDA, Investment Property and Construction loans. Offer valid on home purchase applications submitted from January 1, 2021 through December 31, 2021 where the loan’s interest rate is locked by December 31, 2021. The $500 closing cost credit cannot exceed the actual amount of closing costs, prepaid interest and escrow reserves. This includes if the credit is combined with a seller closing cost credit. First mortgages only (offer does not apply to second mortgages or home equity lines of credit). The credit will be applied at the time of the loan closing and will be reflected on the closing disclosure. Not valid with any other offers.

³Offer valid for first-time homebuyers and requires a Summit Credit Union checking account. Minimum to open Free Checking account is $25. Primary Savings account required to have Free Checking. Primary Savings account: minimum to open $5. Annual Percentage Yield (APY) as of 2/1/2021 is 0.03%. An individual is to be considered a first-time homebuyer who is purchasing a property; will reside in the property as a principal residence; and has had no ownership interest (sole or joint) in a residential property in the past 3 years. This program is not eligible for: Federal VA, FHA, Rural Development, WHEDA, Investment Property and Construction loans. The offer does not apply to second mortgages, home equity lines of credit and refinance. Offer effective with purchase applications dated February 1, 2021 or later and subject to change at any time. The $1,000 closing credit cannot exceed the actual amount of the closing cost, prepaid interest and escrow reserves. This includes if the credit is combined with a seller closing cost credit. The credit will be applied at the time of the loan closing and will be reflected on the closing disclosure. Not valid with any other offers.


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